Friday, February 15, 2013

Buddha meets Freud

Related to recent posts, in Washburn's discussion of the personal embedded and submerged unconscious he thinks the latter's content can be uncovered by meditation. Here not only Wilber but Kornfield* disagree, since it requires something more, like psychotherapy, to get at this. Wilber is infamous with his Buddha meets Freud metaphor, and how meditators often are completely clueless as to their psychodynamic hangups. Hence shadow work is part of any ITP. Granted the 3-2-1 shadow work as is seems rather shallow and it's debatable just how much it really gets below the surface, since such work takes a lot of time and effort like meditation. But it's a start.

I like how he notes that RM gets at the embedded and submerged unconscious directly, whereas CM not so. He posits that CM might do so as one comes out of the meditation on their way back 'up.' I wonder about that. I also wonder if we might make an analogy between the rangtong/shentong and RM/CM? I'm thinking of the difference between vipassana, which comes from Theravada, whereas more concentrative focus seems to be in the more Yogic traditions of most Tibetan sects. Granted the latter might not be exclusive to it but it does seem predominant. This will require further research.

I can only report for now on personal experience. I practiced t'ai chi ch'uan seriously for a length of time and it was most definitely concentrated on the specifics of movement to the exclusion of all extraneous thought/feeling. Rarely did subconscious stuff arise when I was truly focused and 'one' with my 'object.' Whereas when I do Vipassana all sorts of subconscious processes bubble right up to the surface. I think that has helped me immensely in becoming aware of my programming. But many hours of psychotherapy gave me tools to change what I could, accept what I couldn't, and wisdom to know the difference.

* See his fine essay on the topic here.

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