Suzanne Treister's Alchemy series. Click on the image to see more.

It’s another birthday for the O. div and I think it’s high time that I resurrected this blog from its liminal archival status considering how many new posts I’ve written. In any case, O. div archival content is available on waybackmachine, the internet archive. There’s also a more specific reason why I’m prompted to continue blogging: our psychological and philosophical models of mind-body are still evolving and I’m of the mind to record my observations as these movements unfold. Below: continuing thoughts on modernity, cultural appropriation and new trends in psychology…

A long time ago, almost 4 years to be precise, I wrote about the need for people to develop endemic ways of addressing the psychological and existential crises of modernity. This meant to me, moving beyond the colonialist model of appropriating and fetishizing the spiritual traditions of other cultures. Cultures where the Western/North American powers have frequently played a major role in stripping people of their religious and spiritual practices and the contexts within which such practices developed. I still see how people will commodify and covet these practices in order to capture a romantic notion of the supposed innocence lost with each new wave of capitalism.

More wisdom from Guru Lululemon which highlights the contradictions inherent within postmodern spirituality. Wouldn't ads and copy focusing on the superior quality and fit of Lululemon's products be more *authentic* than its yoga manifesto?

But things have changed since I first wrote that post. I’m reading about research in psychology and cognitive science on meditation, Eastern notions of wisdom. I’m reading about new schools of therapy like MCBT (Mindful Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. We have a chance to witness first hand, the research world opening itself up to these new syncretic movements, new concepts being integrated into mainstream thinking instead of merely being grafted onto Western thought, or being relegated to the margins of another New Age fad.

But the West/N. America still extracts spirituality from the developing world as we continue to extract their physical resources. While middle class N. Americans practice yoga, worship non-Western goddesses and contemplate aboriginal trickster cycles, the lives of living aboriginals, indigenous peoples and many in the developing world are still subject to the fatalistic cycling of an economy controlled by the few.

Disney's Pocahontas, the Noble Savage in contemporary Western imagination, compared with...

reality: tension between a Canadian soldier and aboriginal activist in the 1990 Oka Crisis. Today, this stands as but one example of many land claims disputes in Canada. Canadian aboriginals, Inuit and Metis are among my country's most marginalized groups.

I don’t believe that true compassion or any kind of enlightenment as a community can exist until we begin to address and change this colonialist legacy. I am not talking about the privileged changing society to liberate the oppressed in some kind of paternalistic fantasy of the Western (Caucasian) saviour, but rather, to liberate ourselves together. Do you truly believe you are not yourself oppressed in some way when so many others live in oppression?

Years ago, I wanted to talk to my unconscious about colonialism. Well, it laughed at me for trying to set the agenda and pointed out that there is a place untouched by colonialism and the human rights violations I was so concerned about. It wasn’t a dispassionate negation of my concerns, but I understood then, just how very young capitalism is. I still believe that with changes in our understanding of the mind-body, we will learn to construct modern narratives and create modern metaphors that help us revolutionize the capitalist legacy we’ve created. Another hypothesis in this experiment in the history of consciousness…

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