Reply To: Psychotherapy with LH patients

  • Don Salmon

    June 17, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Lucy:

    What you said about connecting from your heart really gets to the essence of it for me. I’m not sure that among the thousands of people I worked with over 25+ years, any intellectual knowledge ever made a difference. I know that every day of contemplation and meditation (and I don’t mean just sitting eyes closed but through all of life) affected every moment I spent with folks.

    As far as the RH connecting to spirit – it sounds like you’re studying Ayurveda through David Frawley’s institute (I think that’s it, or is it Vasant Lad?) In any case, I assume then you have some familiarity with Vedic/Vedantic psychology.

    So instead of RH/LH, let’s say intuitive/immersed consciousness (I-I Cs.) and analytic/detached consciousness (A/D Cs. ) Now, this has been known for thousands of years. Iain’s work, to my mind, is important mainly because so many people nowadays won’t trust anything in spirituality or psychology unless it comes across as “scientific” (no disrespect meant here; Iain has at times acknowledged this himself)

    So let’s look at how Vedanta relates to this.

    You have the intuitive and analytic consciousness, which are both aspects of the mind. Remember these are both related, as Iain describes them, to the conscious mind, related to the cortex, so there’s the whole subconscious, subcortical realm of the mind as well.

    Furthermore, all contemplative traditions (Tibetan Buddhist, Christian, Vedantic, Taoist, whatever) speak of intuitive regions of mental consciousness far beyond our waking mind (that is, beyond all that Iain writes about in both of his books).

    And all of that is just the mind.

    Then you have the life energy, or “pranic” energy. You also have the consciousness (shakti) of the body.

    And all of the above is just skimming the surface.

    You have vast realms of consciousness beyond the waking state, vast inner dream worlds that are not just private but collective.

    And you have the Pure Consciousness, Pure Awareness (which actually in some Tibetan schools IS individualized as well as non-individualized.

    So I would be very very careful about equating RH and spiritual awareness. So far, after 50+ years of study, I’ve never seen anything in the scientific literature (even the research that touches on Tibetan Buddhism, Vedanta, etc) that is remotely touching “the hem of the garment” of what the contemplative traditions know.

    But back to the heart – bipolar disorder and meditation. Many researchers will deny this, but I’ve also seen people who have been touched deeply by meditation, whose hearts – and pranic energy and much more – have woken up and through mindfulness, through heart-fulness, through connecting with other people, and countless more ways, have fully recovered, not just from bipolar disorder but from severe traumas, deep depression, and more.

    To the extent we’ve bought into the world view of modern materialism, we just have no idea of the infinite possibilities of the human spirit – or just, the spirit (which is no different in essence from matter – as Iain writes about quite well toward the end of “The Matter With Things.”

    I don’t think you have to read his books to understand this. David Frawley’s “The Yoga of Consciousness” goes into this in far more detail (or if I may add, our book, “Yoga Psychology and the Transformation of Consciousness: Seeing Through the Eyes of Infinity” goes into this in great detail, and relates the yogic way to much of modern evolutionary neuroscience as well as psychology and psychotherapy)