Making New Assumptions

Oh golly, I didn’t mean to let so much time go by. Where has this month gone? How can you keep track of my ideas, when I don’t complete my thoughts? Silly me.

I ended the last post with a “come-on.” Stay tuned for that list of modern assumptions that may be our undoing: Here they are:

the world is inert
resources are for us to take
we humans are self-sufficient and stand alone
we humans are separate from nature
human health has no connection to a healthy environment
our brain lives only in our head
rationality is the only way of being that matters
our belly has no intelligence
ancestral myths are irrelevant, meaningless and false
community celebrations are trivial, unnecessary
we are in control and can invent a solution for every mess
reverence, humility and gratitude are not prized
dominating and winning are everything. . .

. . .these assumptions have now led to a perilous situation in which our life support system – the planet – has been brought to her proverbial knees.

But these assumptions are simply that. My son says, “You know what they say about assumptions, don’t you, Mom?  They make asses out of you and me.” So rather than be an ass, we can make fewer assumptions. But assumptions, like stereotypes, are sometimes useful, so we might still need a few. What might they be like?

If rationality is not the only way to be smart, what is? Perhaps our notions of the brain need changing. Imagine a brain in which both hemispheres rely on each other, acknowledge each other’s validity. That integrated brain would be very potent. Long before Ecstatic Wisdom Postures came into my life, I was following Jean Houston’s work, reading her book Mind Games to be exact and doing the exercises with a small group of psychotherapist friends. One particular experience riveted me. In active imagination, I experienced a gorilla from the right side of my brain reaching over to the left hemisphere to grab a banana – food for thought!  Literally and figuratively.

And a head connected to the body – imagine that! The vast, beyond-reason intelligence housed in our gut could be mixing and mingling with our rational selves to provide a much larger set of perceptions from which to make decisions.

The South American prophecy of the eagle and the condor sheds light on the new assumptions we’re being asked to embrace. This prophecy says that cultures run in 500 year cycles – or thereabout – and that around the time of Columbus, the paradigm of the eagle took precedence over that of the condor. The condor represents a spiritual, intuitive, heart centered and creatively connected way of living. The eagle represents an intellectual, rational, analytical, technological and scientific way of living which, though rich in many respects, also supports domination and disconnection from nature. The prophecy suggests that this is the time when the eagle and the condor must fly in the same sky for the human species to save itself. I think of it as the eagle and condor flying as side-bys in the same sky of mind.  Mind refers to a whole brain that communicates with the body as well as the invisible intelligence surrounding our bodies.

The notion of a whole body/mind shakes the foundations of psychology. What will be considered normal when ordinary folks routinely converse with both the world of matter and the world of spirit simultaneously? Can we learn to think of it as normal to experience ravens giving us messages, trees talking, ancestors filling a room with their presence and synchronicities affirming our intentions?

Ecstatic Postures, because they come from our ancestors all around the globe, remind us that we are all indigenous. Ecstatic Postures help us access the earth honoring wisdom in our DNA. They show us how to begin taking personal responsibility for nurturing reciprocity with the “other”, manifesting a culture of “wild ethics.” Read David Abram’s Becoming Animal – An Earthly Cosmology.

Evolution and the planet call to us humans to get comfortable with these expanded capacities as modern, urban humans. This is not “woo-woo” but evolution revealing itself. Those of us who have practiced Postures for a long time are in the forefront of this awakening.  We need to support each others knowing and way of walking in the world because we are the imaginal cells of a profound evolutionary shift in human capacity. Our Posture practice hones our ability to stand tall and speak with legitimate authority as to what it’s like to have eagle and condor flying together in our own minds, to be walking our talk as compassionate, connected and whole humans. The resistance to such profound change is monumental and the current cultural paradigm’s immune system is rallying. If we support each other, inspire each other, and energize our community, Ecstatic Wisdom Postures just might offer the tipping point for humanity’s coming of age.

Imagine that!

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About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
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