A ‘white guy’s’ perspective on narratives about white colonialism, feminism & stuff – Micah Ingle

Click on the link to visit Micah’s Facebook page for this post – which resonated strongly with the writer. Micah has featured here before. He is a Texan psychologist and counsellor. We experience him as heartful and wise. Here, it’s the links he makes between his voiced perspective, and connection; the web of life in which we all participate; our need of each other and how it is through each other that we most make contact with aliveness and the beauty of life, and may best serve ourselves, each other, all living beings and our world. What Charles Eisenstein calls interbeing. Love, rather than fear. Deeply person-centred perceptions….

Here’s the text, for those who have trouble reading FB links – but the comments on the original post are well worth a read too:-

‘I think a lot about why white guys have such a hard time with narratives about white colonialism and feminism and stuff…the thing that cracks me up the most is that when I tend to talk about those things, a lot of times they assume I’m being self-loathing or experiencing white guilt or whatever.

I’m not, it’s actually inspired by a few different things, at least as far as I can tell:

1) a recognition, like I’ve posted about before (probably to an obnoxious degree), that the fate of self and other are intertwined. What hurts minorities hurts the majority. The relationship may seem distant, but it’s actually not. You know that whole narrative about aliens showing up and humans finally uniting against a common enemy? We have common enemies right now, already: ecological destruction, the slavery of money and greed, etc. Our fates are intertwined.

2) a feeling of vulnerability, like I’m not able to do everything on my own. I value feminism because I’m not strong enough to take on the world alone; I want partners, and a lot of the women I know are very strong. I want them as partners/equals.

3) a love of life, buried sometimes (often, maybe) under the weight of things, but a desire for the beauty and truth of self-expression, because that’s what makes life worth living, and if we’re caught in a master-slave/oppressor-oppressed relationship, nobody is going to be able to really express/channel the beauty in the world. It makes slaves of everyone.

Love of self isn’t at odds with love of the other.’

Micah Ingle

Thank you, Micah, for writing this and giving us permission to post it.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

Posted in awakening, beauty, civil rights, community, compassion, consciousness, core conditions, creativity, cultural questions, diversity, ecological issues, encounter, equality, healing, human condition, interconnection & belonging, love, masculine, Micah Ingle, perception, person centred, political, relationship, resilience, self concept, self esteem, shadow, vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Poet and the Shepherd’ by Joshua Boettiger


Click on the link to visit Parabola Magazine for this astonishing article by Joshua Boettiger:-

‘We could say the search for meaning – which is a holy search – becomes imperiled whenever the poet-self and the shepherd-self are out of balance. If one is only a shepherd, she will risk being pedantic and overly serious; her ego will get in the way of her true service, and she will forget that each being shares the burden of caretaking – it is not up to her alone. The image of one shepherd over many no longer holds. Similar to how it has been said that the next Buddha is the sangha, the Jewish view of redemption imagines a shepherd-collective, a community of shepherds taking turns taking care.

If one is only a poet, without a good measure of shepherd mixed in, there is a risk the poems will not reach outward and be in dialogue; that they will not intend towards the transformative – which is where all poems must intend, even if they fail. The poet brings to the shepherd an appreciation for the multiplicity of truths, for the impossibility of fixing anything. Without the poet-self, we become ideologues. The shepherd brings to the poet a reminder that too often our search becomes self-serving, discovery of self for its own sake; that others become stepping stones for us on the road to some imagined “actualization.” Often the search for meaning unwittingly becomes a defense against whatever or whoever is quietly sitting across from us in the café, across the table, by the side of the road, the other in our life as it is.’

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

Posted in acceptance, accountability, awakening, beauty, community, compassion, consciousness, creativity, Disconnection, embodiment, empathy, encounter, ethics, gratitude, grief, immanence, interconnection & belonging, kindness & compassion, Leonard Cohen, love, meaning, metaphor & dream, music, organismic experiencing, perception, person centred, physical being, poetry, power and powerlessness, presence, relationship, Rilke, sadness & pain, self, shadow, spirituality, surrender, transformation, trust, vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

David Abram on how we are tuned for relationship with all of life

“Humans are tuned for relationship. The eyes, the skin, the tongue, ears, and nostrils – are all gates where our body receives the nourishment of otherness. This landscape of shadowed voices, these feathered bodies and antlers and tumbling streams – these breathing shapes are our family, the beings with whom we are engaged, with whom we struggle and suffer and celebrate. For the largest part of our species’ existence, humans have negotiated relationships with every aspect of their sensuous surroundings, exchanging possibilities with every flapping form, with each textured surface and shivering entity that we happened to focus upon. All could speak, articulating in gesture and whistle and a sigh a shifting web of meanings that we felt on our skin or inhaled through our nostrils or focused with our listening ears, and to which we replied – whether with sounds, or through movements, or minute shifts of mood. The color of the sky, the rush of waves – every aspect of the earthly sensuous could draw us into a relationship fed with curiosity and spiced with danger. Every sound was a voice, every scrape or blunder was a meeting – with Thunder, with Oak, with Dragonfly. And from all of these relationships our collective sensibilities were nourished.

Today we participate almost exclusively with other humans and with our own human-made technologies. It is a precarious situation, given our age-old reciprocity with the many-voiced landscape. We still need that which is other than ourselves and our own creations.

… To shut ourselves off from these other voices, to continue by our lifestyles to condemn these other sensibilities to the oblivion of extinction, is to rob our own senses of their integrity, and to rob our minds of their coherence. We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.”

David Abram: The Spell of the Sensuous

Here’s the book link:-

Thanks (once again) to Micah Ingle on Facebook for this wonderful quotation.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994


Posted in awakening, community, consciousness, cultural taboos, Disconnection, ecological, ecological issues, embodiment, flow, human condition, interconnection & belonging, meaning, natural world, organismic experiencing, paradigm shift, perception, physical being, presence, relationship, rewilding, spirituality, wonder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

James Hillman on ‘Depression’

“Depression is still the Great Enemy. More personal energy is expended in manic defenses against, diversions from, and denials of it than goes into other supposed psychopathological threats to society: psychopathic criminality, schizoid breakdowns, addictions. As long as we are caught in cycles of hope and despair, each productive of the other, as long as our actions in regard to depression are resurrective, implying that being down and staying down is sin, we remain Christian in psychology.

Yet through depression we enter depths and in depths find soul. Depression is essential to the tragic sense of life. It moistens the dry soul, and dries the wet. It brings refuge, limitation, focus, gravity, weight, and humble powerlessness. It reminds of death. The true revolution begins in the individual who can be true to his or her depression. Neither jerking oneself out of it, caught in cycles of hope and despair, nor suffering it through til it turns, nor theologizing it – but discovering the consciousness and depth it wants. So begins the revolution in behalf of soul.”

James Hillman

Thank you to Micah Ingle on Facebook for showing us this.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994

Posted in actualizing tendency, awakening, compulsive behaviour, consciousness, cultural questions, Disconnection, flow, grief, identity, internal locus of evaluation, James Hillman, organismic experiencing, person centred, person centred theory, power and powerlessness, presence, sadness & pain, self, self concept, shadow, spirituality, surrender, transformation, vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song for the Salmon – David Whyte

So beautiful.

Here’s the text, for those who find FB links hard to see:-

‘For too many days now I have not written of the sea,
nor the rivers, nor the shifting currents
we find between the islands.

For too many nights now I have not imagined the salmon
threading the dark streams of reflected stars,
nor have I dreamt of his longing,
nor the lithe swing of his tail toward dawn.

I have not given myself to the depth to which he goes,
to the cargoes of crystal water, cold with salt,
nor the enormous plains of ocean
swaying beneath the moon.

I have not felt the lifted arms of the ocean
opening its white hands on the seashore,
nor the salted wind, whole and healthy,
filling the chest with living air.

I have not heard those waves,
fallen out of heaven onto earth,
nor the tumult of sound and the satisfaction
of a thousand miles of ocean,
giving up its strength on the sand.

But now I have spoken of that great sea,
the ocean of longing shifts through me,
the blessed inner star of navigation
moves in the dark sky above
and I am ready like the young salmon,
to leave his river, blessed with hunger,
for a great journey on the drawing tide.’

From RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

Here’s the book link:-

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

Posted in awakening, beauty, consciousness, creativity, David Whyte, embodiment, flow, interconnection & belonging, metaphor & dream, natural world, organismic experiencing, physical being, poetry, presence, spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

James O’Dea on peacebuilding

“Those who recognize our essential qualities are the true peacebuilders: they let us know that they see the significance of our lives. Meanness of spirit stems from a place of neglect and the absence of nurturance and love. When we have not been seen and loved for who we are, we can turn sour and even violent.”

James O’Dea: Cultivating Peace: Becoming a 21st-Century Peace Ambassador

Person-centred personality theory…. And what we at this service see play through every day in the lives of the people we work with, and in our own lives… Presence and the core conditions offered in relationship invite our hearts to open and our spirits to expand.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994

Posted in 'evil', actualizing tendency, anger, blaming, communication, community, compassion, compulsive behaviour, conditions of worth, conflict, core conditions, criminal justice model, cultural questions, Disconnection, empathy, empowerment, encounter, healing, interconnection & belonging, James O'Dea, kindness & compassion, loneliness, love, non-directive counselling, our service, Palace Gate Counselling Service, person centred, person centred theory, power and powerlessness, presence, relationship, sadness & pain, self concept, shadow, therapeutic growth, therapeutic relationship, trauma, violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert MacFarlane on our estrangement from the dark

“Our disenchantment of the night through artificial lighting may appear, if it is noticed at all, as a regrettable but eventually trivial side effect of contemporary life. That winter hour, though, up on the summit ridge with the stars falling plainly far above, it seemed to me that our estrangement from the dark was a great and serious loss. We are, as a species, finding it increasingly hard to imagine that we are part of something which is larger than our own capacity. We have come to accept a heresy of aloofness, a humanist belief in human difference, and we suppress wherever possible the checks and balances on us – the reminders that the world is greater than us or that we are contained within it.” 

Robert MacFarlane: The Wild Places

Feels like an important perception….so many of the issues we face now, arise through our disconnectedness with the natural world – and therefore inevitably also with ourselves and our own bodies, in relationship, in community. We live in cultures that value and expect summer solstice levels of manifestation all year round: we have value if we are young, beautiful, materially successful, if we achieve and produce. We are invited to Yang our ways through life, and taught to think of ourselves as failures or even ‘mentally ill’ if we are unable to sustain this. We do not move with nature’s rhythms, and we are invited to devalue or ignore age, death, stillness, rest, unknowing,  the vast dark landscape of surrender, receptivity and Yin: dreaming in a cave to replenish and give new seeds a chance to emerge and germinate. Every day brings us this invitation in miniature, in the form of the dark and the night. There is no better way to move beyond our daily littlenesses and disconnections, deeper into humility and vastness, deeper into ourselves and the world, than to stand in a woodland (or anywhere without too much light pollution) and look into a clear night sky.

Here’s the book link:-

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

Posted in awakening, beauty, community, consciousness, creativity, cultural questions, cultural taboos, Disconnection, dying, embodiment, flow, identity, immanence, interconnection & belonging, meaning, metaphor & dream, natural world, organismic experiencing, perception, presence, Robert Macfarlane, self, self concept, spirituality, surrender | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment