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A few links of note

Here’s a few links to articles which relate to some of the themes on enfolding that have captured my attention of late.

In a post made in 2010 – Ordering-machine: sketchy maps? I drew extensively on Rane Willerslev’s 2007 book, Soul Hunters: Hunting, Animism, and Personhood among the Siberian Yukaghirs. In Laughing at the Spirits in North Siberia: Is Animism Being Taken too Seriously? (published in the issue of e-flux journal devoted to animism) Willserslev draws again on his fieldwork experience with the Siberian Yukaghirs in posing the question “whether the new animist studies are overstating the seriousness of the indigenous peoples’ own attitudes toward their spirited worlds. … it seems to me that underlying animistic cosmologies is a force of laughter, an ironic distance, a making fun of the spirits which suggests that indigenous animism is not to be taken very seriously at all.”

The contemporary turn towards theories of embodiment is something I’ve mentioned on enfolding occassionally (see for example Embodied knowledge – an opening shot and Tantra keywords: Embodied and it is a subject I’ll be returning to again in due course. Adrian Harris – see his blog Bodymind Place – has just written a useful overview of embodiment theory – Being Embodied.

Bang the Bore is a self funded, non-profit music and arts collective which runs a discussion forum and magazine. The website includes a plethora of interesting articles and discussions, notably Stephen Grasso’s widely acclaimed Smoke and Mirrors (now in seven parts) an extract of which was published in the Mandrake anthology The Wanton Green last year (there’s a review on the way) from which Stephen kindly posted a segment – An extract from Smoke and Mirrors – last August.

Also worth several reads is Seth Cooke’s reflective exploration The Glossolinguist which begins with his own experiences of speaking in tongues in church and spirals out to encompass embodiment theory, NLP and glossolalia as performance/therapeutic praxis.

Reflecting on group dynamics issues has been a longtime interest of mine, ever since I had my first experience of magical groups and later trained as an occupational therapist. Back in the mid-1980s, when I was just starting to write about magical group dynamics & processes, a major influence on me was American feminist activist Jo “Joreen” Freeman’s essay The Tyranny of Structurelessness which critiques the notion of “structureless” groups, explores some of the hidden power dynamics that can arise, and provides some thought-provoking criteria for successful group management. A friend linked to this essay on Facebook recently (thanks, Camel!), so I thought I’d post it here.