The Omega Point
Question: What do Alden and Dolores Jose, C.G. Jung, The Whirling Dervishes and the Sufis all agree upon?
Answer: That there is a state of being called the Omega Point where the body, the mind, the conscious and the unconscious all meet.
Modern day Sufis and Dervishes have stated that of all the Western psychologists, C.G. Jung, in his description of individuation, has come the closest to describing the ecstasy that they experience while whirling in their semas. Throughout the works of C.G. Jung and also throughout the works of the Sufis, references to the fusion of heaven and earth and the fusion of spirit and matter abound. In the May workshop with Alden and Dolores Jose we practised accessing and staying with this Omega Point.
Whereas the Friday night session was all mind food, the Saturday workshop was a veritable feast for the “bodymind”. Dolores led all the movement and dance experiences and then, from time to time, we would all gather with Alden to process the “material” that had come up for each of us. I had had the good fortune to have attended a similarly excellent Jung Society workshop with Erica Lorenz back in the 1991-92 season, and the two workshops are now “dove-tailed” in my bodymind. One of the advantages of the Jose workshop was that of having both a male and a female facilitator. One of the aspects that Erica had stressed, a great deal more than the Joses, was that her role was that of a “witness” and not that of a judge. As she put it, we would have enough trouble with our inner judges and would hardly need her as an outer judge. The Joses were much more fluid in their instructions to us. For those of us with a “free spirit” that was great, however, I believe that I noticed some participants experiencing some difficulties with that much freedom.
For the Lorenz workshop I was afraid that I would be the only man there. My fear was only slightly offset by virtue of the presence of one other man out of 25 participants. For the Jose workshop I estimated even worse. I guessed that there would be 3 men out of 15 participants. However, I was the only male participant! I find this to be a very significant matter. I have experienced this phenomenon many times in the past 20 years. I extend the following hypotheses to possibly explain why this happens:
A. Men have great difficulty with expressing vulnerability due to severe negative sanctioning of “being a wimp” when they were younger and also when older. One of the exercises that we did was a “trust circle” in which each of us, in turn, would stand perfectly erect, with eyes closed, in the centre of a circle formed by the rest of us. Then the person who was at the centre would fall freely into the waiting hands of the circle members. I was extremely fearful of doing this! I then knew why I was the only man there. I forced myself to do it and after doing it 3 or 4 times I was able to access the Omega Point and feel my endorphins rushing as I let go into that trusting, open-hearted vulnerable place.
B. Women are more in touch with their bodies due to fertility cycles and birthing, etc. and therefore are more likely to be able to access integrated bodymind experiences and not be ashamed of them.
C. Even “New Age”, nurturing men are still very subtly stuck in the leader role. We performed several free-form dances in various groups of two, three and four people, aligned in the shapes of triangles, diamonds, and other shapes. Each individual switched from being the leader to being the follower, over and over and over again. We also did some dances where there was no clearly defined leader or follower. At that point it was lucidly clear to me why there were no other men there!!
Another big issue that came up for me, and for others that I spoke with, was the issue of “body-talk”. When my body was trying to tell me something about my dancing and the strain or resistance it was experiencing I sometimes missed the “telegraph” two or three times before my conscious bodymind received it. There is a fine line between asking your body what it wants or needs, and “letting the body talk”. In one of the dances that we did we would continuously “freeze-frame” our bodies between movements. During this still period we could hopefully receive the telegraphs. One of the messages that I nearly missed was a telegraph of a pain in my left arm that became fully discernible to me only after we did a “go-round” with Alden after the movement session. It was actually something seemingly “unrelated” that one of the other participants was sharing about her movement experience that triggered my accessing the connection between the pain in my arm and my wife’s death three years ago.
Perhaps the best exercise that we did was to ramify the concept that the body must be involved, if we are to fuse the conscious and the unconscious, was the one in which we formed partnerships and moulded each other into statues. One person would totally relax and let the other person move their body into any shape that the other person could created. We also created a group sculpture in which several sculptors sculpted their partner into a collage sculpture. It is no easy matter to let another do whatever they want with your body position or stance. Conversely, it is a lot harder than one would imagine to actually do the moulding of another’s body. Either way, sculptor or sculpted, to flow with the process of the exercise required a very high degree of fusion of the conscious and the unconscious.
At the end of the workshop, we were let go into a free space where we could do anything that “moved us”. We had various objects and musical instruments and no agenda or instructions. Towards the end of this open space, one of the participants threw a blanket over herself and started crawling around like what appeared to be a caterpillar. Several other participants followed her, drumming and dancing around ritualistically. Suddenly she sprang up and shed the cocoon and flew away like a butterfly, and we all rejoiced. The feeling that I had was, “How appropriate that the workshop should end this way” – a ritual group of us at the Omega Point spontaneously and simultaneously sharing a death-birth-rebirth experience.