Photo of J'aime ona Pangaia

Ideas on Nature, Psyche and Selves: an Archetypal Perspective

by J'aime ona Pangaia
copyright 2010


For many years, I’ve listened to the stories that are told from the kaleidoscope of inner selves that my friends, family and clients bring to life. And of course, I’ve come to feel and recognize my own as well. I’ve watched the embodiment of these selves as they become physically manifested, and I’ve felt the energy they reveal as they express their nature. All through this, I’ve always sensed that I am in the actual presence of Nature, revealed now, through this person ~ Nature as human being (myself included). We are Psyche, personified, and we are Nature.
The common trajectory of thought in Western civilization, in pre-quantum science, philosophy and religion, separates human from Nature, which has included a splitting between conscious mind and body. This line of thinking generally assumes that we were put or created here by (G)god(s), we have a special, elevated role that divides us from the rest of the living beings, that we alone are sentient, that we alone are self-determining, that humans alone are ensouled. We are led by this type of thinking to wonder, “Since we are not of Nature, what are we doing to Nature, how are we collectively harming or helping Nature, how can we be in better harmony with Nature?” And, more commonly, what can Nature offer us in the way of resources, succor or pleasure? All of these ways of thinking put humans in some kind of position relative to Nature, rather then seeing our very presence as one of the undivided expressions of Nature.
What is missed by these lines of thinking are the common underpinnings that guide the expressions of Nature, human and non-human. Observing Nature and people (physically and psychologically) reveals basic principles at work that give rise to specific expressions. We can say, what happens within Nature, corresponds to what happens within human consciousness as well. “As within, so without.” Those corresponding principles that I’ve observed so far, I call Principles of Nature and Psyche.
What I intend to propose here is a perspective of how paying attention to Psyche is the same as paying attention to Nature and that the selves that constellate in our personality reflect the same processes that are seen in Nature.
What I see at work here is the presence of archetypal themes that shape, or are revealed in both Nature and Psyche. Recognizing these archetypal influences, or principles can help us to accept the essential reality of selves as being natural, as natural as the movement of the wind, the distinctness of each raindrop and the regular patterns of tides. We, in all our complexities, are a natural occurrence. Just as Nature is governed by, or expresses particular principles, so it is with us people. Below is a simple and evolving list of the sets of opposite principles shaping inner selves that I’ve observed so far as a Voice Dialogue teacher and facilitator.

Union / Autonomy

Chaos / Order

Movement / Stillness

Knowable / Mystery

Inward / Outward

Waxing / Waning

Control / Release

Material / Non-Material

Why this is helpful in Voice Dialogue Practice
As I facilitate the various sub-personalities of my clients, I appreciate just how vital the cultivation of a non-judgmental awareness is for ‘why that self acts as it does” in strengthening that persons’ ability to let go of their fixed identification with that self. Recognizing the experience and validity of the underlying vulnerability softens the attachment that a power self holds in the ego and dissolves judgments against them. Not only is the client able to perceive that a self operates in their life, but also some hows and whys. This knowledge is not solely rational, since we can easily gain information that gives us a sense that ‘now we know something.” When the recognition is experienced in conjunction with Awareness of vulnerability, it goes deeper and moves from ‘knowledge of’ to gnosis ~ an intuitive, somatic apprehension of a deeper reality.
As an example, a person might come to a conscious, feeling recognition that a motivating impulse for their ‘helpful’ self comes from, say, a basic need for experiencing sufficient, essential connection with others. Now, there is less likelihood that they’ll reject their powerful ‘helpful’ self during their simultaneous need to embrace an opposite part, such as a more autonomous, impersonal or even a dreamy self. The Aware Ego has Awareness that the needs for connection and for autonomy just are. They exist and they exist together like yin and yang.
Yet even then, judgment can be fierce and the self who feels the need for autonomy can and often will experience a denouncement of the very idea of a need for boundaries or autonomy as spurious. This judgment, channeled through the inner critic, is sponsored by the self who requires connection and who sees the more impersonal selves as flawed and damaged and perhaps even dangerous.
What I found myself searching for was a way to redeem the innocent longings of vulnerable selves, such that they could be accorded a place in us no matter what. Witnessing Nature provided me with the foundation for universal acceptance, since Nature simply is. I could look to my clients’ experience and point out that whether we have selves that like it or not, there are qualities in Nature, in existence, that just are fundamentally so. And those very same qualities, such as the mandate for union and autonomy, exist in us as living beings, woven in with the warp and weft of (our) Nature.
Connecting Psyche and Nature
In the Voice Dialogue philosophy, we recognize two general types of selves, power selves and vulnerable selves. Power selves are those (learned, instinctual and archetypal) parts of us that operate to maintain our behavior or other’s (the ‘worlds’) behavior in order to protect vulnerability.
Not only do they operate as a protective defense against (further) suffering of vulnerability and not only are they learned and instinctual behaviors, they are also archetypally driven forms that act to manifest the fulfillment of basic needs and principles for the person. That helpful self is archetypal and it both protects and fulfills.
Our vulnerable selves are those aspects of our personality that experience our embodied and emotional reality; they are our most direct felt experience of what is happening on that level. They are also archetypal, meaning, they represent a basic pattern of human expression. These vulnerable selves are experiential states exquisitely attuned to our physical and emotional needs. They live in a changing continuum between fulfillment and suffering, relative to those many different needs and archetypal principles that life mandates. In this way, I see that we have many different vulnerable selves, just as we have many different power selves. Just as all the power selves have a common mandate to protect and fulfill, all the vulnerable selves have a common experience of being open and sensitive to specific needs and the principles of nature/psyche. Also, all of the selves, both powerful and vulnerable, express in their various ways, our essential soul nature, or, as the Stones call it, the ‘psychic fingerprint’.
For example, the need felt for basic acceptance / approval / connection is experienced by a vulnerable self and when not met sufficiently, the aching longing or suffering of that vulnerable self will, unless thwarted, activate some type of power self to attend to it. In other words, we could say that there is a reciprocal relationship between the power and vulnerable selves. In this example of need for connection, it could be a Pleaser, or an Entertainer or a Responsible self, just to name a few possibilities.

diagram

Many of these (vulnerable) feeling/sensate triggers to (power) action are based on memories and fantasies of past experience. In other words, the sensation of fear or longing may be based on an experience that comes from the past, not a present moment stimulus. Those triggers can be embedded as habits. (Habits themselves can be looked at archetypally, since they are patterns of expression).
There might not be a current loss of connection happening with a solidly-in-place power self (say, a primary self who Pleases), only the traumatic reverberations from a perceived past loss of connection that keeps that power self in place out of habit and fear of a repeat of the former loss/ trauma. My Pleaser, in other words, can have the subjective experience that it functions in a fixed, necessarily permanent way, not because I am in any current experience of loss of connection, but because a vulnerable self still/always vibrates with fear, hurt and sorrow over a (past) loss of connection. The fear, hurt and sorrow are, in a sense, now a permanent part of the music that that vulnerable self now plays, even if it can also ‘play the music’ of contentment. Still, that Pleaser may be responding to that singular note of past fear, hurt and sorrow.
At another level, we could see this reciprocal relationship between the various power and vulnerable selves as just arising together, from Nature, from Soul/Psyche, in service to fulfilling experience. Through that opening we call ‘vulnerability’ comes the intimation of a soul purpose- the need to feel and have certain qualities of experience. Through the archetypal power selves, Psyche can manifest its’ purposes in the world. To Psyche, its evolving multiply-dimensioned purposes are beyond duality and notions of good or bad experience.
Maslow’s Heirarchy and Principles of Nature/ Psyche
Commonly, while engaged in a Voice Dialogue facilitation of a self, I’d eventually inquire of a power self something to the effect of, ‘What happens when you can’t be there to take care of this person?” The point is to bring to awareness the relationship between an underlying vulnerable self and this power self that is there to protect it or to fulfill its essential needs.
Much of the time, the interviewed power self’s response points to that old wound or sustained fear: “He’d be all alone.” “No one would like him.” “I have to take care of others if I want people to be willing to take care of me.” These types of responses can be easily categorized in an existing system of needs ~ “Maslows’ Hierarchy of Needs”: need for survival, safety, belonging, respect from others.
To very briefly review and simplify, Maslow suggested a tiered system of simultaneous needs that can be met in an evolving hierarchical way for survival and ‘thrival’ (he calls this b-cognition). It’s typically represented in a pyramid form, with the large base representing our most fundamental creature needs: food, air, water, shelter, sexuality, physical health. Next up is our need for safety from danger. This includes everything from safety from violence (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) as well as environmental safety – protection from catastrophes large (e.g. earth quakes) and small (pathogens). Third up is our need for belonging. We can easily point out how obvious our need for belonging is in infancy; if nobody claims us, we die. If we barely belong, we don’t thrive. Witness the example of warehoused orphans whose bodies and brains, immune systems and social skills permanently could not develop properly. Still, all through adulthood, we continue to have a basic need for affiliation to people and places. Next, he describes our need for respect – for ourselves and from others. This speaks to an innate sense of worthiness and of individuality. Lastly, he points out that we also have a basic drive, or need to actualize our unique sense of purpose, our creative and spiritual gifts and our potential as this human being.
I find Maslows’ system helpful when I listen to selves. His system is both orienting and redemptive; “Ah! This is the need that this self relates to.” It can be useful too, to tell the person about Maslows’ hierarchy of needs, since, as I mentioned earlier, usually the person has an opposite self with judgments against these very needs. “I’m too needy,” or, “Only weak (inferior) people care what other people think.” I can then redeem those natural needs by referring to Maslows’ map (as a collectively recognized authority) that normalizes all these needs as basic to humanity, to creature-hood even. Everyone needs to belong and feel connected. This is essentially a kindly, albeit rational perspective and intervention and it can work to alleviate negative judgments.
A careful listening to selves however, eventually showed that Maslows’ system was not a specific enough map of the territory that selves live in. I would hear power selves say things like “If I weren’t here, his life would be a total mess, complete chaos,” or conversely, “If I weren’t here, his life would be stultifyingly boring, nothing new would ever happen.” “If I weren’t here, she wouldn’t know or understand a thing about the world,” or “If I weren’t here, she’d be a know-it-all and would never feel silent awe in the presence of mystery.” And so it went, deeply felt concerns that felt fundamental, yet pointed towards more than Maslows’ “Hierarchy of Needs” articulated.
I have a home office, and when time allows, I often go out into my garden during breaks in my work schedule of seeing clients. There I easily witness a yin-yang dance going on, one that inherently includes me. It’s easier there, to experience a resonance happening in ‘my’ body and psyche and in the ‘other’ bodies of Nature. It occurred to me, here, as much as at the beach, the dark woods, the marshlands or the high desert as in my office, that whatever the “I/i” is, it is also of Nature. This is what deep ecology speaks of too: Nature and Psyche being apparently different expressions of the same being, the same mysterious phenomenon.
I began to interview, watch and listen to the selves closely, to see what it is that Nature is telling me is in play with this person, my client. I observe this in the same way that I can observe Nature (which is different from simply being with/in Nature). I watch, to become aware of what are (some of) these essential Principles of Nature and Psyche. This is an approach that I keep in the background of my interactions with a client, and sometimes I bring to the forefront, when it seems it will be helpful. Nevertheless, it’s always helpful for me as a facilitator, since it orients me to what the underlying principles might be that are at play in my clients’ experience. Then I can bring that to consciousness, to the embracing/separating process that births the Aware Ego.
What I’ve observed so far
These Principles are archetypal in that they universally organize expressions. They can be witnessed both in physical and psychological reality. These are principles that I hear vulnerable selves feel the diminishment, or fulfillment of and which power selves function to actualize. This works the same way that power and vulnerable selves relate to Maslows’ needs.
My feeling is that these principles are always in expression, somehow, but what the vulnerable selves can experience directly is whether these principles are (or have been) expressed sufficiently and in a way that feels life supporting or life threatening, (generative or non-generative) to the living person/ego. What guided me in devising the list was whether I could observe these principles in both Nature and in a person psychologically. I started with what I was hearing selves say, then, I looked to nature to find if it was there too.
The listing of these principles was never meant to be scientific or final. They derive more from intuition and pattern recognition. I’ve already added some new sets since my first description of them in my book, The Benefit of People Who Bug You. Here, you’ll see that I have title descriptors and have provided clarification words. Some descriptors are more oriented to natural phenomenon, others to the psychological. There are also Principles that seem to go together, or lead from one to the other. For example, Order/Chaos and Control/Release often appear together as can Knowable/Mystery and Movement/Stillness. I’ve put them as sets of opposites, although in a Taoist, yin-yang way of seeing them, they are paradoxical, mutually arising expressions of the same thing.
Just as an archetype is an indeterminate, universal, eternal pattern that reveals in many forms, so do these principles. I find it helpful, when considering the infinite variety of archetypal expressions to borrow the image of overlapping circles in a Venn diagram. Where they all overlap gives us the closest sense of its core, but it’s always changing as new expressions emerge. This too is how archetypes are approached; we are always getting closer to ‘grokking’ them, but never arriving exactly or finally. Think, ‘uncertainty principle’ here.

sphere

Two examples might be:
  1. Order
  2. Structure
  3. Repetition
  4. Routine
  5. Perfection
  6. Plan
  7. Discipline
  8. Harmony
~ or ~
  1. Minister
  2. Rabbi
  3. Monk
  4. Shaman
  5. Pilgrim
  6. Dervish
  7. Priestess
  8. Sadhu
Whereas with clients, I might have to explain Maslows’ Hierarchy of Needs, and they have to accept his proposition, everyone has a lived experience of Nature that I can point to and that they can easily accept.
How I use this in Voice Dialogue practice
Imagine a subject who is working out their capacity to embrace their Neat / Sloppy and their Dependable / Unreliable selves. They might say, “I’m neat and my brother is sloppy.” “I’m always on time and my brother is always late.” One level of the facilitation process is aimed at simply recognizing these as selves, not ‘me’. This has resonance with the Buddhist practice of no fixed self.
Another level could be aimed at appreciating the social conditions that supported these Neat / Dependable selves to be primary and the Casual / Spontaneous selves to be disowned; e.g., family of origin rules and judgments, past sense of traumas (whether in memory or fantasy), learnt rules for survival, being safe physically and emotionally, etc…. all things dealt with in the lower recesses of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This employs an insight therapy and /or a family systems approach. We might also discover through the facilitation process where in their life they do get to experience their Casual and Spontaneous selves without negative judgments thereby desensitizing those judgments.
In using the Principles of Nature and Psyche, I find another level to explore – the natural, archetypal conditions that perpetually give rise to these selves. Here I can ask the self/subject, “Once you can keep him safe, what do you most enjoy experiencing?” “Beyond protecting him from being shamefully sloppy, do you also simply enjoy the aesthetic of things being ‘in order?’
“Yes! I love having everything settled in its own place; my home is beautiful when it’s clean and everything is put away. I’m that part of him that notices if the picture on the wall is out of alignment; I can tell when colors clash or work together, when music is in harmony or out of key.”
The same type of inquiry can be held with the disowned ‘sloppy’ self, in fact, the disowned selves usually provide a more direct yearning for these Principles. “If I were more alive in him, he’d have a more interesting and creative lifestyle; there’d be more surprises, more freedom to just explore life spontaneously rather than have to attend to boring, repetitive household chores. I feel it’s important to be willing to change things up, explore possibilities rather then get locked into habits and fixed patterns.” “I like to be surprised by life.”
I could ask each of these parts, “If you were an expression of something in Nature, what would you be like?”
Neat Self: “I’d be a like a perfect crystal, I’d be the DNA helix that gives rise to predictable, wholesome forms of life, I’d be a beautifully woven spiders’ web, I’d be a honeycomb, I’d be the reliable turn of the seasons, I’d be a nautilus shell, I’d be that recognizable form in any type of tree or leaf you looked at, I’d be the ceaseless, dependable arrival of ocean waves on the shore.”
Casual Self: “I’d be how no two ice crystals are ever the same ~ variation, I’d be evolution – the mutations that allow necessary changes to happen, I’d be the movement of the wind and changing forms of clouds, I’d be what makes every tree different from every other tree, I’d be the wild dance of honeybees, I’d be the random pattern of leaves that fall onto the forest floor, I’d be the wild froth and turbulence of every ocean wave.”
If a self has been long denigrated, denied or undiscovered in the person, I can also suggest these with an attitude of trial exploration.
“When you talk about how important it is to be reliable, to show up on time and how important family rituals are to you, this reminds me of how Nature itself can work. What would the world be like if summer stopped following spring and we just suddenly went back into winter? What if we couldn’t predict what the next season would be?”
“The natural order would be disrupted; it would be crazy, life itself would be disrupted or destroyed.”
“When you talk about how important it is to be spontaneous and not bogged down in endless housecleaning and how bored you get with taking the exact same vacation every year, this reminds me of how Nature itself can work. What would the world be like if every days’ weather was completely, predictably patterned and unchanging for all time?”
“Nature IS chaos and if Nature got rigidified into some fixed, unchanging pattern, life would cease to emerge. There’d be no opportunity for emergence, for creativity.” I’d be bored to death.
This kind of facilitation intervention brings the ego awareness into a recognition of the inherent naturalness underlying these opposing (or complementary) selves. I don’t have to spell it out any further for them.
Oftentimes, I just reflect back words that describe the Principle that I’m witnessing. “It seems to me that life goes well for you when there is a certain level of order and predictability to life.” When and if this subject says, “Yes! That’s it!” they feel recognized, honored, redeemed, permitted. When the same thing happens for the other side, “It seems that what you’re telling me is that you need life to stay free, spontaneous and creative, that that kind of creative chaos allows new and fulfilling experiences to happen for you,” they begin to experience the yin yang of these opposites. In this case, I’ve used the principles to guide me to the essential nature (principle) of the self rather than point them out as such to the subject.
Below is again a (current) listing of the Principles of Nature and Psyche, this time as I have repeatedly heard selves speak of them in their story telling. The sub-listing of words is also to further explicate the range of meanings for the Principle. These are meant to be generative forms of expressions. I’ve listed in bold italics how some of them might appear psychologically when in the extreme as seen judgmentally.
Most power selves can actually indicate verbally, although innocently, what Principles they are in service to. I’ve given some examples below. If a Voice Dialogue subject is freely allowed either intra-psychically, or by the facilitator to move naturally (as opposed to just moving from one side of the couch to another), you’ll often see these Principles enacted through the body as well.
Principles of Nature and Psyche
Union
connection
love
system
personal
commonality
smothering
engulfing merged
  Autonomy
boundry
respecte
monad
impersonal
uniqueness
abandoning
isolated
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: Everything is interconnected, the planet is a singular homeostatic organism that exists itself in connection to the cosmos. The ‘food chain’ itself demonstrates how all living beings rely on their connection with other organisms for survival, from oceanic plankton to the earths bacteria’s to the trees, to the birds, to the great mammals, etc. All things are related and connected. And, all things are individual. Each and every one of those planktons are their own being. Every tree in the forest comes from it’s own unique seed to fulfill it’s own presence.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: “I just want everyone to get along.” “I don’t want to be alone.” “No man is an island.” “We’re all related.” “Universal Love is what connects us all.” Conversely, “I have my own way of living, doing things, seeing the world.” “I need space and time for myself.” “Fences make good neighbors.” “To each his own.”
Order
structure
harmonize
repetition
routine, pattern
particle/object
perfect
plan
discipline
habituated
rigid
  Chaos
formless
turbulent, wild
novelty/creativity
change, mutate, transform
wave/possibility
as-is, evolving
spontaneous
freedom
disorderly, anarchistic
confused
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: All physical reality expresses an underlying order, a harmonic, a mathematical simplicity. All oak trees issue from acorns, all oceans and rivers move in the rhythms of the tides, genes replicate ceaselessly in life, the sun rises in the east. And, all physical reality reveals an underlying chaos, unpredictable emergent change, no two ocean waves are ever the same, who really knows what the weather will be tomorrow, where and when this leaf will fall, whether it will be heads or tails. Quantum physics points to an underlying uncertainty to reality.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: : “I like to be organized, and on time.” “Familiar routines are comforting.” “What’s the plan?” “It’s the law!” Conversely, “I need freedom to explore and discover new things.” “I get bored with the same old - same old.” “Fixed schedules feel like a prison to me.” “Rules are meant to be broken.” “I don’t make hotel reservations; I like to just arrive and see what comes to me.” “I operate on ‘ish’ time.”
Movement
action
do
sound
hyperactive
restless
  Stillness
rest
be
silence
lethargic, lazy
uninspired
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: Every thing moves, even the rocks’ atoms are in motion. Every cell in our body is in movement, is taking action in the moving process of life. And, between every heart beat, there is a pause, a resting phase, the wind dies, the animals sleep, the rocky mountains sit still for ages.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: : “ I like to keep busy.” “My mind is always going.” “There are so many things to do, to accomplish!” “Life is a gift not to be wasted in idleness.” “I’ll stop when I’m dead.” “There’s only so many minutes in a day.” Conversely, “Silence” “I’m a human being, not a human doing.” “I like to just sit and appreciate nature.” “I am connected to my body and it needs rest.” “The only time that matters is right now, this spacious moment and I need to pause to be able to fully experience it.”
Knowable
mind
definite
certain
observable
know-it-all
unimaginative
  Mystery
incomprehensible, wonder
infinite, unending
indeterminate
invisible
mindless, obscure
vague, out of touch with reality
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: There is the perceivable, manifest, explicit reality of each thing and phenomena that can be encountered both through the senses and through direct knowing at which point it condenses into known experience. And, there is the un-manifested, implicate order, and indeterminable infinity that can never be encountered by you; the beyond, over the horizon, into the dark depths of the seas, how life came to be and what happens, if anything, after death.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: “When I understand things, I feel sane, safe.” “Logos creates the universe.” “I think that…” “I think, therefore I exist.” Conversely, “Any description of reality limits it and is ultimately false.” “Wow!” “Ahhhh!” “Words can’t describe!” “Who really knows?!” “God has no name.”
Inward
enfold
retreat
sense
withdrawn
  Outward
unfold
reach, extend
touch, express
invasive or overstretched
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: Sea anemones pulling in, digestion, absorption, hibernation, cocooning, sensing, gravity. And, anemones tentacles opening into the sea, plants reaching for the sun, flower buds unfurling, tendrils reaching, birds singing, aromas seeping through the air, an ever-expanding universe.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: : “I sense that …” “I need to go inside myself to check what is going on for me.” “I feel your pain / relief / joy / fear.” I have a private journal that I show to no one.” “no response” (An inward, withdrawing expression of a boundary.) Conversely, “Here, have this.” “I want you to see this.” “Stop, don’t do that!” (An outward expression of a boundary.) “Art is meant to be seen.”
Waxing
build, expand
accumulate
becoming
birth
beginning
bloated
excessive
  Waning
decrease, ‘down-size’
dissipate
declining
death
ending, completing
impoverished
weak
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: Everything comes into being, birth, growth and development. The moon grows full, the seed sprouts, a pumpkin grows fatter. And, the moon appears to grow smaller, the sap dries up, the pumpkin collapses. Everything diminishes, falls away, withers and rots, finishes and dies.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: “I collect matchbooks. (e.g.)” “I’m a perennial student, always interested in increasing my knowledge.” “I’m starting a new business.” “Life is about growing, learning about and becoming more of who you are.” “I want to expand our family.” “I can’t get enough of it!” Conversely, “I’m in the mood to clean out the closets, throw things away.” “My mind must have a leak! I just don’t remember things like that anymore.” “All good things come to an end.” “I want to finish that project and be done with it.” “I’ve lost interest.” “I’m done.”
Control
tension
direct
restrain
hold, contain
uptight/ stiff
oppressive
robotic
  Release
relaxation
surrender
allow
let go
explosive
indulgent
crazed
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: DNA/RNA direct action ~ this is the way that the cells will form and that biochemical processes will take place. Cell walls and fascia contain matter. Muscle tense, the body learns continence, the laws of physics control motion and matter. Predator animals stalk and hunt, wait. And, Sneezes, orgasms, falling asleep, exhaling, a cobra strikes, a seed pod explodes, my hen Penny, lays her egg.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: “Mastery requires self-discipline and control.” “I feel better knowing that someone is in charge, holding the container for this process.” “Hold still.” “Think first before you speak.” “If I’m not in control, all hell will break loose!” Conversely, “Let go and let God.” “Trust in the Universe.” “I give up.” “Wooo hoooo!!!” “I trust you.” “I’m going for it, no hold’s barred!” “Be spontaneous.”
Material
Actual
Physical/Life
Earth
Embodiment
Dense, dull
heavy
  Non-Material
Virtual
Dreamtime/Imaginal
Space
Spiritual
ungrounded
vacuous
How these two Principles are seen in Nature: : The substance of physical reality, minerals, molecules, is. Here is the place. This is happening. And, There is empty space, passing reflections, shadows. The wind moves, the temperature rises and fall. Atoms are not things, but rather fluctuating possibilities of things that might exist here, or now.
Typical beliefs and statements by Selves: : “I have a body that has weight, density and breadth.” “I’m grounded on the earth.” “I feel real when I feel embodied, solid, here.” Conversely, “Life is but a dream.” “What I am, is not fixed, not solid, not permanent.” “I am a soul in a body.” “As above, so below. Above is where the real action comes from.” “I imagine that…” “I remember that…”
In Conclusion
Contemplating these Principles of Nature and Psyche can help orient the facilitator to an essential quality that a sub-personality or inner self orients to. They can also be used, when appropriately helpful, to redeem the workings of selves by pointing out how, just as (manifest) Nature expresses these principles, so do we, psychologically. Noticing these principles at work in both Nature and Psyche, we are less apt to judge them as healthy or unhealthy, good or bad, since they just are, in full range of expression. Summer river flowing, is, winter river frozen, is, Doing self, is, Being self, is.
When an Aware Ego Process comes into being, the principles of nature and psyche still operate, but now we know it. That Awareness doesn’t change the principles, or the archetypes, but it allows for the disenchantment from and liberation of whatever of our psychic energy has been frozen into a pattern based on memories, beliefs and fantasies of past trauma or experience. Awareness also allows the Power selves to reconfigure into new forms of the same thing and it allows the Vulnerable selves to experience the present conditions.
The perception (whether intellectually or sensually) of these principles of Nature and Psyche as inherent, helps us to separate from the opposing judgments. In fact, we experience opposites still, but just as paradoxical opposites, nothing more. This Awareness helps us to discern the patterns and mutability of conscious realities and helps us to dissolve the fixed identifications with a given roster of “I’s”. We see these selves and the natural principles behind them as influences on and compositions for the experience of our consciousness life.
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