Don't Look Down - Can you see the Integral in Urban Free Climbing? Pt 3

Don't Look Down - Can you see the Integral in Urban Free Climbing? Pt 3

Don't Look Down - Can you see the Integral in Urban Free Climbing? Pt 3

Some of the other questions that came up for me in the programme involved actually wanting to understand what was happening to them while they were climbing/hanging. 

As  long term practitioner of Chi Kung, I have spent many years feeling the flow of energy through my body when I practice the exercises. For those of you who don't know, its basically the stuff the Shaolin Monks do to help them be as awesome as they are. Now I am a long way from their level, but the practice is very similar. Also as a kinesiologist, I have spent years looking at the way energy is flowing or not through the acupuncture meridians and how that and changing that makes a difference to the lives of the people I work with.

So looking at James and the climbers in Don't Look Down, I am curious as to how the Chi flows are working in their bodies and how does it change as they experience a climb or a hang? What difference does it make for them if they hang from one arm or the other. Despite the obvious physiological difference of them likely to favour one side for its strength, does it matter, does it change how they feel. My guess would be significantly, so what is it about the feeling of hanging from one arm that they prefer over the other?

I would also be really curious to know, with that perspective of height and that feeling of exposure that comes from climbing (in my own experience), how connected do they feel in themselves when they hang, how complete, how whole? Do they have a sense of feeling connected to the whole world, or separate from it? What is that like for them? Again how would this compare to Big Mind type experience and are they accessing something similar or is it more confined to a Causal witness mind type experience? Just observing but without feeling part of it.

The health practitioner in me kept seeing aspects that I would love to investigate with the climbers and how it supported or changed their experience, one of those which came up was diet. Looking at the body shapes of most of the guys on Don't Look Down, there was a very similar shape. Part of this I have no doubt is created by the nature of the activity and the hours of training and practice that urban free climbers dedicate to being supreme at what they do. If you aren't aware of the commitment given, its akin to very serious athletes. But also being the youth of a modern world, being generally urabn in the nature of their activities, what is the quality of the nutrition, the nutrient density in these climbers. Is it good, coming from lots of fresh organic fruit and veg, quality meats, essential fatty acids etc? Or is it more the fast food, processed, convieneint, sugar/wheat/dairy based fare that is very typical for a lot of younger people? How would a change or shift in diet make a difference for them? Would it change the nature of the experience, would it change the desire to have the experience? All interesting information to explore.

What happens then if we add to that the amount of hours they spend plugged in to gaming, wi-fi, on line culture etc? Can we examine if there is a link between the desires and motivations and the effects on the body of extended/saturated EMF exposure. Which when coupled with (a potentially) poor diet, feelings non-acceptance and all the other stuff I have talked about in these posts, is there any surprise that this is one of the possible outcomes.

But hey I am totally prepared to to be very wrong about all of this, these are just my musings as have been inspired by James as I watched him.

The last thing that was really coming up during that initial programme came from seeing how James' mum was dealing with her son's choice of behaviour. Always difficult to see how they had got to the point they were at when the film was made, but it was clear that she a) supported her son's choice with significant reservations, b) felt pretty powerless to doing anything about it.

My sense was that if as a parent you had more information and understanding of the Integral process and the way in which growth between stages (dissociation, translation, integration) took place, that it would help a great deal to understand what their children were attempting to do. As Ken rightly says, anyone has the right to stop at whatever level of development they choose and no one can tell them that isn't right. But what I believe happens is that when others want to go beyond where we are, there is often a tendency to want to hold them back. Our fear of the unknown sees moving further ahead (in anything but our own time and way) as threatening and dangerous. Which is why so often change and progress are feared.

If the parents of the climbers had much more ability to help their children navigate the growth and development stages that they are going through, would that change the outcomes and experiences for both the children and the parents? Especially if we could add into it experiences for the parents such as Big Mind and Big Heart.

So the next question is, what are the next steps for this process. For me, I am just looking forward to hearing back from James, the Urban Free Climb community and anyone else who has some relevant and interesting insights to this idea through Integral or any other perspective.

Please feel free to comment and ask questions, but also please respect that this is a serious discussion which has aims towards making lives better for all those who are a part of it. If you are part of the Urban Free Climbing Community or a practitioner or scholar of Integral Theory, a health practitioner or just someone who thinks they have an insightful idea into the topics discussed here I would love to see your comments.

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