The Lifwynn Foundation is a small
group of people dedicated to exploring the pathology and the promise of
the human situation. This pathology fragments our lives and separates us
from others, and from the needs of the planet. The purpose of The Lifwynn Foundation is to
investigate the causes of this world-wide human predicament. At present,
society is riddled with violence, addiction of all sorts, ethnic
conflict, environmental degradation, inequality of distribution, etc.
Our work addresses these problems. It is aimed at furthering human
transformation and social healing.
activities are based on the research of Trigant
Burrow, an early American psychoanalyst. Burrow introduced group
analysis in the nineteen-twenties, a forerunner of group therapy and
other group approaches. It was a scientific investigation of the causes
of human conflict and alienation in which the feelings and motivations
of the investigators provided the material to be investigated. Burrow
and his co-workers recognized that the societal pathology they were
examining was embodied in themselves as individuals and as a group. They
developed the ability to observe the disorder within their own interrelational
processes, and find a healing response within the observation itself.
Dr. Burrow's group saw humankind's dysfunction as part of its
preoccupation with symbols and language. As a result of our growing
dependence on the word and the habit of objectification, people have
come to deal with themselves and each other as symbols and objects –
rather than living, reactive bodies. Each of us is primarily concerned
with our own self-image – with what Burrow called the "I"
persona. This "I" is a separative sense of self
that sets individual interests and concerns against those of others and
the wider community.
A crucial aspect of the "I" is its assumption of the rightness
of its beliefs. Due to inherent factors and the process of
socialization, there arise in each child precepts of "right"
and "wrong" that are not supported by verifiable experience.
Certain beliefs and values become a central feature of one’s identity:
I belong to the only true Church; I belong to a superior race, and to
the best political party; "I know the right way to raise children;
I wear the right clothes, drive the right car, listen to the right
music; and so on, ad infinitum. The "I," this entity that each
individual comes to experience as himself or herself, has assumed an
autocratic dictatorship over the attitude and behavior of us all.
"My" private gain versus "your" private gain is now
the unconscious motive of every one of us.
Group analysis, or social self-inquiry, as it is now called, involves
analysis of the symbolic self and its psychopathology. In our group we
take initiative in identifying the operation of this authoritarian,
imperialistic "I"- persona as it occurs in the midst of our
transactions, and we share these observations with each other. We take
note of the whole spectrum of emotions – anger, anxiety,
sentimentality, elation and depression, etc. – and their related
behaviors: aggressiveness, defensiveness, manipulativeness,
self-aggrandizement, ingratiation etc. Directing our attention to the
bodily sensations that accompany such emotions, we become aware of the
neuromuscular tensions associated with such mood states common to our
When we question the validity of the dogmatic beliefs of our autocratic
self, and direct our attention to the sensations that go with
self-biased beliefs and emotions, we sometimes become aware of a broader
frame of reference: the organism as a whole. At this point it is the
organism which is doing the observing of our conflictual
behavior, and which becomes aware of our thoughts and imagery,
discovering how they are linked with feelings and sensations.
of one’s own organism leads to recognition of the commonality of all
human organisms. As Burrow and his associates learned to shift from the
narrow, symbolic mode of attention (which Burrow called "ditention") to the
broader, organismic mode of
attention (which he identified as "cotention")
they found that brainwaves, eye-movements, and respiration showed marked
changes in instrumental recordings. And they experienced an enhanced
sense of solidarity with other members of our species, as the SSI group
The work of the Lifwynn
Foundation is aimed at facilitating a healing of human society through
revitalizing this basic way of relating. In this mode we can listen and
communicate with each other more openly and with less projection, be
more honest in self-disclosure, and more authentically present for self
and other. Where a group of people has persisted in this technique over
a sufficient period of time, the barriers set up by the socially
prevalent "I" are let down in behalf of the common interests
and activities that make for the well being of the individual and the
group or species.
We invite all who are concerned about the fragmentation of human society – and who are willing to help examine this process as it occurs within themselves – to learn more about our work. Begin by reading the articles available at this site. There is also a list of publications which can be requested from The Lifwynn Foundation. Or write to our E-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or comments.