The following is a semi-long post that covers topics like: What I’ve Been Reading, Attachment Theory, Enneagram, Meditation, and the differing relationship between the Ego in Meditation in the East vs the West.
I primarily listen to audiobooks rather than read books because most of the time when I have full focus I prefer to be creating rather than consuming.
The last audiobook I listened to was Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. It was great for what it is, though I also have some critiques and more thorough commentary.
Now I’m listening to Your Brain on Love by Stan Tatkin on the recommendation from Mikyö Clark.
I’m 20% in so far I like it though have a few critiques as well.
The book is basically about the neurobiology and neurochemistry of Love and its confluence with Attachment Theory described in a very accessible way for a lay person.
I’ve never really gotten into Attachment Theory but a lot of my friends are very into it, so this is a good way for me to go deeper.
Attachment Theory has three core styles Insecure: Avoidant, Insecure: Anxious and Secure.
Stan nicknames these types the Island, the Wave and the Anchor respectively.
Now I’m just getting to the section where he overlays those types with a polarity describing the excitability of someone’s nervous system nicknamed Airplane and Submarine.
My main normative recommendations so far:
1 – I keep seeing Personality models like Enneagram and Jungian Typology as being confounding variables in the explanatory model of Attachment Theory. It doesn’t make sense to make predictive therapeutic recommendations from just the Attachment Theory model without it’s confluent interaction with a finely detailed personality model like Enneagram. If only because Enneagram is primarily Nature based and Attachment Theory is primarily Nurture based and any good model needs to take both into account. In my ideal world someone would use the construct of Enneagram type X Attachment style as buckets in their experimental design and interpretation and I think the data would make much more sense.
2a – He indicated that no attachment style is better than another. They’re all equally good. I think this may because he’s also made no mention that attachment style can change over time
2b – I believe one should strive to do the psychology and spiritual work to become securely attached. One of the meditation lineages I’m in http://www.pointingoutway.org/ is actually doing a lot of interesting work to integrate Psychotherapy and Meditation. And they have developed a number of powerful meditations to rewrite one’s relationship to their parental figures and their parental orientation to reality, which is what codes one attachment style. And thus make one’s attachment style changeable and progress-able.
I posted about a meditation retreat last month led by John Churchill and Dustin DiPerna where they led some of these type of attachment theory style meditations throughout the weekend.
The integration of Psychotherapy and Meditation is actually a pretty huge spiritual innovation.
As Spiritual Meditation is designed to trigger ego-transcendent experiences. Yet most Westerners have problems with egos. And there are lot of problems that arise when one has ego-transcendent experiences before they do sufficient clean up work on their ego. Interestingly, this wasn’t historically a problem since most Contemplative Traditions came from the East where most people’s Egos didn’t really reach an Autonomous, Individuated Stage so this wasn’t a problem. This is why you also need a Developmental Psychological Lens. But now the territory is getting really complex, because humans are complex and we need complex maps to make good descriptions and recommendations for humans…and overall I’m finding Your Brain on Love a bit too simplistic so far, hoping the model continues to evolve, but a good primer nonetheless.
All for now. Hope I didn’t bore you, though probably only the hard core psych stuck around for all of this one anywaysmile emoticon