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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Thoughts about the Incarnation and the Trinity (whilst drinking mulled wine!)

It's that time of year when we think about Christmas - family, presents we probably don't need/want, too much food and drink and so on. One of the Bible readings you are likely to hear at church is the opening of John's Gospel, and in particular verse 14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

What does it mean for the Word to become flesh? Well, the Word is the title given to Jesus as part of the Holy Trinity. In verse 1 it says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In other words, Jesus, as the Word of God, was there in the beginning, not just during the 33 years he was on earth. He is God - how does that make sense, if we also have the Holy Spirit and The Father? There is a Latin phrase often used - Jesus was "totus deus" (wholly divine), not "totum dei" (the whole of God). God is one and three at the same time. St Augustine described the doctrine of the Trinity as a fence around a mystery, in other words it tells us what God isn't, not completely what he is. Whether he is right or not, the Trinity gives us a great insight into how God works and how he wants us to be. Firstly, he is a God of Relationship. The Trinity is a perfect model of interrelatedness, of diversity and unity. There is perfect love between them all. This means that, secondly, we are called to this type of relationship with our brothers and sisters. It can also be argued, thirdly, that the three aspects of God revealed in the Trinity, the Word, the Spirit and the Father can be related to aspects of our humanity, as we are created in His image. The Word (logos in Greek, meaning word, reason, mind and so on) can refer to our rational selves, the minds that God has given us. The Spirit refers to our spiritual aspect, through which we can come closer to God, and which can be the source of deep creativity and inner strength. The Father may represent many things - our picture of parents can be very distorted, but a perfect Father (or Mother) nurtures and protects its creation. We should do the same. 
How does the Incarnation fit in to this? I also see it as a model for our lives, for our understanding of the Bible, and many other aspects of our faith. We are made in God's image, but we are sinful, fallen creatures. We still have God's imprint, but it has been tarnished. True human nature would be like that of Christ, unified, through communion with him, in God the Father. The Bible is written by humans, of that there is no doubt. An Incarnational model of scripture argues that it is also the work of God. It is the human detail that gives it authenticity to us, fellow strugglers in this world. You just have to look at the honesty with which John describes the disciples' failure to get what Jesus is talking about to see that this is no piece of religious propaganda. However, with God's authorship behind these human authors, we can see the eternal truth in the Bible.The same applies to evangelism and serving God in the world. God doesn't need our help - He is mighty, we are weak. However, he graciously invites us to be his co-workers and, if we are willing, will do great things through our weakness. The Incarnation also applies to the natural world - as God's creation, it was originally the perfect combination of divine and physical. Like the rest of creation, it is fallen and imperfect, mainly as a result of our abuse of it.
So what's the answer? Christmas, that's what. God coming to us in human form, giving us the chance to redeem our fallen human nature. It's like perfect divinity came to fallen humanity, so that we could then reclaim our original nature as God's perfect creation. The Incarnation becomes revealed in us, as Jesus, through his coming to Earth, and his death and resurrection, bring the divine back into us. This ties in with Carl Jung's theories about archetypes. One of the most significant archetypes in history is that of the Wounded Healer, which reached perfection in Christ. Jung and his followers stated that, in therapy, the archetype can be split - the therapist is the healer, and the client is the weak, wounded one. That stops therapy happening, as each gets stuck in their role. The healer has to get in touch with his wounds, and only then can the wounded get in touch with his inner healer. I have seen this happen in my own work, and it is very powerful. Likewise, Jesus comes down to our level, so we can reach up to his.
So, there's a few thoughts on the subject. It's not meant to be a theological treatise, just some Christmas related ponderings that might set you thinking. Comments welcome. May you have a happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Great West Run

I ran the Great West Run recently, in a personal best of 2hrs 1 minute and 47 seconds! Not super speedy, but good by my standards. You can still sponsor me, for School for Life Romania at www.justgiving.com/Henry-Dunn1 You'll find more details of the charity there too, who do wonderful work with Romanian orphans.

Hassan

I've added a photo to Hassan's page - he was a great Best Man.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Cornwall Conference

Here's details of a conference organised by Sound Waves South West, a charity that I work for at the moment. I have the privilege of being on first, and then can then relax while the bigger names come on! Am also providing a bit of lunchtime jazz.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Workshop outline

Here's a flavour of the workshop I'm planning. The picture above is actually used as the background for the handout, but I couldn't get it to do that on Blogger! At home I could probably scan it then put it in, but I'm doing this at work. Use of that picture doesn't necessarily mean I believe in the harmony of the spheres, it's just an example of how people have seen music as an ordering force for a very long time. Likewise the quotes - they are there to provoke discussion, not as definitive statements. Comments welcome! If you are interested in coming, see the booking details in the previous post. Apologies for any formatting glitches, Blogger does funny things to Word documents!
Dramatherapy Southwest conference workshop. Chaos, Meaning, Order and Community
Quick improvisation:       5 minutes no rules, play what you like: how did that feel? Unsafe? Chaotic?                                        Fun?
Now for some rules:       please look after yourself – if you feel uncomfortable at any time, you            can                                     drop out of any activity without fear of embarrassment.
                                                please be respectful to others and their contributions.
                                                please maintain confidentiality – what people do and say here stays here.
                                                please switch off phones, or set them to silent.
                                                There will be a ten minute break half way through.

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.
                Carl Jung

the movements of the planets are modulated according to harmonic proportions.
                Kepler (1619). Harmonice Munde. Originated with Pythagoras

Music creates order out of chaos: for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous
                Yehudi Menuhin

Much of the important art, poetry and music of our century [20th] comes from this border where chaos, in the elemental, existential sense of the word, meets the will to order. We all carry echoes of primal chaos in us: these echoes allow us to understand the wonder of art which creates safe havens…. from the chaos which is always threatening to impinge upon us.
                Gerald Bennett, Chaos, Self-Similarity, Musical Phrase and Form.

Musical examples?
                               
Affect Attunement – Daniel Stern.
Interaction between mother and infant is musical (cf Colwyn Trevarthen and Stephen Malloch).
Mother responds to child matching pitch, volume, duration, timbre, melody and so on. This is not just mirroring, but a way of fostering emotional communication between mother and infant. It lets the infant know that’s its emotional communication is being heard, felt and processed by the mother and given back in a way that gives it meaning. It can perhaps be seen as a way for the infant to regulate the chaotic feelings it has. In fact it has been shown that when this musical communication is lost, perhaps due to post-natal depression or other issues faced by the mother, the child becomes overwhelmed and either screams or shuts off. Music Therapy uses Affect Attunement to develop communication between client and therapist.
Vocal Holding (Diane Austin) is another way this maternal communication is used – volunteer? Moving  back and forth between two chords feels like being rocked by a mother.  Start in unison, then harmony, can lead to free associative singing, as it did for one of my clients.
Exercises based on use of different musical elements shared as a group:  percussion instruments: rhythm, tempo, volume; voice: melody, timbre (breathy, growling, smooth), harmony. Try combining some.

Longer improvisation – 10-15 minutes. Did it feel different to the first one? In what way? What was happening musically? What was happening to the group dynamics? What was happening for you?

Closing ritual group chords to sing back and forth, clarinet over.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Dramatherapy conference


I've been asked to run a two hour workshop at this conference - should be fun, and it has the added convenience of being at my workplace!

DRAMATHERAPY SOUTHWEST 5
th ANNUAL CONFERENCE Chaos & Community Saturday 15th June 2013 The Briars, Crabb Lane, Exeter, EX2 9JD
CONFERENCE
PROGRAMME
Dramatherapy Southwest
One Day Conference
Chaos and Community
The Briars, Crabb Lane, Exeter EX2 9JD
9.00 am to 4.30 pm
This year’s conference is an opportunity for arts' therapists to ac-knowledge, as a community, the challenges of working creatively and collaboratively within the larger context of a chaotic society and discover new ways of embracing the chaos to effect transfor-mation.
In this conference, we are pleased to offer three exciting workshops where you will be able to work creatively with the themes of
Chaos and Community. You will also have a choice between two different arts’ therapies in order to explore the conference theme—those of Music and Drama. We are sure you will enjoy the day and we look forward to seeing you all! Throughout the day there will be opportunities to network and to make use of the new Swap Shop where you can bring any resources/props that you no longer use/need and swap with others. Conference details overleaf Programme 9.00 am Arrivals, refreshments and registration 9.30 am - 10.00 am Introductory workshop 10.00 am Break 10.15 am Opening workshop, for all participants: Of Butterfly Wings & Tornados A dramatherapy workshop led by Daniel Stolfi This workshop reflects on what we make of ourselves as a professional commu-nity and how we position ourselves along the order-chaos continuum. Using an experimental embodiment-projection-role (EPR) approach that draws on both choice and chance, participants are invited to explore some of the notions of chaos and community we entertain while allowing us to revisit some of our strengths and limitations as practitioners. Daniel Stolfi is Registered Dramatherapist, medical anthropologist, and founder of The Awesome Puppet Company. -o00o- 12.00 - 1.30 pm Lunch, networking and swap-shop -o00o-
1.30 pm Afternoon workshops, running concurrently: Workshop A Chaos, Meaning, Order and Community A Music Therapy workshop led by Henry Dunn This workshop explores the way that music can take us through a process of bringing order to chaos. We will listen to ways in which composers have sought to express this, will think about various theories behind the therapeutic use of music, including Music Therapy to bring meaning to chaotic minds and embark on our own musical journey, in community with each other, to bring meaning and order out of chaos.
(No musical skill is necessary, but if you have an instrument you would like to bring, please do.)
Henry Dunn is a Music Therapist, working at the Arts Therapies Service in Exeter and in a special needs school. He has given papers and run workshops in the UK and internationally. Workshop B Where the Chaos of Addiction Meets the Community of Recovery A dramatherapy workshop led by Susan Lawrence This workshop explores the themes of chaos and community in relation to work with clients in community based drug and alcohol treatment. Using an African myth it will explore the concept of a dilemma and relate this to the dilemma of choice between chaos & community faced by many clients in the early stages of treatment. Susan Lawrence is a Registered dramatherapist, who works with drug and alco-hol users in community based treatment. Please indicate your preference A or B when booking but please note that it may not be possible to attend your preferred choice 3.30 pm - 4.15 pm Plenary workshop, for all participants: Collectively drawing together the themes of both Chaos and Community. 4.15 pm – 4.30 pm Evaluation and close (NB times may vary slightly) Cost for the conference including refreshments and a buffet lunch:
Dramatherapy South West Members £40.00
Non Members £60.00
Students £25.00
Please make cheques out to Dramatherapy Southwest or you can make your payment by electronic transfer: HSBC Bank: Sort Code: 40-34-31 Account Number: 91221205 NB If you wish to pay this way, please make sure that your name is shown with reference to the payment. Places are limited so early booking is advised
For more information please contact Martin Redfern: or to book fill in form
below. mredfern@talktalk.net
BOOKING FORM
Name......................................................................................................................
I would like to attend the 2012 Dramatherapy Conference:
CHAOS & COMMUNITY
I would like to attend (Please circle)
WORKSHOP A:
Chaos, Meaning, Order and Community (with Henry Dunn ) Or
WORKSHOP B: Where the Chaos of Addiction Meets the Community of Recovery (with Susan lawrence)
I am a / member * / non member * / student * and enclose a cheque for
£........................................... (* please delete as necessary)
Any Dietary Requirements? .................................................................................
Please print, detach and send to Martin Redfern, 4 Joslin Road, Honiton , EX14 1RH or email to mredfern@talktalk.net

Monday, 13 May 2013

John Govier show

Had a lot of fun with some amazing people on John's show at the weekend. We had Conrad Humphreys, a round the world sailor who has set up an environmental charity called The Green Mile He spoke with great passion about our need to look after our marine environment and to stop using it as a dumping ground. The main band were With Nell and I a soulful and funky outfit that were great to listen to, and to jam with at the end. We also had a brilliant singer/songwriter Charley Pinfold with a powerful voice and a great intensity about her performance. Her songs often reflect her Christian faith too. We also had DJ, producer and beatbox artist Alex Norgate who could produce the most amazing sounds. I've always been in awe of anyone who has that kind of control over their voice, producing sound effects while keeping in time and making it funky. Examples here and here
Then of course there was me, Daniel Rangel and Clive Betts A crowded studio, so we didn't get much chance to talk, but it was all very relaxed, and of course there were lots of chocolate chip muffins to share. Having listened to John's show a lot it was great to see him in action. He made it look easy, but keeping a show going for four hours is a mammoth task. Thanks John, hope we can come back sometime, maybe with a bigger band. And thanks to all the other musicians, and to Conrad. It was a privilege to be with you all, and to make connections. You can listen to our end of show jam here

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Radio Appearance

I'm going to be joining John Govier on BBC Radio Devon 11th May, with my friends Daniel Rangel and Clive Betts. Details here

Saturday, 20 April 2013

old recording

I found a recording, on minidisk, I made years ago of some variations on a tune of mine which, in the absence of anything better, I call It's not alright. It lasts about 35 minutes and is quite intense at times. You can have a listen here

Sunday, 17 March 2013

wallet appeal

I dropped my wallet recently. Some kind person picked it up and left a message on my mobile. Unfortunately he didn't leave a number and his phone blocked it, so I can't call him to get it back! There was a business card in the wallet with my number and the address for this blog, so in the off chance of him reading it, I'm posting this and saying please phone again!