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Dr. Keith Witt talks about our shared emotional reactions to the election and ongoing cultural upheavals, and some strategies help us not only cope, but actually grow through these times.
Originally recorded on Integral Live.
Spiral Dynamics maintains that life conditions generate worldviews, and I generally agree. Well researched examples are how authoritarian environments tend to evoke authoritarian family structures, and loving communitarian environments tend to generate healing intersubjectivity.
All communication is complementary. You speak angrily to me, I feel like responding angrily to you. You speak kindly to me, and I feel more kindly to you. We know this is partially due to our extensive mirror neuron systems which cause us to echo another’s states when our eyes meet, our voices engage, or we move in synchrony. I believe we also share other intersubjective and morphic systems—subtle energy fields we contribute to and are influenced by.
All this being said, everyone is to some extent challenged by the life conditions in the current world. So, what is sanity here?
Carrying on and ignoring the tumult? Sometimes.
Taking actions in service of values and core beliefs? Sometimes.
Raging at injustice and bigotry? Sometimes.
Affiliating with like-minded others? Sometimes.
Seeking compassionate understanding of self and others? Always.
Independent of vMEME and life conditions, most of us spend our time in one of two radically different types of states: a) healthy responses to the present moment, and b) defensive states. These show up differently at different altitudes, but defensive states and states of healthy response have characteristic behavioral and neurobiological processes across worldviews.
Becoming more sensitive to defensive states and states of healthy response helps us find meaning. It also helps with three central goals of therapy — to enjoy life, love ourselves and others better, and serve the world.
Watch as Dr. Keith explores all this material, and how to use it to become less clueless and more dialed-in in the post-truth era.
About Keith Witt
Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.
About Corey deVos
Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of KenWilber.com. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.