Healing White Body Supremacy

Michael, Seth and John call up the ancestors in a Clean Language process that honors the memory of those murdered in the Duluth Lynchings in 1920. This work emerges within a safe container and is brought to the community in the spirit of open inquiry into one of the darkest chapters of our cultural history. As the participants share direct experience of our cultural shadow, we gently touch and release through metaphor, myth and relationship the patterns that connect us to this ongoing crisis. Viewing this may open up some painful and disorienting memories. Anchoring oneself in the somatic intelligence is demonstrated in the video, which is inspired by the work of activist Resmaa Menakeem. We invite others to learn the skills of co-regulating in public spaces. This dynamic process is what we attempt to model and share in this video and sincerely wish that it is a help to others. Rest, rest, perturbed Spirit.

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I Wanted to Share what Being With John & Seth on This Cafe lead me to Listen to Afterwords.

Van Morrison

I forgot that love existed troubled in my mind
Heartache after heartache, worried all the time
I forgot that love existed
And then I saw the light
Everyone around me seems to make everything alright

Oh, Socrates and Plato
Praised it to the skies
Everyone that ever loved
Everyone that ever tried

If my heart could do the thinking
And my head begin to feel
I’d look upon the world anew
And know what’s truly real

I forgot that love existed
And that it strangled up my heart
Then I turned a brand new -start

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" The courageous are those who seek to fulfill the spiritual goal behind all form." Lao-Tzu

The hanged men…the child/adult…and the child can’t survive…and the sheet of ice from head to heart…and what does the heart want to have a happen?

And a gesture and a yell…and is there a relationship between the gesture and the yell and the heart of a child???

Other kinds of questions can arise as I study the video carefully. I have invited Seth to reflect upon this, too, and wonder if we could imagine a group drawing? This would be very challenging and could happen on line.

Make a representation of what you have learned from this exercise that makes sense to you…

I am thinking of what happens next. If we can start to re-imagine our social realities and share this could we start to re-model the cosmos? The ancients believed that Humans were not parts of the Cosmos, they believed Humans were the Cosmos.

And is there a relationship between the Hanged Men…my deceased father…and the Sky Diver?

Stay tuned for another session…

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The three of you bring such grace to the topic. To imprint this trio in a cliche: Michael is the heart, Johnny the soul, and Seth the graceful flow, all interchangeable roles. This particular session is a necessity. Many organizations, workplaces hold seminars on current cultural topics but rarely do they experiment with the body. Rarely do all participants come out with serious experiential learning.

I listened to the words and practiced the clean language exercises that you three performed. When observing the photographs I felt what Seth so well termed the “vacancy of thought” … these images are not real. There is an initial denial that something like this could happen so close to where I have lived, so recent as within a few generations. This is not some medieval torture. I do not watch Game of Thrones but images like these are seen daily and perhaps take away the reality. How long did the participants have to pose in order to capture a smile for the slow exposure at night? Another exercise that he uses as a follow up to this meditation is to imagine yourself walking at night and encountering this gathering in real-time. You see the three mutilated men on display above the white males encircling the scene. How do you respond? Out of the list he mentions I would probably have been one to remain silent, to keep such an anomaly (though common at the time) away from the thoughts of those that I loved. Reporting to authorities would only receive a chuckle as such scenes were collectibles on a postcard. I am reminded of a Globes conversation in which we discussed pain as the root of entertainment. I think it is right to say that there is a generational trauma surrounding this spiritual emergency. For my white body, I tend to keep it all tucked away nice and neat inside, sometimes as a necessity, sometimes as a hiding, sometimes as a skeleton.

I finished listening to the recording and throughout I did not feel much (pain or rage or sorrow)…again a “vacancy of thought” and feeling. It wasn’t until I continued listening to My Grandmother’s Hands last night and heard a very real and quite mundane account of the author hearing the news of Tamir Rice and thinking this could be my own son and going to his son’s room thinking that he cannot offer protection for the little black body, unable to explain this despair to his son. I will likely never encounter such a helpless feeling. I will not have to worry about my son based on his physical origins (although Filipino skin is brown skin is Mexican skin is prejudiced skin ….). Listening to his account left me with a trembling body; tears of little, helpless rage; a deep sorrowful howl.

The strongest impression that remains after having read the book is that the author gives the (black, white, police) body its rightful place as the most universal experience of our collective culture. The way he hones in on the deep roots of the police body and the demands/traumas police face. There is no blame, only retribution for pent up bodies, grand unconscious faultlines, faulty cults of culture.

I do hope that the three of you continue to explore this topic. I came to this site as an apolitical individual, unable to see any merit in personal involvement in activism. As I, body mind soul, have been diffracted and insurrected and remolded and activated there has been a conscious evolution in what the political and the active life means. All of you + reading intelligent accounts from geniuses like Resmaa Menakeem and David Graeber (alas…) + daily life = a re-modelling of the cosmos, both inside and out. I will be participating as best I can.

Thanks for these words Michael :slightly_smiling_face: :saxophone:

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In an interview, Marlon Brando, spoke of the “corresponding sensitivity” between actor and audience. I have often felt despondent by what I perceive as indifference from others to my best efforts. Your comments have uplifted me, Doug, and made me feel that we are not alone in the Cosmos, nose to the ground, fighting over crusts of bread, dropped from the table of the master.

Your sensitivity shines and this gives me hope that our fragile efforts here in this presentation have not been totally in vain. We are up against an almost insurmountable obstacle, and yet, I have been amazed, that when we drop below the facades, and the enculturated demands for a happy face, and and a simplistic story, that there is a vast intelligence operating within each of us, that is yearning to to be touched, heard, felt, released. Our language, our bodyminds and our culture are simultaneously renewed.

After reading your generous response, I got a sense of our mission, for you have given me a clear message, a message about our trio, ( three, separate notes when sounded together become a chord) and this kind of resonance touches the subtle currents that move through our core, into the field of all possibility, changing the field through participation, and then back to the core. A call and an echo given and received.

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Excellent feedback, all!

That song is such a cool response, Michael.

I hope that dialoguing with each other as we are, as well as dialoguing through more modalities than the usual (cognitive) one, we might be laying groundwork for deeper understanding.

Sharing between our physical bodies and our psychic bodies, between ourselves and others, between talk and music,
that it may foster a deeper harmony across ethic divides, corpus callosums, and various identities - inside and out.

The recorded session there was a short one, but I experienced some openings in places that I had not yet realized were closed. I hope to carry this awareness forth with a wider heart and a more immanent focus. To learn to embrace when embracing seems impossible, and to do so skillfully.

And I got Resmaa’s book. I’m excited to have further dialogues (of whatever mode!), as inspired by it.

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Thanks, Seth, for your comments.

This is great to hear. In the near future, I hope we can assist each further, in opening our openings. I am glad you got Resmaa’s book. Cultural Somatics appears to be a new groove and one that is especially compatible with Clean Language Practices. I am open to a follow up session in the near future where we can integrate these new currents occurring at a faster pace in our culture and in our bodyminds. Love-Warriors unite!

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Touch

Touch : Recovering Our Most Vital Sense

Our existence is increasingly lived at a distance. As we move from flesh to image, we are in danger of losing touch with each other and ourselves. How can we combine the physical with the virtual, our embodied experience with our global connectivity? How can we come back to our senses?

Richard Kearney offers a timely call for the cultivation of the basic human need to touch and be touched. He argues that touch is our most primordial sense, foundational to our individual and common selves. Kearney explores the role of touch, from ancient wisdom traditions to modern therapies. He demonstrates that a fundamental aspect of touch is interdependence, its inherently reciprocal nature, which offers a crucial corrective to our fixation with control. Making the case for the complementarity of touch and technology, this book is a passionate plea to recover a tangible sense of community and the joys of life with others.

Review:Which came first? The spirit seeking a touch? Or the touch seeking a further touch? A confirmation of life out of touch, a phone that a hand cannot reach or touch? Sometimes it seems that the senses were created out of a lonely and desiring spirit. Especially touch. In this openhearted study of that sense, Richard Kearney leads the reader masterfully through thinkers of the past and the present who have wondered deeply, had ideas, and made gestures in response to the mystery of ‘feeling things.’ – Fanny Howe, author of Second Childhood and winner of the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

This seems to be something that is needed with this Cultural Somatics,the first paragraph is what attracted me:

Our existence is increasingly lived at a distance. As we move from flesh to image, we are in danger of losing touch with each other and ourselves. How can we combine the physical with the virtual, our embodied experience with our global connectivity? How can we come back to our senses? & also “gestures in response to the mystery of ‘feeling things’.”

Earth in Human Hands

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I resonate with Kearney’s God as the Stranger, which is much more interesting to me, than God as the Father. Touch, of course, is not just physical. I can touch you with the sound of my voice, I can touch you with the smile on my face, we are touched by the qualities of the Other, without being able to put a label on what gets us into high levels of rapport and what stops rapport from happening.

I would like to quote from Cultural Somatics practitioner, Tada, who claims this is an Asian Practice, although he recognizes, Resmaa’s Cultural Somatics, as very similar. So we have multiple practitioners of Cultural Somatics, with emergent features. The focus of both practitioners is upon interoception. This focus overlaps considerably with Clean Language practice, which explores verbal and non-verbal communications and translates into self-generated metaphor. Clean Language and Cultural Somatics are very subtle practices that combine nicely with our trio’s intention to work with collective trauma.

"Instead of rapidly going back and forth between thinking and feeling, we might slow down that process, almost what feels like a grinding halt.

There we may find a place that is in between those two poles but is actually neither and both at once.

I will be honest that we may end up facing terror in this place.

For that, I have not much else than, hold on – stay in it as much as you can reasonably safely, with the reminder that nothing bad is actually happening in the present moment.

When we get past terror, we will likely feel something drop in our body. Find a different being, cradled in our pelvic bones.

This is our Hara. Make this a comfortable place."

This statement is very evocative. As a Clean Language practitioner, I can model his language and Resmaa’s language and contrast and compare with other models without getting lost in the terror.

In our work it seems we can draw upon these two different styles of doing Cultural Somatics ( Resmaa and Tada) and reflect upon Kearney, too. That would be to develop our own style as a trio. And if we go deeply into the clean practice we can arrive at something very similar but different and that is of great interest to me. We are seeking patterns that connect.

That the three of us can touch the traumatic without getting stuck is a sign of maturity. Can we find ways to re-stabilize our fragile coalitions and social justice movements in the midst of so much state sponsored violence?

At least, we three, have done our best and I expect we can always get better at this. Humility is a requirement as well as a comfort with 'I don’t know."

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A - Awkward “Anxiety & Excitement”

Hi,John
I felt the need to respond to Your recent post on “Healing the White Body Supremacy” in a Person to Person way because I wasn’t sure of the language expression I was going to bring forward; Here goes ,it basically has to do with Kearney’s Language Itself,it seems to play in a Key I resonate with.

Here’s some influences /examples:

Carnal Hemeneutics

Carnal Hermeneutics.docx (12.7 KB)

In The Wake of Trauma

In the Wake of Trauma.docx (12.2 KB)

As U Probably Attune to in a Clean Language Way , my first experience with “Verbal Language” was through a Speech Impediment & it has left scar tissue .To be very Clear I have come to relate to this scaring in a more Healthy-Healing way,sorta of coming to the Experience/Knowledge of my own “Navel” Being the Scar of coming to life within another Body(of the Female Form). This is the Notion that Kearney brings forward from our past which I find flows alongside the Work we are sharing. There’s a quote from Aristotle that seems to Vibe with your expression of Touch,“Touch has many differences”. Which is just as Valid & Necessary as Sight. “Flesh is a medium, not an organ.”… a favorite of mine “Flesh is a surface that is always deep…”

Octavio Paz “I touch you with my eyes/I watch you with my hands/I see you with my fingertips what my eyes touch.”
This seems to be what Healing Trauma is bringing back from within the Wound of Trauma a Wholeness that is Always with Us even if the “Touch of” is Un-felt.

Thank U John for Being a Pilgrim along the trail to EPO!
Peace,Care,Laughter

Sacredness

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“It is sometimes said that trauma remains with us in our cells, at a level beneath the analysis of memory and scars. As this volume argues, even this profound insight does not push far enough. As difficult as it may be to understand trauma and to deal with its reverberations, the process of trying to do so can be transformative–even hopeful.”-In the Wake of Trauma

And " Verbal Language"…and a Speech Impediment…and scar tissue…

I would like to hold all of these words in a wide embrace and wonder a bit about reading, writing and speech. All of these interfaces, folds in our vocal cords, flowing or broken speech, prose and poems, and the world wide web…and the web of the forest, the dirt, the birds vanishing quickly, polluted seas…

I am not at ease today as I am studying too many things. I am concentrating on a Quantum Mechanics module form an online course, as well as trying to stay on track with a novel I am reading by PKD and a lot of other projects and so I have to give attention to all of these projects up in the air, and it is like a juggler with lots of spinning plates. Some of the plates are crashing to the ground

The work that we started Healing White Body Supremacy a work that is eerie and full of risk and must arise organically. To come up with a personal theory about my own trauma becomes weirdly like a collective wound that has festered for too long.

Acting out with raised fists in the air, or gazing at one’s navel or talking with a paid professional who recommends a tranquiler-with all of these options I turn to books, to dreams, and to this online community of listening thinkers.

But fewer and fewer persons it seems are listening these days at this forum as I notice only Douglas ( out of the dozen regulars ) have offered a response, and that response is full of Doug’s own dignity as he acknowledge our struggle.

So, I am mindful of several audiences, and attention spans scattered, and the lack of rhythm. I miss sometimes the rhythms generated by organic thinkers thinking together. I am mindful of my own information dumping and try to avoid that and I also want to be aware of how much very good stuff is going on without my knowledge. You have consistently, Micheal, brought my attention to stuff I followed up on with head-heart-gut awareness. And this work we have done is the result of that research creation.

Having read Resmaa, as you recommended, I am saddened that so many of our colleagues here are not interested in these dark~~light musings upon our collective trauma. There seems little joint attention going on here. That is why I hoped to address this in a small gathering that is closed but have a recording that is open. This is a fragile coordination, and getting it right is not an option. Embracing our failure seems to be incredibly wise.

Having said all of that I am very glad we have used the digitized gadgetry the best way we know how in service of the analogue, the photo of faces long gone, the residue, the trace of a nightmare still fresh and very much alive in our streets and our flat screens.

So, I am open to whatever happens next and will assume a confidence not in my own capacity but in the wisdom of the trio, and perhaps quartet,if we include Douglas, and wonder about what happens next?

Although, I am aware of the tendency to dissociate, to check out, I am glad that I have found some allies here, who are able to catch the rhythms we offer each other. That is why I work so extensively with Clean Language protocols. It is a way of allowing another to have her own rhythm . This is not for everyone, as we live in a culture that is trying to make something out of nothing. And that culture is dying…and what happens next?

I imagine we could begin to imagine another future and another species that will not speak our language but who will have a chance because we heard them in the cracks and crevices and folds of our own speech…they are in a very real sense already here.

I hope this riff makes sense and thanks to all of those who have made this possible and may those that come after us forgive but never forget.

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”Decisive is the intensity with which the individuals live the new.” — Jean Gebser

Baby_Marceloedit

There’s a Death & A Birth Happening & Yes the Intensity is Up Close -Personal & Communal.What Else Is New,Been Happening this way since One of the Big Bangs!

Composting Our Fragmenting Life

Renunciation

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I have much to say in response to recent posts but unable to provide a proper response at this time. Hope to have something posted soon!

I will have an open week while the boys are out of the house during the first full week of October (5th-8th). This would be a great time for me to participate in a session if we can make it happen.

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I hope the family is doing well, Doug, as I know you have been doing some family therapy. I know you have a full schedule and this time you specify may work out fine. The Museum of Modern Art has reopened and Seth and I are planning a visit there. I will bring the topic up with him and perhaps find a fresh theme. Let us know about your insights into the Resmaa’s work. I would also like to focus on Cultural Somatics as the big circle, that includes Trauma as a smaller circle within the big circle. Each culture traumatizes those within its borders in a unique way and the cure is of course different for each culture. That we are moving now through many cultural landscapes, and some that have been dominated by other cultures , this is a raucous time of potential renewal. It is important to pull up weeds and also to remember to plant something. It is not obvious sometimes which task we are performing. Thanks again, Doug, for your attention.

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Mary Oliver poem, “Wild Geese”:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

What is the soft animal of our bodies? The soft animal might be cowering in fear, trying to find a place to hide. The soft animal could be baring its teeth, ready to bite at provocation. The soft animal could be settling down for the night, feeling content and at ease. How do we make room for the soft animal in us rather than what we sometimes do, which is to exile the soft animal if we don’t like what it’s feeling? Oliver says, “Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine”—this human suffering that connects all of us. It’s right there.

From Turning to the Present Moment of Racism

BY DOSHIN MAKO VOELKEL| SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

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