‘We’ are the New Shaman


In this Podcast, Tim Winton talks with Lauren Tenney from Ten Directions, creators of the Integral Facilitator Program. Tim and Lauren explore new developments, in their respective fields of practice, related to working with natural energies, patterns, and principles. This emergence is framed as a ‘New Shamanism’–a practice of getting back in touch with natural forces and how we might use them to organise ourselves to better resolve the challenges of an increasingly complex world. Lauren is a Senior Consultant, Editor, and Director of New Program Development at Ten Directions. She is a member of the Integral Facilitator training staff and a certified graduate of the Integral Facilitator Certificate Program. For the past ten years she has been immersed in the fields of human development, transformative learning, integrative systems, strategic communications and small business development. Lauren is experienced with many of today’s most innovative tools for transformation and collaboration, including: Immunity to Change, Sociocracy, Holacracy, The Natural Change Process, Evolving Worldviews, Way of Council, Cynefin Framework, Permaculture Design, and Integral Theory. As a facilitator, she loves helping people relate with more freedom and joy. Click here to find out more about her work with Ten Directions.

photo above by Nesstor CC BY 2.0 Sleep: the trees will hold your dreams

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1:15 Emergence of the Shamanistic Sensibility
2:10 Shamanism is a Very Loaded Term
2:40 Breakdown of the Rationalist Materialist Paradigm
3:30 Lifeforce Patterns and Principles of the Natural World
4:10 Understanding the Archetypal Forces of Nature
4:45 Diane Hamilton Mentions Shamanism in Her Work
6:20 Improving the Natural Self-Organising Force
7:30 The Issue of Cultural Appropriation
9:00 Are there Culturally Independent Traits of Shamanism
10:40 We're Westerners, We're White and We're Attracted
11:30 Extasy, the Lower World, Middle World, and the Higher World
12:20 Working with Energy, Patterns, and Principles
13:04 White Western Indigeneity
13:25 Organising around Principles and Archetypes
13:30 How Do We Bring Our Indigeneity Back into the Post Moder World
14:05 Crying Out for the New Shaman
15:30 Listing to the Natural World
16:10 Becoming Participants in a Living World
17:00 Being Free of Shoulds and Wants
17:30 Participatory Aliveness
18:00 Facing Limits: Why We Need a Central Commitment to Generative Health
19:15 Health Includes Dying
20:20 Scary Dimensions of Techno View
21:14 The Machine View Cannot Solve Our Challenges
21:45 Shifting from a Mechanistic Worldview to a Living Systems Culture
22:50 Polarity Emerging
23:50 What Does a Shaman Do When They're Dying?
24:00 Lauren Just Did that New Shamanist Thing
26:10 What Would Recognising Death Do to Our Ability to Be Creative in this Crisis
27:20 Stories are Inevitably About Development and Human Maturity
28:50 Death: A Giant Shot in the Arm of Maturity
32:20 Is Frank Underwood a Shaman? Is Trump?
33:50 Opportunism and Unconsciousness vs Conscious and for a Higher Purpose
36:30 What Is It that We are Bringing Alive?
37:30 Fixed vs Fluid: What's Welcome
30:30 Power and Politics
40:30 Participating in Systems that are Not Truth Inclusive
41:30 Tapping the Glass
43:00 The Activist Stance
43:30 The Yoghurt Metaphor
44:00 From Old School Mechanisms to Living Presence
44:40 We Can't Exclude Loss or Exclude Suffering
45:15 Agility in Polarity: a Systemic Dynamic Way
46:20 Do We Need A Different Way of Being?
47:00 The Invisible Subversive Move
47:45 Self-Organisation: The Bottom-Up Approach
49:05 Always Having the Choice About How to Engage
50:00 Mass Self-Organisation Changes Everything
50:50 A Worthy Place for Grief
52:00 Playing Hide and Seek with That
52:50 Utopian Optimism: Setting the Field
53:30 Letting the Life-Force Do Its Thing
54:00 Soil Preparation: Doing Your Work
54:20 Self as Instrument
54:40 Like a School of Fish: Moving as One
55:30 Where the Fecundity Lands
55:50 Life-Force Rising: Simple Principles + Deep Purpose
56:40 How Can We Be Free to Make the Decisions We Need to Make
57:30 Staying Touch with a Living World-Space
58:30 Don't Lose the Life-Force
59:00 The Field Effect: How Do We Create This Consciously
59:35 Taking Radical Responsibility for our Behaviour
1:00:30 Co-Creating the Story
1:00:50 Holding the View
1:02:05 The Indigeneity in All of Us
1:02:40 Key Themes
1:03:20 Death is the Underworld; Life is the Overworld
1:03:40 The Tree Archetype
1:04:08 Perhaps the New Shamanism is a Commitment to Live in Intimate Relationship with Both Death and Life
1:05:00 If We Were a Ball of Fish and That Was Our Commitment...

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  • Heinz Robert

    Great conversation! Thank you!

    • http://www.patterndynamics.net PatternDynamics

      Thanks Heinz. Lauren and I had a lot of fun doing it. I think we were both surprised at what emerged out of the conversation! What were some of the things that you liked best. I’d like to do more podcasts on this topic and I’m wondering what what might be interesting or useful for you.

      • Heinz Robert

        Hi Tim, I was attracted by the title and as you mentioned in the beginning I have similar experiences with Diane being able to sense what is needed in a group. I am into shamanic work, Circling and organizational leadership and this conversation helped me to connect some threads. My interest right now is the life-force (libido, eros, Kundalini…) and how that is influencing our daily interactions in teams. Started to research and write a book about this.

        • http://www.patterndynamics.net PatternDynamics

          Definitely some overlap then! I’m really curious about ways that these sorts of sensibilities can be brought into organisational leadership. My experience is that there can be quite a bit of resistance to unconventional notions and practices. I think Diane and the rest of the crew at Integral Facilitator are doing an excellent job of finding that way in. I’m interested in hearing more about your work. Keep us posted on your progress with the book!

          • Heinz Robert

            Unfortunately I am not able to participate any of the seminars of Integral Facilitation right now but I am in exchange with several people in the Integral realm about the topic of the book.

  • David MacLeod

    Very interesting discussion, Tim. It all seems very Gebserian to me, in terms of re-inhabiting the magical and mythical consciousness structures, without discarding the mental. Just this morning I read this passage from Gebser’s “The Ever-Present Origin”:
    “One of the preparations for this integration is that we withstand the power of the numinosum without rationalizing it. By this we do not intend to foster any kind of hubris; we have emphasized again and again that everything depends on ‘knowing’ when to respond actively and when passively, when to let things happen and when to make them happen, while hearkening to the magic events, correlating to the mythical, and taking into account the mental, thus giving an appropriate degree of direction to these magic and mythical events.” (p. 205)

    In this chapter Gebser also discusses the polarity of life and death in a way the supports what Lauren was saying.

    And then there’s the discussion of the possible shamanism of Donald Trump. Scott Preston has discussed this also in a few different ways at his “Chrysalis” blog.

    The Donald As Caligula
    “Mickunas, who is one of the translators of Jean Gebser’s Ever-Present Origin, was, like Gebser, most concerned with the reversion to the magical structure with the breakdown of the mental structure. “Technocratic
    shamanism” (which I’ve compared to the magician Klingsor in the Parsifal legend) is described, briefly, by Mickunas as follows: “..the fragmenting mental consciousness is supported by and is an expression of the magical consciousness. The latter pervades and dominates the metaphysics and ontology of modern reason and it is empowered to establish arbitrary rules for the mastery of the environment, including other humans” (“Magic and Technological Culture”, p. 125. My emphasis).

    So, we’ll speak to that “technocratic shamanism” in due course, to what Mickunas understands by “technocratic shamanism” and its social and political implications — particularly its connection to “fascism”, since the very word “fascism” also draws in meanings from the realm of magic and sorcery — a “fascinum” (or fascination) also being a “binding” power as magical spell, an enchantment… That is to say, propaganda as spell-casting.”
    https://longsworde.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/the-donald-and-caligula/

    Preston further discusses Technocratic Shamanism as deficient magical here:https://longsworde.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/technocratic-shamanism

    Candidate Trump and the New Normal is about Trump representing the breakdown of the mental-rational structure.
    https://longsworde.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/candidate-trump-and-the-new-normal/

    The Mental Meltdown and the Return of the Repressed.
    Preston sees the return of the repressed past structures as inevitable, but we can either do it in a healthy, integrated way, or in an un-healthy, unconscious way (which Trump demonstrates).

    “For Gebser, of course, the return of the repressed is both a highly structured and yet also a choatic process — the “double-movement” as he calls it. The “irruption” of the ancient forces represented in the magical, the mythical, and even the archaic consciousness structures which he calls “presentiation”. (“Presentiation” might be considered equivalent to “return of the repressed”, while “distantiation” — or “progression” — is similar to suppression or repression). Against this return of the repressed, rationalism (or the perspectival, mental-rational consciousness structure, or Urizenic Man) is in a losing battle to preserve command and control. The task as Gebser sees it, is not repression, but to integrate the return of the repressed into a new psychic whole, a new structure — the integral structure of consciousness. This was also Blake’s apocalyptic vision for the “New Age” — Albion is his symbol of the Zoas re-integrated in a psychic whole.”
    https://longsworde.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/the-mental-meltdown-as-return-of-the-repressed/

    See also Preston’s post on Shamans, Satyrs and Cyborgs
    https://longsworde.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/shamans-satyrs-and-cyborgs/

    And finally his latest post this morning on The Technological System as Dream and Psychodrama
    https://longsworde.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/the-technological-system-as-dream-and-psychodrama/

    • http://www.patterndynamics.net PatternDynamics

      Hi David. Thanks for posting such great comment. Lots to investigate there. I’m going to take some time to go through these resources. I agree generally regarding the resonance with Gebser’s work in this podcast.

      I especially like the passage above from Gebser: “when to respond actively and when passively, when to let things happen and when to make them happen”. This represents such a departure from the mental-rational way of prediction and control. Gebser’s view of the Integral/aperspectival fits with the general thermodynamic/systems/complexity approach, but it takes it well and truly outside of the linear scientist approach and widens it to include aspects of the human experience that rationally grounded, materialist science struggles to cope with.

      The idea that incorporating the magic and mythic (and archaic) modes of consciousness is necessary for meeting the challenges of an increasingly complex world is fascinating. Perhaps we should do a PD podcast episode on that theme?

      Tim

  • Jules

    Nice one Tim, I was struck by the connection in your discussion to the act of ‘naming’ or ‘pointing out’ that others have picked up on. Here’s an interesting passage from Bourdieu on this topic:

    “It becomes clear why one of the elementary forms of political power, in many archaic societies, consisted in the quasi-magical power to name and to make-exist by virtue of naming. Thus in traditional Kabylia, the function of making-explicit and the work of symbolic production that the poets per- formed, particularly in crisis situations, when the meaning of the world slips away, conferred on them major political functions, those of the warlord or ambassador. But with the growing differentiation of the social world and the constitution of relatively autonomous fields, the work of producing and imposing meaning is carried on in and through the struggles within the field of cultural production (particularly the political sub-field); it becomes the particular concern, the specific interest, of the professional producers of objectified representations of the social world or, more precisely, of methods of objectification.” (Bourdieu, The Social Space and the Genesis of Groups)

    Hannah Arendt also talked about the social power of naming in her phrase – ‘a dog with a name has a better chance of survival than a stray dog’ (Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism)

    • http://www.patterndynamics.net PatternDynamics

      Thanks, Jules. I’ve had a look at the Bourdieu paper you sent through. Very interesting, especially in relation to the topic of this podcast. What I find really interesting in relation to Bourdieu’s work is the notion that this type of cultural production via signification can be employed as a form of propaganda. What do you think is the opposite, more generative form of this method–the antidote to propaganda, if you like?