Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Shame-based Spiritual Striving

A Letter From A Reader

Hello there:

I just want to say that I really appreciate what you are doing here. I think shame-based spiritual striving is a big part of the problem here. When we have wounds of shame, we can get caught into these patterns of dysfunctional teacher/student relationships. I grew up in a spiritual community that my parents belonged to. When the "shit hit the fan", many people including myself at age 23, went through a painful process of re-orientation to life that involved, among other things, healing deep feelings of shame. This task continues.

I nearly went to a Cohen retreat a year or two ago, but fortunately my "antenna" from overcoming my earlier years kicked in enough to stop me. Then, I attended a local Cohen/Integral group for meetings, but became aware of interpersonal/group process problems rather quickly. This group subsequently folded.

There is such a thing as healthy shame: "red" acts should bring shame upon our heads, to keep that energy in control. If even half the events described by contributors to your blog are true, then Cohen really ought to be ashamed of himself. Shame on you, Andrew!

Warmest regards,
Durwin Foster, M.A.
Doctoral Student (Counselling Psychology)
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education
University of British Columbia


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