Posts tagged: imprisonment


By , March 13, 2009 12:03 pm

Times of grief, depression, economic recession, imprisonment, in the external world or internally self-imposed, can give the time needed to go deeply, “fish up” new energies and creativities from the bottom feeders, and come out renewed.

Intuitive Focusing, especially in the company of Focused Listening from an empathic friend or support group, is a simple self-help tool for doing this fishing, providing predictable steps for “Ahah!” experiences, at home, work, and in the community, while avoiding getting drowned in the process!

A friend posted this on the Focusing Discussion e-list (subscribe at under “Felt Community”) and, with his permission, I share it with you:

“(A blog about innovation prompts the following thoughts, which takes form together with what comes for me)

On reflecting on these dark and unprecedented times, amidst gathering clouds and raging storms… it occurs that our predicament is not without parallel (I do not mean 1929), and that it is only that we have not just yet recognised the edges of our cell. By way of locating ourselves, a we-ing of us in this, an Eskimo proverb says that in the storm is the time to fish…

So I’d like to tell you a story… but first, what are the similarities in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela? Each made a personal and social contribution to equality that was far-reaching, upset a status quo, and has sustained beyond their lives. Each recognised the energy of truth and non-violence. And each spent a lot of time in jail, and each found it to be productive time for reflecting and writing, re-editing and re-imagining the world as-it-was-known.

Ibn Al-Haitham is less known but no different. Ab? Al? al-Hasan ibn ibn al-Haytham (also known as Al hazen) is considered as the first ‘scientist’, a pioneer of the scientific method and a ‘father’ of optics. He headed a project to regulate the flow of the Nile in Egypt. Once he decided it was impossible, he escaped severe punishment from the Fatimid caliph in Cairo only by pretending to be mad. So instead of a death sentence, he was kept under house arrest until Hakim’s death in 1021.

There, in-house (as more than a few of us are about to be), he spent his time experimenting with light and physics, and made the discovery of light travelling in a straight line (instead of light beaming out of eyes as it was known) by making holes in the prison’s wall and seeing how buildings outside were depicted upside down on the other wall. Ibn al-Haitham gave the first clear description, illustration, and correct analysis of the camera obscura. The word ‘camera’ comes from the Arabic (qamara), which means dark or private room.

During this time in prison, he wrote the influential Book of Optics and scores of other important treatises on physics, medicine, science and mathematics problems (among which he explored the squaring of the circle). More than 200 works he wrote on all these topics, and in particular published a seven-volume treatise on optics which had great celebrity and influenced western thought, notably that of Bacon and Kepler. His time in prison gave him time to open himself to new theories, and elaborate the gift of a deeper science of optics some 6 centuries before Isaac Newton’s studies.

So in thinking about  ‘our time in prison’, and considering the evolving impacts that the decline-of-empire inevitably bring, this might also just be our opportunity to explore new ways of being-before-doing in a global self-righting-and-redistribution. Seeking new ways to see and know, even when the images are unfamiliar, upsidedown, senseless, or without a pattern that can be quickly picked.

Not a story directly related to Focusing, but when I hear ‘try Focusing with anything’, I want also to try it with contemporary apprehension, with uncertainty and suburban dread, with this wintering and these icy currents, with what works at all anywhere in this we-ing across the world, in our qamaras and private connections, in my living, seeking wild hybridisations and simpler, quieter approaches – much like in remembering how to fish… in a storm.
Mmm … what might that feel like…”

My friend includes a link to a beautiful short video, A Father’s Tools and The Tears of Things, by Tim Wilson, who includes many more “deep fishing” videos at .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:


Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing ( ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing ( ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

Panorama Theme by Themocracy