A case for tool building and a deeper guided imagery through pattern language

alt

From Cobb to Winkelman to Alexander. A winding path into pattern language and guided Imagery

The intention for this blog is to share a rich synthesis of two works as kind of scaffolding for a deep guided imagery that has evolved from a third work which has been explored in earlier blogs, that of Christopher Alexander’s concept of a pattern Language. Each, reflect a holistic spirit mindbody integration and supports the spirit (neuro-theological if one sees living systems as luminous) conversation that is core for a guided imagery pattern language and additive on its own merits to the already well researched/documented evidence-based studies for guided imagery generally; Edith Cobb’s The Ecology of Imagination in Children and Michael Winkelman’s Shamanism - A Biosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Healing.

This blog offers up thirteen simple idea progressions, stepping-stones into a greater imaginative adaptation for expanding our tool base of guided imagery – a language of healing energies. These thirteen are as follows and repeated in the body of the text. Take a short cut and read the summary next!

1. IDEA:  Guided Imagery is a tool in a rich system of consciousness - An ecology of imagination: Its material is a form of pattern language as kind of metabolic re-fueling from our environment. 

2. IDEA:  language is a circular causal system, a living system, and a construct of patterns.

3. IDEA:  new adaptations to the external world become a creative stimulus as feedback to the self, a vortex loop, and a spirit mindbody interplay. 

4. IDEA:  healings call to awake is the perception that there are living systems found in visual patterns, a pattern language that reforms whole systems.

5. IDEA:  sensing through pattern language touches on the poetic “ a sea of change lifts us out of the realms of illness into a charmed recognition of the creative intelligence of the new world.

6. IDEA:  healing language and thought that is organized perceptions and intellectual patterns–change as knowledge develops, producing new meaning and new scripts, which evolve out of the older interpretations. 

7. IDEA:  there is a step up - or step into this healing language center, roundness, wholeness” a pattern as a form of transcendence, this winding path, a subtle reaching into time and space for the feedback of information from the environment. 

8. IDEA:   wholeness and healing is best expressed by the word ecology. One's health depends on personal creativity.

9. IDEA:  affirming the concept there is nothing new under the sun.

10. IDEA:  the ecosystem of languaging in a deep-guided imagery is embedded in a psychosocial milieu as its center and transcends while unfolding its wholeness.

11. IDEA:  “health in the case of human beings means more than a state in which the organism has become physically suited to the surroundings” 

12. IDEA:  playful engagement amplifies creative imagination.

13. IDEA:  Constant exposure to sensory stimuli and new experiences (novelty) as in guided imagery pattern language acts as a continuous developmental process in the nervous system. 

The father of the term pattern language, Christopher Alexander, observation was that any constructed environment (ed. used in a healing context as a metaphor for living systems) “is like a ‘language’, it is composed of different identifiable elements, some obvious, some subtle, and like any language, it can be used to write beautiful poetry or doggerel”.  Alexander put it like this; “the elements (its materiality) of this language are entities called patterns.  Each pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice”. The concept then extends into a means to engage with the environments within living systems, the ecology of healing, It can then becomes a tool for deepening guided imagery, a visual palette of sorts.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." John Muir 

“There are neurobiological structures of knowing that provide the universal aspects of the human brain/mind.  “Neurognostic” structures are the inherent knowledge structures of the organism that predispose and mediate the organization of experience. We are born with content–rich intuitive knowledge modules that explain human’s rapid learning of specific kinds of information. The inevitability of language acquisition in normal cultural context and the normal attribution of beliefs and desires to others reflect the operation of these innate capacities of the human brain. Key to understanding human uniqueness include deliberate imitation, tool- use, social relations and mind, and communication - music and language. These areas of specialized learning reflect evolutionary adaptations providing specialized automatized skills that enhance awareness of important natural and social relations and their benefits  (ed. healing consciousness)” Winkleman

“The spiritual is an intrinsic part of symbolism and the evolution of human cognitive capacities.  The human experience of (ed. spirit) our souls in the sense of a self that is independent of our body is produced through symbols. Symbols can create an independent virtual identity of the disembodied self.  This self reflects the power of the symbolic capacity to free one’s perceptions from the constraints of the immediate present, to allow imagination to take precedence in guiding adaptive behaviors. This biologically based evolutionary framework for understanding humanity’s most ancient spiritual and healing tradition explains the cross–cultural distribution of remarkably similar spiritual and healing practices and consciousness traditions”. Winkleman

Spirit and the biosocial conversation

In our current evolving integrated health model the new ecology of healing falls under a holistic ideation of spirit mind-body. The implications regarding Spirit Mindbody when identified under the concept of spiritual open up a biopsychosocial conversation.

Guided imagery in the symbolic species

“The symbolic representations evolved processes of mind provide an ability to use internalized abstract models  (ed. i.e. tools) to engage in learning by extrapolating different possible scenarios and behaviors.  It is this journey into symbol, into image, into hidden systems of meaning that humans encounter the adaptive potentials of the spiritual to guide our perceptions and behaviors.” Michael Winkleman

This symbol visual language in many respects is akin to the concept of  “the magic circle- mandala ” in its representation of wholeness, a kind of holographic field of circles of centers. “The Mandalas (no matter their form) offers us a profound way to examine our inner reality, to integrate that understanding with our physical selves, and to feel connected to the greater universe”. Fincher, The Mandala Workbook

“Our consciousness does not create itself it wells up from unknown depths. In childhood it awakens gradually and all through life it wakes each morning out of the depth of sleep from an unconscious condition”            C G Jung

A poem 

Our unity of awareness

the landscape and the language

are the same embodied patterns

and we ourselves

are pattern language and are land

What is thy echo in his conch shell

locked by sound of sea?

Simplicity is the tree

Yet, we sit beneath the tree

in calm serenity

Leaves repeating patterned glory

among the leaves we are the hidden bird

we are the singer we are the heard

It is this alchemy metal to gold , pattern to language 

by which we grow

It is the self imbued, this interplay in form, in image and word,

The word, the image  becoming world as hitched to everything

in all the fields of all.

And with each part we play

we add to cosmic sum. 

A remix / Adaptation of a Conrad Aiken Poem

Deeper paths into guided imagery as Stepping stones

IDEA: language is a circular causal system, a living system, and a construct of patterns.

IDEA: new adaptations to the external world becomes a creative stimulus as feedback to the self; a vortex loop, a spirit mindbody interplay. 

IDEA: healing's call to awake is the perception that there are living systems found in visual patterns, a pattern language that reforms whole systems.

IDEA:  sensing through pattern language touches on the poetic “ a sea of change lifts us out of the realms of illness into a charmed recognition of the creative intelligence of the new world.

A bit of story telling!

Cobb quoting Berenson  “The world outside ourselves, the non-identified, non-–ego, that stretches before and around us, is a script (ed. a form of narrative)- we have to learn to read. And yet the ability to see afresh, to revise, review, and reinterpret this same world in a continuous state of growth and change depends on the individual capacity to “dissolve” experience to primary levels of motion, color, and form in the ever changing context of time and space and so to reorder and rebuild new and different forms, to multiply the world we live in”. (ed. is a pattern language)).

Cobb tells a story “ Gazing at the leafy scrolls carved on the door-jamb of San Pietro outside Spoleto, suddenly stem, tendril, and foliage became alive, and, becoming alive, made me feel as if I had emerged into the light after long groping in the darkness of initiation. I felt as one illumined, and beheld a world where every outline, every edge, and every surface was in relation to me, and not merely in mind. (Bernard Berenson).

Here we have a menu of patterns as identified by Alexander. Outline and every edge are boundaries. Scrolls centers and wholes, leafy foliage, are repetition, stem, tendril, and foliage are echoes, the light, is stability and calm etc. We are given a map to a treasure of light and spirit to a deepened, to an essence, an engagement - a tool for a deeper guided imagery.

This pattern language a kind of field of center informs our knowledge of living systems as fields of healing. It is this interplay that is a dance that deepens our healing being for we now see with eyes that are far-reaching into the inner space. Everything is interconnected, whole/unit embodied in centers. From here all else begins to unfold. 

Guided Imagery's evolving patterns!  From here all else begins to unfold

IDEA:  healing language and thought that is organized perceptions and intellectual patterns, change as knowledge develops, producing new meaning and new scripts, which evolve out of the older interpretations. 

IDEA:  there is a step up - or step into this healing language center, roundness, wholeness” a pattern as a form of transcendence, this winding path, a subtle reaching into time and space for the feedback of information from the environment. 

Guided imagery medically speaking is a healing ecology

We now embed pattern language into a greater framework – an ecology of imagination through these next four simple ideas.

IDEA:   wholeness and healing is best expressed by the word ecology. One's health depends on personal creativity.

Cobb expands her vision: in the midst of responding to stimuli and adapting to them, each person tries to achieve some self–selected end.  In a human living systems spirit mind-body, health and “acts of personal creation” are inextricably interwoven. Medically speaking according to Rene Dubos, “the sort of mutuality that exist between organisms and their normal environment has become a requirement for physiological and psychological well–being.” This mutuality is best expressed by the word ecology.

IDEA:  affirming the concept there is nothing new under the sun.

Cobb expands: we see in René Dubos “the evolutionary development of all living organisms, including man, took place under the influence of cosmic forces that have not changed appreciably for very long periods of time. As a result most physiological processes are still dear to these forces “one must think in terms of individual health as successful adaptation to the cosmos as well as to culture and society and that this adaptation is temporal as well as spatial”

What is behind the door of a deep guided imagery? 

IDEA: the ecosystem of languaging in a deep guided imagery is embedded in a psychosocial milieu as its center and transcends while unfolding its wholeness. 

Cobb again quoting Dubos “experience shows that human beings are not acts of personal creation tied to or neurological system, to their passive components in adaptive systems. The responses commonly manifest themselves as acts of personal creation”-  Mindbody cannot be separated, for perception by the nervous system must be transcended, organized, and coordinated into the language structure of the culture within which the person lives.

IDEA: “health in the case of human beings means more than a state in which the organism has become physically suited to the surroundings”… 

“ it demands that the personality be able to express itself creatively. This, in turn implies that we must learn to treat creativity in terms of value systems that differ from intellectual achievement yet reinforce positive aesthetic attitudes towards nature and man and our culturally created world imagery.”  Cobb

An interactive whole  - a world game language

IDEA:  playful engagement amplifies creative imagination.

Again paraphrasing Cobb, The language of vision is a renewal of the desire to be creative, a form of dance like patterning. The most striking remembrances of this type describing acute pleasure in the incoming flux of minutia–the mosaic of immediate sensory experience of the natural world on the one hand, and on the other a sudden exultation (ed. novelty) and delighted sense of freedom in the vastness of open spaces, namely, time. 

This playful engagement often thought of as irrationality and the use of many models (ed. categories, maps or the embedded material and tools as in this healing ecology and pattern language) aligns to George Lakoff  the cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and his take on this conversation one step further regarding categories and models.  He concludes: "Changing our ideas about categories will require changing our ideas about rational thought, the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, and, in the process, changing our conception of man. Rationality, rather than being disembodied, purely mental, asocial, unfeeling and mechanical, is something which essentially involves the body, the senses, the emotions, social structure, interactions with other people, the imagination, and the capacity for idealization and for understanding based on the totality of experience. And the use of many partial models, some of which are inconsistent with each other, to comprehend experience is not irrational, but rather fits the paradigm of human rationality.

This does not necessarily imply that objectivist categories and models should be abandoned. It does suggest that these constitute only one form of language and that there are others on whose resources society can draw at this critical time.” (Categories and Cognitive Models, 1982)

The dance of pattern language

Dance, play and novelty, “It is also a form in all stages of development, is closer to a body rhythm, a process more primal and more organic than later processes of formal knowledge in that it retains a poetic creative power translatable into a verbal image and temporal sequence” Cobb. This pattern language embedded in guided imagery is essentially, again paraphrasing Cobb, poetic because it is a vertical, rhythmic, informative and generative sense; it is a sensory integration of self and environment, awaiting verbal expression. These very moments are recalled by the very one who seeks to renew and reinforce vision and so extend creative powers. In order to reach such levels of perceptiveness and responsiveness, we need to retain an ability to embody patterns and extend our human capacity to allow Spirit mind-body periods of calm–so we may hearken to the language of spirit mind body as an information system. Only in this way can we continue to hope to maintain general adaptiveness to changes in relation with the meaning of the environment.

Cobb expanding a bit on Francis Bacon “This is that visual vocabulary and (ed, guided image pattern language) language which has gone out to all the ends of the earth… this we must learn, and in resuming our youth, become again as little children, and deign to take its alphabet into our hearts” .

 

A healing ecology, healing pathways of intensified physical perception

This pattern language is a form of visual immediacy from the vocabulary of perception. It can be thought of as a moment of intensified physical perception. “The point is that it is not the moments of regression that empower actual creativity–an idea often proposed in psycho analytic studies of creativity. It is the capacity for returning reductively to the use of universals, to the “materials” that furnish human beings with the power to create imagery, that inspires adult creativity, creative evolution, as understood in this work, consists in the achievement of richer and more creative relations to the total organism with its total environment”. Cobb

IDEA: Constant exposure to sensory stimuli and new experiences (novelty) as in guided imagery pattern language acts as a continuous developmental process in the nervous system. The process of growth in metabolic renewal of tissue must continue as a survival function. "Healing and learning art as a form of creative intelligence share curiously similar problem–solving, form–creating functions; both also involve the organizing of spatiotemporal relations and both are ultimately cosmic phenomena, although expressed in biologically based patterns of behavior". Cobb quoting Arnold Gesell

 “There are many indications that man is just about to begin to participate consciously and somewhat more knowingly and responsibly in his own evolutionary transformation (ed. meaning a healing- consciousness)” Cobb.

Body image in the world image overlap in the work of living systems i.e. our nervous system: the identity of each and every person is therefore, an ego–whole system - field of consciousness the fruits of this intelligence are to be found in man’s highest cultural and social institutions, such as medicine and education which are in actuality highly evolved forms of nurture (ed. not nature). 

A new impetus embedded in spirit mind-body tends to evoke men’s nurturing impulses, thus developing new methods of healing that lead to new techniques of learning. In these conditions prevail the world–or the particular ecological niche we inhabit, because in truth it is a form of soul making. 

The development of compassionate intelligence as a cultural goal has a neural psychological biological basis in its impulse to nurture to cultivate or heal human mind and body. In any creative perceptions of poet and child we are close to the biology of thought itself; close, in fact to the ecology of imagination, in which the energies of the body and mind as a unit as an echo system.  Many energies of nature combine in a mutual endeavor to adapt to nature, to culture, into the societies devised by man to embody culture. Today we are in a position to release this creative drive into the world.”   Edith Cobb


Guided imagery, pattern language is biopsychological. Meditation, visualization and the pattern language of guided imagery are shared ingredients in the spirit mindbody paradigm of consciousness and healing.

 

In summary:  Pattern, that tool for visual intelligence, the deeper principle of guided imagery is the mosaic, the creative fabric of perception and the stuff of creative intelligence that is able to recover or unfold metaphorically the material wholeness and creative intelligence as woven into states of spirit and healing. 

This creative intelligence plays out in and is driven in an ecology of living systems, a world scene image–based natural world structure providing access to evolutionary earlier structures of the brain and their learning and memory processes (mind-body).

Linkage between imaginative capacities and adaptation (ed. survival) reflects the power of consciousness of our ancient brains that have embedded in them a form of the “neurognostic intelligence”, an evolutionary language of creative imagination, an ecology of healing as spirit mind-body. “These image–based structures when seen as health oriented, are the outcomes of integrative impulse, manifested in mirror neurons, alterations of consciousness, and the visionary integration of a diversified self, these capacities are manifested by mimesis  (an ancient driver of multiple integrative mechanisms) a central feature of human cognitive evolution. Our strategic intellectual skills and capacities are associated with an internal locus–of–control, a sense of being in control of one’s own fate”. Winkelman. 

The Spirit aspect of the triad spirit mindbody can now be owned in its own right as a ecology of a living system, a whole system , a field of holism. Holistic practitioners now have a tool and materials, a learning system from which to deepen Guided Imagery in pattern language. The principle within healing consciousness, creative imagination and language of patterns in guided imagery form and inform the new processes in integrative modalities from meditation, visualization and the pattern language of guided imagery.  We now can take a seat at the table of integrated science and medicine and no longer are required to defend concepts of myth or religion because we now have adaptive evolutionary patterns of consciousness in both a neurognostic and psychoneuroimmunological model. 

While akin to meditation or forms of mindfulness it winds one into new pathways in that it is embedded in an ecology of healing. This model simply requires a centering, a breathing into the natural world, eyes wide open, having a visual guided imagery tool palette, a map of sorts and opening up into the narrative as pattern language. Then listening to the deepened self of the whole spirit mindbody conversation as communion into healing energy.

 


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Del.icio.us! Google! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Twitter! LinkedIn! Joomla Free PHP
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy

 




A visual tour into things
Guided Imagery for beginners.

Register to receive this free download.