Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

The "other" ERE. Societal aspects of the ERE philosophy. Emergent change-making, scale-effects,...
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OutOfTheBlue
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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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mountainFrugal wrote:
Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:58 pm
I am working on a longer update to this thread because a lot has happened in understanding... but in the mean time... please add discussion here @outoftheblue... :).
Thanks for the invitation, and for the update, @mountainFrugal! I feel the need to start practicing a bit first and finish reading all four books (two remaining), but I will be sure to post here and contribute to this discussion! Hopefully soon.

It's very exciting, but it's also daunting as Plotkin's approach (especially some practices and specific parts) represent quite a departure from what I have been accustomed/exposed to. I don't have any beliefs to bring with me, but I feel that having read Daniel Quinn's books, his Leaver/Taker cultures dichotomy [which combines nicely with Plotkin's egocentric/soulcentric or ecocentric societies], and his exquisite articulation of an animist world view (not incompatible with a certain agnosticism, as he asserts that "the number of the gods [including zero] cannot be determined by any means") has primed me for this. I might have been less receptive otherwise.
mountainFrugal wrote:A small group of us are exploring Plotkin and actually doing the exercises out in nature
Do you mean here in the ERE forums? Is it something (like a private group) happening behind the scenes? I have read yours, AnalyticEngine's and AxelHeyst's related posts, and I am grateful for what you all have shared.

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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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OutOfTheBlue wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:27 pm
Is it something (like a private group) happening behind the scenes? I have read yours, AnalyticEngine's and AxelHeyst's related posts, and I am grateful for what you all have shared.
There's stuff going on, see viewforum.php?f=28

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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Please feel free to contribute to the discussion without finishing all those other books. For me, it has been most interesting to see how my ideas have changed and become more refined after reading more and doing the exercises. You might also see that as you work on it.

I did enjoy reading Quinn back in college. I read many of his books. I like the main ideas, but I felt as though they were always backwards looking in the most obvious way it might be interpreted. I think Plotkin offers a richer picture/vision that is both forward looking and has some evidence to back up the claims. I am glad that you were primed based on Quinn. :)
OutOfTheBlue wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:27 pm
Do you mean here in the ERE forums? Is it something (like a private group) happening behind the scenes? I have read yours, AnalyticEngine's and AxelHeyst's related posts, and I am grateful for what you all have shared.
I am leading an Ecology/nature/adventure based Master Mind Group (see @jacobs link above for more details about the various groups). The initial intent was not to work on Plotkin related things at all, but we have come around to that as it offers an interesting framework for internal work while also spending time out adventuring in wilderness or your backyard.

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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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I read through the thread today and will try to get hold of Wildmind. I think the subject matter could be spot on for DW and good for me as well.

Thank you!

ertyu
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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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Yeah, same. Just read through and will read wild mind. People seem to have derived value from it and some of the quotes and reflections presented here echo things I've arrived at independently, but my initial intuition is that there will also be a lot that is missing the point and I will need to put aside. In particular, I'm weary of yet another over-elaborate T-style analytical framework which is essentially the Ts attempts of leveraging their strength to overcompensate for a weak link with an underdeveloped F. All the north south raven whatever conceptual twaddle is best left aside in favor of directly connecting to the "energies" or "vibes" or whatever, imo. The analytical framework feels like unnecessary training wheels (resident forum INFP here - and fully prepared to eat my words if after reading the book I find the analytical framework especially profound). I will give wild mind a focused read. I'm curious to see which parts I will find useful.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

Post by mountainFrugal »

I was also initially skeptical of the conceptual stuff, but I think it serves an important practical purposes for the exercises. I am very much looking forward to your INFP take(s) @ertyu and seeing how it works out for your partner (and you) @guitarplayer.

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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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ertyu wrote:
Sat Jul 23, 2022 6:56 pm
[...] my initial intuition is that there will also be a lot that is missing the point and I will need to put aside. In particular, I'm weary of yet another over-elaborate T-style analytical framework which is essentially the Ts attempts of leveraging their strength to overcompensate for a weak link with an underdeveloped F.
You might be pleasantly surprised. I had a look at one of Plotkin's talks where he makes a similar point to the one in your first sentence, and then cites poetry to get his message across.

The framework seems to me to be on the light side judging by the first couple dozen pages. But I might be biased, after having read through some heavy psychology frameworks like e.g. Melanie Klein and object relations theory (which Plotkin refers to in the book, so seems he did his homework) for my uni years back.

Hope you will find it a good read @ertyu! I am sometimes MBTI 50:50 T / F and do enjoy the 'pretty' bits in his writing! Last night I was reading it before falling asleep and this one jumped at me:
Plotkin wrote: We discover ourselves to be essential extras in a cosmic drama in which Spirit plays hide-and-seek with itself (p.25)
especially the 'playing hide-and-seek with itself' seems to me a beautiful metaphor.

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OutOfTheBlue
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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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mountainFrugal wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:06 pm
I am leading an Ecology/nature/adventure based Master Mind Group (see @jacobs link above for more details about the various groups). The initial intent was not to work on Plotkin related things at all, but we have come around to that as it offers an interesting framework for internal work while also spending time out adventuring in wilderness or your backyard.
This sounds like a great way to go for a Master Mind Group, as it provides a common theme and meeting ground, regardless of each individual's stage in their ERE journey (I understand this can be a challenge), and a space to offer and receive support/motivation, connect more personally, and improve understanding of Bill Plotkin's demanding and original ideas.

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OutOfTheBlue
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Re: Bill Plotkin - Discussion Thread

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Jacob wrote wrote:Thus, I think psychology could benefit from more mapping of the territory rather than just declaring what [the territory] should be; or presuming that all the territory is similar to the mental valley one personally lives in; or simply working off an average.

Ideally, I'd like to see a map that describes the different temperaments (e.g. MBTI or enneagram); a map that describes different levels or stages of psychological development (e.g. Cook-Greuter, Piaget, Kegan, MHC); and a map that describes functioning (from sickness to health).
With this Jacob's post in mind, I am sharing a quote from Wild Mind:
The human psyche — our wild, multifaceted mind in its natural habitat of the more-than-human world — is complex and dynamic. In its mature fullness, it grants us an astonishing array of personal resources: a rainbow spectrum of skills and sensibilities applicable to almost any circumstance. It affords us multiple ways to heal our psychological wounds — and to benefit from them. It gifts us with deeply imaginative capacities for engendering life-enhancing relationships and cultures and for meaningfully participating in the world we cocreate with the other members of the Earth community.

[…]

One of my intentions in constructing this Nature-Based Map of the Psyche has been to recognize and appreciate the full spectrum of our humanity. I especially wanted to portray the psyche in a way that allows its paired opposites to coexist. The map celebrates the paradoxes of our human nature and the tension existing within each paradox, tensions that perchance make possible the very structure of our human psyches.

In the project of human self-understanding, the Nature-Based Map of the Psyche […] identifies only one set of ways in which one person can be similar to or different from another — namely, their degree of cultivation of the Self, their level of integration of subpersonalities, and the nature of their conscious relationship with Soul and Spirit. To fully understand any person, we must consider at least two additional dimensions beyond the structural elements of the psyche explored in this book: […] the person’s stage of personal development and their personality type.

Footnote: Fully understanding a person also requires us to know about their context, their relationship with the world — their historical epoch, cultural setting, ethnicity, language, family and social relationships, gender and gender roles, vocational and community roles, ecological place, and the nature and extent of their ecological awareness and participation.

---

Stages of personal development: Since 1985, Bill Plotkin and his colleagues have been fashioning an eight-stage, nature-based model of human development aka the Eco-Soulcentric Developmental Wheel (introduced in Nature and the Human Soul).

Personality types: They've also "sketched out a nature-based model of personality, also mapped onto the four-directions matrix but not yet published".
What a great holistic approach to human understanding, development and finding one's place in the world.

I personally would suggest starting with Nature and the Human Soul, for an overview of an ecocentric human development (and its egocentric variants), then follow up with Wild Mind, which is probably the most universally actionable, and The Journey of Soul Initiation (plus of course Soulcraft, his great first book, for some additional details and practices especially during the Cocoon).

Does anybody know more about his yet unpublished nature-based model of personality?

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