Adventures in Practice: Beyond Self-Judgement
November 15, 2006 04:14

~posted by clint

While writing the blog, Adventures in Practice: I Hate the Witness, I was almost positive that I wasn’t going to post it. Something about the chaotic nature of the topic, the choppiness of my writing, or the idea of publicly sharing an unresolved issue in my practice had me thinking that it wasn’t appropriate to post it on Ken’s site. Even after sharing it with Colin and Corey—who both told me to post it—I remained hesitant.

It wasn’t until people began e-mailing responses that I saw my initial reservations more clearly. I feared that an unknown number of unknown people were just waiting to judge me. After reading responses like the ones I have posted below, I re-owned that projection and began looking at the blog in a different light. More on that in a moment…check out these responses first….

This is from a friend whom I met at a seminar a few years ago...


Thank you for sharing this with us. The clarity and vulnerability with which you recount your struggles is brilliant and the humility inherent in the owning of your frustration of “not knowing” is beautiful.

you so aptly pointed out, this struggle of constricting against the wisdom of the witness is familiar to all of us…and yes, sometimes the lure of ignorance holds a seductive sort of bliss. I commend you for mustering up the courage to fully inhabit your constriction and give it voice. You are a very brave soul.

What struck me most about this post is your admission to favoring 3-p and 1-p perspectives in your practice and the acknowledgement that 2-p is a vital part of the equation. I feel this is a core issue that many of us struggle with. All three perspectives enrich and inform each other; and, together, they facilitate growth. Thank you for calling our attention to the need to attend to all 3 perspectives.

When I first received my ILP Kit, I was taken aback by the fact that the relationships module was deemed an “auxiliary” as opposed to core module. I also noticed that the “Gold Star” practices in the core modules were heavily 1-p and 3-p practices. I found this to be disheartening. It is wonderful to see you calling attention to the importance and value of 2-p practice in this blog. Reading this has given me renewed faith in Integral.

Deepest bows~

a humble student

From a friend and colleague...

Just read your first post of hate the witness and i resonated with it...thanks for writing about the own interpretation of my experience is that i sometimes glimpse both the intentional aspect of my experience ...what I am currently intending to do -- and the "ironic process response" arising at the same time. So again, like you said, then I don't know what to do. Because if I take my intended action, I know the ironic process will kick in simultaneously...

what I take from what you said is that relaxing and letting go, relaxing and letting go, relaxing and letting go, allows the process to continue.

let's keep in touch on this if it helps us. otherwise, we will continue our 1st person processes

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From another seminar attendee...

Amen, brother. Right to the last word of the last sentence. Amen.

From a close friend and former I-I employee...

YES! Yes to ALL of that motherfucker. Nice blog

From someone who attended an Intro workshop I co-lead...

Hi Clint,

(I attended the aqal day-long teaching the day before the Integral Contemplative Christianity seminar last month.)

Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your blog entry about living aqal moment-by-moment as each moment arises. One of the things that stuck with me, after the day of your teaching with Terry, was your comment toward the end, that the goal is to come to the place of awareness of all four quadrants, as they arise. Later that week, I commented to one of the attendees, that I would like to see that idea really fleshed out, maybe in the sense of sort of a dissection of a given moment or something. I have made attempts at that very thing myself, in these weeks since.

So, to have you bravely doing exactly that, is just great! Even though, on one level, I hear you warning me that it is not for the faint-hearted! On another level, there is nothing else worth doing!

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From a member of the community whom I have never met...

Hi Clint,

I just finished reading your blog posting (adventures in practice) and wanted to say thank you! I could relate quite deeply to that turmoil, the confusion and overwhelm, that being inbetween, not completely here and not completely there. The seeing of all the chaos but feeling it too, like it's everything while knowing that it actually isn't, and not being able to, like you said, reliably access the witness. Also that sense of expecting a reward/being owed something.. I can relate to that have come to think it's not at all ridiculous, just human. This path is nothing without kindness...

Thanks again Clint, it was meaningful to read.

With much warmth,
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From a very dear friend and brother on this path...

Love it! I would like to see that last part fleshed out just a bit more, it was so brief it landed as a bit anticlimactic. I know it is a simple conclusion, so you can state it pretty simply and with much concision, but i want you to relish in that simplicity.

There are, of course, different sorts of simplicity in our world, from the naive simplicity of life left unexamined, to the profound simplicity that arises when the impossible paradoxes of our condition can be reconciled with a small turn of phrase. That is a simplicity that needs to be earned, by both author and reader, and is the sort of simplicity that seems to offer glimmers of your own soul just beyond the periphery of mind. Kind of like those paragraphs Ken writes after his theoretical drive-by shootings, spitting out a pretty little poem that helps us grok everything he had been writing about all at once, while simultaneously seeming to bring the entire fucking Kosmos into relief. I think it's that kind of simplicity you are pointing towards, and i want you to pull it out a little more and roll around in it naked.

Oh, i also like how it ends, turning to the Spirit module--though i just want to point out, "the Spirit module" itself sounds like exactly the same 3p slings and arrows you were just trying to dodge =)

Just my humble feedback, brother love, do with it what you will!
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From a member of the Multiplex community. This response offers some truly enlightened wisdom...

that was an intense rollercoaster read dude, and the ending was very cool, full engagement -- sometimes a beer is just a beer,

have a beer clint.

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A heartfelt thank you to everyone who sent responses. Your words helped me to re-own my inclination towards self-judgment, and your interpretations presented perspectives that have deepened my experience of engaging in what is presenting itself as a latent aspect of my practice. The nearly in-the-moment reflection on issues as they were arising was painful, but the emergent 2-p dialogue certainly outweighs the expenditure tenfold. With that said, and with a sincere hope that others will share in a similar fashion, I have crossposted the original blog on the Multiplex Community site. If you aren’t already a member, Join Now and post an account of a current issue arising in your practice….

Stay tuned to for new posts on Adventures in Practice….


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