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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

Existential Phenomenological Psychotherapy–“Inventiveness”– Part 1

Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D., Editor

This will never come if you don’t practice it.  You have to practice being in it.  You feel it in another, people and animals.  If you hold it with someone, out of that resonance, it becomes bigger and more visible.  You can even go to sleep in it.  When you wake up you can wake up in it or when you wake up, sense it.  Am I in it right now?  You feel it before you click into all of the stuff of the day.  This self soothing -function operates nicely in the field.  It does have its own intensity and that takes a little getting used to.  This is a skill like any other skill.  You have to really like it though.  It’s a skill if you really like it, it comes towards you.  If you really hate it, it will not come towards you.  It’s alive, it’s not a thing.  So if you really like it, it will come towards you like any sentient creature.  If you think it is bizarre, it won’t come towards you.  If it’s too mysterious for you, it will remain far away.  It’s sort of like a pet.  If you have affection for it, it will come towards you.  What you think about it means a lot, just like with pets.  The best way to think about the innate field of awareness is as a pet.  For some it will be a dog and others a cat.  It appears and disappears.  Sometimes if feels like a good time friend:  it’s there when things are really great.  Something bad goes down and you can’t find the damn thing!  Hey, what happened -- just when you need it the most?  If you make it too religious, the conditions for it to appear to you and manifest will be too much because you are not going to be good enough, pure enough or holy enough.  So whatever condition you place on it, it will comply with.  If you put conditions like religious conditions on it, you better pray really hard.  It still won’t come.  Begging doesn’t work.  It is a phenomenon unto itself.  If you like it, it likes you.  If you can feel it in another person, it will rise up automatically in your body.  It likes friends.  If you place no conditions on it, that is the best.  You can be anything, anywhere, and then this wonderful immanence is in you.  It’s not extrinsic, you can’t quite see it, but it begins to manifest.  There is no intervening variable with this.   If you think that, you won’t find it.  There is no intervening variable between you and the manifestation of awareness – no go between.  And it’s true, working with another person helps it come forth and manifest but if you really think the other person is doing it, it actually manifests in the other person but not in you. 

Manifestation of awareness doesn’t depend on values.  Bad people, rats can have manifestation of awareness.  Sometimes to be a successful rat person you have to be in awareness, or you are dead.  So they cultivate it.  If you equate it with goodness and you are a very good person, it may or may not appear.  It’s without prejudice in a certain way.  The least prejudice we have, the least condition, it comes forth.  We bring it forth –  our own awareness.  It’s not a thought.  It is not an affect.  It is not a sensation or a memory.  It’s not even a fantasy.  But fantasies and thoughts and affects are actually configurations of it.  So in a certain way, if you can enter a thought or affect or enter any fantasy, you may bring it forth that way.  That is a little tricky because we are so seduced by the content of thought.  We go with the content and not the configuration of it.  It’s intrinsically healing also.  All of that integration stuff we’ve been talking about, you can forget about it.  All the stuff we covered yesterday is actually useful, but not necessary.  If a person can simply be in the field, even just be in it with another person or group of people and just really hold it, enter it and deepen it, all that stuff we talked about takes place automatically, including archetypes and the whole thing.  Just holding it with another person… it must be lonely at some level because it really does like other people.  I’m rather unhappy about that myself!  But I have to overcome a few prejudices this life!  If you are in it, the whole thing takes place relatively automatically, but you have to be in it.  As soon as you have anger and you think, I’m angry and I can’t be in the field, at that point the prejudice reduces the field to zero.  If you are unprejudiced then everything is in it – every thought, feeling and experience.  Then you will find a natural healing taking place.  That is the most important thing I can say this morning.  But, like everything in this world, desire is source.  All this stuff on getting rid of desires; I’ve never met anybody yet who has been able to do that.  People come and go… so the desire to actually be in awareness or whatever you are going to call it, is the only thing you really have to know and not to forget the desire.  If you forget desire, it will not happen.  Maybe you might stumble into it by accident, you fall off your bike, and roll down the hill and you might be in it for a moment and experience a moment of light, space, but desire is the most important thing.  If you try to get rid of it by killing all desires you will find the field is no longer there.  You might become quite an ascetic, but you won’t be in the field.  The desire actually is it, believe it or not.  There is a tantric phrase that says, the desire for the self is the self.  Going for the self is the self.  By self they mean what we are calling field phenomena.  So nothing is more important than desire.  If you have not desire for it, it won’t come.  Also, though it likes people and stuff like that, it’s not associated with any particular group.  It has no particular symbol or allegiance.  In that way it is very independent.  I have noticed that when groups try to own it completely, it disappears after a while.  It’s a very strange phenomenon.  It’s actually a thing unto itself.  It’s your own awareness but it has its own idiom.  Sometimes certain personalities think, my God, is this MY awareness? 

Let’s hold awareness again.  We want to be in it, becoming aware of awareness and looking normal in it.  Sometimes we go into awareness and immediately look abnormal.  We had a meditation weekend last week and we had a geometry at the end and I noticed some are very good at holding awareness.  But I looked at them and they all looked… you can actually do it and be normal.  If you look too abnormal in it, no one is going to want to be with you to hold it.  If that becomes the condition for it and you have to do that to get into it… laughter and noises…

So today, just like awareness is inside the body, awareness is also right in front of us.  Yesterday we talked about dissolving internalizations and replacing them with the archetypical dimension coming in and the symbolic function… a lot of different things that you can study the rest of your life if you want.  Today we will talk about memory and inventiveness and memory and experimentation because once the internalization is no longer there organizing us so much, what do we do next?  It’s like, duh… because you know what you feel in front of you – void, emptiness and space!  Like the first time an internalization leaves you from loss, by some sort of force of tragedy or we release ourselves from something, start feeling really good, the internalization is gone, the witch is dead and all the green guys are singing.  It’s a great moment and you are free at that moment.  You feel the energy flowing and the green guys are dancing.  This is a great experience and then what happens?  Haven’t you ever felt that?  Then, like the Jews, the Israelites - follow me out of Egypt, they are going into the desert, the manna is coming down and it’s not zesty like the Egyptian soup.  The little green guys dance for them too… Nothing but space and sand, right, so they think, let’s go back!  So what happens after the internalization disappears or the self object that was maintaining that… there is often a relationship between the inner and outer, but when one leaves the self object situation or whatever that is supporting the internalization, whatever it might be, one is faced with what?  Void, a little emptiness and space.  It happens a lot.  Then they want to go back to it again and again because it is mapped out, it is something.  It’s familiar.  It may not taste good, but it is familiar.  So the dilemma of moving forward, creating new forms, new representations is the dilemma we’re talking about right now, new actions, new life. 

So in certain ways we get caught between memory and inventiveness.  It happens a lot in couples.  They’ve been in court since they’ve met… you did this, I did this… etc.  When the court session ends, let’s go back to court.  Maybe we can find one more year or something, because that is the impasse point.  What will take place next?  A lot of therapists spend a lot of time on this first phase.  We’re caught between memory and inventiveness.  Memory is where we come from.  It’s history made present . Memory is the familiar, the representational experience represented.  Memory is also the use of familiar objects and actions that sustain the ongoing representation, the ongoing sense of personality.  I am what I am.  I’m authentic.  It may stink but I am what I am.  There really is a tension between authenticity and creativity.  That is also what this topic is about.  An authentic person can be really dangerous.  They are just so authentic.  Nothing can take place outside of that realm.  Creativity is a little fluid.  The objects we utilize may reflect memory or they may reflect inventiveness.  Without subtle intentionality, inventiveness does not happen.  Experimentation does not happen and play does not happen.  This is also part of Winnicott’s talk in Playing in Reality.   So do we all understand the creative act of trying to form new representations and new forms in the realm of play?  It’s in the realm of inventiveness, space.  If there is no space, there is no play. 

There has to be some open space, some void or something, like a painter with a blank canvas.  Does the painting come from the canvas or from the painters mind?  There is a boundary between familiarity and chaos.  To be inventive, actually when you are in void and chaotic moments, you really do have to be inventive or you may be a goner.  To be inventive one must face the void or emptiness or space, open spaciousness.  So we’re taking this from an intra-psychic phenomena to the environment, to what is in front of us in our life and also what this means in working in therapy with people who do fantastic jobs and somewhat help dissolve internalizations.  They never completely dissolve, but the organization of them can dissolve.  Then, what takes place next? 

When you give up living out of a memory and the self objects of memory, we begin to face emptiness, space and what to do with it.  One can easily go back to memory and cling to it.  Memory takes a lot of space.  Inventiveness, the necessity for it, collapses and memory appears even more compelling and even more dominating.  Creative space disappears.  The field disappears and one is captured in the concrete-operational dimension of one’s life.  We have to sometimes be very concrete-operational, press buttons on the phone, etc, but we have to be careful about being pulled back into the concrete-operational, habituated action that can recreate the memory.  One can feel completely determined or fated and one cannot experiment and play at that creative edge.  This edge often feels like a boundary between familiarity and chaos.  When you start to step out of the familiar, even if it’s wrapped up in chains and barbed wire, when you start to step out, it might feel like space, but as you go deeper into it, it will feel like chaos.  If you go too far out you are in chaos and you are going to feel like you are going to disintegrate and be gone.  Sometimes it’s this close; it might not be far off.  As soon as you step out of familiarity, you go down the block and cross the street; it’s a new neighborhood, chaos.   Between stasis, fixation, symptomatic, repetitious, concrete-operational, you can tell when you are in that tone, fixated, let me tell you my symptoms one more time… When you pathologize yourself in a certain way the intermediate area disappears.  Liminal space dissolves… some non-conceptual dimension of us dissolves and we either go back or if we go too far out we will start feeling disintegration and chaos.  It’s not just an imagination.  You go too far out without base and you will feel chaos and disintegration.  Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  If you can enter and sustain intermediate space, sustain the awareness state, sustain the sense of the field, the liminal state, you can negotiate new form, new actions, new representations and a little bit of a new life.  It’s not like this chaos thing is just the boogey man, a phantom.  If you go without base, which is space, if you are in it, you feel that confidence in it.  That is transitional space and transition is possible, an ongoing continuity of beingness.  Then you will not feel disintegration.  That happens when some people try to change.  I’m using different metaphors like transitional space in Winnicott terms, liminal in Victor Turner terms, and actually it’s the field we are talking about.  You want to have the capacity to experiment, to try something different, to be a bit of an adolescent one more time and to leave the fixed identity that happens with adolescence, and re-organize yourself.  So experimentation, creating experience in therapy or coaching or being an artist has an experiential dimension to it.  Like the example someone spoke about earlier; when she was playing with those kids in yoga.  She was experimenting with space.  She didn’t know how it was going to resolve.  She stepped into it.   The kids stepped into it and they come, bring their mats, they are excited and she does it 5 hours a day.  Experimentation is going and playing with the edge or even beyond the edge. 

The methods of experimentation:  part of the method of experiential psychotherapy is to experiment and invent.  For instance you can invent through contact episodes.  You and the other person are in contact and you experiment going beyond the limits of what they have been talking about.  That illuminates a deeper and more subtle, broader sense of self, creating new representations that are expanding and are more open relationally to the field that is infinite in its horizons and multi-dimensional.  When Winnicott speaks about potential space being the essence of your nature, that same language is in all the great Dzogchen texts and all spoken about by all of the masters and all of the traditions, potential space.  The essence of nature is potential space which is your own nature.  It is the same vast potential space, but when it’s in me it is different from the potential space in you.  As we hold the contact episode, as we are in contact, we are holding that, the field phenomenon appears, potential space arises and we can play with the potential space.  When potential space is closed, what can we do?  We try to bring forth potential space and experiment with that potential space.  If I’m mapping everything out in my mind I am stuck. That is why suspension is necessary.  You have to look at all of this as metaphors not mechanics. If I can suspend my mind I can enter potential space.  If I am hanging on to the mind as a complete map of everything in this awful world, that acts as my protection.  It gets tighter and smaller.  If I can access the potential space, there is a possibility of new formulations, new representations, new actions and a new life.  The field itself is infinite in its horizons and so multi-dimensional.  The field is my life and your life.  There is the karmic unfolding of the story, but it can only unfold within this vast field.  Field phenomena will permeate the story and give it space in the story.  Sometimes stories are so tightly woven, there is no space.  You can’t even change a comma!  So the first method we have to think about is the location of the functions.  In the creation of experiments, a psychological space is created between reality and fantasy.  If I’m completely in the real and holding the real, locked into it, there is no space there.  On the other side of that is fantasy.  Some people are locked in fantasy.  It’s a polarity.  Some of us choose the real, some choose fantasy but they are both equally determined.  There is a wonderful book by Thomas Ogden that describes this.  When you enter reality, if you ever read studies by Seligelman, he used to torture animals about hopelessness and depression.  He’d watch little rats swim and drown.  In one way he had a fantastic representation, but everybody looked at him funny, scary guy!  But he did interesting studies on when people give up, when they lose hope, helplessness and what the physiology that clicks in when you become that way.  The body is like a good time friend and when it turns against you, down you go.  He really studied that, but his aura wasn’t the best!  So then he started studying happiness and resiliency and what helped people really flourish.  He became a happier person and has a lot of studies on happiness.  He’s reformed!  What he discovered, and has books on, is that if you are too realistic and bound by the realism of facts you will have a tendency towards depression. Using explanatory systems of realism will lock a person into fewer options.  There are also studies on fantasy for the other side of this.  In some way we are in this tension between fantasy and reality.  Experiment and living with inventiveness is playing with those two poles of fantasy and reality.  Fantasy influences reality and reality influences fantasy, back and forth.  It’s like the capacity to dream during the day.  There is a tension between being too real, too concrete-operational and being to fantasical and imaginary.  For instance, say a person is afraid of aggression.  You might have the person have a fantasy about the aggression.  Can you imagine telling the grocery store person to take back that fish that is spoiled?  That person imagines it.  Or, I’d like you to go out and punch somebody tomorrow.  There is a tension between too real and too fantastical.  The gauging of experiments is, if it’s just fantasy therapy, you might have a good feeling, but you won’t have the necessary transformation.  Sometimes if it’s too real it keeps the person where they already are, in the too real.  So in gauging experiments, we’re trying to gauge and have some blend.  Maybe edging toward the fantasy side in the beginning, but slowly pulling it more into the real, whether using a group or using yourself as the therapist or giving people assignments in their real world.  Some of us have our prejudices and want to be just in the dream or totally in the real and tend to use the opposite with a person. 

One graduates experiments.  Experiments can lead us to the edge.  Through the support of being able to enter the intermediate realm, one can experience the unknown and utilize the experience to expand to the next phase, or next state.  The intermediate is the space in the middle, between fantasy and reality, that which holds those poles is awareness.  When you can hold those poles the dialogue takes place naturally.  If the intermediate space begins to collapse, you will run to fantasy or reality and this fantasy is also in internalizations.  This is thinking subtle.  If the intermediate area drops, the self drops, because the self is not a representation, if the field drops, liminal space drops, they are going to have to be some place.  We have to locate ourselves some place, whether in the imagined or I may locate myself completely in the real, but they both are going to feel totally determined without any degree of freedom.  Freedom lays in spaciousness.  That is where intentionality can operate.  Sometimes, when it comes to creating and inventing something or trying something different, what do we feel?  We feel nothing, absolutely nothing.  Our mind can stop, maybe we get an idea and grasp that, but it may be the same old idea and we play it out and it’s not going to have the transformational value.  There is something about an experiment where a person feels nothing and accesses that nothingness, which is the stuck point, and is also the creative edge and the growth part.  If we pathologize our stuck point, we are now really reifying the stuck-ness.  People get writing blocks, painting blocks, they are stuck.  That is part of the unfolding of the process unless you reify it.  You are with a client and you both are stuck.  If you pathologize it, reify it, the possibility of it emerging as potential space is foreclosed.  Then nothing can happen.  This is the essence of all of this stuff.  The stuck point is the growth point, the creative edge.  When people say they are stuck, if you hear it in the wrong way, you will also stick them in it.  How you think about it, feel about it and work with it is completely essential in this collaborative undertaking.  Stuck-ness is the growth point for me.  It’s always like, duh, what happens next?  My mind is not working, good!  Then I am at the edge of the void.  I might be freezing up a bit, because it’s a little scary, but as I access the field of my own awareness, which is the very essence of my very nature, which is potential space, I can move forward. 

Cultivating this in one’s own self is really important, because if you can’t manifest it in yourself, you are not going to see it in another.  Takes one to know one, takes one to see one.  Unless I have the capacity of the manifestation of awareness in my own body I can’t be there with the other.  I met some people in APA that feel like that to me. Those that think, I should really join division 12 of APA and buy those protocols, which if you don’t use, it’s unethical.    I once was invited to a conference in LA, no offense now, and it was like, what happens now in psychotherapy, and I was supposed to be “the private practitioner.” So I find my suit, put it on, I go, walk in.  It was the same discussion I had in graduate school 30 years before!  We talked about the same exact framing.  I have not been invited back since! 

Like any artist, this is an art.  You have to develop the art in your own self – potential space.  What does that feel like?  You want to know that and feel that.  If you think it’s magical and you just weren’t given one, you are misconstruing the skill in the nature of human beings.  It is a skill that we all can access and develop. 

So here we are in the middle of it again.  The same location, the same spaciousness can come between the functions:  thinking function, fantasy functions, rather than all the function being joined, which happens a lot of times.  They get crunched together so as you have more space there may be a little bit more differentiation between thinking and feeling, imagination and the modalities.  A lot of times the modalities can become merged for a person.  Fantasy influences thinking and that sort of thing.  Let’s see what some of you think.

Man #1 “In a previous life I taught post graduate school for the military.  One of the things we did was help people transform from lower level leaders to higher level leaders.  Thinking and field work was part of it.  Most people have capacities to think creatively, but we’re trained and reinforced in concrete-operational thinking when we are young and have to break through that.  The whole concept was to move people from the locked place of historical observation and doing things according to what has been and what you are told to avoid, and the chaos theory which goes nowhere because it’s of it’s unpredictable nature, into a place called complexity where opportunity presents itself.  You aren’t bound by how things have been but you can still learn from it and open to the possibility of doing things in a new way.”

Thank you so much.  We’ll take one more step.  Let’s see if we can feel that space, access it for a moment in our own bodies.  You have to suspend thinking in a way so you aren’t located in the thinking function. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to think but we want awareness to be #1.  We’re in the awareness state and can think from it and have access to the different modalities.  The next thing I want to talk about is the sense of on-going continuity because it’s continuity that is continuously threatened.  Death anxiety may sound a little concrete, but it is death anxiety, non-beingness.  So first we are field holders.  Then you can enter the field and then you become it.  As you practice, you will become that which you already are.  We should not think about this as being only for big mahukas.  If you think it’s only for a big mahuka, it will never happen.  That is your condition!  You have to be the Maharishi, ensconced in Holland or some place.  We don’t want to think that way.  The capacity to hold the field of awareness and enter the field and be the field is the capacity to be in the intermediate area, the liminal realm.  This in-between realm provides the on-going continuity of beingness.  Beingness is a pre-conceptual experience.  You might call it pre-logical, pre-psychological.  It is not a function of your mind.  When we make it a function of the mind we are in trouble, where the map of my life gives me complete beingness.  It won’t work.  Or a particular feeling or sensation does it; on-going continuity is on the pre-reflective level which, when we can hold awareness, we enter.  The field and beingness of being are the same.  When you are in the field the beingness of being, the beingness of your being is the field.  The qualities are spaciousness, energy, clarity.  This in-between realm that provides this ongoing continuity of beingness is where change can take place.  When we don’t have that foundation or sense, change is very, very hard. To experience change, flux and the impermanency that is happening around us and within us we need to experience potential space. We cannot experience the coming and going and appearing and disappearing of phenomena without the intermediate, without potential space, without being in the field.  The field is a word that I like the most.  There is no on-going presence without this capacity. We can be so stuck in the real, meaning concrete-operational experience.  We can become so stuck in time.  The more we get stuck in time, the more we are pre-occupied with time.  We can get stuck in the past, stuck in the future.  We become so time-bound.  Time bound-ness can limit potential space and being in the field.  When you are in the field there is a bit of timeless awareness.  It has its own timeless quality.  Through paradox of intermediate experiencing, we experience the paradox of time and timelessness.  Therein lays the freedom and liberation, unboundedness yet connected.  One of the big paradoxes when you are in that intermediate moment of fantasy and reality and the familiar and chaos is that you are both in time yet there is a timeless sense.  You are operating in space and time and yet there is a sense of timelessness.   That sense of time and timelessness is one of the best indicators of being in the field -ongoing continuity of being in time and space.  I know it sounds rather theoretical, but it’s something you can put your hat on.  Haven’t you been bound by time, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, whether you are late or not, you always have sooo many things to do.  You can be in timeless awareness with less effort in doing all that stuff and not be so bound by time .  The best indicator of all is the time and timelessness paradox.  It’s like when we spoke about plumping up.  At a more astute level being in time and timelessness is a bit less effort.  It doesn’t mean not working and doing, you are in time. 

We’re now going to go a little more into this.  So when you are in the field, you will feel both stillness and movement.  Experiments broaden contact.  We are always emphasizing contact here, whether it’s just two or a group, you are in contact.  Contact helps bring forth the field, self to self, inside to inside.  The potential space is being configured between two people.  Contact is a powerful dimension that allows us to go into liminal states or transitional space.  It allows two people to hold it together, one for the other or both together.  Contact can often take us beyond the constriction of earlier internalizations that have been ego states.  Change is simply leaning forward and trying out different possibilities.  The more one is in the field, the more you can possibly influence a change.  You are unlocked.  Without being in the field, change is very difficult and often doesn’t have the support at that stuck point, the support of spaciousness and energy and light.  When you are in the stuck point, you are in the stuck point.  Just because I’m in the field doesn’t mean I’m not stuck.  OH I’m stuck; I can’t be in the field!  The field has no prejudice!  I’m in the field and I’m stuck so I’m playing with that stuckness, even if it’s a hole in the middle of my chest.  My mind will not be able to understand that.  I stay in the field, I’m experimenting.  I’m seeing what emerges through that door, if something comes out or I go in.  I’m playing with it.  I’m hanging in it.  I feel a hole in my chest.   Oh I’m going to go into reality about it, I’ll read Louise Hayes’ book!  Oh no it’s not in that book!  What’s going to happen to me?  Then they go into fantasy. 

There is both stillness and movement.  Sometimes the movement can drive you a little crazy because you are feeling all these feelings.  You are in the field, holding that hole in the chest and you have all this energy moving around.  If I place my mind on that at that moment, Oh know, I’m having a heart attack.  But if I can suspend thinking and hold the field and hold my experience in the field, let’s see what happens, let it unfold.  It’s been 30 seconds, I haven’t gotten an answer, it doesn’t work.  It doesn’t work like that.  It might be a few weeks.  All this stuff is taking place and you continue holding it and begin to enjoy the intensity of it.  At least I’m alive!  The activation of the field of awareness is a pre-requisite for change.  To work in the field is to work beyond behavior and even beyond experience.  How can you say that?  Because there is behavior, there is experience, but when you take the next step you are going a bit beyond experience.  You will have experience and you will have behavior, but you are not languaging your experience and defining yourself strictly at the level of behavior or experience.  You are adding another little space.  So at this moment the field, your own awareness as source, begins to illuminate it and transform it.  If you think you know the moment of change and you did it, I must say I don’t believe you.  Maybe I should, but you can think about the times you may have changed.  I remember a long time ago when a moment happened for me.  I went around the block. I was 21 years old and I finally went farther, beyond the leash.  The thing about change is that the process of change is ongoing, for instance, you had a change experience yesterday, but do not know exactly how it takes place. You know certain steps but suddenly there is a shift.  You had a change.  It is always very mysterious.   You can know the steps but the actual change, the actual transition is a bit unknown.  Think about it, if you had any change this year, something has taken place for you at some level of experience…

The activation of the field is a pre-requisite for change.  This is not for the whole world, this is for you.  Is the field activated enough, or is it limp?  If it’s activated enough there is more possibility for change.  There is more possibility of absorption, dissolving, leaning forward into a future and suddenly something starts to arise and come to be, both within and maybe even without.  The field pulls things to it.  It’s alive.  It’s a magnetizer.  Can you work on behavior at the level of field?  Yes, but the behavior is secondary to your phenomenological sense to your attunement to the field.  If you just watch your behavior, you will not be in the field.  That practice called the Tandava dance or Khandro or Dakini movement is where you feel the field and then you move with that.  I can make the same movements if I’m not in the field.  I’m a graceful or awkward dancer, but I’m not experiencing the power.  So if I move my ankle to the right and my hips this way and that, it’s very directive and prescriptive, something is moving it but not the field.  Behavior takes place in the context of the field and experience takes place in the context of the field.  You may be doing the very same things as a Gestalt therapist might be doing, do this and that, stay with your experience, but the phenomena of the field is where the attunement is.  When a person is in the field, an activated field they are beyond behavior and experience… so to work in the field is to work beyond behavior and beyond experience.  You are working with behavior or experience imbued or infused with the qualities of field awareness.  This is important.  Will that behavior become loose?  It will become looser.  Experience will become less dense.  To activate is to activate potential space within your personality.  The field is potential space.  Potential space is not an idea.  Field theory, unfortunately, is an idea, but it is born out of phenomena.  The more the field is activated; the more it will infuse experience and behavior.  To activate the field is a way of activating creativity.  There are very creative people and you come by them and feel the field around them.  They don’t take a course in it, they are just creative.  They do that creative thing, live creatively, move and think creatively.  They are a bit unbound.  They live in the aesthetics of the art.  If you can feel you can understand that, then we will move on to some more concrete-operational things, but you’ve got to be in the field. 

In creating experiments, which are challenges of inventiveness, certain questions can be raised.  Where is the person’s limitation?  This is a good question to ask yourself.  At the same time that you are sensing and activating and feeling potential space, this is not just naïve optimism, where is the limitation here?  Where is the stuck point?  People will more often than not tell you the stuck point.  Where is the person’s gap?  Where is the hole?  Where is the lack?  Where is the void?  This is not a DSM4 interrogation!  Where is the hole, even in a brief meeting?  The gap is the inventive point.  Rather than calling it a stuck point we will call it the inventive point.  Where do I have to become creative?  Creativity is such an overused word.  God and creativity are so overused and latent.  The collapse point is the point of inventiveness.  That is where I have to bring forth the field.  That is where I have to bring forth the light of my own awareness.  That is why I have to bring forth the field whether I like it or not.  It’s this situation.  But I don’t like this situation!  IT IS THIS SITUATION, this karma, this moment that I have to bring forth the power and the light of my innate awareness. 

That is the stuck point.  I have to bring it forth.  That’s the scariest thing of all.  I have to bring it forth.  When one feels that, no therapist, no this or that, no God, no Buddha can do it for us…  I have to bring it forth.  It’s not anti-God or Buddha, but as they say, you have to bring it forth.  It’s like, Lazarus, Come Forth!  .  This is where I have to come forth in this situation.  You will never ever discover awareness anywhere other than in a situation.  The only time you will ever meet awareness, in this life and the lives after, even in the bardo state, there will be a situation.  We like to think after death there will be no more situations!  Then we are changing neurotic conflicts into existential life.  It’s not a trick.  We make it so neurotic we are losing the capacity for the existential transformation.  The stuck point is the point of inventiveness and this is where we collapse. 

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