Click for Printable format

Science, Philosophy and Embodiment

Pathways to Wholeness




The Lifwynn Foundation for Social Research


80th Anniversary Conference


July 25-27, 2006


City University of New York Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Room 4102






Trigant Burrow, M.D., Ph.D., who was a founder and one-time president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, created The Lifwynn Foundation, and pioneered investigations into the social implications of neurosis and the biological causes of conflict.  His group- analytic research, later called social self-inquiry (SSI), was a forerunner of current group therapies.


SSI provides us an opportunity to explore in ourselves the alienation, conflict, and hostility now rampant in society.  We experiment with a unique form of direct communication and dialogue that enhances the knowledge of who we are and deepens our relationships. 


SSI is a group process in which we share recognition of our individual but culturally rooted attitudes and behaviors.  This brings an understanding of ourselves that can result in a sense of solidarity with others in the group - and the sense that this solidarity extends to all humans. 


The process also offers a somatic approach in which connectedness among human beings can be experienced in the whole body- mind.  The practice of immediate attention to bodily reactions can bring a release from both the mental and physical tension caused by the domination of our consciousness by language, and the consequent dissociation of our awareness of our body. 


A primary goal of SSI is a shift from the "normal," self-absorbed form of consciousness to an organic consciousness, a way of experiencing oneself, others and the world through a sense of one's body and an awareness of our being an integral part of the wholeness of the universe. 


Consistent with the idea of everyone and everything being connected, David Bohm viewed all the separate objects, entities, structures, and events in the visible or explicate world around us as relatively autonomous, stable, and temporary "subtotalities" derived from a deeper, implicate order of unbroken wholeness.  The following quote from Bohm's Wholeness and the Implicate Order inspired the placement of the photograph on the first page of the announcement of this conference.  Bohm gives the analogy of a flowing stream to describe wholeness: 


On this stream, one may see an ever-changing pattern of vortices, ripples, waves, splashes, etc., which evidently have no independent existence as such.  Rather, they are abstracted from the flowing movement, arising and vanishing in the total process of the flow. Such transitory subsistence as may be possessed by these abstracted forms implies only a relative independence or autonomy of  behaviour, rather than absolutely independent existence as ultimate substances.



Schedule of Presentations


Tuesday, July 25


10 A.M.  INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK OF TRIGANT BURROW.  Lloyd Gilden, Ph.D., President of the Lifwynn Foundation


BURROWS CONCEPT OF WHOLENESS VERSUS DIVISIVENESS: IN THE INDIVIDUAL, IN SOCIETY AND SCIENTIFIC WORLD.  Edi Gatti Pertegato, Psy.D.,Psychoanalyst, member & supervisor of the Italian Group Analytic Society – Venice (Italy). Giorgio (Orghe) Pertegato, M.D., Psychiatrist.  


Burrow’s conception of the individual both single and collective versus conflict and divisiveness will be explored in his psychoanalytic and first group analytic writings.  From the 1930's on, he tried to face this basic problem in a more inclusive perspective by involving several outstanding students belonging to different fields of science.


11 A.M.  TOPOLOGIES OF THE FLESH: A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL EXPLORATION OF THE LIFEWORLD  Steven M. Rosen, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York  


Steven Rosen will introduce his new book and open a dialogue on the subject.


2 P.M.  TOPOLOGIES OF THE FLESH: A DIALOGUE  Arnold Berleant, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Long Island University; Steven M. Rosen, Ph.D. 


Arnold Berleant and Steven Rosen will initiate dialogue on Rosen’s book.


3 P.M.  BEYOND IDIOCY:  A DIALOGUE REGARDING ‘THE SELF.’ Kenneth Anbender, PhD., Clinical Psychology, Adelphi University, CEO, Contegrity Program Designs, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI; Jack Wikse, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Integrative Studies, Shimer College, Chicago, Il. 


Developmental, epistemological and historical dimensions of the self-orientation will be explored.  The question will be posed: If we aren’t separate, then who are we? 


4 P.M  CULTIVATING BODYMINDFULNESS FOR AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION.  Adair Linn Nagata, Ph.D., Professor of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University

After introducing the Bodymindfulness Practice, which we can use to attune to ourself and others, we will use it as seems desirable during our time together.



Wednesday, July 26




Attending to the intrinsic rhythms of the brain, such as alpha and theta, brings into conscious awareness processes that correlate with the activity occurring in the three levels of brain function, the neocortex, the limbic system, and the brain stem.  A demonstration of the practice of neurofeedback will be included in the presentation.



11 A.M.  DEMONSTRATION OF THE PRACTICE OF SENSORY AWARENESS.  Ellen Marshall, Dancer, Massage Therapist, Practitioner of Sensory Awareness, Teacher of Tai Chi Chuan and Quigong.


Sensory Awareness is an integral aspect of the group work of the Lifwynn Foundation.  The practice of sensory awareness facilitates development of the capacity to integrate our mind and our body.  Some sensory awareness experiments will be carried out to demonstrate the process.



2 P.M.  SOCIAL CONFLICT:  A SOCIODRAMA ENACTMENT.  Jessica Handelman and Valinie Naraine.


Sociodrama is a medium that explores interpersonal dynamics through enactment by members of a group of situations in their everyday lives. It is a very effective tool for development of insight into and changes in feelings and behavior associated with resolving conflict.  An enactment will be performed to demonstrate the process, followed by dialogue about the causes of human conflict.



3 P.M.  DIALOGUE VS. DEBATE: PRACTICING EMPATHY FOR DIVERSE WAYS OF KNOWING. Roben Torosyan, Ph.D., Assistant Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University.


In our culture of sensational sound bytes and polarized argument, too few actions aim at open-minded communication.  This workshop involves participants actively in a way of dealing with disagreement in personal, professional or civic life—a method to move beyond mere "telling" of positions to truly negotiating meaning together as interdependent agents.



4 P.M.  CREATIVITY, LISTENING, AND THE FOCUSING PROCESS: REFLECTIONS ON GENDLIN'S "THE PERSON IN THERE"  Janet Pfunder, Focusing Trainer, Sufi meditation teacher, psychotherapist in private practice for 30 years, and an exhibiting painter.


Languaging can hint at/point to “the much more” of our vast intricate moment by moment experiencing, beyond what we can consciously know. You and I can learn a special kind of listening in partnership to follow these breadcrumbs of meaning, tapping into the ever changing wild singularity of each other, keeping each other company as we touch, see and hear from "the person in there," the one who looks back at us, beyond inside and outside, before, without, with, and after language.



  Thursday, July 27


10 A.M.  PHILOSOPHY, INCARNATION, AND THE QUESTION OF SELF-REFERENCE.  Ernest Sherman, M.A., Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Pace University


In accordance with our current ecological turn, recent philosophic efforts are concerned with turning philosophy back upon itself and "putting the philosopher back in the picture."  But what will this self-reflexive movement involve?  As the philosophic uroboros bites its own tail, what will it mean to picture our own picturing, refer to our own referring, etc.?  Let us reflect.




Nathan Schwartz-Salant, Ph.D.

Using clinical material I will introduce the concept of the Fusional Complex in psychotherapy. The opposition between the fusional pull towards an object and the simultaneous impossibility of communicating with it, is characterized by the logically impossible constellation A = –A. This situation is akin to the Duck-Rabbit image used by Wittgenstein and others, notably Malcolm Bull, and the opposites are also experienced within the discontinuity of a psychic container with the topology of the Klein Bottle, as illustrated in the work of Steven Rosen. When a field between two people is characterized by these opposites, the very possibility of relatedness is called into question. The field of the Fusional Complex threatens with chaotic states, and the analyst's countertransference reactions are often severe, and include physical and psychic distress. Commonly, the analysand is experienced as abject, and the analyst often dissociates and becomes reactive in various ways, and generally ceases functioning as an analyst. This poses severe ethical problems, and the work of Emanuel Levinas, especially his "Otherwise Than Being," will be called upon to reflect upon this clinical and ethical issue.


2 P.M.  DREAMING CONSCIOUSNESS – IN NEED OF A NEW HOME.  Montague Ullman, M.D.  Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University


The first home to accommodate our dreams in the modern era was built by Freud, based on the concept of the personal unconscious.  Sometime later Jung added a genetic factor in the form of archetypes, and built a collective unconscious, as well as a personal one.  The work of the quantum theorist David Bohm postulated two basic orders, the implicate order and the explicate order.  The implicate order will be considered as a universal unconscious with implications for our understanding of dreams.

3 P.M.  MINDFULNESS, EMPTINESS, WHOLENESS: BEYOND THE FRAGMENTED 'I'. Deborah Hillman, Ph.D. , Athropologist and artist


The presentation explores some connections between Trigant Burrow and Buddhism, especially in regard to attentional practices that alter self-identity and move toward a greater awareness of unity and wholeness.