Update: Spiritually Bypassing Citations (see below)
Update: How Many Cheneys on the Cooks Source Scale is This? (see below)
Update: Addicted to Plagiarism (see below)
In this recent post on Teal Bosworth Scott Swan, I wrote about what I'm calling her "originality gap." I cited a number of examples of recycled material – numerous blog posts which rely on word for word lifts from her own previous articles. As stated, this is called self-plagiarism. I also touched on her propensity for relaying ideas, words, and images that strongly resemble work from other sources. I have noted a number of these parallels in the noncasts.
For instance, in the noncast entitled "The Bottomless Rabbit Hole," I referenced a rather striking similarity between her painting called Alchemy and art from the series Fullmetal Alchemist. Imagine my surprise at seeing that image, once again, heading her recent blog post.
The image in question is called the "circle of transmutation." It is the unique construction of Fullmetal Alchemist. It is, therefore, proprietary material.
This is not, I should point out, a blog post about the symbolism in Fullmetal Alchemist or its, perhaps, broader implications. It's not an exploration of how either the manga or the anime series convey the principles of Alchemy. That's something I might enjoy reading. I love analyses of how mythology is expressed in popular culture, which is why I write so much on the topic. But, no, this new post is about how unhappy and afraid teal is and how this is somehow reflected in the principles of Western Alchemy.
More to the point, there is almost no original material in the post. Instead, it draws from a number of previously published works of hers: an article and video on feeling like the universe is against you, a video, and a poem about Alchemy.
Worse, much of this recycled material is also plagiarized from Wikipedia. The following block quote is the text on Alchemy as it appears in this recent blog post and in the previously published text from which it is taken. I have highlighted in green any phrases, words, and partial words, that are direct lifts from the Wikipedia entries on the same topics. (Some words are in different tenses, have been changed from verbs to gerunds, and so on.) I have highlighted text in rose that I have deemed to be paraphrases of those Wikipedia entries. It's not just the highlighted material that is plagiarized, however. To plagiarize content does not simply mean ripping text word for word or paraphrasing it. Any content that conveys "information that is not common knowledge or self-evident," from an un-cited source, is considered plagiarism.
... The Great Work of Alchemy is often described as a series of four stages, which are represented by colors…
Nigredo, a blackening or melanosis. [sic] It is putrefaction or decomposition. Ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively. Internally, this represents a kind of spiritual death ["dark night of the soul"] and the confronting of one’s shadow aspect.
Albedo,a whitening or leucosis. [sic] The washing away of impurities. The physical subject (such as an ingredient) is to be purified and divided into two opposing principles. Internally, this represents regaining the original purity and receptivity of the soul. Washing away the ashes to find the soul.
Cirtinitas, a yellowing or xanthosis. [sic] This refers to transmutation. The actual turning of a subject (such as an ingredient) into its highest state such as silver into gold. Internally this represents awakening. Becoming a manifestation of the soul. Becoming a walking embodiment of the soul, rather than a muted reflection of it ["dawning of the 'solar light' inherent in one's being, and that the reflective 'lunar or soul light' was no longer necessary"].** It is a process of turning.
Rubedo,a reddening, purpling, or iosis. [sic] Rubedo refers to the end state ["culmination"]. Alchemical success. The achievement of the perfected state. The final state of perfection of a subject (such as an ingredient). It can be interpreted as achieving enlightened consciousness and the total fusion of spirit and matter. ["wholeness"] This stage is often represented by the symbol of the phoenix.
**If you doubt my analysis of the paraphrased section, see her stanza on Citrinitas:
We can see now
That the moon’s light ["lunar or soul light"]
Is not sun light, ["solar light"]
It is just a reflection.
We are just a reflection of what we really are.
When we decide to turn from moonlight to sunlight
To begin with, each of the sentence fragments with which she begins her definitions of the "stages," is a word for word lift from this Wikipedia post on the Magnum Opus – Great Work – of Alchemy. The little numbers in brackets, in the Wikipedia posts correspond to footnotes, because Wikipedia, for all its faults, cites its sources.
Here is the source text for the definition of Nigredo.
In alchemy, nigredo, or blackness, means putrefaction or decomposition. The alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher's stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter.
In analytical psychology, the term became a metaphor 'for the dark night of the soul, when an individual confronts the shadow within'.
Here is the source text for the definition of Albedo.
In alchemy, albedo is one of the four major stages of the magnum opus; along with nigredo, citrinitas and rubedo. It is a Latinicized term meaning "whiteness". Following the chaos or massa confusa of the nigredo stage, the alchemist undertakes a purification in albedo, which is literally referred to as ablutio – the washing away of impurities. In this process, the subject is divided into two opposing principles to be later coagulated to form a unity of opposites or coincidentia oppositorum during rubedo.
Titus Burckhardt interprets the albedo as the end of the lesser work, corresponding to a spiritualization of the body. The goal of this portion of the process is to regain the original purity and receptivity of the soul. Psychologist Carl Jung equated the albedo with unconscious contrasexual soul images; the anima in men and animus in women. It is a phase where insight into shadow projections are realized, and inflated ego and unneeded conceptualizations are removed from the psyche.
Here is the source text for the definition of Citrinitas.
Citrinitas, sometimes referred to as xanthosis, is a term given by alchemists to "yellowness." It was one of the four major stages of the alchemical magnum opus, and literally referred to "transmutation of silver into gold" or "yellowing of the lunar consciousness." In alchemical philosophy, citrinitas stood for the dawning of the "solar light" inherent in one's being, and that the reflective "lunar or soul light" was no longer necessary. The other three alchemical stages were nigredo (blackness), albedo (whiteness), and rubedo (redness).
Psychologist Carl Jung is credited with interpreting the pseudo-scientific alchemical process as analogous to modern-day psychoanalysis. In the Jungian archetypal schema, nigredo is the Shadow; albedo refers to the anima and animus (contrasexual soul images); citrinitas is the wise old man (or woman) archetype; and rubedo is the Self archetype which has achieved wholeness.
Finally, this is the source text for the definition of Rubedo.
Rubedo is a Latin word meaning "redness" that was adopted by alchemists to define the fourth and final major stage in their magnum opus. Both gold, and the philosopher's stone were associated with the color red, as rubedo signalled alchemical success, and the end of the great work. Rubedo is also known by the Greek word, Iosis.
. . .
The symbols used in alchemical writing and art to represent this red stage can include blood, a phoenix, a rose, a crowned king, or a figure wearing red clothes. Countless sources mention a reddening process; the seventeenth dictum of the 12th century Turba Philosophorum is one example:
O Turba of Philosophers and disciples, now hast thou spoken about making into white, but it yet remains to treat concerning the reddening! Know, all ye seekers after this Art, that unless ye whiten, ye cannot make red, because the two natures are nothing other than red and white. Whiten, therefore, the red, and redden the white! . . .
In the framework of psychological development (especially with followers of Jungian psychology), these four alchemical steps are viewed as analogous to the process of attaining individuation. In an archetypal schema, rubedo would represent the Self archetype, and would be the culmination of the four stages, the merging of ego and Self.
The Self manifests itself in "wholeness," a point in which a person discovers their true nature.
What is arguably more troubling than teal's obvious plagiarism of Wikipedia as a source on Alchemy, is that Wikipedia's material is more informative and better developed. It also offers references to source material, for further study.
Aside from the blatant ethical violation that is plagiarism, not providing references disempowers readers. This is and always has been my larger problem with teal. By not citing her sources, she positions herself as the cosmic answer lady. She closes the loop. When you refer the reader to other sources, you offer them the opportunity to read and evaluate those sources and expand their own learning. But, teal has a lot of her followers convinced that she is an authority on Alchemy and other spiritual disciplines, as if she never needed to read any of it. This encourages dependency. Anything you'd ever want to know about anything at all: just "Ask Teal."
No thanks. I can read Wikipedia for myself.
This post has 20 paragraphs and 1 poem of 4 stanzas, so we'll call that 24 paragraphs. Out of that, roughly 7 1/2 paragraphs were not directly traceable to older material, some of which was directly traceable to Wikipedia. Some of that new text is transitions in and out of the previously published material. In other words, a little over a quarter of this post is actually new.
So, what do we learn in those seven paragraphs? That teal is afraid, therefore everyone is afraid. That she went for a run in a sports bra and shorts and has the photographic evidence to prove it. That she's a victim who is being "scapegoated" and has been since childhood. That, for some strange reason, being a homewrecker has earned her some hostility and that this is mystifying to her. Basically, this post boils down to self-pity, self-plagiarism, and some plagiarized Wikipedia stuff about Alchemy.
I know I'm looking forward to teal's "energy diagnosis" of Paris. My husband suspects the "dominant negative vibration" will be something like "booming." My "energy diagnosis" of the smattering of new material in this post, though, is fear and victimhood. If I were a law of attraction person, I'd say it's not surprising that she was "a match" to multiple coordinated terrorist attacks. Her explanation of the timing is a little different, though.
Yes, she and her tribe are there to be beacons of light in this difficult time. It's funny how the mass murder by that poor, unfairly maligned boy Elliott Rodger was the reason she didn't move to Santa Barbara, but terrorist attacks in Paris are the reason she did go there. Well, either way, now that she's coordinating these "high frequency" sit-ins, I look forward to hearing about her taking the tribe into Syria.
In the meanwhile, if I want to hear about depression and Alchemy, I'll just watch Strindberg and Helium.
Update: Spiritually Bypassing Citations (12/19/15)
A comment from blairgilbert on this post tipped me to another instance of blatant plagiarism in teal's body of work. She noted word for word pilfering, in the Ask Teal video called "Spiritual Bypassing," from a Collective-Evolution post on the topic, written by Vanessa Petronelli.
The first thing I notice, in looking at Petronelli's article, is that she properly attributes the term "spiritual bypassing" to psychologist John Welwood. Surprising no one, teal does not.
I took a look at the article version of teal's spiritual bypassing video and strongly suspected that still more of it was plagiarized from sources in addition to the Collective-Evolution article. My husband and I did a bit more digging. We found that there were phrases and even entire blocks of text that could be traced to other sources. Some is paraphrased. Some is lifted verbatim.
As I did above, I will attempt to illustrate this using green highlights for identical words and phrases and rose for obvious paraphrasing. I am doing this by hand, so I'm sure I'm missing a lot. I shudder to think what would happen if these documents were compared using plagiarism detection software.
In her comment, blairgilbert identified two glaring examples of plagiarism from the Collective-Evolution article in the video.
Starting at the 13:25 mark, she states nearly word for word the author's third tip to avoid spiritual bypassing (near the end of the article).
And beginning at 15:00, it's glaringly obvious that she just re-phrased the author's ideas presented in tip number 1.
To do this analysis, I used the article version, which has roughly identical text to the video, and pulled out the grafs that correspond to the 13:25 and 15:00 marks. I also found another graf that strongly resembles tip number 2 from the CE article.
Text from teal's article:
In order to avoid the trap of spiritual bypassing, we need to apply what we learn to our life. Spiritual and Self help information is relatively abstract. Attending workshops, talks, reading books, going to yoga and meditation classes, etc. are good tools. However, tools are of no use if they aren’t used. Take action by applying what you are learning from these modalities consistently. Integrate them into your life daily. If these ideas remain abstract and merely intellectualized, they aren’t going to help you to create long lasting and permanent change.
Similar text from CE article:
Here are some other Tips to Avoid Spiritual Bypassing:
1) Spiritual and Self-Developmental information is abstract. Attending seminars, workshops, reading books, going to yoga and meditation classes, etc. are fantastic tools, however, the most important thing you need to ask yourself is if you are taking action and applying what you are learning from these modalities consistently, by integrating it into your life daily. If it remains abstract and is simply intellectualized it really isn’t going to help you to create long lasting and permanent change.
Text from teal's article:
If we are to avoid the trap of bypassing, we need to let go of the idea that something must be terribly, “wrong,” or dysfunctional about us if we have problems of negative beliefs or negative feelings or negative thoughts. Everyone has personal, “struggles,” to work through. I mean EVERYONE. When we judge our problems or feelings or negative-ness as wrong, we suddenly have a motive for spiritual bypassing. We make where we are “not ok”. We want to be good and right but we can only achieve that goodness or rightness by being inauthentic. We put on a false façade because of it.
Similar text from CE article:
2) Many people believe that something must be terribly, “wrong,” or dysfunctional in their lives to see a Life Coach, Therapist, Counselor or Healer. This is absolutely FALSE. Everyone has personal, “stuff,” to work through. When you see a professional you move into a vulnerable state of expression and opening; something you cannot always do alone or with friends or family members. These professionals are objective and are invested in only seeing you thrive and grow beyond your limitations and boundaries in a safe setting. They can offer you a different perspective as to what is going on inside of you. They will also hold you accountable to be sure that you are doing the work and making progress in between sessions that create a lasting impact on your life.
Text from teal's article:
In order to avoid the trap of spiritual bypassing, we need to be brave enough to admit to how we feel, what we want and don’t want, what we like and don’t like. We need to be willing to risk admitting to where we are and who we are, even if we think that where we are and who we are isn’t good or ok. If we want to avoid the pitfall of spiritual bypassing, we must express and allow our emotions, wounds, traumas and pain to surface healthily and with compassion.
Similar text from CE article:
3)Express and allow your emotions, wounds, traumas and pain to surface healthily and with love. Let go of the fear, judgment and suppressing of emotions. We often turn to things outside of ourselves to cope with our internal pain and suffering. Examples include addictions to food, drink, drugs, shopping, sex, work, focusing on others and diverting attention away from yourself etc. Make peace with being uncomfortable. If you are numbing yourself inside out this energy lingers and creates a breeding ground for other issues to arise and manifest. Get down to the root of your problems as they will not go away on their own.
That is some, but probably not all, of the direct lifting from the Collective-Evolution article. What she did not take from that article was the clear reference to the psychologist who originated the term "spiritual bypassing," John Welwood. This did not stop Welwood's ideas from showing up in teal's article, word for word.
The similarity between teal's text and this interview with John Welwood entitled Human Nature, Buddha Nature: On Spiritual Bypassing, Relationship and the Dharma is hard to miss.
Text from teal's article:
Spiritual bypassing also leads to a one-sided form of spirituality where one aspect of life is elevated at the expense of its opposite. For example, objective truth (being valued more) is used to invalidate subjective truth. Non-physical is valued over form, 5d is valued and 3d is devalued. Transcendence is valued over physical embodiment, and detachment is valued over feeling. This behavior of valuing one side of polarity over the other gives rise to extremely damaging experiences. For example, one might, try to practice emotional detachment from others by suppressing one’s need for love and becoming independently self loving, but this only drives the need to be loved by others underground, so that it often becomes unconsciously acted out in covert and manipulative ways instead.
Similar text from Welwood's interview:
Trying to move beyond our psychological and emotional issues by sidestepping them is dangerous. It sets up a debilitating split between the buddha and the human within us. And it leads to a conceptual, one-sided kind of spirituality where one pole of life is elevated at the expense of its opposite: Absolute truth is favored over relative truth, the impersonal over the personal, emptiness over form, transcendence over embodiment, and detachment over feeling. One might, for example, try to practice nonattachment by dismissing one’s need for love, but this only drives the need underground, so that it often becomes unconsciously acted out in covert and possibly harmful ways instead.
Text from teal's article:
Being a good spiritual person can become a substitute identity that covers up and defends against an underlying deficient identity. The spiritual idea we have of ourselves is used to whitewash over the truth of our true concept of ourselves, which is that we feel badly about ourselves. We feel that we are not good enough. We feel that we are innately Bad. Then, although we may be practicing diligently, our spiritual practice can be used in the service of denial and defense. And when spiritual practice is used to bypass our real-life human issues, our spirituality becomes compartmentalized.
Similar text from Welwood's interview:
Being a good spiritual practitioner can become what I call a compensatory identity that covers up and defends against an underlying deficient identity, where we feel badly about ourselves, not good enough, or basically lacking. Then, although we may be practicing diligently, our spiritual practice can be used in the service of denial and defense. And when spiritual practice is used to bypass our real-life human issues, it becomes compartmentalized in a separate zone of our life, and remains unintegrated with our overall functioning.
We also found a quote from Robert Agustus Masters on Facebook, which appears nearly word for word in teal's article. I ran down the quote and found this article, in which Agustus also clearly references John Welwood as the man who identified the problem of spiritual bypassing. Of course, teal references neither Masters, nor Welwood.
Text from teal's article:
Some examples of spiritual bypassing include anger-phobia, exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous boundaries, using cognitive reasoning to escape emotional feelings. Debilitating judgment about one's negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the spiritual, avoidance of physical day to day life, delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being and my personal least favorite, overemphasis of and attachment to the positive to the degree that there is a high level of resistance to anything negative.
Similar text Robert Agustus Masters:
Spiritual bypassing is a very persistent shadow of spirituality, manifesting in many forms, often without being acknowledged as such. Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one's negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.
Looking at this sea of green, it's hard to argue that teal did not plagiarize from all three of these articles. Worse, she has not only failed to cite her sources, she has failed to cite THE source of the term with which she's entitled her article and Ask Teal video. It's blatant theft of Welwood's intellectual property. Yes, "spiritual bypassing" is a concept that is currently proliferating throughout new agedom. I'm glad of it. It's a welcome relief from the willful denial espoused by The Secret and other LOA material. I'm sure many people who refer to the concept don't know its origins. But, I don't see how teal could possibly have missed this important piece of information, when she so obviously read and borrowed extensively from works in which he is clearly named.
Once again, teal has positioned herself as the cosmic answer lady, spouting information she "just knows." And, once again, these ideas have very human sources that are only a google search away.
Update: How Many Cheneys on the Cooks Source Scale is This? (2/11/16)
Is it that she can't learn or she won't learn?
In my previous update, I demonstrated, with careful highlighting, teal's word-for-word lifts on the issue of spiritual bypassing. Despite quoting him extensively, she never even referenced the psychologist who coined the term "spiritual bypassing," John Welwood. Now, she's self-plagiarized the article in which she plagiarized Welwood and others who have written on the topic. If you were holding out hope that she's avoided carrying over those blatantly lifted phrasings and ideas, or finally acknowledged her sources, you will be disappointed.
It's even more distressing when you consider that this post is clean and grammatically coherent enough to indicate that it was copy-edited. Her copy editor really doesn't know that this is blatant, obvious plagiarism?! There are some other very interesting slips, like this one:
So for the time being, I have been silent about it for the sake of evading even more conflict.
Most of us avoid unpleasantness. She evades it. To evade almost always involves some form of trickery and deception – very telling use of language, I think.
Examples of teal's plagiarism and self-plagiarism are too numerous to count and document. It would be a full-time job. She rarely writes a post that isn't made up of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue – a knack that may serve her as she prepares for her fourth wedding, but does not befit a published author.
She can't, for instance, resist lifting facts from Wikipedia, without citation, as in her recent post on Sydney, Australia.
Between 1788 and 1868 over one hundred and sixty thousand convicts were transported here to various penile colonies by the British government. One could say that for a time, Great Britain’s policy for preventing prison overcrowding and dealing with their criminals was to ship them to Australia. Due to the continent’s isolation in the middle of the sea, it was considered to be an ideal place to banish them to. They say only 20 percent of the population here are the decedents of convicts. But that figure surprises me given the social style of the average Australian. In my opinion, the convict era did shape the national character of this area immensely.
Here is Wikipedia's version:
Between 1788 and 1868, approximately 162,000 convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government.
The British government began transporting criminals to overseas colonies in the 17th century. When transportation to the American colonies declined with the move towards American independence in the 1770s, an alternative site was needed to avoid further overcrowding of British prisons and hulks. In 1770, James Cook charted and claimed possession of the east coast of Australia for Britain. Due to the continent's isolation, it was considered ideal for a penal colony, and in 1787 the First Fleet of eleven convict ships set sail for Botany Bay, arriving on 20 January 1788 to found Sydney, the first European settlement in Australia. Other penal colonies were later established in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), Queensland and Western Australia. Penal transportation to Australia peaked in the 1830s and dropped off significantly in the following decade. The last convict ship arrived in Western Australia on 10 January 1868.
Many of the convicts were transported for petty crimes; others were political prisoners. More serious crimes, such as rape and murder, were not transportable offences. After their prison terms were served most stayed in Australia and joined the other settlers, with some rising to prominent positions in Australian society. Approximately 20% of modern Australians are descended from transported convicts. Once deemed the "convict stain", it is now considered by many Australians to be a cause for celebration to have a convict in one's lineage. The extent to which the convict era has shaped Australia's national character has been studied by many writers and historians.
Whether she's misspelled penal as penile to try to throw people off, or because she doesn't know the difference between a penis and a prison, is anybody's guess. Equally confusing is her misspelling of descendants as decedents, aka., dead people. Some of this reads like a high schooler's attempt to camouflage plagiarism, with obvious weasel phrases like "one could say" and "in my opinion." Really? "One could say" that it was Great Britain's policy to use Australia as a penal colony? Sure, in the same sense that "one could say" the earth orbits the sun. It's not an opinion! It's an undisputed fact!!!
While in New Zealand, she penned one of her bizarre energy diagnoses. Auckland, it seems, suffers from "inertia," but it also has the virtue of "repose," which is kind of like inertia but calmer. But, teal has the prescription for their stuck underwaterness. She's self-plagiarized the bulk of a her previous article "Feeling Lost and Ten Steps to Becoming Found." One assumes she doesn't think those poor, inert Kiwis can find the original article... or the blog post she also self-plagiarized it into only last November. The post is also interesting for this subconscious reveal:
I went after areas of avoidance and blind spots within the participants like a predator during this workshop. [emphasis added]
Since her return from those lands down under, she's been venting up a storm on her blog. Her most recent post is all about her uterus and contains helpful gynecology graphics, so we know what that is. I'll paraphrase and save readers the trouble:
Ale is off to California to fight for custody of his children. I feel abandoned. Ale should put a baby in me and forget about those OTHER children that he had with that bitch wife who says mean things about me just because I stole her husband.
That's the gist and my summary has the added benefit of not containing plagiarized material from the Mayo Clinic's website. It seems that teal suffers from endometriosis, a painful condition to be sure. This she attributes to her alienation from her own womb. In yet another case of shadow projection, she manages to blame this on Planned Parenthood.
They tried to frighten the girls off of sex by traumatizing us about pregnancy and birth.
Because they should, what, encourage teen pregnancy???
She describes endometriosis thusly:
With endometriosis, the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus. Displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would. It thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue and blood has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue becomes irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions, which is abnormal tissue that binds organs together, sometimes resulting in a frozen pelvis. It is infamous for the pain it causes, especially during menstruation and also for the fact that it causes infertility.
The thing is, the Mayo Clinic describes it in strikingly similar terms:
Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond your pelvic region.
In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would — it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — abnormal tissue that binds organs together.
Endometriosis can cause pain — sometimes severe — especially during your period. Fertility problems also may develop. Fortunately, effective treatments are available.
So, as you can see, her post on endometriosis is hemorrhaging the green highlights of word-for-word plagiarism.
It's actually kind of incredible how much recycled verbiage teal can generate out of a handful of unattributed sources. For instance, from one paper, which can be found on the website for SOAS University of London, she has produced a number of posts. The article "Stress Management Practical Strategies" is a word document, but can be read here, as well.
Material from that page can be found word for word in teal's article on stress. For some reason her list of 10 items are all number 1, so it makes for strange reading. By the time she's recycled it into blog posts here and here, she's corrected that problem, but other than that, it's changed little. Entire blocks of text have made their way from that source document to teal's posts, with few changes.
How you think has a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself or your life, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you think positive thoughts about yourself and your life, your body will react by releasing chemicals that make you feel good. Work to eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must" from your vocabulary. These definitive statements are very conducive to thoughts which are self-defeating and create stress.
From the SOAS article:
How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical wellbeing. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." These are significant marks of self-defeating thoughts.
Here's a helpful subsection from teal on unhealthy ways of relieving stress, which is offered in all three of those posts:
Do you practice coping strategies which temporarily reduce stress but cause more damage in the long run? Such as:
- Overeating or under eating
- Trying to avoid stressors by spending hours in front of the TV or computer
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
- Using pills or drugs to relax
- Escaping by sleeping too much
- Filling up every minute of the day with things to do so as to avoid facing problems Or
- Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
Here's what it says in the article from SOAS:
These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:
- Drinking too much
- Overeating or undereating
- Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
- Using prescription pills or drugs to relax
- Sleeping too much
- Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
- Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
Most of teal's recommendations on stress relief come from that page. She's just jumbled up the order and priority a bit. And, her list of healthy relaxation strategies also bears a striking resemblance to the SOAS article.
1. Make time for fun and relaxation by finding healthy ways to relax and recharge, and give yourself permission to do so.
. . .
- Call a good friend
- Spend time outside
- Take a bath
- Sweat out tension with a good workout
- Write in a journal
- Savor a warm cup of tea
- Make yourself one of your comfort foods
- Spend time with a pet (pets have been shown to dramatically reduce stress)
- Get a massage
- Play a game
- Read a book
- Drive to a place with an amazing view
- Listen to music
- Watch a comedy movie
- Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.
Here's the SOAS list:
Stress management strategy 5: Make time for relaxation
Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.
Healthy ways to relax and recharge
- Go for a walk.
- Spend time in nature/hug a tree.
- Call a good friend.
- Sweat out tension with a good workout.
- Write in your journal.
- Take a long bath.
- Light scented candles.
- Practice Yoga/meditate
- Savour a hot drink.
- Play with a pet.
- Work in your garden.
- Get a massage.
- Curl up with a good book.
- Listen to music and dance.
- Watch a comedy.
I'm not really sure why teal left yoga off her version of that list, because she loves to write about yoga... and to steal text from actual authorities on the topic. For instance, she recently wrote about a yoga retreat at Sagrada Wellness.
Yoga practice will stimulate conscious and unconscious responses in every individual. Your body’s responses to yoga, whether those responses are sensations, emotions, moods, or images, are the first sign that something important is going on within us. Yoga meets the psyche and emotional center in the place where we feel reactive to the yoga. Every muscle has its own associated psychological/emotional function. A health practitioner, like myself is concerned with the responsiveness of a muscle. And a muscle’s responsiveness in yoga is mostly related to its state of elasticity. If the psychological/emotional function associated with a specific muscle was abandoned early or was not learned at all, the muscle will be under-responsive. A person will usually have a lack of aliveness and sensory awareness in this area of the body. Psychologically there may be a sense of numbness or of something missing or of not knowing how to do something. In yoga, when we stress the under-responsive muscle by using it strongly, the psychological history related to this muscle will be triggered.
What's funny about that is how similar it sounds to this article by Joel Isaacs, PhD (see also here).
Interestingly, the somatic psychotherapy my colleagues and I now practice, called Bodynamics, deals every day with the particular psychological content held in each muscle. So we have a perspective important for the yoga community, while not at all being experts in the field of yoga. We know (as does every yoga teacher) that a yoga practice will stimulate conscious and unconscious responses in every individual. Our body’s responses to the stretching and stressing of yoga, whether sensations, emotions, moods, or even images, are the first sign that something or importance is going on for us. This is the place where yoga meets the psyche, where mind and body can begin to integrate.
. . .
In a similar way to this example of the triceps and setting limits, every muscle has its own associated psychological function. Each one retains an imprint of the response to its related behavior. So our history is stored in our body and in our brain, and it can be accessed through the body. (In fact, the attitudes stored in the muscles can be measured manually by palpation, and a map made from which our history can be “read”.) In our daily life the historical responses may be stimulated when the muscle is either stretched or stressed (used strongly). In Bodynamics, we talk about a muscle’s responsiveness, which is related to its elasticity. If the psychological function expressed by the muscle has been given up early or was not learned, the muscle will be under-responsive. A person will usually have a lack of liveliness and sensory awareness in this area. Psychologically there may be a sense in related situations of something missing, of not knowing how to do something. In this case, when we stress the muscle by using it strongly, the psychological history is likely to be stimulated.
It goes on. Here is some more of teal's text:
If the disruption occurred later in the developmental period when a muscle was being imprinted, it will be over-responsive instead of under responsive. A person will usually have a sense that they lack flexibility, hold back, or respond in a rigid way relative to these muscle groups. For an over-responsive muscle, the trauma associated with this muscle will be triggered when it is stretched. Conversely, either stressing an over-responsive muscle or stretching an under-responsive one will tend to suppress the psychological and emotional content associated with that muscle.
In my opinion, the psychological and emotional content contained in the muscles will not change simply by stretching or strengthening the muscle. You must first work-through the particular psychological/emotional issue. But that being said, working from both the direction of body and mind is ideal. Working through a psychological/emotional issue frees the associated muscle from having to “hold” that trauma. This leads to more freedom of movement and more flexibility on a mental, physical and emotional level.
And this is from Doctor Isaacs's article:
On the other hand, if the disruption occurred later in the developmental period when that muscle was being imprinted, it will be over-responsive. A person will usually sense some energy in these muscles, and psychologically they may have a sense that in related situations they lack flexibility, hold back, or feel compelled to respond in a rigid way. For an over-responsive muscle, the history will be stimulated when it is stretched. Conversely, stressing an over-responsive muscle (or stretching an under-responsive one) will tend to suppress the psychological content.
For better or worse, the psychological attitudes contained in the muscles will not generally be changed simply by stretching, or toning, or strengthening them. You must first work-through the particular psychological issue and make some changes in your behavior. Working through a psychological issue frees the associated muscle from having to “hold” psychological history. This leads to more freedom of movement and more psychological flexibility. Then, the muscles responsiveness will change towards neutral, and a corresponding body and psychological resource can be developed. When a resource is established in our body we tend to act spontaneously in our best interest, rather than having to think through each situation. At a secondary level, other nearby muscles that had been recruited to compensate also become freer, and those abilities are somewhat more accessible.
The best tweak in her entire post is where she changed Isaacs's "for better or worse" to "in my opinion." It's not her opinion. It's his.
I'll stop there, not because the rest of her piece is original, but because it's exhausting and overwhelming keeping up with the scope of her intellectual theft. I feel pretty comfortable, at this point, saying that teal is a serial plagiarist and that she's treating the internet like a smorgasbord of ideas to claim as her own.
What original concepts does she bring to the mix? Predation, evasion, and dog whistles to a following so devoted they'd give their lives.
They come to me now from all corners of the globe. And I can genuinely say that I have officially gone from a person who had absolutely no one; a person who was drowning in the kind of isolation that sucks breath from your lungs, to a person who has people that are so close to me that they will live and die by my side.
Update: Addicted to Plagiarism (2/24/16)
It's been a strange couple of weeks on planet teal. She's been taking a lot heat for both her professional and all too public private life. And, predictably, she's gone straight for the pity play. She is being "slandered," "attacked," and "scapegoated," says she. She is responsible for none of it, only a "match" to it, because she's always been slandered, attacked, and scapegoated. It's a funny interpretation of the "law of attraction" that somehow always reduces to teal = victim.
The "slander" comes in the form of (clutch the pearls!) an accusation of plagiarism. Ma Nithya Swarupapriyananda, whose further comments can be found on this page, posted a video about teal's "Completion Process" and its curious resemblance to teachings by her guru, Nithyananda. But, for all teal's complaints about this accusation, she has yet to directly address the charge in any of her
She's far more upset, she says, by the ongoing tumult in her romantic life. Hot on the heels of her pained admission that Ale has lost almost all custody rights, due to his relationship with her "dangerous cult leader" self, she has announced the date of their pending nuptials. But, this is where things got really strange.
An observant reader noticed that the tags for her wedding announcement blog post included the word "funeral," which appears nowhere in the text. In fact the url for the post is http://blog.thespiritualcatalyst.com/the-wedding-and-the-funeral, despite its title being "The Purity of Union." This clever reader found the original post in google cache and found that it's been through a title change and the loss of about half of its content. The deleted content, as it turns out, is a lot of self-plagiarized drivel. It originally appeared here and here. It's already been recycled into an older blog post here. I've read it. Leave it to teal to turn the lovely idea of a fire ceremony for fantasies about one's past into something morbid.
So, did teal think better of the simply horrible idea of attaching all that death imagery to her pending nuptials? Four Weddings and a Funeral was a cute movie, but this is, in fact, her fourth marriage. Talking about corpses, coffins, and funeral pyres might not read as her putting her best foot forward. Or, is it possible, I wondered, that she's begun to realize that plagiarism of either herself or other, unwitting writers isn't exactly putting her best foot forward, either. Could she actually be starting to understand this?
The very next day an even stranger blog post appeared and it is as unoriginal as it is bad. How ironic, considering that it purports to be a kind of grand confession. She's announced to all and sundry that she's a sex and love addict, to which all and sundry replied, this is news how?
So, what prompted this bout of "honesty?" I appears that critics of her plagiarism and Ale's wife's attorneys aren't the only people giving her flak. I first became aware of the latest teal drama when a friend of mine noticed that her Facebook friend list was down by over 300, um, friends. Facebook only allows 5,000 friends and teal is always around that maximum, only bestowing her coveted friendship on the most worthy, when there's the occasional opening. She doesn't pick them herself. She has people for that. They choose the appropriate energetic matches from her many waiting followers. And so I expect they did the other day, only this time the openings were in the hundreds.
What caused this sudden purge? Another friend informed me that all hell broke loose on her the Facebook post of this picture and wedding announcement.
Most of the negative comments were cleaned up, along with her friend list, but they missed a few.
In the post, teal vents about negative comments she's been getting about her pending nuptials.
I have been avoiding the comments underneath my posts about this upcoming wedding to Ale because of how cruel some people have been with their judgments about my love life and about marriage in general. Because of my willingness to be authentic about my personal life, as opposed to hide it like every other spiritual teacher, people cease to view me as a ‘teacher’ and begin to see me like an immature little sister who they have to advise...
She talks a good game about how she's come down off the "pedestal" by talking endlessly about her private life, but she hates when it actually interferes with her role as an authority figure.
The post reeks of damage control. And like all teal damage control, it includes both appeals to pity and a lot of attention on her body and sexuality. It's hard to take her sex addict "sobriety," seriously, when she starts the post off with a graphic, erotic poem and sexy, pouty photo of her younger self.
She doesn't explain how she's actually dealing with her addiction, except that she's already dismissed Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
I have to stay in check with the amount of influence I have in other people’s lives. For this reason, I regularly see various therapists. But I also found myself attending Love Addicts Anonymous last year. To be honest, I hated it. This is going to really invalidate people who believe in the AA approach to addiction recovery. But in my opinion, not only is the Love Addicts Anonymous curriculum completely wrong about how to accomplish recovery, it is a recipe for self hate. They do not teach attendees how to approach the inner void and loneliness. They simply prescribe forcing yourself to be single and attend the groups. From there, the solution they give you is to essentially pray for help from a higher power. Don’t even get me started on the AA curriculum. I shall save that for another day.
So, she's staying in check with her influence on other people, but thinks stating her opinion actually invalidates – renders invalid – not only Twelve Step programs, but the people who use them. Somehow, she went to these meetings and failed understand the program completely. It's a ridiculously shallow interpretation. I'm not surprised she thinks it's a "recipe for self hate," though. These are the steps.
The Twelve Steps of S.L.A.A.
- We admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these
- steps, we tried to carry this message to sex and love addicts and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.
I expect steps 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 would be particularly challenging for teal, because they're all about taking personal responsibility. They won't allow you to just keep blaming your parents, Mormon Satanists, or anyone else. It's more like shadow work than anything teal teaches, because what she teaches is just more shadow projection.
Her rejection of SLAA, though, did not cause her to reject the text from a rehab that works with the Twelve Step model.
Love addiction can be associated with any of the following patterns:
- Difficulty sustaining relationships after the initial excitement wears off
- Constantly searching for a newer, better relationship
- Feeling unhappy or worthless when alone but scared or dissatisfied when in a relationship
- Repeatedly attracting troubled or emotionally unavailable partners
- Confusing sex and romance for real love
- Escaping feelings of loneliness or unhappiness through sex or relationships
- Having multiple affairs
- Serial dating
- Having anonymous or unprotected sex
- Falling “in love” with strangers
- Trading sex for love, affection, money or power
- Using any means necessary to attract or hold onto a love interest
- Inability to set appropriate boundaries
- Withdrawing from friends, family, career or interests to focus on a romantic relationship
. . .
- Unsuccessfully trying to stay single for a certain period of time
- Inability to stop seeing or dating a specific person even with the knowledge that it is destructive
. . .
- Overlooking a partner’s faults to perpetuate the fantasy
In her post, teal has simply changed the bullet points to sentence fragments, tweaked a few words and riffed a bit with some doggerel in the middle of the graf.
Attachment addiction (love addiction) tends to show up in the following patterns: Difficulty sustaining relationships after the initial obsessive phase wanes. Constantly searching for a better relationship. Feeling worthless and suicidal when alone but terrified and dissatisfied when in a relationship. Repeatedly attracting troubled, avoidant or emotionally unavailable partners. Confusing sex and romance for real conscious and committed love. Involvement with a fantasy of who someone could be, rather than involvement with the reality of who someone actually is, which leads to perpetual relationships with incompatible partners. Premature commitment usually in the form of impulsive decisions to increase the level of bonding such as moving in together, getting married and having children. The inability to take a relationship slowly because of the intensity of bonding, immediacy of bonding, depth of intimacy and desperate fear of abandonment. Serial dating or serial monogamy. Potential affairs. Anonymous and unsafe sex. Using sex, affection and sensual charm as a currency exchange for protection, power or money. The inability to set healthy and appropriate boundaries. Withdrawing from all other relationships when focused on ‘the one’ primary attachment relationship (partner) in their life. And the inability to be single.
She does refer to a viral Huffington Post article on addiction, and deserves some credit for doing so. But, it doesn't excuse her, once again, plagiarizing swaths of text from an un-named source. Nor does it excuse the self-plagiarism of this article, which also appears in this very long post.
I strongly suspect that we've only touched the surface of teal's pattern of theft. Rumors about her "Completion Process" have been swirling for a while, and Nithyananda is not the only possible source that has been suggested. Unless I miss my guess, this is another of these horrible Frankenstein's monsters she creates, stitching together random bits of material from better thinkers.
Not only is teal bereft of original ideas, she's a horrible, horrible writer. She needs to plagiarize, because left to her own devices, she comes up with nonsensical verbiage like this.
The world that is internal to the relationship is raw yet pristine in its paragon.
How are raw and pristine opposites? And, what, in the name of all that is holy, does she think "paragon" means? Just wrong, wrong, wrong.
Paragon applies to someone who is a model of perfection in some quality or trait. We link paragon with other words that follow it, such as "paragon of virtue" or "paragon of patience."
A paragon means someone or something that is the very best. The English noun paragon comes from the Italian word paragone, which is a touchstone, a black stone that is used to tell the quality of gold. You rub the gold on the touchstone and you can find out how good the gold is. You are hoping that it is the paragon of "goldness."
She's just a horrible writer, who uses the thesaurus like an oracle, and drops big words she barely understands into weird contexts and tortured syntax. What she does to the English language should be illegal. What she does with other people's ideas already is.
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