Tag Archives: ecopsychology

Hōlanikū – A Return to Pō

[Disclaimer: not everything I write in this blog may be accurate to the places and the cultures depicted. This blog is not a resource for you to learn this information. This is only a narrative report of my personal experiences. I will do my best to accurately represent this information, however this can even be challenging to anyone for much is left to the interpretation of the person gathering and “reading” the information. I have very little to no background in Hawai’i ʻōlelo and the subsequent manifestations ( mele, hula, ʻōlelo no’eau, oli, mo’olelo, etc…) although I am a student of these and understand my own personal need to learn in order to expand my own knowledge and awareness. Because my knowledge is very limited in this context, I borrow heavily from my broader understanding of archetypal psychology and mythology. However these subjects too are relatively new and foreign to me.  One of the purposes of this blog is as a tool to help me apply the knowledge I am learning to my own story as a way to actualize it: to bring it to life! Thank you for reading!]

Return to the West. Entering Pō.

Every Journey Into Darkness is a return to greater awareness of self. Human existence is a profoundly existential experience; every human being is burdened, or gifted – depending on how you look at it – with a deeper sense of awareness of self. However, full consciousness is not handed to us. In our lifetime, we must seek it out. We must journey into the unknown, the uncharted territory, the shadow realm, and bring back with us our own awakening.

How does one do this? How do we know about that which is unknown? How can we embark on a journey in finding and obtaining our fullest potential? The answer, or rather the reward, is found only within the journey itself. Yet, as creatures who are but merely the latest continuation of the unraveling story of life, we may my find guidance  in all that came before us. These clues have been observed from people to people, generation to generation, preserved in stories which have been remembered through their cues from the environment that surrounds us: Earth, and the greater cosmos.

The story of the Human is a cyclical story embedded within the larger contextual story of life. Each of us human beings are an expression of this grand story. Our identity, our psyche, is but a representation of all which has come before, flowing forward and backward in time: spinning, spiraling. In a reality in which we as humans are perceiving our world, it is difficult to “see” the foundational forces that provide this “home” or “space” for us to even exist. This is why humanity is profoundly a existential experience: The physical world in which we are born into: the light, is only illuminating the creations, but we cannot see the source of these creations. For that, we must venture into the darkness…

I cannot deny my own acute awareness of a deep void that rests beyond my horizons. Its gravitational pull is strong, pulling me towards its edge. I both fear it immensely, and desire it tremendously. I fear it because it is unknown: as we all are naturally programmed in our genetic instinctual self-preservation to remain in a state of safety. But I desire it because I feel so contained and limited within this bubble of safety. What does it mean when your soul calls for you to expand, to risk everything?

I don’t have many answers, but I have found that when I respond to this calling, my perceived experience fills with meaning and purpose. Destiny comes forth and leads me on. Passion is ignited and lights my way.

I am about to return to a very special place. It’s name is Hōlanikū. It is both a place on this Earth, and a place in our psyche. I am returning here for work, both practical and spiritual. This place is an Atoll which is part of the largest protected preserve in the world, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and it rests at 28.3925° N, 178.2936° W. It also rests in the realm of . As the Atoll exists much further north and west of the main Hawaiian islands, it also then exists within the realm of darkness: the subconscious; the source. It exists beyond the horizon, in the West where the sun sets, and in the North. These are places within us and without us where life came from and life returns to. It is where our ancestors rest. It is the home of our kūpuna. Mai nā kūpuna mai. 

I am still trying to grasp the deeper significance of ancestral places and their imprinted wisdom on the geography of us people. I am merely a beginning student who has been honored to learn from our greatest Kumu, our greatest teachers. I do not take this lightly. I take it as a huge responsibility, a deeper purpose. And although It often feels like a great undertaking: to walk between the realms of the conscious and unconscious in such magnitudes, I have already seen what walking this path has given me. A greater sense of myself. A greater understanding of the mystery of life and a clearer vision of where we as a people are going…

If you choose to follow this blog, you will be diving along with me into my journey. I will attempt to post regularly beginning now and all the way through the six months on  Hōlanikū, as well as the return. If you would like further information about this place and the work that we do, please visit the Kure Atoll Conservancy page.  If you would like deeper information on this place, there are many resources for this. Check out Kekuewa Kikiloi work titled Rebirth of an Archipelago: Sustaining a Hawaiian Cultural Identity for People and Homeland as well as some of his other work: KŪKULU MANAMANA: RITUAL POWER AND RELIGIOUS EXPANSION IN HAWAIʻI THE ETHNO-HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF MOKUMANAMANA AND NIHOA ISLANDS:

Mahalo nui for your interest in my story!

Severed Light – Crossing the Void

The greatest lie we have been told upon entering the living world is that we, as humans, evolved beyond nature – as if we have risen above it, as if this is our progress and greatness as a species. This lie, however, has brought our human development to a halt and left us stranded, like a beam of light cut off from its source, illuminating only a sliver of who and what we are, creating a void of darkness all around us in which we are too afraid to approach. And if it approaches us, we cower in fear or lash out in aggression. By psychologically viewing ourselves as better and superior to the assumed primitive lesser world of nature, is to deny and deprive ourselves of our own self – to separate our body from it's natural evolution. Human's greatest gift is to "see" we are all the same, but it is also our greatest weapon, to "see" we are separate and alone in a void. Which have you chosen? Are you ready to cross the void? #wetooarenature #thevoid #culturalrelativism #evolution #ecopsychology #spiritualityishumanevolution

A post shared by Jon-Erik Jardine (@ecopsychology_project) on

 

The greatest lie we have been told upon entering the living world is that we, as humans, evolved beyond nature – as if we have risen above it, as if this is our progress and greatness as a species. This lie, however, has brought our human development to a halt and left us stranded, like a beam of light cut off from its source, illuminating only a sliver of who and what we are, creating a void of darkness all around us in which we are too afraid to approach. And if it approaches us, we cower in fear or lash out in aggression.
By psychologically viewing ourselves as better and superior to the assumed primitive lesser world of nature, is to deny and deprive ourselves of our own self – to separate our body from it’s natural evolution.
Human’s greatest gift is to “see” we are all the same, but it is also our greatest weapon, to “see” we are separate and alone in a void. Which have you chosen?
Are you ready to cross the void?
#wetooarenature #thevoid#culturalrelativism #evolution#ecopsychology#spiritualityishumanevolution #standup #resist

The Unconscious

The Unconscious: "Is all those parts of experience that remained inchoate and unarticulated, parts for which we never developed a full voice, for want of that receptive intersubjective field that is requisite, for the full development of the self. It is experience that is felt but cannot be shared, represented, articulated, echoed, symbolized, and thus integrated into the whole social field this tends to become stunted and arrested at best, if it doesn't disappear from felt reality altogether." ~ ' The Voice of Shame, Gordon Wheeler Ecopsychology is always attempting to understand phenomena as experiential, or rather through the phenomenological experience: that how we come to understand our world, ourselves, and each other is an embodied experience. Ecopsychology's purpose is to extinguish the separation of self and nature and see it all as one whole process. So as a bodily sense of experience: what then is the unconscious? It is the body's stopped processes, a muscular and physiological blockage. It is a jam of our world-bound energies or intentions. We learn to deliberately intercept our bodily intentions (mainly through shame) until this becomes habitual: falling out of our explicit awareness. Thus the unconscious is born: our urges and desires (intentions) persisting in a cramped or dammed up form – as bodily blocked sexuality, anger, grief, fear, terror, love, joy, etc… Spoken in another way, if our body is a river then the water is our soul, and the movement of the water down river is the experience of life: our soul's awakening and expressed self. If you place a dam along the river, stopping the flow, jamming the experiential process of your water, then we have what we call the unconscious. The unconscious is not a separate mind within the mind. It is not this thing deep down inside of you with all the answers to the universe. It is not the "dam" itself, rather, it is a relational interactive phenomenon born from repression of your life process: not living fully. This is how pathology comes to exist. This is why the unconscious has become so common in psychology language to explain a part of ourselves. #theunconscious #wetooarenature #ecopsychology

A post shared by Jon-Erik Jardine (@ecopsychology_project) on

The Unconscious: “Is all those parts of experience that remained inchoate and unarticulated, parts for which we never developed a full voice, for want of that receptive intersubjective field that is requisite, for the full development of the self. It is experience that is felt but cannot be shared, represented, articulated, echoed, symbolized, and thus integrated into the whole social field this tends to become stunted and arrested at best, if it doesn’t disappear from felt reality altogether.” ~ ‘ The Voice of Shame, Gordon Wheeler
Ecopsychology is always attempting to understand phenomena as experiential, or rather through the phenomenological experience: that how we come to understand our world, ourselves, and each other is an embodied experience. Ecopsychology’s purpose is to extinguish the separation of self and nature and see it all as one whole process. So as a bodily sense of experience: what then is the unconscious?
It is the body’s stopped processes, a muscular and physiological blockage. It is a jam of our world-bound energies or intentions. We learn to deliberately intercept our bodily intentions (mainly through shame) until this becomes habitual: falling out of our explicit awareness. Thus the unconscious is born: our urges and desires (intentions) persisting in a cramped or dammed up form – as bodily blocked sexuality, anger, grief, fear, terror, love, joy, etc… Spoken in another way, if our body is a river then the water is our soul, and the movement of the water down river is the experience of life: our soul’s awakening and expressed self. If you place a dam along the river, stopping the flow, jamming the experiential process of your water, then we have what we call the unconscious.
The unconscious is not a separate mind within the mind. It is not this thing deep down inside of you with all the answers to the universe. It is not the “dam” itself, rather, it is a relational interactive phenomenon born from repression of your life process: not living fully. This is how pathology comes to exist. This is why the unconscious has become so common in psychology language to explain a part of ourselves.
#theunconscious #wetooarenature#ecopsychology

We Are Our Felt Experiencing

Phenomenology "We are our felt experiencing.” ~ Gendlin Ecopsychology primarily deals in the realm of that osmotic membrane; the contact between the inner and the outer; The cycle in which exchange takes place. It is where dualism dissolves. It is the realm of experience in which we relax our boundaries just enough to let something new in. Final contact. Where our feelings, our bodily-felt ground of experience is satisfied. Where we surrender into an orgasm, give in to grief, gain a new skill, learn something, receive a message, or flow into an expressive movement. It is the place in our experience where we sink into the sounds of the river rushing below during a rest in the warm sun. Ecopsychology concerns itself with phenomenology with the understanding that the meaning of life is that it is to be lived. That we find meaning through our felt sense of the world around us, that the self is simply the experiential cycle in motion, that we are our felt experiencing. “What we implicitly feel at any given moment takes all of this into account, so that the need contained in our felt sense is the one that is most urgent or highest priority for coping with our environment carrying our lives forward at that point.” Begin to awaken to the messages your body is sharing. It is here you will find your deeper self and lost connection to the world at large. #ecopsychology #bodyawareness #somatics #phenomenology #healingtheself #theself

A post shared by Jon-Erik Jardine (@ecopsychology_project) on

Phenomenology “We are our felt experiencing.” ~ Gendlin

Ecopsychology primarily deals in the realm of that osmotic membrane; the contact between the inner and the outer; The cycle in which exchange takes place. It is where dualism dissolves. It is the realm of experience in which we relax our boundaries just enough to let something new in. Final contact. Where our feelings, our bodily-felt ground of experience is satisfied. Where we surrender into an orgasm, give in to grief, gain a new skill, learn something, receive a message, or flow into an expressive movement. It is the place in our experience where we sink into the sounds of the river rushing below during a rest in the warm sun. Ecopsychology concerns itself with phenomenology; with the understanding that the meaning of life is that it is to be lived. That we find meaning through our felt sense of the world around us, that the self is simply the experiential cycle in motion, that we are our felt experiencing. “What we implicitly feel at any given moment takes all of this into account, so that the need contained in our felt sense is the one that is most urgent or highest priority for coping with our environment carrying our lives forward at that point.” Begin to awaken to the messages your body is sharing. It is here you will find your deeper self and lost connection to the world at large.

The Bodily Ground of Experience

The Bodily Ground of Experience: "only human beings have come to a point where they no longer know why they exist… they have forgotten the secret knowledge of their bodies, their senses, their dreams." ~ John (Fire) Lame Deer How do we come to extract meaning from our world? This question begs to be asked in a time when our purpose to be alive seems lost in the reflection of our own humanity. To return to the bodily ground of experience, to interpret the felt ground of the world with a privileged part of nature; our body, is to receive the intelligence of nature and the purpose of your life process. Somatics. The body is a finely ordered living responsiveness, always seeking some sort of symbolic completion for its needs or intentions. When we equate the body's needs with irrational tendencies, or sin, is to repress your own soul. It is to deanimate the self, as was systematically done by the time of the Age of Reason. Animality was considered then to be the root of madness; thereby returning to a state of chaos. But the irony is that if our nature is chaotic, then our experience has no intrinsic order. Yet all we must do is pick up the sand of a river bank and feel the weight of millions of parts slide through our fingers to understand that nature is the definition of order and organization. "Your body enacts your situations and constitutes them largely before you can think how. When your attention joins the living, you can pursue many more possibilities and choices than when you merely drive your body as if it were a machine like the car." ~ Eugene Gendlin #wetooarenature #ecopsychology #eugenegendlin #somatic #body #bodyintelligence #mindfullness #order #chaos

A post shared by Jon-Erik Jardine (@ecopsychology_project) on

The Totality of The Human Experience

"In order to understand ourselves and heal ourselves in this age of abstract horror, we must regain the sense of the totality and the immediacy of human experience." ~ Stanley Diamond – Returning to experience is to awaken the senses. To be sensitive. In a world wrought with violence, we have dulled our senses as to distance and disconnect from the suffering of such consequences. Thus, a tree becomes an abstract thing, perceived objectively and separate from us even as we try to view it through a scientific, biological lens. To be sensitive is to find truth in your own experience. Find your senses, all the joy and sorrow, and feel the enrapture of the Cedar as she welcomes you back into her warm embrace. – #westernredcedar #wetooarenature #ecopsychology #sensitive #healingtrauma #stanelydiamond #phenomenology #experience #feminint #restore

A post shared by Jon-Erik Jardine (@ecopsychology_project) on

To Vote or not to Vote, that is the question… I could care less about.

Folks, brace yourself for strong consequences, regardless of the presidential outcome. Be prepared for suffering and struggle to emerge even for the privileged. It is time. For too long have we hidden away in comfort. For too long have we ignored the tensions of this country’s past. For too long have we blocked the rivers of truth with dams of denial.
Great internal conflict will be released from the floodgates, and I for one welcome it, not out of joy, but out of long overdue sorrow.
 This country is already divided, not since what was felt leading up to the Civil war. The difference today is that the divide is virtual, not geographical. Your neighbor is living in a different reality than you, and you don’t even know your neighbor’s name. This divide has been slowly splitting open like an infested wound from past histories of violence. I do not feel it is my patriotic duty any longer to vote for one candidate or another, but rather it is my patriotic identity to envision a new nation of people determined to alter this path of destruction and revitalize an economy of well-being. This will take pain. This will take doubt in  your self because of the outlandish shaming criticism of conservative preservatives desperately grasping on to failed system. This will take suffering. This will take sacrifice. This will take confronting death.
I am an optimist. I believe that all that is happening is for greater reason than we can comprehend. I believe in hope. I believe in righteousness. But I believe that The Path, God, Darhma, Taoism, is only achieved through accepting that which is happening and unfolding before your very eyes. Your body is the best sensor of reality. Listen to the grief percolating through the boiling blood of your ancestor’s genes expressed in your present existence.
The world is in turmoil. And that’s okay. But the more we deny it, the less of a chance we have of making it through this stage of humanity. The more we accept it, the greater the odds we will pursue right course of action. Karma. Whoever you vote for, will have consequence, because both sides, sadly, represent a spectrum of living that fall similarly close in relationship to the expanse of perception: nihilism and narcissism. We all feel it. We all fall under that mode of existence. It is part of our national identity. Don’t deny it any longer. Accept it as part of your current self. Personify it so you can converse with it, build a relationship with it so that you may ultimately put it to rest and say, “thank you super-ego for your time with me, but unfortunately now that we’ve danced together I’m feeling a bit dizzy and distant from my true self and am quite ready to return to my soul and nature and all of that.”
An empire is falling, collapsing unto itself like a massive star that grew too big. It is natural. It is bound to happen, predicted by the prophets of those devout to the observations of the universe and the realms beyond. And through this threshold of chaos comes opportunity and order. We have much to look forward to. Although you and I may never live to see future balances in harmony once again…. our successors will. Our lives are never to be lived merely for ourselves anyhow, what would be the point of living if that were the case?
Time to sacrifice your own life for the betterment of tomorrow. Follow whatever way FEELS right. Let your true self guide your actions. Your nature – not the belligerent logos of a failing social system. If it falls, so be it, why support it any longer? What’s the responsibility in that? Let if crumble like the stale bread it is and decompose into new organic matter rich with infinite possibilities, no longer rigid and flaky.
Celebrate the fall of your society, and witness your imprisoned self fly free into the open sky. There is much to look forward to in the birth that comes after death.

Tuesday: I Was Raised an Atheist (but grew up Christian).

We went to church a handful of times. I recall the the usual holiday traditions involving scattered visits to that indoor space where organs blare holy tunes and voices echo in chambered ceilings. I remember talks of Jesus, palms and candles, crackers and grape juice, a book of hymns, and always that man standing in front speaking about god knows what.

But I had no relation with God. Or Jesus. I never read the Bible. My mother never shoved verses down my throat.Sometimes there was chocolate involved usually around the same time as my birthday in April. Church didn’t make sense to me, but then again at the age of 5 there’s a whole world out there that doesn’t make sense yet. It’s all new, and you’re sort of just going along with it.
I was okay with it. I was a polite kid, I knew my manners. I knew how to behave well and  behaving well pleased my Mom, and there was nothing better in the world than pleasing Mom. I guess she was my God. But why did she take us to church 2 or 3 times a year if we weren’t Christian? It was like we were vicarious spectators of christians. Traditions die hard. All of us want a sense of our past, something to anchor us during hard, tumultuous times. Maybe it reminded her of her childhood. Maybe she felt connected to her deceased parents. Maybe she secretly believed in God. Maybe she just liked the peaceful atmosphere. I’d like to think it was because she was deficient in spirit and christian churches were the only spiritual supplements she knew of.

I was raised Atheist, but I’m missing that flab of skin on the tip of my penis. Old traditions die hard. I can remember in the 1st grade at school peeing in one of those elongated sink urinals and my friend was peeing right along side me. I looked over and saw his penis. It looked totally different than mine. I  thought after that penis’s were different on everyone. I had one kind, he had another. I don’t remember when I asked my parents about this, or when I found out about circumcision, but whatever I was told was explained as a hygienic thing; it was a convenience my mom or dad or whoever decided so I didn’t have to worry about infection. It wasn’t until much later I learned about the religious rite behind the practice, and then it wasn’t until maybe a year ago I first heard about psychological trauma instilled by cutting off the foreskin of an infant’s penis. Religious acts often justify violent acts.

Old traditions die hard. The effects of religious doctrine created over a thousand years ago is now inherent in our moral codes and beliefs today, no matter what your affiliation with the church is. These moral codes we live by today aren’t our own free thoughts. It’s programmed, passed down generation after generation. The semitic doctrine has had a hold on western societies for over an era and a half, and in recent history spread like wildfire through colonial missionaries. It’s a human program. And I’ve been trying to free myself from this program, and I’m discovering just how incredibly deep the program runs, and how bloody hard it is to rip it out. We see it in our politics, our government, the way we sacrifice our personality to the appeasement and conformity of education standards or servitude in employment. Our very patriarchal-structured society is none less than the works of religious teachings. Even our science has a somewhat christian agenda; the idea that we are outsiders; objective observers of nature separate from it just as god is somewhere separate from us in his own all-powerful realm looking down on his experimental creations.

Programs aren’t evil. They’re not bad. Without them, there would be no organization in life, and organization is key to the cooperation between life forms so that we may all life. There is a code between the deer and the wolves and beavers and rivers and the mice and the trees and the microbes. Programs are important and vital. It’s what ecology is; that in which life participates with one another.

The people of a culture, as Joseph campbell puts it, “gets their messages from their priests and visionaries and the priest and visionaries may manipulate the myths to their own political advantage.” When our program is manipulated by those in power for their own self-interest, well then we have evil.  And with evil comes pathology. And currently we live under two pathologies instituted by our very own religious predecessors – the first being that we are to direct and control nature instead of placing ourselves in accord with nature and – the second being the political interpretation of myths to the advantage of one group within a society, or one society within a group of nations.

Here I am, 25 years old, feeling that myself and nearly every person around is me living a lonely and unfulfilling life because we might just be living a pathological lie, that is, we are being guided by a deeply engrained program in our behavioral thought patterns of our psyche that says: “worry about yourself and the self-interest of your group and seek to control and manipulate your life by controlling and manipulating all aspects of life around you.”

I’ve got my own issues. We all have our own issues. But it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve even discovered what my issues are, that I’m learning to accept them and invite them to the table of conversation. That I’m learning my issues are in essence what has been called sin, but that sin is not synonymous with evil. That sin is what makes me unique and special and gifted. That my sin is my gateway into the realm that exists outside of the confinements of a society. That I must leave the tiny itty bitty realm of society through the exploration of my sins venturing into the greater realm of the wild and nature, find my connection to it, and return to society fully grown into my self and ready to serve that society in my own way in my own time and in accordance with nature. For so many years I have been trying be a well-behaved human being. I’ve perfected the art of pleasing others so much so that the only way I really know how to receive gratification in life is to please others. And so I get people to like me not because I am being my genuine self, but because I learn what others like and give them that. I was totally out of touch with my own self to serve the pleasure of others, whether they asked for it or not. Good Christian doctrine.

Religion is supposed to be how nature speaks to society; through the shamans or priests or holy ones. Those priests are the members of humanity who sit on the outside edge of society; One foot in the human world, the other foot in the wild natural word. Religion popped up as soon as humans became conscious, as soon as we stepped out of the wild and into our own conscious minds. We have always needed religion to keep us connected as participants to the nature in which we still live inside of and always will. It’s where our morals and values and ethics are derived from.

Nothing has changed since then. The only thing that has changed is that religions popped up that now serve only themselves, and have manipulated whole groups of people to serve them. It’s a pathology. It’s a misinterpretation. It’s a massive psychological brainwashing. It’s slavery. It’s the grandest form of slavery that has ever existed. And many many people saw this, and still see it and then want nothing to do with religion and so they become atheists, and sever themselves from spirituality. But the unintended consequence of this is now we are a nation of people who are still servants to the religious doctrine, but no longer serves the spirit of our planet and our universe.

HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT?