21st century soul
Published in

21st century soul

Photo by Alexandra Nicolae on Unsplash

BUTTERFLIES

REFLECTIONS FROM A WARM PAUSE 2

I am asking myself about emergence. What is already emergent? What is yet to emerge? What is already dormant? What is to be created deep in the between. When there is trouble, how does this get experienced and how then does it percolate and contextualise with the ever-shifting relational flows of the self?

The ‘direct corrective’ doesn’t work, but is there a transcontextual way of creating the conditions for vitality? Is it possible to go with the flow of the conscious intention while not being conscious of it — without intending?

These are all paradoxes.

The butterfly, trapped high in the skylight, sees the light and heads up expecting freedom. The glass in its way provides a more immovable barrier than the possibilities elsewhere in the house. Eventually, perhaps exhausted, it descends into the room below. It traps itself again in the cavity of another window, but this time I see it, and set it free. Outside it swirls up and out into the world.

Sometimes we sit in the skylight. Trapped by the light and the appearance of freedom — the insidious promise can only lead us into the most twisted of double binds. We sit in the light, high up in our life, and there is no way through.

When we are up there in the eaves, looking out, then looking down to where we might fall, no one can talk us down. Something could be talked about — talked through perhaps — but it wouldn’t be the thing that anyone imagined needed to be talked about.

Something in the inflection, in the cadence, in the embodied sense of the self and the other in the world might be the conditional opening.

Is this what we are talking about? Searching for?

“What we are looking for is complete intuit. Intuition is a complex that needs to be filled up whole. Each step of understanding; each nuance that binds, each touch that lifts, every smile that gifts us humanity, is the weave of intuition completing itself.” (Mtaphysgraffiti on Twitter, 4/8/22)

There is something of a fuller picture here. In any one moment there might be a recognition of everything that is in this moment — everything that could be. Is this intution completing itself, or simply the widest available transcontextual experience, and the corresponding emergence of something vital?

It might be like presence or mindfulness, but this implies a skill or a state or condition in the individual, and we are really talking about an ever-shifting relational experience — multisensory, transcontextual, flowing — and then somehow there is a subsequent whole-istic experience of vitality, that is not in any way predictable, but is, in some way, a creative act: “The poetic image is a sudden salience on the surface of the psyche”.*

In this I am aware of language; that the language of therapy is inevitably that of healing and pathology and vertical direction that imply growth and transformation, but hold the insidious potential for us to be trapped in the skylights…

*Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, 1964

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Steve Thorp

Steve Thorp

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Integral counsellor & poet. Warm Data host. Edits Unpsychology Magazine & COVID Poetics on Medium.