This is the curated transcript of Emily Francis’s interview with Jordan Gruber on October 7, 2020, on the book Your Symphony of Selves, co-authored with James Fadiman.
Emily Francis Interviews Jordan Gruber on Your Symphony of Selves
Emily Francis, on behalf of her “All About Healing” show on Positive Talk Radio on HealthLife.Net, conducted this interview with Jordan Gruber on Your Symphony of Selves, on October 7, 2020. The interview can be listened to at which can be listened to at https://youtu.be/dW0zgY6dl00.
Table of Contents
- The Search for a Title
- An Overview of the Basic Concept
- How Healthy Selves Differs From Pathological Conditions (bipolar, schizophrenia, MPD/DID)
- Selves, Psychedelics, and Microdosing
- Anxious? A Suggested Reframe
- Celebrities Who’ve Benefited From Knowing About Shifting Selves
- Coping Better with the Pandemic through Selves Knowledge
- Where to Read a Free Excerpt, Buy the Book, or Just Learn More
- Seeing Behind the Single Self Assumption: Selves are Everywhere!
- Healthy Selves and Children
- Center, Presence, and Connecting to Your Whole Constellation of Selves
- On The Rebound: Another Self of Jordan’s
- Key Takeaways For Readers to Understand
Broadcasting from Manhattan Beach and the World Wide Web. You’re listening to C H S R healthy life.net as a service to our listeners. This program is for general information and entertainment purposes. Only CHSR healthy life.net does not recommend endorse or objects to the views of products or topics expressed or discussed by show hosts or their guests. We suggest you always consult with your own personal medical, financial, or legal advisor.
Emily Francis (00:51):
Happy Wednesday, everyone. You’re listening to “All About Healing.” I’m your host, Emily Francis, and we have our fabulous producer, Jay, on the line with us. I am always so grateful for Jay, the producer for the station, and for you, my beautiful listeners, for taking your time out of your day to come and commune with my guests. I try really hard to get the best of the best on the show. And I want to thank you. And also remember that I have moved recently out of the United States into the country and Island of Malta, and sometimes reception gets a little bit hairy and we are on live. So if anything should happen, I promise I’ll call back in, but bear with me and be patient. And I send you love and gratitude.
Okay. Without further ado, I’m really excited about today’s guest because this book is really groundbreaking and based on really old history. So the book, called Your Symphony of Selves, Discover and Understand More of Who You Ares. The authors are James Fadiman PhD and Jordan Gruber, JD. I just asked about “JD,” and this means that he’s a lawyer. Jordan Gruber is the author that is joining us today for the show. So Jordan, I’m so glad to have you welcome to all about healing.
Jordan Gruber (02:16):
Oh, I’m excited to be here, Emily. Thank you.
The Search for a Title
Emily Francis (02:19):
I am usually pretty calm going into these shows, but I’m so pumped about your book that I’m having a hard time compartmentalizing my energy to keep myself calm enough to get to this information because there’s a lot here. So I want to start really basic, with the title, Your Symphony of Selves. What made you come up with that title?
Jordan Gruber (02:47):
Well, we were looking for the right title for the book, and I so I get into into my big easy chair upstairs. And I kind of channeled those as the right words to represent that we’re talking about in terms of individuals having different parts of themselves or different selves or sub-personalities. And when they all play together, like in an orchestra—when the right ones are playing the right notes and the right times in your life—then your life works a lot better. And so we just thought that that title really kind of captured it.
Emily Francis (03:15):
It’s really stunning. And, and I understood more of it as I started to read some of the book. And I have to tell you, I have personally gone through soul retrieval and extraction from a charlatan and your book really touches on so many things that I’ve questioned in my own spiritual search and my own different places—studying Hinduism, Buddhism, religious philosophy, Christianity, and shamanic and native medicine—that there is so much there. So what I want to start with is a basic overview of what you’re going to try to explain to us today for the people who are listening.
An Overview of the Basic Concept
Jordan Gruber (03:56):
Sure. Well, it’s really a very simple thing and it all started when Jim, when it became clear to him quite a long while ago that everyone that he saw had a variety of different selves or parts or personalities that kind of came in and out, depending on what they were doing. And Jim was astonished that this seemed obvious yet no one speaks about it (except in pathological terms) hardly ever. And the reason no one ever speaks about it is that there is an assumption, that we have called the “single self assumption,” which says that you are or ought to be a single self. And that assumption is reinforced by Western philosophy and by monotheism, and since 1910 the idea of healthy selves hasn’t been heard of in the mainstream.
So all of us, our entire lives, are constantly being forced to try to come up with just the one Self who we really are. And what we’re saying is that that’s not actually the way the world is built. It’s an erroneous assumption. Everyone we’ve ever met everyone in our lives, including the most successful people, the healthiest people, have a variety of different selves. And for us, mental health is really being in the right mind or the right self at the right time. And so we realize that instead of being shifted or triggered into parts of you, that you might not want to be in given where you are and who you’re interacting with, you can learn to shift yourself instead of being triggered or switched. Life gets a lot easier, very quickly.
Emily Francis (05:27):
Now a question about this, because you also touched on the afterlife and energy as well. Can you go into that?
Jordan Gruber (05:38):
The book is a very pragmatic book in the sense that we believe there’s an erroneous assumption at the core of almost all psychology and we’re just pointing it out and offering a different and better ways to live. As part of doing that, we have presented a tour de force. We’ve looked at philosophy of religion, culture, language, cartoons, neuroscience, psychology, postmodernism, and of course, Buddhism. We’ve looked at a whole lot of things because some people like to know all the details, but the details ultimately aren’t that important—what’s important to know is that the six, seven, eight, 10, 15, however many selves that you tend to move in and out of, when you realize that those selves are real, that they have innate value, that you can’t just get rid of them, and that they often have their own agendas, then you can begin to harmonize your whole system and work with them.
So as part of this tour de force, we went ahead fairly late in the book—it’s chapter nine, I think—and gave a list of what everyone else had said about where selves come from and when they show up and where they might originally arise from. And we put all of that together in a big chart. And part of that chart includes what we call internally, psycho-spiritually, generated selves. And that could be reincarnational selves or your High Self or whatever it is. But most of that material is what we call “beyond our pay grade.” Well, if that’s how you’re experiencing reality, and you want to integrate that in, fine, but we don’t want people to take their eye off the ball of getting that they really do have different parts of themselves and that recognizing and learning to integrate them makes their lives better.
And when you know that the people in your life have different selves, then you can be a lot more forgiving and compassionate. So when someone forgets something that you told them 10 minutes ago, you might realize that they’ve shifted into a different part of who they are, and they really don’t have that information. They’re not just trying to mess you up. And so the bits about alien selves, reincarnational selves, high selves, inner selves, all that stuff—we briefly look at all that. And we talk about Carl Jung’s relationship to that material, but we don’t stay too focused on it. We’re always coming back to, “When I go pick up my daughter at daycare, I’m a radically different person than when I’m at my office and my boss is there. And that’s a very different person really than who I am when I’m hanging out with my old friends and partying.”
How Healthy Selves Differs From Pathological Conditions (bipolar, schizophrenia, MPD/DID)
Emily Francis (08:12):
True, absolutely true. Now I’m going to ask what probably ever interviewer asks you, and I apologize for my complete basicness on this, but I haven’t asked it and would bring it in now. Dr. Fadiman has a degree from Harvard and Stanford. He’s studied the research on multiplicity for over 20 years, and I do want to get into the psychedelic studies as well, but I want to talk about just very briefly where a diagnosis of schizophrenia comes into play, or does it at all with the stuff that you guys are presenting.
Jordan Gruber (08:49):
Right? So the first thing is that we try to stay away from medical diagnostic labels because generally speaking, we don’t think they help that much, but second of all, yes, we get asked all the time. People are asking us about multiple personality disorder and dissociative identity disorder. And they’re asking us about bipolar. And they’re asking us about schizophrenia because there’s some notion that people hear voices and all of that. So schizophrenia, as we quote our old friend Ken Wilber saying in the book, is more of a systems wide breakdown where people do not do well in any of the selves that they’re in. That’s just a very different thing than what has been thought of as, let’s say, multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder, where people have different pathological selves.
So again, this is not a book that’s focused on pathology. We’re very aware of pathology and we go to school on pathology, but we’re trying to go in at the core of psychology and look at things like “dissociation,” which we kind of take apart in the Appendix, and say, ‘let’s replace that with “cohesion.’” Let’s follow the way of transpersonal psychology and build from the ground up a positive system that takes into account that we really do have these different selves.
So there is some mention of pathology, but I think the main point here is that a lot of people think that if you have more than one self, that you’re then mentally ill. And in fact, “dissociation” is defined in terms of moving from one self to another. But if I’m in a situation where I’m going to start arguing with a friend —and I realize I’m heading to the part of who I am that had a bad argument with that friend—and I shift away from that part and move into a kinder part of myself, that is not an act of mental pathology, that is an act of health. So someone might be very sick or might have different selves that need help. And they might have a system wide failure like schizophrenia, but that’s very different than where the focus of our book is. Because again, we’re just not that oriented towards pathology.
Selves, Psychedelics, and Microdosing
Emily Francis (10:53):
Well, that makes total sense. And honestly, it’s the right way to approach it. I think I just was more wondering if somebody has been diagnosed with such mental illnesses would then it be able to decipher or recognize that it might be something much deeper and come from a very wonderful depth of their spiritual foundation that could help them navigate in a different context. I do want to take this segue into psychedelics, because I know that Dr. Fadiman has a lot of information about it. His last textbook or last book was about microdosing and psychedelics. Can you take me there? Can you talk to me about psychedelics and how that affects our knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of the selves?
Jordan Gruber (11:42):
Well, it’s interesting because people have been asking us about this for a while because Jim, especially with regard to microdosing, is one of the most well known authorities on the planet. When we wrote the book, we wanted to keep it separate from Jim’s psychedelic work. So there’s a few mentions of psychedelics in the book, but what we’re saying, now, as people are talking to us, especially in the context of the pandemic, is that it becomes very useful with microdosing because you get to see the different selves that you move in and out of a little more clearly, some of the time, and you might remember a part of you that has a lot of fun doing something that you haven’t thought of for a long time, and you’ll revive that hobby, or you’ll move into a new part of who you are now.
So, psychedelics are tricky and if we just keep it to microdosing, we can say that some people might be more aware of their selves when they’re microdosing. Some people might have more facility in shifting in and out as different selves or seeing their entire constellation of selves. But, you know, we’ve just really started thinking about this and we’re going to write a blog on our webpage soon because we think it’s an important question, but there’s no real definitive way of thinking about selves in this context other than that they both very much speak to creativity and to then hidden potential within every human being.
Emily Francis (13:08):
Okay. So let’s go back a step, for everybody that’s listening and myself included, and go through the basics of what, exactly, microdosing is. What are you doing with microdosing? What is it
Jordan Gruber (13:21):
Well, okay. But I really don’t want to spend too long on microdosing. Cause that’s not what this book is about. When you are microdosing, when people take these very small doses, you’re taking one 10th or less of the dosage that you would take on psilocybin or LSD. If you take so much that you see flashes or start relaxing and feeling hallucinogenic, you’ve taken too much; the idea is to take an amount where you could keep having a regular workday.
And so this very small amount isn’t dangerous to people. And yet all sorts of amazing things are occurring for people who have done this. Like for example, treatment resistant depression seems to fall to microdosing. There’ve been some amazing things with women and their menstrual periods and certain people with terrible headaches. So, you know, it’s not all that well known. Jim had a chapter on microdosing in his last book, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, and he hasn’t written a full book on microdosing yet, but he does have a couple of articles out there. And he does have a webpage that you can find that has some of the results are presented.
Anxious? A Suggested Reframe
Emily Francis (14:32):
Okay. I know that this is not the actual focus, and I won’t lie: this was actually a drive of mine because I have suffered from anxiety for so many years—and I’ve come through it really well—but it’s always there. It’s kind of like being in recovery, you know—I can fall into those fearful thoughts. I’m not unable to function, the way that I had actually allowed myself to go down for a few years, and it’s been a really long time, but I have heard things about this particular treatment protocol that not only has great results with depression, but also with anxiety. So that’s where I was sort of coming in.
Jordan Gruber (15:16):
I would have to double check this, but my understanding is that anxiety doesn’t do as well as depression does. It’s not really quite as good for anxiety as it is for depression, but I can help you find that after the show, if you want, or just ask Jim directly
Emily Francis (15:34):
Well and nicely, uh, you know, thankfully for me, I’ve got it. I’ve got it really it’s, it’s shifted in a beautiful way. So now it’s sort of just, uh, a passenger or a backseat driver sometimes. And it’s, uh, I’ve, I’m a different person. So that is,
Jordan Gruber (15:48):
Here’s what I would invite you to reframe that as saying that you have a self that has a lot of anxiety and that sometimes shows up in your life. There are times when it won’t be appropriate for that self to be present, but there were times when it will be present because it has other skills and facilities. But as you become aware of that part of you, as well as being its own…—we define selves ultimately as self-states and self-states are recurrent patterns of mind, body chemistry, and neurology and perception and intention and behavior. So there’s a part of you that kind of shows up on a regular basis that has anxiety. And you view it as being this autonomous self that has its own needs, feelings, agendas, and value, by being aware of that part of you, we feel that, communication opens up automatically and, and following Tim Galloway, that “awareness heals,” just by being aware that that’s a real part of you. It’s just not some thing that bothers you, that you can’t fix. It’s actually one of the core parts of who you are. And so by acknowledging it, recognizing it, working with it, you will begin to heal it and find the most appropriate places for, to show up and for it to do what it’s good at doing.
Celebrities Who’ve Benefited From Knowing About Shifting Selves
Emily Francis (17:09):
That’s so beautiful. And that reminds me of one of the things that you guys talk about is Beyonce going into Sasha fierce or David Bowie…that some of these people have really learned to integrate the different aspects of selves or the different symphonies that they run by because…
Jordan Gruber (17:27):
There’s a book—we talk about Herschel Walker, the famous multi-sport athlete. And even though his book is about how he has a dissociative identity disorder, almost the whole book is talking about how he figured out these different parts of themselves. And he says this great line, which is “You wouldn’t want the part of me that was the NFL Championship running back to be the person who babysits your kids.” Those are different parts of me. And then he talks about this part of himself where he learns how to heal the pain in his knees when he’s a teenager. And it’s, he’s very explicit that he’s cultivating these different parts, or aspects, or selves. And it’s really quite a model for everybody to follow.
Emily Francis (18:06):
That is a beautiful way to look at it. Cause when I say the word “symphony,” according to your book, because I hear different sort of music when I meet people or different energies or if my hands are on people, because I do body work. But then the idea of symphony, to me it’s like the way that I talk about the different energetic ways that you can sort of slide on into, as you move up and down according to where your energy is. Is that a fair comparison?
Well, we give a whole lot of metaphors and models for how you work with yourself. And one of them is very much sort of the symphony or the jazz band is maybe even better where part of you is in the lead and it knows what it’s doing and it’s riffing and the other parts are sort of supporting, but then you come up to something where at that part where I can’t be in the lead anymore and it steps back and someone else shows up with a new theme. So that’s sort of how it works.
Coping Better with the Pandemic through Selves Knowledge
Emily Francis (19:02):
I love that. I know that we’re, we’re getting very close to a commercial break, so I don’t want to open up to too much. But I, I think that this is really powerful, especially right now when everybody’s kind of isolated, because I think that I hope that people use this time to look deep inside and not be afraid of what they see, or if they are afraid of what they see, do some work within to help integrate more seamlessly.
Jordan Gruber (19:31):
Well, and the parts of you that, that are … that you haven’t used for a long time, are good at having fun. You can invite them to show up a little more, maybe an artistic part where you can create new selves. You can actually forge a new part of yourself. That’s going to be very nice—once you realize that there isn’t really just “one you,” despite what you’ve been told your whole life—things become a lot easier for most people.
Emily Francis (19:58):
I love that there isn’t just one you. I think about that too, but I feel like I have lived several different lives in my one life where I am right now. Like I’ve been so many different people along the way and I continue to evolve that way. So let’s take a quick commercial break, but we are on with Jordan Gruber and he is the co author of the book, your symphony of selves. You’re listening to all about healing. Don’t go away, everyone. We’ll be right back.
Where to Read a Free Excerpt, Buy the Book, or Just Learn More
Emily Francis (23:00):
Welcome back everyone. You’re listening to all about healing. If you’re just tuning in, I’m your host, Emily Francis, and I’m grateful that you’re here and I want to talk to Jordan Gruber about a lot of different things, but let’s first get your website and where people can order the book. Sure. You can get it from Your Symphony Of Selves.com, or from Jordan Gruber.com. And of course, it’s on Amazon. If you go to the website, http://YourSymphonyOfSelves.com—that’s S E L V E S—You can read a free excerpt as well. Wonderful. Okay. So I want to jump right in. Let’s talk about the history of how this came up.
The History and Flows of Influence Behind Healthy Selves
Jordan Gruber (23:47):
It’ an interesting thing because, in Jim’s “Note to the Reader,” he says, “you know, at the end of doing this book, which took us five years to put together, we came to the realization that we’re really just trying to bring things back to where psychology was in the 1890s in America. When William James, the father of American psychology called what we’re talking about “social selves.” He said everyone has different social selves—as many different selves as you are in different situations where you are with people and you do different kinds of things. And we think he basically had it right. We then present a historical story in one of the chapters of the book where we show a diagram we call the “Flows of Influence”—who influenced who, who had this idea at first, who was open to it, and then who closed down to it.
And when you follow the “Flows of Influence” diagram, you see that a lot of the action was originally in Paris, around a guy named Jean-Martin Charcot, and those who studied with Charcot included William James, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Benet, the Pierre Janet. So all these guys studied with Charcot, who was working with what they then called “hysterical” women. And there was no question for these people that there were different selves in some of these patients. Janet turns out to be the pivotal character here, for Freud’s first paper was on Anna O. written with Joseph Breuer. And in that paper, he specifically thanks Pierre Janet (and his uncle Paul, the philosopher), as well as Alfred Binet, for their work on this very subject.
He specifically thanks them for their work on selves, but later on, though, as part of what’s called “rejecting the seduction hypothesis,” Freud got rid of selves completely and said that they were never real. Basically, there were a lot of people in high class Vienna, who were his clients, and there were reports of abuse, sexual abuse, and other sorts of things. And he said, everyone is making all that up. Here’s my theory to explain it, and none of this happened. And pretty much by 1910 selves were dead. In 1905 at Harvard, Pierre Janet spoke at an important conference where he was talking about selves.
So we trace it all, and we see the influence of Carl Jung, who, as it turns out, wrote his medical dissertation on his cousin’s case of multiple personality. And you see, after Freud, Jung sort of brought the concept internally with archetypes and autonomous complexes. And then the, whether the influence moves to Roberto Assagioli who came up with psychosynthesis and then we have others, but you can see that while this is a very well discussed topic up to around 1910, it was completely then turned off and subsumed and thought to just be wrong.
And then the next time you heard anybody talking anything about this, what was The Three Faces of Eve and then Sibyl, and then these sort of hyper-pathological situations—or the great book The Minds of Billy Milligan, written by Daniel Keyes who wrote Flowers for Algernon. So there were people beginning to talk about it, but the idea that all of us have selves and that the healthiest and most successful people are the ones who have figured out how to best orchestrate and harmonize and work with their selves, well that idea generally hasn’t been talked about for over a hundred years, and we think that’s a mistake, and we’re here to help change that.
Emily Francis (27:04):
I love that so much because I do think that there is so much history, so much education, so much research that has been hidden away, and then people just follow whatever the mainstream idea is. In your book, you talk about different religions and different ways of viewing spirits and the body and their combination. I think about this so often, because I often wonder about the people who never ever go deep into looking for their own information. And what they really believe in is based on what they’ve been taught, and then they never look the other way, because this is it. So I love that you’re uncovering so much information that I want to go into. What are the things that you want people to know that you’ve uncovered or that they need to know from you?
Seeing Behind the Single Self Assumption: Selves are Everywhere!
Jordan Gruber (27:57):
Okay, sure. We say we don’t have a theory cause we really don’t, but we do have a few basic premises. The first is that healthy, normal people have more than ones elf. All of us have selves. The second is that your different selves, well, they’re truly different. They have inherent value and they have their own agendas. You can’t just fuse them out of existence as misguided therapists tried to do in the sixties and seventies before they realized that just didn’t work. And then the most important point is that ultimately it’s easy to see beyond the Single Self Assumption and have your life work better. This isn’t something you have to pay money for or learn anything else about, whether you get it from the title or the first chapter or the in-depth chapters or the technical chapters. It’s the same point that we’re making over and over.
It’s in cartoons. It’s in music, it’s in culture. If what we’re saying is true, you would expect to find it nearly everywhere, and you do once you start looking for it. And the great news is that once you realize that you and the people in your life have selves, it’s a lot easier to be more compassionate and more forgiving and to just have your life work better. So what we’re doing is, we’re inviting people to just try to suspend the Single Self Assumption for a day and see how they feel, see if life works better. And what we can tell you from a lot of reader feedback is that people are feeling that they’re being given permission to be all of who they are in a way they haven’t for a very long time. And it’s just such a tremendous burden when people are relieved of this erroneous, pervasive assumption that you see everywhere.
And you see it also in a lot of spiritual work too, in a lot of courses and workshops. In the end, they try to get you back to creating a single, super self, your high self, your best self. And if you connect with that self, they say, then you’ll always be okay. And we’re saying, “No, that’s not how it works. You’re always going to be in one of your ordinary selves.” You know, you might have a high self, but ask that self what his or her favorite restaurant is, right? That’s not where you as a human being live and interact with other people.
So we’re just inviting people to go, “Wow, there are these different parts of me and they’re real and they have different needs and agendas.” So your selves may even have different “entelechies”—with the entelechy of an acorn to become an oak—and your selves are different parts of who you are and when you acknowledge them, when you respect them, when you learn to work with them…and that includes the “worst” selves, as it were, that you have, selves that do things that you don’t want them to do.
We’d like to say that there’s a big difference between having a bad dog and being a bad dog, and even the bad dog that you might have…it wants to be a good dog. If you find a way to work with it and give it appropriate tasks. So it comes to an agreement that, let’s say, an hour of doing whatever—whatever you do that you probably “shouldn’t” be doing—is more than enough. And then you’ll just find other simple ways of really negotiating within yourself. And that’s why we give lots and lots of models and ideas and what different therapists have said for how to actually integrate and coordinate your selves and get them to work better with each other.
Healthy Selves and Children
Emily Francis (31:08):
Can you take this into work with children? How would you approach this with children that would be under the category of behavior oppositional defiance? I know we don’t want to label per se children.
Jordan Gruber (31:25):
One of the ways that people seem to get what we’re talking about very quickly is when we point out that with children, it’s very obvious that there aew some moments that are teachable moments and others that aren’t, and that’s also true with adults, of course. So I think that having the knowledge that the child you’re working with, whether they’ve got pervasive developmental disorder or whatever their problem is recognizing that this kid has different parts too. And it has a cooperative part of who they are. If you can get to working with that part…
I have a very close friend who works with kids on the autism spectrum, and I’ve watched her work with people by Zoom. And it’s very clear that it’s establishing a relationship and bringing out the part of that kid that is socially interactive and is willing to have a real conversation with a caring adult is where the healing for that person comes in because my friend brings out that part of who they are. So I think that knowing that the people that you are working with—that the kids that you’re working with—have different parts of who they are and recognizing that there’s a more patient part of who you are—and you need to bring that with you. And if it’s not there, you need to get it into the driver’s seat.
Center, Presence, and Connecting to Your Whole Constellation of Selves
Emily Francis (32:39):
I’m trying to of wrap my head around this, because I totally see all of this, but I do want to bring it into how you connect that into the whole of who we are. You’re saying—that’s not how you have to do it—but there still is some part of all of us that can be recognized and used as the whole, within our whole one body mind, spirit. We’ve got to take a quick commercial break, and then I do want to get into that. We’re on with Jordan Gruber, a co-author of Your Symphony Of Selves. You’re listening to all about healing. Everyone don’t go away. We’ll be right back.
Emily Francis (35:41):
Welcome back everyone. You’re listening to “All About Healing.” I’m your host, Emily Francis, and we have Jordan Gruber on the air today. He is the coauthor of the book, Your Symphony Of Selves. Coincidentally, he has another book out as well. What’s it called?
Jordan Gruber (35:55):
It’s called The Bounce and it is on rebound exercise.
Emily Francis (36:00):
Now we pulled this in because we had two and a half minute break where we actually got to personally talk. So I’m going to bring this up because what I asked you before the break was, once you start to really get to know your different selves, there is still a part that we want to pull it into, even though you said, this is not how it works—the big, massive person—but in my world, I do. I want to acknowledge all the different selves. And then I want to know how to work with them within my One Self.
Jordan Gruber (36:27):
Well, here’s one of the important concepts. If we put a capital S on your One Self and say that you have some sort of Witness Self, then I don’t have any problem with that. In fact, I think I believe that. And in fact, in the book we talk about moving to center, and we talk about developing a sense of Presence. So I think what you could say is that we all have a constellation of selves, a pattern, and perhaps the one true self where we ultimately are, is more represented by that pattern and how it evolves over time.
But again, at the pragmatic level that we’re talking about, we’re just trying to get people to focus on their individual day-to-day selves that show up and that come in and out on a regular basis. So what we’re saying is, “Yeah, you don’t have a regular self with a capital S that’s showing up all the time, or if you do, you know, you’re a very high spiritual realized being who might not even be able to take care of himself or herself.” And that’s not functional. What is functional is having ordinary selves. And then the process of healing, integrating, and organizing those selves arises naturally.
On The Rebound: Another Self of Jordan’s
Emily Francis (37:35):
Okay. I love that. And I’m about to bring it home with your other work because when you do start to integrate and acknowledge the different energies that run inside you and use them, like Sasha Fierce instead of saying, “Oh my gosh, I got to stay trite,” you become so dynamic—So, that physical part, the rebounder bouncing, balances both sides of the brain for kids and adults alike, and then you are more able to function and pull all those pieces into a physical whole. Take me there, bring it back home.
Jordan Gruber (38:13):
I think what you’re saying is true. I haven’t ever yet explicitly tried to bring them together. I mean, for me, it’s generally more like when I’m bouncing, I usually have a pretty disciplined self, but sometimes I have a very imaginary self that’s millions of miles away. But a lot of the times I’m focused.
I think I’m the choir now and you’re preaching to me. I love rebounding. I’ve been doing it every day for 18 years for around 45 minutes and am much healthier and stronger and more muscular than I otherwise ever would have been. And I just really love that. And I feel it does integrate me. It does bring me into my center and it does … even two, three, or five minutes of bouncing early in the morning and all of a sudden I’m fully present. I’m not sure which part of me is going to be fully present, but I will be fully present.
Emily Francis (39:04):
See that is you haven’t, if you haven’t really sat with this, it does perfectly aligned you and that comes from some of my work because I talk about that. I believe that the body is physical, emotional, energetic, spiritual, and to not acknowledge those different levels. And if you’re attempting to heal something, if you miss one of those avenues, you’re not going to get as big of a result as you could get, which is why my child does have recovery from her autism spectrum diagnosis and why we always have a trampoline in any house. So we’ve bought trampolines. We’re having one shipped, always have to have one because I know the value and I grew up with one, but I know the value is very different from my child than it is for me, who was a gymnast and loves my trampoline. I used to jump off the roof onto the trampoline.
Emily Francis (39:51):
That’s a whole different game than what I need for my child, but I also realized, and I’m using her—I have two children, but one, the one with recovery, she has a very unique way of thinking of things, and likes to do videos and potentially can have a YouTube channel. She doesn’t yet, but she does all these videos, and becomes a very different child in front of the camera. So I’ve had to say things like, because she’s super painfully shy, I’ll say “Pretend like you’re doing a video. Maybe pretend you’re hosting this and then it’ll switch her into a different…
Jordan Gruber (40:25):
Well, you go ahead and pretend, right, that you’re moving into that part. I will say that one of our constructs in The Bounce Book, which I wrote with joy Daniels, is the idea of the Vitruvian sphere coming from Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic image. Your thinking of the space around you while you’re bouncing as a sphere and your goal, with just your arms, or also if you’re using weights or BodyBlades, to eventually fill in all of the possible ways you can “color in” the energy surrounding you while you’re doing it. And and I do feel that there’s something about the repetitive motion, because you’re not going anywhere. So we’re sort of sinking deeper where you are in real time. And yet you’re doing a lot of work with cardio and muscle tone and there’s a ton of benefits. So yes, I do think it helps integrate me. You know, maybe that helped me write Your Symphony of Selves.
Emily Francis (41:18):
I think there’s a lot to it. And I think this is…I actually did my master’s thesis for my human performance degree on physical activity and the effects of ADHD and how it affects the brain and what we’re looking at, what kind of assistance, and how we do it in the classroom. But I think there is such an untapped treasure that you’re sitting on that when you pull the two books that you’ve done together and you really go deep into it, you’re going to find that you’ve always thought those were separate, but they’re really exactly—you’re doing an approach into what you already know of the selves.
Jordan Gruber: (41:54):
Well, perhaps this is like Jim’s vision of me giving a Ted talk on healthy selves while I’m bouncing on a rebounder. And then of course I could be on microdosing at the same time. Right. You know….
Emily Francis (42:04):
That would be perfection. If you do that, can you please invite me because how fun would that be? I’ll nominate you for a Ted talk because I think it would be just phenomenal. And, and I do think that all of this stuff is so important and I love this because my show is on healing and there’s no outer parameter to what is possible for your healing.
Key Takeaways For Readers to Understand
So anybody that’s listening to this, that’s really the most important thing. Now those of you guys who have listened to my show regularly know that on this, the final segment, I give the author or the guests two or three minutes of their own platform, because everybody comes onto the show with a message that is just theirs. And I never want them to hang up and think, “Dang, I didn’t get my chance to say what I really wanted to say.” So I’m going to step back and I’m going to give you the floor Jordan. And you share anything that you think is really important that people know walking away from today.
Jordan Gruber (42:56):
Well, I think what’s most important is what we’re saying is not really that hard an idea to grasp. And it’s certainly not a new idea, but we feel that if you just start playing with it even a little bit—keeping in mind that not only is this completely inexpensive, but you can do it for as much or as little as you want—just try it as an internal thought experiment: “What if I really do have a part of me? Suppose I’m approaching my partner and we’re going to have a difficult discussion…what if I ahead of time shift into the part of me that is unflappable and kind, and simply won’t fall into the same argument and patterns that we always do. What if that will really work?”
Or, “What if there’s a part of me that loves exercising, getting out, even during the pandemic and I just have to find a way to shift into that part of me before the whole day has gone by, every day. Maybe I would be a lot happier if I could do that.”
So we’re pretty much saying that this is something that is out there and make so much sense. There’s so much of relevant to understanding our parts in everyday life. We like to say that in alcoholics anonymous, it is so successful because when somebody joins in and they say, “My name is Jordan Gruber, and I’m an alcoholic,” they bring into the room the part of themselves that is an alcoholic, as opposed to going to see a therapist where they might for several sessions say that they don’t even have a problem. Because it’s not the part of them that has the problem. So once you see where this shows up in life, it becomes more and more obvious that the Single Self Assumption is wrong and was always wrong.
And that you can do lots of things to cultivate and work with and harmonize your selves. There’s a concept in philosophy called Occam’s Razor, or the “principle of parsimony,” which says “don’t unnecessarily multiply explanatory entities.” Now, a lot of people have said, “Hey, you’re putting in this whole other layer of selves. It makes no sense.” Well, what we’re saying is maybe read the book, read the examples, and apply it to your own life. And you will see that this makes so much sense out of so much that has been confusing for so long. It’s certainly worth investigating and trying this perspective in your own life to se if what we’re saying is right.
Emily Francis (45:06):
I love it. I can’t wait to have you back on the show and we’ll talk later about making that happen. Thank you for being here.