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Psychological Projection in Mindells Psychology

And Implications for Group Projective Dream Work


By Torrey Byles February 25, 2010 Working with Entanglement Arnold Mindells psychology marries the Western traditions of depth psychology, quantum physics with the Eastern and indigenous traditions of interconnectedness and unus mundus.1 At the core of Mindells cosmology and metaphysics, is a sentient universe. Everything is aware. As this universe self-reflects, consciousness emerges, including consciousness of the person as being separate from everything else. In the Western tradition of psychology, the focus has been, according to Mindell, on consciousness, which deals with parts and their connection to one another according to some socially ordained convention around parts and wholes. Consciousness is being able to verbally articulate ones awareness. The indigenous and Eastern traditions, since they tie more directly into the sentient wholeness of the cosmos, have developed practices around what Mindell calls lucidity. Lucidity of sentient awareness is feeling into the oneness, in the subtle experience and interconnectedness of all things, in the similarity between things and in feeling related to all things. P. 38, Dreaming While Awake Lucidity is a mode of awareness that is preverbal. Consciousness and lucidity are two different levels of awareness. P. 36, Mindell, Dreaming While Awake. Within this broad framework, Mindell locates projection. Projection is a psychological term that refers to onesidedly attributing your own feelings, ideas, and attitudes to other people or objects especially externalizing blame, guilt, or responsibility. (Mindell, Dreaming While Awake, p. 144) Mindell maintains that projection and related concepts (such as transference, countertransference, rank, and edge) are distinctions that come about only in the tradition of Western psychology with its consciousness of parts (and what I refer to as a subjectobject epistemology of reality more on this below). These distinctions assume that people are wholly separate things.
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Mindell holds a masters degree in physics from MIT, a PhD in Psychology from Union Institute, Ohio, a Diploma from the Jung Institute, Switzerland, and, since the 1970s, has worked with non-Western shamans.

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Projection is based on the assumption that who you are is separable from the other person. P. 144, Dreaming While Awake. The social sciences speak of inner self, relationship, and group as if these were phenomena that could be separated. Inner self, relationships and the world are all aspects of the same community process. P. 66, Sitting in the Fire Thus, Mindell seems to be saying that to consider statements made by other persons as projections of their own inner psyche, is itself a projection. It is a projection of the Western, Cartesian, individualist tradition with its subject-object split. By noticing that someone is making a projection, I am asserting my individuality and separateness. Conversely, by recognizing my statement about another person as being a projection is an act, on my part, of respecting the other persons difference and individuality as separate from me. For certain purposes those related to self-determination, autonomy and freedom this is empowering. For other purposes such as seeing our essential sameness and interconnection which could ground a greater intimacy, wholeness, compassion and feeling one with the universe this is debilitating and unsettling. Mindell does not dismiss projection as, somehow, not real or that it is not a problem in relationships. Quite the opposite. Working with entanglement [including projection], he says, is a great challenge to awareness. P. 147, Dreaming While Awake Mindell uses the term entanglement, invented by the quantum physicists, to refer to the inability to differentiate parts from each other and the interconnection of everything. Consciousness has trouble comprehending entanglement. It is not always possible to disentangle exactly what is projection, countertransference, or dreaming up. These processes are entangled because of the Dreaming [the interconnected] background. P. 147, Dreaming While Awake. Entanglement is the great issue of our time, says Mindell. The way to deal with it, according to Mindell, is to be lucid of the wholeness or, in my own words, of the field in which you and the other exist. Being lucid downplays your sense of separateness. It is a letting go of identifying the constituent parts of the field and letting the field evolve

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and, in its own time, find a resolution. This is in part why Mindell calls his psychology, process work or process oriented psychology. Mindells Psychology: Consciousness, Lucidity, and Process I like to call the heart of the Western tradition that Mindell speaks to when he mentions consciousness as that of the separatist epistemology of subject-object. In this paradigm there is a subject, a perceiving person, and there is an object or objects, which is everything in the world, including other people that the person perceives. The subject is separate from the objects. The subject contains inner psychic phenomena, such as concepts, ideas, feelings consciousness. The object is outside and external to the subject, but interiorly sensed by it. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) is the convenient historical symbol used to date and identify this subject-object epistemology. It is within this epistemology of the subject separate from the object, according to Mindell, that the problem of bias, prejudice and projection show up. Bias, prejudice and projection are where the person will see things in his or her world that reflect inner realities. The whole goal of Western science, philosophy and psychology is to find a non distorted representation in the mind of the subject for the objects in his or her world. For the Westerner, this is the goal of sound knowledge and healthy relationships. But the whole issue of the individual projecting onto another or otherwise having a perception of the other that is influenced by his or her inner feelings and thoughts, etc. is an artifact of the subject-object epistemology of the Western mind. Thus, to reduce or eliminate projection, get rid of this epistemology. An alternative to the Cartesian subject-object epistemology, is where there is no separateness between subject and object. This is the Eastern and indigenous cosmology that Mindell integrates into his psychology. He further explains it using concepts of entanglement, non-locality and unified fields of Western quantum physics. Here, awareness comes out of a oneness and interconnectedness of all things. A persons perception is a localized reflection of an all encompassing one world, unus mundus, supra mind, cosmic consciousness, the Dreaming (as in Aboriginal worldview of Australia), the Tao or any other of many, many names. This view correlates to the indigenous worldview of animism (so called by Westerners), to Vedic/Hindu concepts of Shiva-Brahmin-Vishnu, to God as immanence, to the quantum physics concept of entanglement. This view more effectively explains psychic, extrasensory, psi phenomena than the subject-object view. It is behind divination and astrology. It includes Tarnas archetypal causality and Jungs synchronicity. In the unus mundus world, the issue of projection never shows up.

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Mindell distinguishes lucidity and consciousness as different levels of awareness. P. 36, Mindell, Dreaming While Awake. Lucidity means awareness of things arising into your consciousness before they can be named or recognized as some thing or another. Lucidity, in Mindells system, occurs not just in dreams but during waking consciousness too. It is what the Buddhists talk about in the Abhidhamma, which analyzes the 17 to 45 stages or moments during the process of observation. Lucidity is that attention to non speech ripe events such as body sensations, unusual/synchronicities and even nighttime dreams. Lucidity is intuitively feeling into and noticing things coming into ones perception. It is non-dual awareness.2 It is the attention that precedes hearing or seeing anything. P. 48, Dreaming While Awake. Lucidity is the attention to that liminal realm where undifferentiated sensation starts to get interpreted by higher-order cognitive function and turned into things that are identifiable to ones consciousness. It is the perceptual process that turns events into experiences. It is awareness of sentient experience.3 Sentient experiences are such things as body sensations (and symptoms), night time dreams, dj vu and synchronistic events, etc. Western psychology refers to sentient experiences simply as the unconscious. P. 37, Dreaming While Awake. Lucidity of sentient awareness is feeling into the oneness, in the subtle experience and interconnectedness of all things, in the similarity between things and in feeling related to all things. P. 38, Dreaming While Awake By contrast, Consciousness, in Mindells system, deals with parts and with their connection to one another according to some socially ordained convention around parts and wholes. Consciousness is a consensus reality of parts and wholes. It is the ability to observe parts of consensus reality and parts of dreams and to understand these parts as aspects of your self. P.36, Dreaming While Awake. Consciousness, in Mindells system, is more specific than simply being aware of something within oneself or of something external. Enlightenment means simultaneous lucidity and consciousness. It is having a sense of the origin of all things and simultaneously living with full awareness of the
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It is important to remember that duality means not only two, but many. Non-dual means feeling the unity within diversity and heterogeneity. 3 Lucidity, to Mindell, does not only refer to being aware that one is dreaming while one dreams (a la Stephen La Berge, et al). One can be lucid while awake. It is the awareness of things coming into manifestation.

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amazing diversity of this world. P. 36, Dreaming While Awake. Lucidity of sentient experiences and consciousness of parts is a cornerstone of a new psychology that connects spiritual, meditative, and Aboriginal traditions with socially oriented, parts-oriented thinking. Lucidity deals with sentient experience, while consciousness is connected to everything that unfolds from sentient experience. P. 36, Dreaming While Awake Individuality and the Group Mindell says that projection is a phenomenon that occurs when ones perceptual lens is under the influence of the Western subject-object epistemology. He says that projection does not really show up in other wisdom traditions, including indigenous shamanism, Taoism, Buddhism and other Eastern traditions. These other traditions go by, what I call, a field epistemology. Mindell makes an important reflection and critique of the tradition of individualism that pervades Western philosophy, science, culture and psychology. This is an important reflection, in my opinion. To show this important bias of psychology itself is helpful because the bias has created its own problem (viz. projection) and as long as psychology is not self aware of its bias, it will never resolve this problem. Western thinking is mainly cognitive. It trains us to think in terms of parts and supports individuality. In contrast, so-called Eastern orientations usually view developing your sense of individuality within a group as a sign of unconsciousness. If I stand out or speak up as an individual in Eastern traditions, others might consider me in need of learning more about feeling the group atmospheres Western traditions focus on strengthening the little you, or the ego. The focus is on valuing your identity and difference of relationship to others. When you are in Western mode of awareness, you tend to marginalize sentient experience. P. 38, Dreaming While Awake In Eastern and indigenous traditions, by contrast, you sense or witness the whole socialecological field in which you exist. When you are in an Eastern mode, you tend to marginalize the sense of being an individual in the midst of a field. [In Eastern mode,] you might marginalize yourself and others who are not the leaders. P. 38, Dreaming While Awake

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Mindell warns about taking too strong of a Western psychological orientation and its sense of personal separateness. The individual and personal sense of individuation marginalizes the effect of the community you are living in. p. 218, Dreaming While Awake The concept of self-development or individuation works best if it is linked to a given consensus reality, since your development depends on the interaction, difference, and similarity between you and your community or world. Individuation is a useful term, but it is insufficiently relativistic. P. 218 Dreaming While Awake Mindell criticizes even as universally humanistic a psychologist as Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) and accuses him of being overtly Euro-centric in his outlook. Mindell shows that Maslows precept that a self actualized person transcends his own culture.and resists enculturation (pp. 11-12, Toward a Psychology of Being.) is racist. Enculturalization is what mainstream groups always ask of marginalized groups, says Mindell p. 143, Sitting in the Fire. This is what has always been legally forced on or recommended to women, Native Americans, people of color, gays and lesbians. P. 142 Sitting in the Fire If individuals choose on their own, without pressure from the outside world, to leave their group, that is one thing, but asking people to resist their culture is racism. P. 143. Sitting in the Fire. Mindell then points out that Maslows concept of transcending ones culture is best if applied by mainstream people to their, the mainstream culture. Many mainstream people are closed to other cultures and are deathly afraid of them. Mainstream white people must learn to appreciate their own, but also become less a member of their social group and open up to others to solve the worlds problems. P. 143 Sitting in the Fire Much of todays psychology and psychiatry serves as a tool for mainstream people to maintain the status quo. These sciences have been developed largely by white mainstream people, who enjoy the privileges of being educated and economically safe. That is why nave and unconsciousness racism permeates psychological theory and why therapy still emphasizes the individual and

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neglects political, social and community reality. P. 143, Sitting in the Fire. So Mindell presents a view of human development that is both individualistic and field oriented at the same time. Enlightenment requires being conscious of your individuality (family of origin, nature of your ego, your vulnerabilities, cultural background, how much power or not that your culture has, etc.) while at the same time being lucid (being aware of the whole sentient field in which I am experiencing in the moment and witnessing the thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise within my awareness). Healthy living, according to Mindell, is, being at the center of the story you are in, lucid of the field and conscious of the parts. P. 230 Dreaming While Awake Getting answers to questions [i.e. being conscious] is a necessary but unstable path of happiness and misery. It is human, but less sustainable than getting to the sentient essence by knowing all the parts, being them, and creating them [i.e. being lucid]. If you can remain in contact with the sentient essence while you go through your everyday life, then you know who You are. P. 231, Dreaming While Awake. But how does one deal with projection and those times when you could swear the other person is a real jerk!? Or when you put the other on a pedestal and consider yourself not worthy? Projection in Mindells Psychology In his book Dreaming While Awake, Mindell gives a lot of attention to psychological projection in its various guises (e.g. projection, transference, rank, dreaming up, edge work, see p. 153 for list). The entire book is about methods of consciousness and lucidity to work with the essential entanglement of all phenomena in the cosmos. He devotes three separate chapters on aspects of entanglement in relationships, including projection (chapters 10, 11 and 12; which address, respectively, healing touch, addictions, and personal relationships proper). The underlying interconnection of all things sets up Mindells framework for what projection is and how to deal with it. He says that at the quantum level, two people are entangled and relationships are indivisible. He calls this homosentience, which is reflecting sameness. P. 178, Dreaming While Awake.

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When a person sees something in another when something in the other catches a persons attention it is actually some common, same phenomenon resonating with itself. I am attracted by myself in you, he says. P. 179, Dreaming While Awake Mindell says this kind of projection is, in fact, the basis for all perception: Everything that [catches your attention], whether it comes from a tree, a rock, or a person; everything that precedes observations, projections, and everyday reactions was first the Dreaming [the sentient, underlying wholeness of the universe], which then enfolded. P. 179-180. Dreaming While Awake. The objects and people that attract and disgust you are youEverything you look at is your extended Self or community. P. 182. Dreaming While Awake. To paraphrase, Mindell recommends that to deal with projection, be lucid to the sentient field of the universe, and notice the sameness, the homosentience, that leads to seeing some aspect of yourself in the other person. Working with the sentient background to relationships and groups is preventative relationship medicine, he says. P. 180, Dreaming While Awake. If you catch the roots of experience, you reduce the dramatic nature of projections. Marginalizing your experiences [i.e. not staying lucid to the field] is the beginning of projection. Most explosive and difficult situations in relationships could have been ameliorated if you remembered the unbroken wholeness that connects us. P. 180, Dreaming While Awake. Differences and Sameness in Relationships Projection, with its implied individualistic personal psychology, and group consensus and collective unity are connected in a very profound way in Mindells psychology. On one level, every person is different and unique. From this diversity, consciousness is expanded. We learn from each other distinctions and discernments of parts and wholes, including and especially about each other in relation to each other. On another level, everything in the universe comes from the same source, essence and is inherently interconnected and one. Dwelling too much on differences will blind us to our commonality.

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In relationship, you need to go the next step which involves discovering your differentness and simultaneously discovering your sameness, p. 183, Dreaming While Awake. It is important to realize and stand for our differences. [This is an act of consciousness.] Yet, becoming conscious only of our consensus reality viewpoints and their political and social reality can marginalize the Dreaming [the interconnected oneness of us all]. P. 182, Dreaming While Awake. History is the story of the struggle between difference and sameness, diversity and oneness. Consensus reality and non-consensus reality are two levels of reality that have been in an eternal struggle. Most of us are not aware enough of diversity in consensus reality or sufficiently lucid of our common Dreaming. P. 182, Dreaming While Awake. A sentient attitude involves the dissolution of separateness. P. 211, Dreaming While Awake. Yet, marginalization of our sentient experience generates our consciousness of diversity. P. 182, Dreaming While Awake It is the mystical view (lucidity) that is the antidote to projection, according to Mindell. Observe projection early on, he recommends. Try to notice projection as it starts flirting with your ego, as it starts to arise in your awareness. Be lucid when you first start sensing it. Welcome the chance of being tempted to project on others as a opportunity to discover some sameness, considered from another angle. The other angle is your higher Self, the big You. Mindell recommends to: be courageous in everyday contact and conversation; switch to Dreaming [lucidity; awareness of the sentient oneness]. Change the level of your communication; get to the sentient essence of your conversation. Speak about the atmosphere and the flirts. Take relationship as an opportunity. P. 183, Dreaming While Awake. Without lucidity, relationship problems [including projection] will never be completely resolvable, and life and death will always remain the great dividers. With lucidity, however, there is no separation or death. You or

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your friend can never be parted because you are both always just arriving P. 184, Dreaming While Awake. Implications for Groups and Communities Obviously, Mindells balance between consciousness and lucidity has implications for politics, social action and consensus. You need to practice both lucidity (no separation) and consciousness (recognizing the diversity), he says. This is a delicate dance and is why process, rather than final state is a core concept in Mindells psychology. The detached and mystic experience of lucidity, the feeling that you are the other, can, without consciousness, make you oblivious to conflict. This is why Marx called religion the opiate of the people. By focusing on eternity, you can easily skip the problems of the day. Many mystics tend to look down on discord and opposition, implying something is wrong with the people involved. P. 185, Dreaming While Awake Surviving and resolving severe conflict occurs most rapidly if you are simultaneously lucid about the Dreaming and conscious of the diversity that arises in connection with it. Enlightenment is indeed lucidity and consciousness Alone, I am not enlightened, but together with you, we have a chance. P. 186, Dreaming While Awake. Consensus has at least three phases: it can be a state, a goal, or a kind of awareness. P. 194, Sitting in the Fire. Work in the world social activism, including local governance according to Mindell, needs more than the state or goal of consensus. It requires teamwork around the process of awareness. P. 195, Sitting in the Fire. So, in Mindells system, process is all important. Process is awareness and consensus. Furthermore, the group facilitator, according to Mindell, must be very adept at process. Here, Mindell favors eldership over leadership. Leaders know how to push for consensus. The multicultural elder, however, is spiritual. By focusing on awareness [which is simultaneous consciousness and lucidity] an elder makes something magical happen. Unexpected solutions appear at the right moment. P. 195, Sitting in the Fire.

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Elders are individuals who can function effectively in the group that has power and, at the same time, in the group that has consciousness [typically marginalized people who are aware that they dont have power and are different]. [Elders] support the awareness process which is more than dialogue. P. 65-66, Sitting in the Fire. Democracy cannot be achieved if it does not become deeper, if we do not notice and bring forward and process our egotism, greed and hunger for power. If we merely inhibit them, we recapitulate the origins of every revolution throughout historyThe startling message is: respect egotism, bring it out. At the same time, honor our love for one another. Let the great forces meet. Bring the bigotry and community, greed and love forward and sit with them in the fire. [They] will consistently bring us something new and unexpected. This new thing is community. P. 179, Sitting in the Fire. And finally, Mindell advises the elder-facilitator of groups that, Staying lucid, and extending your self definition to include the sentient wholeness of the situation, is hard to do because when you get into tense situations, everyone becomes fascinated with consciousness and the overtly polarized diversity situation. To do world work you need a lot of inner discipline, practice, and meditation. One without the other is unsustainable. P. 189, Dreaming While Awake. Processwork and Group Projective Dreamwork Mindell was trained at the Jungian Institute in Zurich and with close to 50 years of experience as a therapist, he is quite knowledgeable of many approaches to working with dreams. Still, he cautions about being too interpretive around dreams. He considers interpretation as risking the loss of connection to the sentient and ultimately ineffable unus mundus. The advantage of interpreting is that you get an immediate value in consensus reality of what has been missing in everyday life. The disadvantage is that you think of consensus reality as the basic ground of life and forget that consensus reality is only a dock, a landing place floating in the water. P. 521, Quantum Mind

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Although the association method is helpful as long as you remain in consensus reality, it does not help you when you are stuck in the water, moody, unhappy when you are unable to be an objective consensus-reality observer. A further difficulty that arises from associating and interpreting is that you focus only on dream statements and not on the dreaming process happening in the moment. As a result, your identity develops in a stepwise fashion from day to day rather than in a continuous fashion through constant contact with non-consensus reality processes. P. 521. Quantum Mind. True to his concept of enlightenment as being a blend of consciousness and lucidity, Mindell recommends a blended approach to dreams. To be conscious of a dreams associations to ones personal identity, the dreamer considers the dream from a consensus-reality viewpoint. This involves seeking intellectual meaning of the dream and its images. It involves making associations and interpretations of dream content symbols. I suspect that Mindell would consider the group projective process as falling within this style of dream work. To be lucid about a dream, the dreamer dives into the essence and feeling sense of the dream and gets inside it. The dreamer stays within the non-consensus reality of his or her dream and sees what happens. He or she sees what else comes up in the process. Perhaps new insights or issues surface that were not immediately on the surface of the dream imagery. Both approaches are valid, says Mindell, although his heart, I believe, is with staying in a more mystical, and non-ordinary state of consciousness. Dont analyze and interpret too much. Go into the dream and let it unfold, he would say. (Mindell offers an exercise on pp. 521-522 of Quantum Mind that blends interpreting and lucidly re-experiencing the dream.) Interpreting or lucidly re-experiencing the dream: both or one or the other can lead to the same insights, according to Mindell. The interconnected wholeness and ongoing unfoldment of the cosmos is what generates our night time dreams just as much as it generates our bodily experience and awareness moment to moment. Thus, we have a choice: we can stop and talk about the dream you had last night; or, we can step into the ongoing quantum unfoldment, process mind that is generating everything that we are currently experiencing. Either way, we will become aware of whatever is happening in this quantum field. Mindell gives an example of this from his own personal experience. When he was training to be a therapist at the Jungian Institute, he brought the same dream to three different analysts at different times. The first analyst, Marie von Franz, approached the

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dream from an interpretive standpoint. The other two analysts, Barbara Hannah and Franz Ricklin, never directly talked about the dream. Instead, each of them, after Mindell recounted the dream for them, went off into their own idiosyncratic lucid state. Hannah, for example, noticed Mindells funny looking shoes and started talking about them. Ricklin went off on a digression about personal relationship problems that he was facing! Nevertheless, all three analysts, in process with Mindell, came to the same conclusion: that Mindell was becoming more European in his outlook. Mindell claims that this demonstrates that the larger unus mundus consciousness field (which Mindell often refers to as the dreaming) generates everything that catches our attention including seemingly trivial perceptions (e.g. shoes), night time dreams, body symptoms, odd occurrences (viz. synchronicities), dj vu feelings, and so forth. A person need not exclusively focus on interpreting dreams only, but instead, simply be more lucidly aware of the dreaming field. All methods lead to the same place. The dreaming process is multi-channeled, he says. It does not appear only in dreams, but with everything you do that flirts with you or with othersThe dreaming process itself interprets dreams. (p. 528, Quantum Mind). To me, this is a corollary to the principle of the group-projective process that no dream has a single meaning. Just as one dream has multiple meanings, so too does the dreaming process at any moment have multiple or consistent expressions of the same meaning and insight but through different channels and perceptual modalities of the dreamer. Mindells distinction between consensus and non-consensus reality is important in the larger scheme of dealing with night-time dreams. Noticing dreams is important to self awareness. Yet self awareness is more than simply being able to speak about your individual identity in consensus-reality terms. It is jumping into the flow and dancing with the larger dreaming consciousness field. The consensus-reality view, as Mindell describes it, is the one that stands on a bridge and points to the river of sentient experience, including dreamingThis view sees water but stays clear of it. To know that river, you must get off the bridge and jump in, swim, spin and whirl about. Then you realize that the ideas of the conscious and unconscious, observer and particle, physics and psychology, therapist and dream, indeed, all consensus reality terms, are descriptions that can keep you from living. P. 529, Quantum Mind. When you connect to the non-consensus reality world, you sense that you are dealing with dreaming, the basic

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substance of the universe. Without this connection, the material world feels as if it has no life of its own. P. 529, Quantum Mind Working with dreaming is a shamanic art and science in constant need of updating. Yet, beneath those many psychological and shamanic skills lies the wisdom of the heart, which embraces the sentient world that flirts with your attentionIn contrast, consensus reality paths are full of information, yet they can leave you numb or make you curse existence. The path of heart is instantaneous; it makes you feel that every day is the most remarkable one, every second, all day long. P. 530, Quantum Mind My thoughts I dont think that Mindell has adequately experienced the group projective dream process. His comments against dream interpretation, per se, seem to presuppose a social context of a therapist finding a single interpretation of a dream for a client.4 Group dream interpretation is different from this. Among other differences, many people (not just two) are involved; and multiple levels of meaning (not just one) are held simultaneously5. My experience of projective group dream work is that it is a process for giving voice words to a collective consciousness. The process is not only for the benefit and enlightenment of the individual person who has a dream. All members of the group may experience an aha of self recognition, even working someone elses dream. Moreover, an important part of that self recognition is the recognition that, I am a part of a single, unus mundus, collective consciousness that is happening right now. A group of individuals gathers. By reflecting and projecting on a single individuals dream, each member of the group co-creates and experiences a sense of common consciousness. Part of this consciousness is a consensus reality, in that each persons verbal interpretations and statements have registered with the other members. Another part of this collective consciousness is non consensual. This latter part is produced by each member using feeling and intuition to (1) listen to the dreamers report of the dream and experience the dream as if it were her own; and (2) speak to the group, a report of that experience. While the intellect is employed and linguistic statements are made, and thereby a consensus reality is made in the moment, there is also a non-verbal, non-ordinary and shamanic feeling that everyone is experiencing as well. Each person of the group no doubt has a different experience of it, and any verbal description would still elude the essence of the experience. Thus, even while speaking in consensus-reality terms to each
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Although Mindell recognizes that there are many ways to work with dreams, including presumably groups. 5 For more details on the singular practice of group dreamwork, see my paper, Hermeneutics and Group Dream Work.

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other, each person still has a non-consensus dimension of the group experience. This non consensus dimension, even though uniquely experienced by each member, is nonetheless a single, common field of consciousness that animates the awareness of each member. This is a shamanic experience of a collective consciousness. Here the dream group member is both verbally articulate (conscious in Mindells terminology) while at the same time sentiently experiencing a larger interconnection with everyone else and the larger non-human field (lucid in Mindells terminology). Granted, this is the ideal of the group projective process. It does not always happen this way. Group discussions can slip into a lot of cookbook, over-analyzed and silly interpretations. Persons can fall into grandstanding. It is a matter of the integrity of each person in the group to stay as intuitive and medium-istic as possible. I believe that explicit, up-front clarification to dream group members and potential members about the potential for a shamanic experience of a collective consciousness will help distinguish the projective dream-group process from other processes, particularly those that are heavy on interpretation. The code of ethics of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) warns that the group process is not intended to be a substitute for therapy. Nonetheless, an individual can get a lot of personal insight therapy through the group process. The IASD caveat is important especially for the many people who are attracted to the group process for this, the personal aspect. Similarly, for those people who might conclude that the group projective process is only a mental-cognitive and interpretive exercise, I suggest making a couple of adjustments. First, I will expressly state (like the IASD code distinguishing dream groups from therapy) that group dream work is not only an interpretive process. It can be a shamanic, non-ordinary experience of sentient awareness, even in the midst of verbal discussion. It may not always happen, it may happen to some members of the group but not others, and it may not be the groups intention so that if it happens, it is marginalized by the group. But it is an important effect and worth cultivating. Second, I will point out to the group that in addition to getting clarity and insight regarding ones personal life, the group dream work process generates an awareness of a collective and transpersonal consciousness. This stems not only from the collective and transpersonal aspects of an individuals dream content, but the group process itself. Indeed, it is the group process itself that best unfolds these collective and transpersonal aspects of any one individuals dream better than one-to-one therapy, working on ones dreams alone, or in other less social approaches. Third, I will encourage protocols and practices that will help dream-group members shamanically access this non-consensus yet shared reality. Two of these with which I am familiar are (1) Gestalt-style inquiry to the dreamer of specific images, persons or objects

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within the dream (i.e. letting things in the dream talk and answer questions posed to them) and (2) dream theatre. Both of these techniques, which can take place in the group setting, allow the dreamer and members of the group to dive into the dream itself and lucidly unfold it into new directions. As such, this upholds Mindells wish to lucidly go into the dreaming field itself, and not only talk about it in a detached, cerebral way. Conclusion In this report, Ive attempted to lay out the theoretical framework of Mindells processwork psychology while giving special attention to his take on projection. I have just returned from a retreat by Mindell and his wife which I enjoyed tremendously. I believe Mindell provides the greatest integration of Western science, eastern and indigenous wisdom traditions that I have ever seen. He has done it in a way that is profoundly useful and practical. His notions of deep democracy and ecological, earthbased psychology are right on target. I have not seen any other philosophy that embraces these necessary notions in such a grounded, accessible, sensible and reasonable way. I look forward to studying Mindell further and incorporating his psychology and shamanic art and science into my own. Bibliography Byles, Torrey. Hermeneutics and Group Dream Work. 2006. (Published in 2007 by the Adlerian Society (UK) and the Institute for Individual Psychology, Adlerian Year Book 2007. pp. 109-137.) Maslow, Abraham. Toward a Psychology of Being. Second Edition Paperback. Litton Educational Publishing. 1968. Mindell, Arnold. Dreaming While Awake: Techniques for 24-Hour Lucid Dreaming. Hampton Roads Publishing Company. 2000. _____________. Quantum Mind:The Edge Between Physics and Psychology. Lao Tse Press. 2000. _____________. Sitting in the Fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity. Lao Tse Press. 1995. _____________. The Shamans Body: A New Shamanism for Transforming Health, Relationships, and the Community. Harper San Francisco. 1993. Arnold and Amy Mindells website: http://www.aamindell.net/

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