Alternate Realities & Dreaming

(Katina Press) #62

On a lighter note.

I wanted to share an editorial email I sent to our local paper, “The Virginia Gazette”, which comes out twice a week. There is a community forum editorial page at the end entitled, “The Last Word”, whereby folks in the community can submit input regarding various circumstances they’ve encountered throughout their daily goings-on around town each week. Submissions vary from general Jeers and Cheers regarding what’s going on in the community to reviews and feedback about the opening of a new “Subway” shop right next door to the old sub shop which has maintained itself as a thriving privately owned, small family business for the past 200 years, etc.

Well, for the first time in ages (I had a submission published in the “Last Word” once over a decade ago about something that I cannot recall right now) I was inspired to submit an editorial to the “Last Word”, after visiting my alma mater’s campus library, “Earl Gregg Swem Library” at the College of William & Mary, to do some online scoring the other evening. I was blown away by what I saw, heard, smelled and even, tasted after unsuccessfully attempting to acquire a calm and quiet study area in the local campus library!

The email that I submitted the local VA Gazette’s “Last Word” (and hoped to be published, immediately) reads as follows: (please tell me what y’all think, if you have the time to entertain my submission)

SUBJECT LINE: "My Recent Visit to the W&M Library (or) Swemming with Sharks"

__As an Undergraduate alumna of the College of William and Mary and subsequent recipient of the School of Education’s “TEACH” Grant in 2003, the school prepared me well for successful completion of my ongoing career goals, including grad school from ODU in 2007 (with an MSEd in Special Education) and 17 years as a VDOE - Certified Special Educator. __

__My, have things changed in higher education since then! I recently visited the Earl Gregg Swem Library in hopes of finding a “quiet”, calm and wi-fi ready atmosphere, to complete an online scoring shift with my part-time, virtual employer, Educational Testing Services (ETS). Instead of encountering a “study-friendly” environment, which one would expect to find in an academic setting such as a “library”. I felt like I was walking into “Animal House” with Belushi greeting me at the “Circulation Desk”! __

__It starts with the deafening, cacophonous night club music ( blasting playlists downloaded straight from the “Parental Advisory List” with the most appallingly inappropriate lyrics on high volume display !) that greets you at the entrance of the library, along with the seizure-inducing lights flashing in tandem with the bass booming, audio jumping out at you from the cafe at “Aromas”. Abandon all hope for a productive study session, if you dare enter into the “Aromatic” gauntlet of ghastly noise, shouting melodious expletives via the cafe’s speaker system. I had to practically scream at the cafe staff (with my ears plugged with my forefingers) for them to hear me over the thundering, raunchy music shouting lyrics about fellatio. __

And five mins. later, it is no wonder that I trashed the $7.15 “coffee-mocha-smoothie” thingy with chunks of “stuff” floating in it ( which the cashier boisterously recommended to me - in between singing along to the thundering song about fellatio…playing in a “library”, people! ) as it tasted like something that a lost appetite couldn’t even appreciate.

__The aroma of the cafe permeated throughout the rest of the library, as students paid no attention nor respect to each other’s need for calm and quiet as they endeavored to study. The party continued on every floor (incl. the “Quiet” third floor) with mini-social gatherings disguised as “study groups”. I soon realized, to my horror, that no one dare complained about the highly distractible environment (which used to be a library) because most of them weren’t even studying! The few, marginalized souls who actually were attempting to use the library for what it was intended, were relegated to isolated, individual study rooms with the doors shut (and probably locked, if possible).excuse the typos.

Is this what has happened to academia in the 21st century? I am all for upgrading the facilities and designing more socially relevant, collaborative environments for students to congregate and study. Yet, the ill-designed combo of night club style cafes and study rooms is equivalent to allowing the inmates run the asylum. Of course, students want to party. Yet, they also need to study. If W&M is attempting to coalesce the two activities for the sake of student satisfaction, then we will end up with a society of unproductive and irrelevant “numb skulls” who “sure know how to party”! Are we preparing our graduates to become professional globalized servants to the nation or “Employee of the Month” at Party City? Although both goals play an important role in the community, one need not pursue a four-year liberal arts degree to accomplish the latter.

Kpr, MSEd
(W&M Alumna - Class of 1999 - Philosophy & Religion)

What do y’all think? Too harsh? I hope that I didn’t sound…(gulp)…“elitist” - Please, God, No! Not that!

(LaughingCryingDancing) #63

Hi,Katina U hit the mark of being descriptive & voicing your disappointment at using said library space with others who could-should find the space to engage in their kind of activities elsewhere.As far as sounding harsh,elitist no I didn’t hear that,then again I’ve come to embrace a dynamic that each of us is responsible for the way we receive(listen) & give voice(speak),one exception in the presence children under the age of 14yrs.that’s a personal boundary.I personally do not like the way Our sitting President weaponizes his words,then on the other hand when I had to learn to discern my Ex-Wife’s cutting tone & the content of what she was attempting to convey…learn to listen non-defensively,which was-is at times a ongoing skill,better today & one that has helped with my adult children.All this is to say words are real living life forms & one might consider Verbal Aikido or a enlarged sense of humor.:sunglasses:

(LaughingCryingDancing) #64

Katina,Awesome for me encompasses all your words,for the meaning I make of the word is GOOD without needing to exclude fear and instead bring a Loving Presence to the fear so to convey fear is Love contracted into not feeling safe a core human need that takes maturity & others to model.I always remember as a child that Jesus was a big brother that made me feel safe in times of great difficulty in my Family household,yes I am an adult of 64 and still have moments feeling like a child in this vastness of mystery.I also don’t relate to God-Love(Uncondional) in Parent-Child terms as much yet what can say ,I accept
I am in the Middle of this vast Mystery & Actually get a kick out of it on most days.Amen(Let It Be So)

(Katina Press) #65

Huge Sigh if relief! Whoooh! Thank you so much, Michael. Now, I can sleep tonite. I appreciate the reassurance from a trustworthy friend, like YOU (with the gift of “word magic”)! Good nite! No…GREAT Nite!

(john davis) #66

I have had a similar problem in New York. Some of the greatest books in the world and you can’t check them out because theft is so bad. I have to go out to Brooklyn to get inter library loans because Manhattan libraries dont loan out anything worth reading. ( I am into the really high end scholarly stuff). I dont mind that really, as expensive books need to be protected, but the people at the public libraries are as you describe. It isn’t the youth but the middle aged who talk and use their devices. I have had to tell so many people to shut up that I started to worry about starting a fist fight and being thrown out. The public libraries, sadly, have become a halfway house for the homeless, who use the bathrooms to bathe in and then find a chair to sleep in. A guard comes along regularly to wake them up. Theft is common. Winter coats disappear, purses snatched. Lucky for me I have a paid membership to a private library of a small educational facility that is hard up for money. I am a friend of the library. It is my sanctuary. I can use my computer and sit in a comfy chair and gaze out the window if I want to, enveloped by lovely silence. Often there are no people around. I am alone to commune with all of those books. Heaven!A good book often creates conditions where I have a need to gaze out the window and let go and let my mind find the spirit of the author. There is a subtle, telepathic exchange happening, Study is a hard work, it is mysterious, too. It requires so much intensity. Let’s keep the flame alive, Katina!

(john davis) #67

I am quoting myself, from a previous post, after our first session. Now that we have had four sessions I think this is a good time to reflect upon where we were, where we are, where we might be going.

I look forward to reviewing yesterday’s session, as I believe, much of my original impulse to create this group effort is being realized. I expect there will be detours and tangents and surprising twists and turns. Yesterday, was a bumpy ride for me, as I was a little perturbed by being late and feeling distracted but I felt that the turbulence was okay. We settled down into a good grove. I am aware of patterns that I missed during the session, so I can take some time, to replay and evaluate and look for the patterns that connect. There are so many patterns and meta-patterns to choose from! Thanks to everyone for making this happen.

(Douglas Duff) #68


Michael, John, Katina and Doug piece together elements of the known within the unknown, locating patterns and cycles within metaphors and dreams. John guides the group with Clean Language practice, demonstrating depth through this alternate mode of social interaction.

(john davis) #69

Perfect timing, Doug!

(Douglas Duff) #70

Alternate Realities Conversation 5

We meet again October 31, 2018 4:00 PM

ZOOM video ID : 740-164-668

Seed Questions

  • How can we develop more skill detecting patterns in groups we are participating within? As our complex social worlds are unraveling how can we co-evolve coherent groups? How can we enter the weave of multiple complex metaphorical landscapes without de-cohering? How do we share attention? Can we model our non linear private lives in linear public forums while using a clunky technology that makes a lot of noise?
  • What do we want to have happen next? Are there alternate modes of experiencing these calls? Ways to access the liminal zones, imaginal realms? Methods to access depth promptly and gracefully?
    emphasized text

(Katina Press) #71

Can we wear Halloween costumes?

(john davis) #72

Michael stated an outcome I want to feel safe and restructure a sense of agency. Clean language questions were asked in this order.


  1. And is there anything else about feel safe?
  2. Whereabouts?
  3. Then what happens?
  4. What would you like to have happen now?
  5. And then what happens?
  6. And how much? ( a special question)

John asks some scaling questions. ( this was not clean but borrowed from another useful approach)

Michael’s metaphor develops from punching bag to learn to swim.

Doug asks
9) Whereabouts?
10) Whereabouts?

John asks
11) And then what happens?
12) And is there anything else?

Michael somatizes his emerging metaphorical landscape.

John shares a dream and Michael practices asking questions. John somatizes his learnings ( I will review this again and try to make a clear report later)

Katina shares a dream and creates a picture. John asks her about her drawing what are you most attracted to? Katina self models.

Doug works with feeling artistic

John asks

  1. Is there anything else?
  2. What kind of?
  3. Whereabouts?
  4. Size or shape?
  5. And then what happens?
  6. Anything else?
    7)And then what happens?

During an open frame the participants discuss what they learned in this session.

Meta-comment. This was a turbulent session for me and there was lots of water imagery. I notice we go from dream reports to books to working with trauma through metaphor. Alternate ways of knowing/being can happen in many ways, and come from many sources.

We have barely scratched the surface. (That’s my metaphor)

Meta-question. What needs to happen for our awareness of different levels to be made even more explicit?

(LaughingCryingDancing) #73

Hi,John; In response to this Question & two days of walking in the everyday world of Riverside,Ca since our social dreaming in cyberspace I’ve been working with how my trauma alternate reality has been in a process of healing a binary of Breakdown(Overwhelm) & Breakthrough(Post Trauma Growth) that at it’s core is about the Human Need for Safety that is rooted in early development.So this oscillation has been a BIG aspect in my Healing not only some very intense trauma in the course of 32yrs but diving deep into the experience of the preverbal seed of this need and opening to a larger more mature relationship to this need for safety as an adult with TRAUMA as a aspect of my Life of 64yrs time on this Planet.Opening the tight closed aspects within has been the operating necessity more than the awareness of levels,they seem to arise naturally as I bring a kinda intentional focus of awareness that Ancient first line of safe…not safe that resides in the Tissues/Soil of this particular expression of life.Thank U John for helping bring clarity both cognitively & affectively to my need to Open to and not be imprisoned by the need for Safety,which does not mean my brain is left out of engaging the world/my life as a adult human/ape like creature.Life does have a self-correcting tendency it seems from my Traumatic experience.It seems to be the case in listening,reading & writing about this Opening is the return step to expanding in whatever direction I might need to grow.It’s become Important to remember& honor my first teacher on this point is Jesus & the teaching of Kenosis(Letting Go-which it seems important to Feel the Opening in order to move-feel the Letting Go ).Then the direction is a Minor Gesture of Grace. AMEN( Let It Be So)Balance-Art-By-Michael-Grab_06

(Douglas Duff) #74

I will do my best to be there at noon to set up any zoom needs, but I am in the middle of a busy workday and will be traveling a little bit afternoon. See a few comments above for the zoom link.

I do still plan on being present after the first half hour. Looking forward to it as always!

(Katina Press) #75

Once again, a great time was had by all during today’s Cafe’ session. These discussions are a breath of fresh air to my day. Thank you, Bros!

Love Ya’ to Life,


(LaughingCryingDancing) #76

Yes! Katina I was feeling the same acoustical-facial vibes playing in Our cyberdreaming space-time.John is a Great guide-mentor-modeler in my experience.Here is two of my maps that arose in this work,

Jellyfish…then BabyBuddha .As I was posting these I spontaneously entered a state of attention that there’s maps/metaphors that I am using as I move through my day.Case in point I wear Glasses that are Bifocals,which help to me see close-up,I naturally see depth;then I also have what’s called transition lens which shade into sunglasses to protect my eyes from to much intense sunlight.So for me it’s a subtle practice of working with shadow & still feeling-seeing what arises in the present moment.Now this doesn’t mean I don’t fall into delusion of forgetting I am wearing glasses,if anything the delusion is just a closed in reality,oh well I’ve walked into many walls & gotten the feedback from the larger/open-ended aspect of Life.Thank You Each for Holding a Caring Time.Peace Be With U & Yours Michael

(Douglas Duff) #77

Alternate Realities Conversation 5

Recorded October 31st


John uses Clean Language with Michael, Doug and Katina, where walls become transparent, harsh realities become adventures in consciousness and the head and the heart give voice to greater realities. The group continues to reflect upon the Postformal Pedagogies discussion from the 10/30 Cosmos Cafe.

(john davis) #78

Modeling Personal Metaphors

Michael’s Desired Outcome
" I need to feel secure and to re-structure as sense of agency."

Framework. Maturing Changes in Michael’s Metaphor Landscape

A circular pattern, gut to brain. cut off…

  1. And is there a relationship between all of that and a sense of security and restructure a sense of agency?
  2. And anything else about that relationship?
  3. And whereabouts intensity?
  4. And what happens next?
  5. And what determines high anxiety from 2nd possibility?
  6. And when fuzzy whereabouts fuzzy?
  7. And what was head before fucking head?
  8. And when head did not exist what happens to fuzzy?
  9. Blue Sky ( Michael develops new metaphor)
  10. And how old is Blue Sky?
  11. And does 3 year old have a size of shape?
  12. And what is 3 year old wearing?
  13. And what does 3 year old want to have happen?
  14. And what what happens to need to feel secure?
  15. Michael says," No need to feel secure." (A transformation)
    Michael makes a gesture.
  16. Is there a relationship between( gesture) and restructuring a sense of agency?
  17. Like a child that gets to build things and tear it down…working with a form without an adult telling me what the fuck to do and a sense of play
  18. And what kind of sense is that sense when a sense of play?
  19. And feeling with 3 year old and know no outside and whereabouts within?
  20. Michael says," A baby Buddha" (A new metaphor)

Cosmos Café [11/6] - Developing a Sense of Agency With Invisible Worlds
(LaughingCryingDancing) #79

Wow,the feeling is still moving within when I read this .John,Thank You…

(Douglas Duff) #80

Recent explorations from the heart center, a pale blue dot in previous days, have shifted my learnings and lovings from the head space towards the center of my body. As I share myself, my pearls of wisdom, my deep dives into life, I can express myself (via the voice) more passionately to others, more coherently, with more confidence and mutual acceptance. As the Voices share wisdom and life experiences, the heart center (love) grows, like rings of a tree stump, broadening with age (thanks for the mutual family Stumpf metaphor, @Michael_Stumpf!)

(Douglas Duff) #81

Yes, I do not intend to have a private chat that others will not see, nor do I even mind if we post before the conversation that we are having a gathering. My underlying desire for this conversation is to demonstrate that we can come into the virtual space and utilize it at its maximum. Is your demonstration of space as you climbed upon your chair and performed the best we can do? what other aspects are we neglecting? can we open up to poetry in the moment? singing? I have many ideas that surge when alone then subside when in public situations. THere is only so much room for the weird even in a group like ours…


November 28, 2018 5:00 PM

ZOOM video ID : 740-164-668