The development of reflective and reflexive thought in the ‘other‘.
- Personal Development toward individual mastery.
An essential quality of the human self is mentorship. This is the transmission of information to others without any noise, or distraction between the giver and the receiver. The icon that illustrates this is the eagle; or reflectiveness. Reflectiveness in our understanding has a range of subtleties. It is essentially a trinity of qualities; in essence portrayed by the epic stories of the Titans Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus and his wife, Pandora. They encapsulate the moment when the seeker of fire (of transformation)–or any such gift–brings down an incomplete understanding of the element to humankind. Prometheus did not see the implication or consequences of his actions. After mayham, mishap, war and pestilence have occurred, in hindsight (Epimetheus) he sees the consequences of ill conceived or little understood knowledge which when incomplete in our understanding can wreck havoc. In our thoughts on mentoring, the negative or unforseen acts of visioning, seeing, illuminating, knowledge transmission may have consequences. The godhead of this binary dynamic, the ‘father’ of this trinity, is the wife Pandora. The vase that she has been given can be translated as her womb, or in esoteric terms the earthly (hence wife) vessel– which carries our inner Self. When transforming ‘fire’ surges through our inner selves (the vessel) then all hell may break lose. This can be called a spiritual crisis, or in its passive phase the dark night of the soul. It is incumbent upon us not to put the lid back onto the vase i.e. close ourselves down, as the purge, or inner cleansing must take place as the seeker cleans out his inner self through Heaven’s Light. This light more often or not is carried by the mentor in our communities.
Like all our iconography there are numerous subtexts or nuances associated with the language ‘reflectiveness’. If we dig into modern dictionaries we come across a particular word not often used. This is reflexive; which comes from the work of William Thomas (1923, 1928) and whose ideas are encapsulated in what is called the Thomas theorem, which is the understanding of circular relationships between causes and affects, and in sociology infers that we develop hindsight or view things by looking backwards upon it, as a mode of self-reference. This bending back upon ourselves is a reflective quality and allows us to create structure, order and give meaning. Essentially it is also ontological for it allows us to see the different accidents that create order or disorder, for it promotes self consciousness inquiry in relation to social dynamics.
Mentoring is essential in our work we call InnerDialogue. It is the notion that the elder practitioner can promote a reflexive and reflective capacity within the other–whether fellow practitioner or client. It is the transmission of knowledge built on dialogue and the capacity to bend backwards upon ourselves and our origin (immediate or in the far distance), or to foreword think. It engages the capacity for us to think on a grand scale, to go lateral, to downsize and to see the detail. It promotes the idea of putting yourself into another’s shoes, so that we don’t make assumptions which are instinctual or from our gut feelings but to be able to tune into the other. It is to see in its farthest reaches, and also to be seen: to allow ourselves to be illuminated by surrender, so that transmission becomes untainted by self; one’s biases, notions, experience that does not necessarily match up to the recipient–not to cast pearls before those who cannot receive it.
to be continued