Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Institute of Expanded Intimacy

Human evolution is distinctive in that it is not marked only by biological transformation but also social transformation. The very nature of which has redirected the course of biological transformation.

Moving from a biologically based evolutionary process to one that is socially based imposes a higher order of freewill and responsibility on the species in directing its own evolution. Freewill is bounded by the same imperative as any other evolutionary process, namely survival.
There is an emerging paradigm shift that will recognize and develop this unique aspect of what it is to be human.

To this point in our transformation we have become seduced by our powers to control and manipulate the quantifiable aspects of the world. While this seduction was made possible by our desire for creativity, it has pushed us down the path of materialism, which, ironically, has left us isolated and less creative.

On this path of materialism we have learned to objectify people at the exclusion of their more uniquely human nature.

This objectification has isolated us from each other and even from ourselves.
Socialization is about relationships, which are inherently unquantifiable. As such we have failed to understand or adequately develop this most human potential.

Our attempts to understand, nurture and heal relationships have come, once again with irony, from an attempt to be objective, isolated and removed (i.e. the “science” of psychology.) These are anti-relationship perspectives. One aspect of the paradigm shift is to develop nonobjective models for understanding that is more holistic and integrated than the academic, scientific model will allow. Foreshadowing of this shift might exist in the more proximal conclusions being drawn from new understandings of chaos and ideas in particle physics but also from literature. Expanding our ability to assimilate information in a more complete context will require something more like metaphor than physics.

Relationships are not well understood in the linear restricted variables of scientific investigation. They are better understood in the textured blendings of art, music and metaphor.
Connecting to the human soul, which has been isolated and perhaps atrophied, requires recognition of the limitations of materialism and an appreciation of relationship and transformation. The arts, to this point, have been an embellishment of materialism more so than an articulation of transformation. At least this is so on the part of those who view art objectively apart from themselves rather than as a process that they are a part of.

Art also provides a conduit to the souls abstractions.

An aspect of a paradigm shift is likely to be an ability to make art a process in people’s lives and a mechanism for communication on a more visceral basis.

Relationship, like art, from the objective perspective of analysis is out of context and non-participatory.

The most profound connection that also provides, at least with the possibility of transcendence, is sexuality. This base biological need also contains the conduit to the most sophisticated aspects of human potential.

Sexuality is the mechanism that runs on love. Love is the energy that connects people.

Fear and insecurity have limited our understanding of, and access to, this most profound element of humanity.

Culturally sanctioned sexuality has, to this point, been locked behind the secure and secretive doors of matrimony, in rooms with the curtains pulled tight. It continues to be looked at from the perspective of a means of procreation more sop than a means of transformation. Sex can be the strongest bonding agent between people. We are hardwired to connect sexually. This hardwiring goes beyond the drive to mate. It includes such sophisticated psychological mechanisms as long periods of enhanced tolerance and empathy as relationships begin. Human empathy is affected by sex, yet we fail to see or value this element of sexuality. The lexicon with which we speak about sexuality is far more limited than the potential contained there. We cannot conceive of expanded intimacy in the range of sexuality because we look at sex only in the range of coital procreation. We can ritualize love and sexuality in a wider range of its vast human potential. Just as sexuality can bring two people together it can be a bonding element in community as well.

Sexuality provides a window to the essential fears and fantasies that direct us. Why do we do dream analysis and fail to do fantasy analysis?

The institute of expanded intimacy seeks to:
  • Increase access to the process of art for a wider range of people.

  • Encourage art as language, especially in articulating relationship.
    Explore the function of art as a conduit to the soul and a pathway of transformation, as it applies both to the individual soul and to the collective soul.

  • To encourage a value in art as lifestyle and lifestyle as art. This is a radical difference from art being the stuff that you hang on a wall and occasionally go to a museum or music venue to experience.

  • Expand the sophistication with which love and sexuality are viewed.
    View love and sexuality as a conduit to connect people individually and in community
    Explore love and sexuality as a social bonding agent.
  • Perceive the world with the understanding that our salvation is dependant on a paradigm shift that results in more a more sophisticated sense of empathy within and beyond our species.

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