Track: Holotropic Art as an Expression of Inner Process
Here We Go Again®: Playing for a Change with Grof's Cartography and Planetary Archetypes!
By learning about these landscapes and the archetypal qualities attributed to the outer planets in a nonthreatening environment, we can begin to play with change, instead of being played by it! By getting used to the archetypal nature of change, and its eternally returning guises, in a playful way, when change happens, we can recognize and label where we are. This lowers the threat response, and we can respond rather than react. Through play, we can pick appropriate archetypal assets to either help or hinder us depending upon which terrain we are in.
This unusual form of Holotropic art continues to work its magic as it keeps eternally returning in different contexts!
Track: Inner Ecology, Collective Psyche and Social Transformation
Workshop: Movies as Mysteries: Using the Power of Popular Culture to Transform Consciousness
Our present moment mirrors the tumultuous times of the Hellenistic era in ancient Greece. Then, as now, new technologies disrupted and destabilized existing cultural structures, causing massive cultural change. Old containers and meanings no longer worked. As their world rapidly changed, people, too, thirsted for personal transformation.
In Pre-Hellenistic times, death anxiety was contained by communal consciousness [the individual died, but the group lived on], but with the advent of more individually focused consciousness, death anxiety massively increased as people were thrown back upon themselves. The Mystery traditions came about to help individuals to deal with this massive cultural change, helping individuals transform through rituals of death and rebirth that helped relieve death anxiety, as people participated directly in the transformation process. In this way, the Mysteries essentially democratized shamanism.
Shamans are masters of transformation, having experienced it themselves, often through involuntary initiations, qualifying them to assist others in the process through powerful rituals. Our modern, dissociated, hyper-independent selves are similarly adrift in a time of even more massive change, and our consciousness needs to transform. Why not harness the same power that worked for our ancestors?
This death/rebirth archetype is at the heart of the cosmos and our own birth process, the ritual process also shares the same archetypal structure—and so do movies! Popular culture and our modern entertainment industry stem from these same shamanistic roots.
From current neuroscience and emotions research to ancient anthropological evidence and Grof’s cartography of the psyche, this experiential workshop uses examples from popular culture to explore the transformative potential of movies and other forms of entertainment to harness the power of their shamanic heritage to create ecstatic experiences of death and rebirth to transform consciousness.
Track: Inner Ecology, Collective Psyche and Social Transformation; Shamanism and Its Potential for Modern Man
Poster: Out of Our Minds: Reweaving the Matrix of Belonging Through Ecstatic Experience
This presentation focuses on a unique ritual aimed at helping individuals transform together in a group setting (ceremony) that uses the power of collective intelligence and self-organizing dynamics in a safe container. Plant-based allies and other technologies of the sacred provide access to ecstatic experiences, allowing participants to step outside of their ordinary ways of being. These embodied emotional experiences of connection allow participants to safely move out of habitual “mind” and consciousness-based perspectives and into a more feeling and awareness-based place in their hearts. The safe social experiences simultaneously create communitas (Turner, 1969) between participants and a secure base within participants through accessing and strengthening the care system (Panksepp & Biven, 2012), allowing participants to able to be more present and compassionate with themselves and others, and also enables them to be more responsive and less reactive. Most importantly, the unique social setting of this ritual process provides opportunities for the richness of others’ experiences to be shared. Language can thus enhance connection and intimacy instead of leading to a sense of separation. We are social beings who are wired to connect (Lieberman, 2013), so doesn’t it make sense that we can transform more easily together? The coherence and connection that these sacraments enable, allow us to fly in formation, like geese, and more effectively engage in the transformation process together. After describing the particulars of the process, one of the models on which it is based, and why it is appropriate for our present moment, we will explore the underlying science from an interdisciplinary perspective ranging from the fields of social, cognitive and affective neuroscience, to emotions research, attachment theory, depth psychology, chaos theory, and anthropology.
Karey Pohn, JD, PhD, PCC is and author, entrepreneur, and researcher, as well as an executive coach/consultant. Her PhD is in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and the research focus was the organizing principles of play and creativity. Her artistic dissertation appeared as a website: Playing the Cosmic Game: Exploring Play's Archetypal Aspects Through the Kaleidoscope of Culture (based on the work of Dr. Stanislav Grof, her chair). It shows how this universal death/rebirth archetype is truly at the heart of the cosmos using the myth of Shiva's dice game, quantum physics, and chaos theory; and how it plays out in popular culture with Disneyland and the films Mary Poppins and Chicago.
Karey wrote Annie Sullivan and the Creation of Consciousness using the film The Miracle Worker to explore the archetypal field of transformation. She also has an executive masters in Neuroleadership; and her thesis examines neuroscience principles behind Disneyland's success.
Karey is a founding director and officer of The Grof Foundation, and her board game, Here We Go Again, was inspired by a Holotropic Breathwork session, and is currently being transformed into a digital format.