An Integral Evolution of Eastern & Western
Perspectives in Yoga-based Self Care Therapies
A Philosophy, Psychology & Science of Being Human
[This NOT to be confused with Integral Yoga, a very different method.
Our approach to “Integral Yoga” covers a wider set of modalities, and
is from an overtly Western philosophical & psychological perspective.]
The DSL Method has strong philosophical, psychological & scientific basis for all it does.
All Human Beings are controlled by their Philosophy of Life.
And the philosophy they adopt in life is controlled in great part by their Psychology.
Your philosophy determines how you view life, its meaning and purpose, how it does and does not work, its Laws & Rules (if there are indeed any). All of this controls how you will think and feel, how you will act or react, to or about many things.
Unfortunately, few people have even looked at their philosophy, let alone know what it is. So it remains unconscious. Therefore, it controls YOU, rather than You controlling IT.
External versus Internal Approaches to Health, Healing & Medicine
An Integral Yoga Perspective is about examining all things, both internal and external, from a deeper state than just intellectual means. It’s about accessing deeper levels of awareness and the feeling and meditative states that more fully inform the thinking mind.
Yet at one level, it’s about “checking our unconscious assumptions.”
For instance, your philosophy about how the bodymind heals itself, or is healed, usually determines what techniques will be used to get better. If you believe that most illness is caused by conditions that are primarily external, then you will choose external means by which to heal, such as drugs, surgery or radiation.
If your philosophy determines that most illness comes from internal factors, than the choice of healing modalities will correspondingly be internally oriented, such as diet, relaxation, exercise, Yoga, meditation, etc.
At another level, you might believe that the only people who are competent to make decisions about healing are those who have been to many years of medical school and have licenses from a governmental authority. You would then be less likely to trust your own judgement about which modalities to utilize. So you would rely almost completely on the instructions of outside authorities, such as medical doctors.
WHO Controls YOUR Thinking?
These outside authorities are not necessarily wrong. But you cannot just assume that. You are, ultimately, responsible for every decision that is made on your behalf. But it’s a lot easier, and we are trained from childhood, in the Cult of the Expert, to believe someone else “knows better” than we do.
This, the Authoritarian Paradigm, leaves us at the mercy of someone else’s thinking processes and life experience. … Our sense of Self is therefore diminished.
HOW Do We Know What We Know Is True … Or NOT?
Of critical importance is whether or not one’s philosophy is in accordance with reality, or out of accord with reality. For instance: As I said above, your philosophy about how your bodymind heals illness usually determines what techniques will be chosen to get better. The degree to which your philosophy is accordant with reality will, generally, be the degree that one’s choice of healing modalities will be more effective rather than less.
Epistemology (the “theory of knowledge”) is the science of knowing the truth about something, to what ever degree possible, and learning to trust ourselves and our own judgement, rather than automatically deferring to some External Authority.
Philosophy & Epistemology, as well as Psychology, are both central to the DSL process.
Clearly, differences in how Human Beings think about life can lead them down very different paths, depending on the thinking/feeling process and information utilized. How one thinks, and what one thinks about, are essentially psychological processes.
Confronting one’s psychology helps pierce the sometimes elusive veil of “what makes us tick,” or tick badly. Very often the key to healing is not in our physiology, but in The Way We Think or Feel, which you can modify to be more in accordance with reality. You can discover how interactive your philosophy, your epistemology, and your psychology actually are, or are not, and the Aware, intelligent exploration of both can lead to a transformation of both.
Finally, the study of philosophy, epistemology, psychology, and communication in general is greatly enhanced by science, which can, though not always, give us clearer understandings of how things really work. Most of us know that many old theories about the world and humans have been disproved, and we must remain vigilant that we do not blindly accept some “good idea” just because it sounds good or is “backed up” by “scientific fact.”
On the other hand, DSL is substantially backed up with well accepted scientific data.
What follows is a short description of some of the thinkers and theorists about Being Human that the DSL Method relies on for a foundation of the observation, thinking & feeling process that leads us to conation, or how we take action.
Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad and J. Krishnamurti
— An Introspective View of Yoga & Awareness —
Foundations of Modern, Introspective, Postural Yoga
Joel Kramer was my Primary Influence in Physical / Mental Yoga.
Joel and Diana Alstad developed Relational Yoga.
I don’t say physical AND mental yoga because that implies two different things. While it’s true that for certain conversations, especially scientific, it is convenient to refer to mental as one thing and physical another. But in REALITY, and in actual PRACTICE (rather than abstract theorizing) there is no difference in “mind” and “body.” …
There is only “The BodyMind.”
Joel was a hyper-intellectual, highly competent in many fields of study, especially in fields like philosophy, psychology, religions, and so on. As described elsewhere on this website, Joel got into yoga quite intensely.
Yet a truly transformative moment came for him when he listened to an audiotape of Jiddu Krishnamurti (JK) giving a talk. Joel said he really did not understand what JK was saying. That REALLY got his attention, because he was used to being the smartest guy in the room. (Joel didn’t actually say that, but you can bet it was pretty darn true.)
[I will return here to add more to this topic. For now, there is quite a bit below on this page on the other major influences on my thinking and operations in the world. ~DSL]
You can, however, read more here:
Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision
The AQAL Map & Comprehensive
Philosophy / Psychology of Life & Being
One of the more comprehensive Views Of Life incorporated int the DSL Method is Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision of how most, if not all, philosophies, principles, methods and modalities have something useful or even important to teach us human beings.
Wilber’s life has been devoted to discovering the commonalities contributions of as many of the more prominent approaches to life. Quoting from the above linked webpage:
According to Jack Crittenden Ph.D., author of Beyond Individualism, “the twenty-first century literally has three choices: Aristotle, Nietzsche, or Ken Wilber.” If you haven’t already heard of him, Ken Wilber is one of the most important philosophers in the world today. He is the most widely translated academic writer in America, with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages. Ken Wilber currently lives in Denver, Colorado, and is still active as a philosopher, author, and teacher, with all of his major publications still in print.
Tony Schwartz, the president, founder, and CEO of The Energy Project, and the author of What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America, has referred to Wilber as “the most comprehensive philosophical thinker of our times.”
Here is a VERY simplified chart of Wilber’s Core Concept:
The following chart is the DSL Method applied to Ken Wilber’s AQAL System (All Quadrants, All Levels, All Lines) of Human Life (or vice versa, if you prefer):
Here is a different version of the DSL Method applied to the AQAL system:
Time Binding & General Semantics
Another foundational perspective, in fact, prior to my getting deeply into Ken Wilber, is the work of Alfred Korzybski. Korzybski’s core concepts drove much of my teaching for many years. While Wilber’s system is the most expansive viewpoint I’m aware of, Korzybski went very deeply into the very nature of being human.
Wilber does to, but while he goes from the outside in and down, Korzybski went more from the very bottom and came up. That actually doesn’t do justice to either man, but it’s a start.
You can get a good introduction to Korzybski’s work at Wikipedia:
Here’s a start at what Korzybski was working on:
Humberto Maturana and Francesco Varela
Biology of Knowledge & Self Production / Maintenance
The term “autopoiesis” (from Greek αὐτo- (auto-), meaning “self”, and ποίησις (poiesis), meaning “creation, production”) refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself. The term was introduced in 1972 by Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela to define the self-maintaining chemistry of living cells. Since then the concept has been also applied to the fields of systems theory and sociology.
They have a very complex, scholarly book titled Autopoiesis and Cognition: the Realization of the Living (1st edition 1973, 2nd 1980).
Then there’s their other, less complicated book, The Tree of Knowledge. Here is a description from the Amazon book page:
“Knowing how we know” is the subject of this book. Its authors present a new view of cognition that has important social and ethical implications, for, they assert, the only world we humans can have is the one we create together through the actions of our coexistence. Written for a general audience as well as for students, scholars, and scientists and abundantly illustrated with examples from biology, linguistics, and new social and cultural phenomena, this revised edition includes a new afterword by Dr. Varela, in which he discusses the effect the book has had in the years since its first publication.
Here’s a link to the book:
John Taylor Gatto
A History & Dissection of Education In America
I actually wanted to start with Mr. Gatto. Why? Because as a life-long educator, philosopher & innovator in education, he knows in great detail and intimacy how it is You and I got “trained” to think the way we do. …
The teachers get us at a very early age. They have FAR more control over how we “turn out” than most people realize.
Our Clients are the same way. As a Yoga, Massage or Bodywork practitioner, or Fitness Trainer, you’re very often presenting VERY different ideas about health and healing, about life- and work-style, than what most people have been taught or told.
We often wonder why they don’t listen to or sometimes even seem to understand what we are telling them. It seems so obvious to US.
But for many, if not most, people there is an invisible veil most people never penetrate let alone figure out and overcome. Much of that comes from our education (actually schooling, going all the way back to kindergarten if not before) and the media.
The differences between a REAL education, schooling, training and indoctrination are critical to understanding what REALLY goes on in a classroom.
John Taylor Gatto, being a life-long and award winning New York City teacher of underprivileged children, unlocked his own veil to see what he was really doing to children. He wrote about that process a lot. Here are the Seven Lessons he says were his primary job as a teacher:
The first lesson I teach is confusion.
The second lesson I teach is your class position.
The third lesson I teach kids is indifference.
The fourth lesson I teach is emotional dependency.
The fifth lesson I teach is intellectual dependency.
The sixth lesson I teach is provisional self-esteem.
The seventh lesson I teach is that you can't hide.
You can read an essay on those lessons by Gatto here:
Gatto also wrote The Underground History of American Education, an excellent exposé of the background of education and who REALLY designed the American system of public school.
You can download a PDF copy of this 450 some page book here:
Or watch a very detailed video, almost 3 hours long:
Structural Bodywork and His Postural Evaluation Formula
Although I probably spent more actual time studying with Daniel Blake than anyone else (about 250 hours in spring and summer of 1982), what I got from him was ONE primary element to my work:
The Basic Postural Evaluation Formula
DSL’s (that’s ME) SYNTHESIS of
the Above Thinkers & Innovators
It has been said that we “Create Our World” through sensations & feelings, mental & emotional images and words & language. It is the way we express ourselves to the world.
In other words, the way we Communicate.
And our Philosophy determines much of how we evaluate and respond to that world.
Although there is some truth to it, DSL does not agree with the increasingly common, solipsistic (the view that all you can know is yourself, and the reality “out there” cannot be “known”) idea that we literally manufacture the “world out there” inside of our own minds.
We do, however, as Maturana & Varela describe in Tree of Knowledge, “manufacture” our own internal representations of the world out there. (I define “reality” as “that which is left over when YOU disappear.”)
Yet it is clear that The Way we think about the world and other people dramatically affects how we see them and our responses to them. This applies to how we feel, and therefore speak and think about our own bodies. Learning to observe and understand the way we use mental processes and “language” in Response-Able ways, allows enhanced communication within ourselves and with other Human Beings.
This will often change, in a very literal way, the very structure of our minds, our bodies, and their various systems. For Example, if you speak in terms of always being sick, there is a high likelihood you always will be sick.
The above components to the DSL Method are taught in the more comprehensive and advanced courses, although certain elements are briefly discussed in even the basic training programs.
This system has been developed by DSL over the last several decades, and while it is VERY SIMPLE to get started, it is potentially deep & complex, as well.
You can jump down on this page for a list of webpages on this site describing much of how it all works and where to go from here, OR … if you want to know more about David and how the work was developed …
Therapeutic Let-Go Yoga and The DSL Method of
Yoga/Bodywork/Whole Health Therapeutics:
FREE ARTICLES by David Scott Lynn
CLICK HERE (or on the image to the Left)
to Read About DSL’s New e-Book:
The Simple Steps to Let-Go Yoga:
And the Neuro-Structural Sciences
of Physical / Mental and
“I read David Scott Lynn’s book which I highly recommend for every massage therapist. I was amazed at how intricately he delves into and emphasizes, over and over from various angles, how our work mostly works to affect the nervous system in a variety of ways.
He explains ‘nervous system to myofascial relationships’ brilliantly!”
Dr. Michael A Koplen, DC
Santa Cruz Area, California
Thanks for Reading,
David Scott Lynn (DSL*)
DSL: Your Hi-Touch Up-Link to the Inner-Net.
* Inner-Net: Your Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial Network.