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WoB and The Shadow (my Artistic Statement)

This could be called my “Artistic Statement” (Many thanks to Sandra Hughes of The Mask Theater in Atlanta, Georgia for helping me understand this!)

My work is mainly Body Defined. I have been called “The Physicalist”. Martial arts training, therapeutic protocols and theatrical events can all have healing qualities. I build my work with healing qualities in mind around Initiation or Rites of Passage. The “Passage” I speak of is into Life and Humanity.The contrast of Life and Death are where we all exist. We live in this plane of contrast.To know this intellectually is not the same as Feeling it and Understanding it. My work is to create Feeling and Understanding of the plane of contrast which stands where Life and Death overlap.

For me this means my job is to create a space and a time for my students – or audience- and protect it-so they can get a first hand experience of the Processing of their own Negative Emotions. This is done by allowing them to understand their Subconscious or Unconscious is a kind of magnet. Because of this particular law of attraction one’s state of being creates one’s environment. Hence the present state of human society on planet earth.
My work- in it’s ideal form -shines a light on that idea-That a State of Being Creates an Environment. And I protect the space for people to feel this. And this relates also to my philosophy of being a bodyguard
or “Protector of Space”.
Raising the Shadow

My work Raises The Shadow – that is – Raises the individual’s Psychological Shadow up- in high profile- so it may be clearly defined, understood and therefore, dissolved. This is a lifetime process but can be glimpsed in moments- in training- and in performing. Like Finn’s tasting of the Salmon in the old Celtic myth-sometimes a taste is all you need to understand…then your Life’s meanings can unfold…

I prefer to do this through combining martial arts training with yoga and certain esoteric exercises. This can also be done through a dramatic performance or theatrical display. Sometimes this type of shadow display is called a “Mystery Drama”. I use my knowledge of ancient tradition to create modern mystery plays and physical training protocols. Though the human constitution has changed little in the last few thousand years – it has changed some. So I believe the ancient teachings have to be harvested anew and put in new wine skins. Moreover some Tradition has fossilized and lost it’s meaning and it’s life. So it has to be resurrected and that is a process I am only now beginning to understand.

My interest in the preservation of martial and yogic tradition (which includes medicine)- much of which lies also in oral tradition, myth and faery tale in all cultures causes me to collect and apply them in new ways.

This is what makes my work go beyond Initiation into Resurrection. I am interested in the process of the resurrection of things dead. But be clear I am NOT simply interested in collecting dead things and seeing if I can “make them work”— like Frankenstein’s monster! No!

I am interested in how to bring living meaning to what has gone before me. This is done by trying to understand ancient and modern intents and motivations and reapply these as living forces which can assist humanity now and even more so in the future. So for me – genuine Resurrection Art feels into the future.

My work is oriented toward individual empowerment. Part of the paradox of individual empowerment is in the realization that real understanding of self is arrived at through group work which demonstrates interdependence. This means a friend, a training partner- or a community of elders-and hopefully “all of the above”— is a gift -whether on stage- or off- for us to awaken our sleeping human potential. This is why I believe in group work as well as individual work. This is also why I have faith in Theater and the performing arts as well as the old schools of individual initiations found in martial arts and yogas and other schools of the past.
Much violence is generated in a false sense of separateness. We think we are unique and our personal Myth of Specialness keeps us separate and helps frame us as victims. As the human being is further defined in our history we find the human is a social being and needs others. Friendship is Alchemy. Sometimes even Ecstasy. This interdependence of Fellowship – once understood – also helps dissolve or harness the shadows in oneself which inevitably lead down into violence toward both others and self. As we realize this interdependence we can align our shadows properly – to our feet- our way of life -and keep them where we can feel them -as Peter Pan finally-in the end— did – and walk into the light. And while we are there -in the light- we can understand and resurrect those ancient things, those dead things and give them a new life…

So I call my essential work “Scyalline” or “Shadow Alignment” (from the Greek).

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  1. It is a great gift to be able to work with others-yet at times and for certain humans-one must tread a solitary path-perhaps due to the consequences of ones previous destructive lives-and as we spiral thru these realities with discipline and determination we move thru the process of transformation-as in your parody of the catepillar-coocon- butterfly-which allows us to interact with our environments in different ways with new insights and possibilities-having made peace with our shadow and its world yet able to share and communicate with the fullness of self for the benefits of others-earlier in life i found IMPROVISATIONAL DANCE to be a non agressive method of opening the body thru movement and transcending the minds knots-

    1. yes indeed Jacques! very true we must work through our own karma…takes time…not always pleasant…Improv Dance good! Allen P.