Call for the New Rising. LO24412

From: Alternative Energy (
Date: 04/23/00

Replying to LO24381 --

Dear At,

I appreciated very much your call for a new rising and the appeal for more
caring. I also loved your explanation of the word "therapy" and the
eytmology of its original meaning. It's become such a negative word
nowadays, at least here in North America, or perhaps specifically, Canada.
In mainstream and non-aboriginal society, the notion of therapy often
seems to conjure up images of dependency and chronic neuroses, and thus,
can draw up attitudes of pity, contempt, disdain, or cynicism. Therapy is
for the weak, etc.

In India, there is a very ancient practice of retreating to ashrams
(spiritual retreat places) to explore one's spirituality, to heal, to
meditate, and so on. Many other traditionally holistic-oriented cultures
also had this sensibilty (notably indigenous ones). But in fact, I believe
that ALL cultures have some understanding of such holism (ie, in such a
way that includes both healing and caring), yet times change and people
forget. This is like, as someone once said, the reality that often the
dogmatism of a religion remains, while the essence of spirituality is
gradually forgotten: we lose touch.

This brings me to a question, or perhaps a clarification.

>It is now more than two millenia later at the end of that dispensation
> initiated by the Greeks. People of the present age have once more almost
> forgotten what it means to "care".

I was uncertain what you meant by that. Are you assuming that the ancient
Greeks initiated the concept of therapy--or that this notion arose out of
Greek culture? They were indeed very much holists, wanting to balance
spirit, mind, and body into an ultimate whole. However, I might point out
that their ideas and orientations do not appear to have evolved in
isolation. Around that time, the Greeks were interacting with various
nations or peoples, for example, the Egyptians, Canaanites, Mesopotamians,
and so on. (Note: my knowledge of all this is almost nil, so please feel
free to clarify any huge errors here). In fact, throughout history, there
has always been a cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences, which
sometimes then percolates into a significant way of thinking and being.
Kind of like everything in nature, there is a cycle--a rise and fall, a
growing and dying.

Even within ancient Greece there seems to be a multiplicity of realities.
Found this on Argos, in an article entitled, "Ancient History Sourcebook:
11th Brittanica: History of Ancient Greece"

"Greek history is not the history of a single state. When
Aristotle composed his work upon the constitutions of the Greek
states, he found it necessary to extend his survey to no less
that 158 states. Greek history is thus concerned with more than
150 separate and independent political communities. Nor is it
even the history of a single country."

Anyway, the ancient Greek's success in exploring holism has certainly
affected western civilization for millenia. However, are you also assuming
that human civilization began a mere two thousand years ago and that the
Greeks were the spearheaders of therapy as being a wise and necessary
practice for society and its members?

Perhaps I am misinterpreting your words, which would be no surprise for
me. But if not, then, I would like to suggest that ALL cultures have
their ancient wisdoms. (By the way, my use of the word wisdom is very
loose here and could be interpreted in any number of ways, such as
spiritual and philosophical depth, 'high culture,' or whatever.)

Yes, it does seem like some specific cultures have a significant influence
or flowering period--yet it also depends on who's writing the history
books, and with what understanding or focus. Depending on the time period,
or cultural understanding, or even gender bias, some things could be seen
as more significant, important, or 'glorious' than others and therefore
are more often written about or remembered better--perhaps without all the
colour and nuances and elements that make up the fuller reality.

It seems to me that all cultures around the world have gone through peaks
and valleys. Those with less prominent profiles, for example, may not be
recognized for having similar wisdoms at the exact same time period, or
perhaps, different time periods, but recurring cyclically, as with all
cultures. Thus, I am often oriented towards believing that it is a matter
of rediscovering and reacquainting ourselves with basic wisdoms, such as
the caring that you suggested. Yet, I find these wise concepts or
practices usually extend across nations, regions, peoples, languages,
religions, etc. They are universal. Many holistic-oriented people do look
and see that many basic wisdoms, such as spiritual symbolism, are common
across many diverse cultures. Just one small example is the number seven
(7), which holds a strong significance in many spiritual traditions and
cultures (eg, Mayan, Judaism, North American indigenous cultures, etc).

I guess the thing is that if I am interpreting your words correctly, I'd
simply like to question some of your assumptions and understandings--not
as a challenge, but because I believe we can all help each other in our
personal growth and learning, which naturally includes our examination and
understanding of concepts, facts, realities, "truths", etc. I kind of feel
that "Truth" is something unique to everyone. There is usually both
collective truths (like Jung's collective unconscious) and individual
truths, of which the latter are personal, unique, and subjective. In fact,
is there antying in the universe that we as humans can observe in a purely
"objective" way?

Hmm, my mind is getting a bit 'spun out' right now, as I think about all
this. I guess at some point, when it all gets too complex and
overanalytical, one possible step is to retreat to silence. There are
times when things can only be 'known' through other ways. Perhaps I'm
being simplistic or unclear here, but what the heck, just putting forth my
muddled thoughts...

Take care and best wishes,
Lana Choi

PS - For someone who complained about long posts, I've sure put out a couple
of novels here lately! ;-)

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."
-Joseph Chilton Pearce


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