East-West Psychology Program Chair Jorge Ferrer will deliver the keynote speech at the upcoming Institute of Transpersonal Psychology PhD Symposium, "Leading Edge Research in Service to Community," on May 12, 2012, in Palo Alto, Calif. His speech is titled, “Embodiment and the Heart of Participatory Spirituality.”
EWP doctoral candidate Zayin Cabot will present, “Evolution and the Poetics of Indigenous Participation: African and American Indian Modes of Participation"; and EWP doctoral student Samuel Malkemus will present, “The Clash of Instinct and Culture: Eros, Phobos and the Roots of Morality.”
Detailed descriptions of these three talks after the jump.
Embodiment as the Heart of Participatory Spirituality
Jorge N. Ferrer
What do we really mean when we say that spirituality is “embodied"? What distinguishes “embodied” from “disembodied” spirituality in practice? What are the implications for spiritual practice and goals—and for our very approach to spiritual liberation—of taking embodiment seriously? Participatory spirituality stresses the embodied, relational, and enactive (inquiry-driven) dimensions of spiritual practice. In this talk, we will discuss three types of “spiritual co-creation” embraced by the participatory approach—intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal—showing how they all pave the way for the emergence of more embodied spiritual understandings and practices. After distinguishing between sublimation and integration, we will address the new position of the body, sexuality, the heart, and the mind in a fully embodied spiritual life. The talk will conclude with a brief outline of the method Embodied Spiritual Inquiry as an illustration of an embodied participatory spiritual practice.
Evolution and the poetics of indigenous participation: African and American Indian modes of participation
This presentation arises out of an ongoing conversation between the presenter, Zayin Cabot, and Dagara elder Malidoma Somé regarding the nature of participation and evolution. Somé and Cabot will co-teach a course in the spring of 2013 at the California Institute of Integral Studies entitled, “The Poetics of Indigenous Participation.” In this course they unpack some of their assumptions regarding the nature of participation, and question the role of novelty, and possibility of evolution with regard to their different understandings with regard the nature of participation. Following the line of this conversation, this presentation examines different indigenous cosmologies. The African cosmologies coming out of the Dagara and Yoruba languages are compared with those of the Mayan and American Indian. By way of concluding, the presentation considers the ramifications of differences between these cosmologies with regard to contemporary attempts to unpack a critical evolutionary theory of consciousness.
The Clash of Instinct and Culture: Eros, Phobos and The Roots of Morality
This presentation explores the tension between human instinctual nature and civilization. It seeks to examine the age-old philosophical and psychological opposition between human nature and human culture that has been reflected in many guises; i.e., nature vs. nurture, passion vs. reason, irrational vs. rational, etc. To this end it involves three primary aims: (1) To present the concept of instinct as it emerged through Darwin and developed in the context of Freud’ depth psychology, (2) to relate these insights to the moral ground of human nature by examining specific pan-human developmental markers that emerge in the early life of an infant, and finally (3) to reflect on the implications that these insights may have for easing the tension between instinct and culture. The works of the philosopher Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, and in specific her evolutionary ethics, serve as the textual ground for my analysis of the moral foundations of human instinct.