Looks like I’ll be sharing essays and papers now and then, formatted for Merlight. 🙂 This one was heavily edited, as I was two pages over limit. Whee. It’s for my couples and family therapy intro course.
Veil of Elysium
Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
February 24th, 2017.
Eyes of a Child: Confluent Theology and Theory
I have not lived in a singular theological paradigm. With my upbringing and understanding being self-directed, I will state my theological position as Eclectic Wiccan in this moment of time. This reflects my Pagan (nature-based, immanent-transcendent) inclination while structurally permissive, and draws upon my First Degree under a sacerdotal lineage. Two core concepts I consistently adhere to within my theological understanding are complementary duality and refusal of transcendence.
I see complements as associated with compliments. Instead of complements as two separate yet interlinked and/or interdependent constructs, I prefer the view that complements are different perspectives of the same construct. For couples, this can be expressed in compliments, as in enhancement and emphasis on individual qualities while maintaining the complementary view. If the couple is dyad, a single unit, then this allows me to see past conflict dualist paradigms. In essence, my framework for couples is based in duality, not dualism, as a lens of complementary (duality) instead of conflictive (dualistic) approaches.
As marked from birth for mysticism, I reject my path of transcendence. I see this goal as the final martyrdom. The ego as defined in Freudian psychoanalysis and philosophy is a protective construct aimed to retain a person’s agency. I developed a metaphor that works well enough for me to introduce the existential problem of transcendence framed by proto-Jungian theory. It is the mirror and Mirror, and the model below was edited from its first conception (Tejai, 2016b):
Reflection: I see my image in the mirror.
Refraction: I see my image in others.
Reflexivity: I part of the mirror. I am in the mirror.
Meta-reflexivity: I am the Mirror.
To venture beyond this is the spiritual Schwarzschild radius. Into the Schwarzschild black hole goes the Self, into annihilation and integration. The Schwarzschild descriptions of an event horizon and a black hole sketch the implications as a powerful image that may illustrate the proto-Jungian call for individuation.
As formally aligned to proto-Jungian theory, I acknowledge influences of archetypal energies from the collective unconscious in all expressions. This viewpoint also gives me freedom from ego crises when I am able to select from innumerable personae to make statements without personal endorsement. My Shadow, as The Snow Queen (Tejai, 2016a; A. Schnarr, personal communication, September, 2016) can override my detachment. Instead of the Shadow as a danger, obstacle, or enemy, The Snow Queen is protective. Like any protector, sometimes such benevolent intentions may result in effects that are malefic.
A Rose of Obsidian: Syntheses for Essential Couple and Family Health
As a derivative of my rejection of transcendence, it could follow that I reject linearization and circular thinking. A circle is a curved line; it remains focused on a looped teleological view. There is also the danger of extrapolation. While adaptive, I do not see this as necessarily healthy. I argue that communication is combinations of feedforward and feedback modeling, here the danger and protection of extrapolation is most salient when miscommunication arises. As a primarily nonverbal communicator, I point out that nonverbal and verbal expression is systemic. If attention gains fine-grained foci with freedom to move in/out of coarse-grained foci, expressive communication is easier to perceive as symbolic reasoning in moment to/in moment integrative responses.
On the trail of complementary duality, I assert that maturity is learning how to be appropriately dependent while retaining self-respect. This is a confirmation of as a requirement for healthy couples and families from a multigenerational orientation (Long & Young, 2007, p. 40). Finally, with a sprinkling of a strategic perspective (pp. 52-55), I firmly believe that growth cannot be facilitated and maintained by everlasting peace. If order takes pre-eminence, such rigidity is utopian ideals that are dystopian (Orwell, 1990; Lowry, 1994).
Shade of a Life: Immediate Receptive and Projective Impacts of Syntheses
These stated syntheses affected my work with couples and families in the following recent and most relevant experiences and goals: I emphasized attention for an adolescent’s suicidal gestures and imminent attempt; disowned my family of origin to assert my rights and responsibilities; my ignorance of group dynamics led to painful dissolution (Tejai, 2016c); engaged an authoritarian person via stimulation and simulation to explore friendships despite his poor history of interpersonal bonds.
My syntheses and previous work outline these goals: Exploring opportunities and consequences I am endowed with while carrying a schizotypal personality, building communication and rapport skills, balancing demands on, considerations of identities, and further examination of ethics and legality.
Existence will capture a Spark of Life: Biases and Minimization
Biases are not to be labelled as negative; they are outcomes of cognitive schemata. The observation that therapists have biases is heartening. It is not wrong to have biases, yet it is important to be aware of these especially when one is concerned about the threatening angles towards transference and countertransference.
I refuse to give up on persons labelled as abus(ive/ers). I consistently found that establishing and retaining human connection is key to healing destructive patterns. The issues are boundary violations and my personal safety threatened. I address these with my care team. I have related such topics to educators with the intention of learning from such mercurial lessons.
Multi-faceted perspectives, while adaptive, certainly have their consequences. Oftentimes this is expressed against me as persecution, discrimination, rejection, misunderstandings, and miscommunications. I have a powerful urge to challenge as I see fit, and it is difficult to know when that behaviour is welcome in settings beyond myself.
Individualizing with appreciation for the collective, I encounter my resistance against conformity and adhering to norms at any scale I perceive as oppressive. After the emotional volatility passes, I appreciate my contributions and desires. No human is alone, and as I am still learning, I too am human.
REFERENCES + BIBLIOGRAPHY
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
- Corey, G., Corey, M. S., Corey, C., & Callanan, P. (2015). Issues and ethics in the helping professions (9th ed.). Stamford, CT, United States of America: Cengage Learning.
- Crichton, M. (1991). Jurassic park. United States of America: Ballatine Books.
- Kamelot. (2015, May 5). Veil of Elysium. On Haven [MP3]. United States of America: Napalm Records/Universal.
- Long, L., & Young, M. (2007). Counseling and therapy for couples (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA, United States of America: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
- Lowry, L. (2004). The giver. United States of America: Gale Group.
- Orwell, G. (1990). Nineteen eighty-four. London, England, United Kingdom: Penguin Books.
- Taibbi, R. (2007). Doing family therapy: Craft and creativity in clinical practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY, United States of America: Guilford Press.
- Tejai, K. (2014). Forever’s interval. United States of America: America Star Books.
- Tejai, K. (2016, September 25). The shadow as the snow queen [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://merlight.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/the-shadow-as-the-snow-queen
- Tejai, K. (2016, November 9). Safety in shadows [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://merlight.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/safety-in-shadows
- Tejai, K. (2016, November 12). Request: Questionability of female loyalty [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://merlight.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/request-questionability-of-female-loyalty
- Virtue, D. (2014). Earth angel realms: Revised and updated information for incarnated angels, elementals, wizards, and other lightworkers. United States of America: Hay House.