Dr Amar Dhall

Episode 37    13 September 2021

The quantum properties of  law

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The quantum properties of lawAmar Dhall
00:00 / 38:52

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Dr Amar Dhall

Clinical psychotherapist, counsellor, coach and Somatic Experiencing practitioner in training

Dr Amar Dhall is a true polymath. 

Over the last 15-years Amar’s career has evolved from being an award-winning university lecturer and obtaining a Ph.D. to exploring the intersection between law and quantum mechanics to being ranked as a top-ten chill out DJ. 

We talk about his research into the deeper, quantum implications of law and his more recent work in supporting lawyers to understand their trauma responses, to make them better lawyers.  

Bio

Show notes

Links

Transcript

Comments

Bio:

Dr Amar Dhall is a true polymath.  Over the last 15-years Amar’s career has evolved from being an award-winning university lecturer and obtaining a Ph.D. to exploring the intersection between law and quantum mechanics to being ranked as a top-ten chill out DJ.

 

He brings fierce intelligence and deep authenticity to find and balance both science and art through every encounter and all his work.

 

Amar is a highly-skilled and experienced clinical psychotherapist, counsellor, coach and Somatic Experiencing practitioner in training.

 

He is a coach-therapist, author and facilitator in the fields of trauma, wellbeing and sustainable high-performance. Amar is one of the directors for The Canberra Trauma & Well-Being Centre.

Show notes:

  • [1:42] Amar explains his pre-law career in property development and management and what motivated him to study law.

  • [6:11] While studying law, Amar had a spiritual epiphany and ended up exploring the relationship between the law and quantum mechanics as part of his doctoral thesis in law.

  • [7:54] Amar theorises that applying quantum principles to law - getting to the essence of the observer and the thing observed - results in better legal reasoning.

  • [10:20] Keeping in mind the 'meta' issues around law will also lead to lawyers contributing more to society, allowing us to apply the law as the organising principle in society that it was intended to be.   

  • [15:49] Amar faced criticism and bullying in his work. However, his love for law kept him committed to exploring his perspectives and finishing his thesis.

  • [20:56] Amar and I discuss the personal relationship of a lawyer to the law.  Amar brings up the idea of aligning our laws with the laws of nature.  Amar's idea is that neo-natural law will develop as we begin to look beyond the materialist paradigm as a species. 

  • [25:16] Amar embarked on a career in therapy to assist lawyers to find more meaning in the way their relate to the law.

  • [26:54] Lawyers tend to be above average in IQ and below average in EQ, with a trauma response of using achievement to channel anxiety.

  • [29:38] Part of Amar's motivation is to help younger cohorts of lawyers to manage their responses to engender an overall healthier legal profession.

  • [31:50] Amar and I talk about the law as a living sacred thing and how that brings concepts of love into it,

  • [34:44] Finally, Amar shares with us his work with groups of men in the Mankind Project and the idea of enantiodromia, that moving too far into a polarised concept results in adopting the opposite!

Links:

Amar Dhall's website: amardhall.com

The Canberra Trauma & Well-Being Centre

Brene Brown's concept of courageous vulnerability

Natural law theories from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

A YouTube video on Thomas Aquinas's theory of natural law.

An explanation of how Martin Luther King's letter from a Birmingham jail ties into natural law.

The Mankind Project website.

 

An explanation of enantiodromia from the Jungian Center for the Spiritual Sciences.

 

 
 
 
Amar Dhall Image Quote.jpg
 

Transcript: 

Geraldine  0:12  
Hello, everyone and welcome to the new earth lawyer podcast. My name is Geraldine Johns-Putra. I'm a lawyer based in Melbourne, Australia. I'm speaking to you from Boonwurrung country so I wish to pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. Today I'm speaking with Dr. Amar Dhall, a true polymath. Over the last 15 years, Amar's career has evolved from being an award winning university lecturer and obtaining a PhD, to exploring the intersection between quantum mechanics and law to being ranked as a top 10 chill out DJ. He brings a fierce intelligence and deep authenticity, to find balance between science and art for every encounter, and all of his work. He's a highly skilled experienced clinical psychotherapist, a counsellor, a coach, a Somatic Experiencing practitioner in training. He is experienced in the fields of trauma, wellbeing and sustainable high performance and is one of the directors of the Canberra Trauma and Wellbeing Centre. Amar, welcome. Welcome to the New Earth lawyer podcast. 

 

Amar  1:20  
Thank you for having me, Geraldine, nice to meet you. 

 

Geraldine  1:22  
You have one of those bios where, you know, I don't know where to start. Because there's so much I want to ask you about, but you know, I'm gonna be traditional and ask you to tell us how it all came together, how you ended up doing all of these different things?

 

Amar  1:42  
Okay. Well, I think it's kind of almost, it's not as incredibly romantic story. It's almost like going to a shop and trying on lots of pants until you get the ones that fit. And the corollary to that, I guess, or something that's going to give a little more context is what motivated moving from one choice to the next and one discipline to one pair of pants to the next. And it's been really the, I've been open to doing what's felt meaningful in the moment. And that's kind of what's driven me all the way through and it's taken, it's kept me willing to change things and something's no longer meaningful, then let go of it and see what the next iteration will be.

 

Geraldine  2:26  
So there was, you had experiences, you had a career pre law?

 

Amar  2:32  
Correct. Yes, I was. At that point, I had a small crew of people and was doing property and property development and renovations and reselling flipping houses, etc, that sort of thing.

 

Geraldine  2:47  
And then you decided to study law, because you thought that that was the next experience, calling you?

 

Amar  2:55  
I grew up with a bunch of friends, where a lot of them went to law school. And for me, high school was much more of a social event. But it was in my back pocket that it was something that I'd like to do when I felt that I actually was really ready to see what I was capable of. You know, I think for me, what I learned later, looking back on it, being born with a modicum of natural intelligence, it was much easier to coast through life not really trying to do okay, than it was to actually really lean in, do my absolute best, risk failure and judgement and see where my capacity would run out. So it's kind of growing into that being ready for a real challenge.

 

Geraldine  3:42  
And on this podcast, I tend to interview people who have done quite a lot of self reflection, somewhere along the way, decide that they want to, they're making a change within themselves, and / or they want to impact the world in some meaningful way. So when you moved from property, and property management and development into law, what was your inner world like at that stage?

 

Amar  4:09  
So at that time, I came to study law as an undergraduate level at 28 years of age. So I'd gotten to the point where I really enjoyed the property sector, primarily because the personalities that I would work with, you know, I had some incredibly interesting people that I would employ on site. And there's a lawlessness that can kind of run around that industry, which I quite enjoyed. And the shift was really, as I said, wanting to see where my potential life and being open to, you know, definitely very pro, seeing the world more connected, better opportunity to, quality of life, you know, education, opportunity, all these sorts of things. So and justice, you know, I came into law school with a very high minded with justice, probably further left leaning when I came into law school and as I made my way through and still left leaning, but I think a little more pragmatic. And understanding how things actually work systemically was one of the great gifts of a law degree. So I think that a measure of pragmatism crept in. I think I never necessarily thought consciously, how do I want to do you know, what's the big meta piece that I want to do with, you know, this empowered information of law? Really, for me, it was much more when I was on the ground in front of me, and I'm faced with the decision, or an opportunity to support someone or something or a cause? And how can I do that? And that was more the, so it was the micro leading to the macro.

 

Geraldine  6:01  
Yeah. And then you did your law degree, you're based in Canberra in Australia, did your law degree did you go out and practise law when you finished?

 

Amar  6:11  
I was going to and I'd had a bit of a spiritual epiphany, while I was in my, towards the very end of my undergraduate degree, and ended up exploring what became my doctoral topic, which was quantum mechanics and law and human consciousness plays a part of that as well. You know, I can unpack that a little bit, if that's of interest to you. 

 

Geraldine  6:36  
Yep.

 

Amar  6:37  
But in broad strokes, it was, I, when I finished my undergraduate, I was offered a scholarship to continue and do some postgraduate work, which then turned into teaching opportunity, which I did. And then when I finished my PhD, that's then when I went and did some practice, and was offered by the place, by the, it was a small firm, where I did my placement, and was offered the opportunity to open up my own office, wherever I wanted with that. That was, you know, they saw an opportunity there to expand. At that point that I looked through a, whatever areas of law, I thought I may want to practice in, none of them really resonated in a way where I said, yes, I'm prepared to commit my life to this. And that was then what led me to, to exploring more the therapy coaching, empowerment side of things. The other piece of that was, you know, I said, in my thesis, I looked at quantum mechanics, you know, human consciousness and law, and how those things kind of fit together. So, you know, is that appropriate for me, just to stay a little bit about that?

 

Geraldine  7:50  
Yes, if you weren't going to, I was gonna ask you to.

 

Amar  7:54  
Sure. So, you know, what I, what I saw was, you know, I'm trained into an Australian university, so in Western, you know, empirical sort of tradition, which means to understand something, we look at its parts, you know, it's reductive inquiry. And so when I would look at certain things that would happen in law, I'd see that there's the kind of procedural regime, the structural regime that's there, that kind of supports the happening. But then, as that kind of gets really pulled apart, that I began to see, there's more subjective reasoning that judges, use the legislators use, and then pulling that apart, I began to find my way into legal philosophy. You know, and it's basically just asking, why is that the case, and then deconstructing, deconstructing, I came to see that really, you know, everything, including law comes down to to two fundamental questions.

 

One is, what's the deepest nature of the essence of the thing that's being regulated? And that's physical objects and people, so it's quantum mechanics. And then the other part of that, the other side of that coin is what's the deepest nature of the thing doing the perceiving, and that's, you know, the human. And so, the reasoning when, well, you know, it may seem like it's not very logical to go, let's have a system of law that integrates quantum mechanics into the way it looks at the universe and the way it structures regulation. But the argument is actually pretty sound. And it's that good law always goes beyond the appearance to look at the essence of whatever it is that's going on. So, you know, what appears to happen in a situation is actually gone beyond in a trial to try and get to the essence, what's actually at issue here. Similarly, legislators when they seek submissions from people around a new area of legislation they go beyond kind of lay perspective and try to get to the essence and integrate it So it stands to reason that good law would look at then the essence of of what it is that it's trying to regulate. So I'll start with that and see. Yes.

 

Geraldine  10:11  
So that essence that you're talking about, is that what we sometimes call truth? What was the truth of what happened? Or justice?

 

Amar  10:20  
Um, well, I mean, they're really big words you're using, and I think truth ultimately, is not something I think that any one of us can know, you know, I think they, what we're more looking at what's the, what can we individually and as a species see to the horizon of our understanding, knowing that that's going to potentially be pushed back as technology improves, as we spend more time as a species living, you know, 80 year lives, you know, around what we do now. I mean, two or three generations ago, that wasn't a thing. You know, I think we, as a species, were maturing bit by bit by bit, and that shapes our perspective, and our values orientation, as I said, technology is there and getting, you know, making sure that we, and to bring this home to lawyers, aside from the fact I think there's a case to be made for looking at, you know, quantum mechanics and so on, and making sure that we remain in dialogue around some of these meta issues. Because the flip side is things in law kind of is the squeaky wheel kind of thing that will actually develop, the squeaky wheel metaphor, an area of law that's troublesome will attract attention potentially litigated or some if there's a political agenda around, it's discussed.

 

Geraldine  11:43  
Yeah, the ideal subject or case. Yeah. 

 

Amar  11:48  
Exactly. 

 

Geraldine  11:49  
That'll be the one that gets up.

 

Amar  11:50  
That's right, where some of these really important foundational meta values and beliefs and orientations about where we're going as a species and what our relationship is with law may not get the airtime that it deserves. And so I think there's a real duty, I'd say, for lawyers to keep this conversation alive. So we're looking at the parts of law that may not get a light shone on them in the technical, in the technical role, in the technical discharge of what lawyers do, when they're actually doing law.

 

Geraldine  12:27  
Yeah. Fascinating. So, in your thesis, did you focus on lawyers who are practising law? Or did you focus on law makers, because, or the courts?

 

Amar  12:39  
I focused on on the fabric of legal reasoning, okay. And wanted to introduce a way so it was more of a paradigm, it was a paradigmatic piece of work. That would say that there is a paradigm that I didn't go as far as adding my thesis, because the actual novelty component of a thesis isn't huge, you know, it's mostly literature review and positioning, so on, but I think, what used to be fairly stark and easy lines to divide some of the paradigms of law, like, for example, you know, legal positivism and natural law, for example, what you know, that are taught in law school, and the boundaries that would separate them have blurred, as technology has moved on, you know, for example, and what I'm getting at here is, you know, data and empirical method gives us a lot of insight. But, you know, one of the things quantum mechanics shows us is that measurability is not always possible. And our capacity to now see that well, measurement is not the only way of creating a picture or relationship with reality that's defensible. What does this mean for us as lawyers, as a, you know, as a concept, what does it mean for the law as an organising principle of society?

 

Geraldine  14:11  
Okay. So did you find in going to this dichotomy between the basically the subject - the perceiver - and the object, did you find that you were also thematically re-examining this whole idea of the reasonable standard in law or the objective standard in law?

 

Amar  14:40  
Yep. So it was a paper I never got to write, but I would love to have explored. The reasonable, you know, the reasonableness of someone is actually being reason-able. 

 

Geraldine  14:51  
Yeah. 

 

Amar  14:52  
For us as a species to see when we apply reason because, I mean, what we're talking about here is applying reason widely and seeing as I said earlier, you know, if I think of law as an organising principle that's applied to our interactions, well, how do we make the way we apply law and the fabric of it actually reflect that which our species is capable of doing, reasonably? So yeah, I think I think it definitely did that.

 

Geraldine  15:26  
So it seems to me, like your work, either there's plenty of strands for you to pick up or for others to pick up and are you seeing that? Did it generate interest where you think that there's a legacy or path for others to follow?

 

Amar  15:49  
It was strongly polarising. You know, I had people tell me, either, they, you know, I got, um, you know, I got bullied at work by certain academics, which was pretty, which was a really interesting experience to see, and live through. And then I had other people that really support the work. And so, yeah, I also think it's a really quite a bizarre experience to have, to not be seen as a person, but to be seen for one small part of the work that I do. And for that, to be kind of inflated, and then pinned to me is as a definition of who I am as a person.

 

Geraldine  16:32  
Which is kind of the risk that we all take when we put ourselves out there and say, I'm going to stand up for my truth or say what's on my mind, you know I've experienced it in different ways before, not bullying, luckily, and that's very unfortunate to hear, but always at risk of being pinpointed for that thing that you dared to say. So thank you for actually putting yourself out there and contributing a very important perspective.

 

Amar  17:03  
Yeah, thank you, I think, I mean it kind of ties into just the conversation we were having before we started recording around forming a relationship that's meaningful, you know, individually, to the law that, you know, I enjoy law, I love the law. I, it's one of the things that helped me get to the pointy end of my cohort was the fact that I love that, otherwise, you know, it's arduous and time consuming and onerous to study. And so I think, allowing myself permission to form that personal relationship with it, and choose to make it meaningful to me. You know, I mean, it's not necessarily the subject of where we're going to go, but I mention it briefly, because I think it kind of comes into it. But, you know, it took the university almost a year and a half to find people who could mark my thesis. So I sat in limbo. For that, then, you know, if I go back to before I did my PhD, when I was doing my honours, you know, I came in at the, towards the top, I think, you know, the top one or two, in my cohort, I chose to do this topic, exploring quantum mechanics and law. I had one supervisor quit, I was looking for another one, I went and saw the head of the honours programme. And, you know, she said, I have no issue with this. I think she was very sweet when she said it. She pointed out the choices that I'd made, she said, well, you know, it's a commercial law school, if you wanted to get first class honours, then you do you know, the quasi judicial nature of the ACCC is a walk in the park for an honours thesis that will get you first class honours and away you go. To choose to do quantum mechanics and law was to, you know, you've taken the risk, you may not pass if that's, you know, if that's what happens. So, in the end, I got, I think, you know, 90-something and did really well with it, and the opportunities presented, but at each step, you know, I think Brene Brown calls it courageous vulnerability, to choose a meaningful path does expose the individual, in this case, me, to the judgement of others, and part of the journey of life is learning how to hold that.

 

Geraldine  19:29  
Yeah. Stay true to your purpose, staying true to your values. Extremely important. I've had actually, when I talk about those things, I've had the most feedback from people saying that that's really what spoke to them the clearest. Yeah, and there's also something that you touched on there that delighted me, which is that relationship to the law. I didn't step away from practising law on purpose because I did my own purpose work. And one of the things that came out in it when I did that inner work, deciding what was important to me about values particularly, was peaceful order. And what law brings to our society is actually one of my values. And so I wanted to live that and contribute to it. And so that's why I for now anyway, and for the foreseeable future, I don't want to step away from practising. Like you, I love the law. And it's hard to describe what I love about it, or even what it is. But it's such a fundamental thing to humanity, that we all live in accordance with law. And maybe one of these days I'll actually, in conversation with you perhaps, really reflect on what is this thing we call law. And why does it, why is it becoming seemingly more and more personal?

 

Amar  20:56  
I mean, that's a huge question that you're asking. And, you know, why is it becoming more personal? I think that's a huge question. Part of it, I, you know, you spoke to yourself, we've talked about forming your own relationship to it and detaching and for you what that look like, was staying in practice, which is the, you know, keeps you on the coalface. Yeah, for myself, I don't think I've completely worked out how I will, could really cover how I relate to law for the course of my life. At the moment, you know, I did my thesis, as I said, and that was really focused on law, I went deeply into the quantum mechanics, I was deeply, it was necessary for me to, you know, get that thesis. And then afterwards, you know, part of what I thought if I was going to, if my life's work was to be framed at that time, when I finished my PhD, it would be to, to write this as almost as a manifesto as to how the law of humans could be aligned with the law of nature as best we understand her.

 

And that, kind of, that allowed me to kind of detach a little from the practice of law, and go more deeply into the nature of humans. Because I thought this is where there's so much pain caused, on the, in the interface between humaneness whether it's, you know, mental health of lawyers, the stress of the process, the framing, you know, it's one of the things that I've spoken about on a, I've written a paper that's been published that the idea that law students are taught that surrendering their emotionality is necessary to be a good lawyer, because emotion is the death of reason, is incredibly flawed reasoning. Paradigmatically it's flawed.

 

And I'm, you know, to go into the neuroscience of how we actually make decisions, you know, the limbic system is such a central part, and it can't be severed anyway, is the, you know, is kind of a very relevant point, but learning about humans, so we can create a system, as I said, from the lawyers' mental health to the way law has been taught to the impact on people who have to seek restitution, through law, through to the way we treat criminals, you know, pretty much at every point, I think there are really fundamental structural problems with the way we've conceived and implemented the legal system as it is now. So you know, my life's work, I think, if I was to circle back to it would be to make a contribution, that may or may not have value to anyone else. But to me, it seems like it's a question that's worth asking, and something that's there everything I do it kind of is working or supporting me to gain more clarity on that.

 

Geraldine  23:58  
Yeah, it's a rich tradition, and hallowed path you're walking, if you think about the types of people who have contributed to the discussion of what is natural law. You know, we're talking about Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther King and all these people who understood that there's a sense of something bigger than us when it comes to postulating and creating the so called man-made or human-made laws. So I am fascinated to see where you go on that journey. And it brings us to what you've done since in the fields of trauma and, and well being. So I'd love to hear about the work you're doing now.

 

Amar  24:40  
Yeah, well, I will, I just have one sentence to finish up on that because kind of where my thinking is there as to what law would look like is, the way I would see the paradigm now is I'd say that we're entering into a time where we would have a neo-natural law and the neo, newness, the newness of it is that disciplines like quantum mechanics show the breakdown of the materialist paradigm. And I think that that is something really exciting, it's creates a much more open field for discussion. So anyway, I just wanted to finish that.

 

And I'll put that aside to answer your question about wellbeing and trauma. You know, I'd say, a fair number of, well, first I got into, as I said, therapy, to understand people better and to offer something very direct to people where their lives are better for, or hopefully better for, talking to me than not. In terms of what that looks like, I enjoy working with lawyers to help them find ways of bringing more meaning into the way they relate to law, because I think, you know, again something we were saying before the recording button was hit, but the idea that the law exists, you were saying this is something of your own musing, the idea that the law exists as this objective edifice outside of human experiences of fabrication, I think the way that things change is by people doing what you're doing in their own way, you know, going, okay, it's not that you escaped hard work, you know, you got to the top of the profession, to partnership in Big Law, and then chose a different path. And I think that, and what I really like, or what I love about what you've shared of your story was, you didn't burn everything to the ground. And so now you've got to walk away, you've seen how you can maintain connection to the best parts of it and move forward. And so to me, that gets to the essence of wellbeing.

Geraldine  26:51  
Yeah, yeah.

 

Amar  26:54  
When we talk, if I was to talk about trauma and in really simple terms, trauma is automatic behaviours that people do that, essentially, to support them to survive. Now, one of the systemic problems I think, we've, that lawyers face as a group, is that lawyers tend to be above average IQ, and then below average EQ. And so you know that emotional intelligence is lower. I'm curious, when we talk about trauma, one of the books I'm writing at the moment is focused on people who learn that work is a smart way of channelling their anxiety. So high achievement as a trauma response. And there's lots of those people in law.

 

Geraldine  27:45  
Yes, there are. Gosh.

 

Amar  27:47  
Yeah. 

 

Geraldine  27:48  
That's very personal. I can relate to that.

 

Amar 27:53  
Yeah. So you're actually supporting people to untie those knots. Because there's an over identification with achievement, which makes sense. It feels good. 

 

Geraldine  28:02  
Yeah. It puts you in control as well. It's, it's measurable, you know, you can put it up on a wall and get on with the day because there's your evidence. 

 

Amar  28:15  
Yeah, but does it give you control? It gives you the sense of control, but the rock in the shoe is that there is no control. 

 

Geraldine  28:22  
Yes. 

 

Amar  28:23  
So I think, you know, again, when when we take these, we're talking about the individual and we're moving between macro and micro in this conversation, because, you know, what is the macro other than that constellation of lots of individuals, that, you know, when we then talk about the nature of a profession or a group, and when we've got a group of people that have shared blind spots, or said maybe there's an addiction to achievement, where there is a generalised below average EQ, what impact does that have on the people whom were supposed to serve? You know, and that, for me, is a really interesting question. Um, so that's what that's kind of the field that I like to play in or one of the fields that I like to play in.

 

Geraldine  29:15  
So you're working with people identifying this trauma response, which I have to say, is the first time I've heard it put that way. But it's really striking and profound. And then they're going out. They're practising lawyers mainly, is that what you're, is that your cohort?

 

Amar  29:38  
Yes, they are. But what I find is that some lawyers with whom I work, you know, their truth is to put down law and repurpose their skill. Some, it's to stay in law. So, you know, I think there's lots of lawyer jokes, but no one is disappointed when their child gets into law school. You know, and I think that this is a really interesting dichotomy that exists about the nature of what it is to be a lawyer. I think one of the corollaries of this is that some lawyers can hang on so tightly to the identity of being a lawyer, that it eats them from the inside out. Or they've ridden themselves so hard to get to the top. You know, one of the things that I found when I was teaching law, the way, I guess, one of the early seeds was planted for me to become a therapist was, you know, I was teaching for about nine years at university. And I found one of the things with first years as a group for, you know, as an example, is that they, generally were the top in their schools, and then they come in to law school, and they're suddenly average. 

 

Geraldine  30:51  
Yeah. 

 

Amar  30:52  
And that had a huge impact on them as a person. And so, you know, in terms of achievement addiction, what do they do? Well, some of them work, but lots of them just work harder. And that extracts a price. And, you know, I think law is one of those professions where people really do leave, 7 to 10 years, lawyers leave in droves. 

Geraldine  31:17  
Yeah. 

 

Amar  31:18  
The profession. 

 

Geraldine  31:19  
Yeah. 

 

Amar  31:20  
You know, that's a really interesting statistic why, and a lot of people that make that sea change do so for their health and wellbeing. 

 

Geraldine  31:28  
Yes, indeed. 

 

Amar  31:29  
So, yeah. So I think identifying that earlier, supporting them to potentially integrate and find a meaningful relationship to law will actually allow the profession to build a deeper reservoir of eldership, internally, I think would really be a beautiful thing to see.

 

Geraldine  31:50  
A lot of what you're talking about, resonates with the little bit I've done with Indigenous communities and their culture. So even this whole idea that law lives, the law, the land, the people, spirit, they are the four interconnected things. And until I heard that I never really thought about that, the law as something that's living and breathing. And this is why as I understand it, some Indigenous cultures, especially in Australia, when they do ceremony, they are actually reenacting the law, or they're living the law. And I think that that has a lot to teach us. Plus what you mentioned about eldership. If we're coming through, into our profession, and we're having a sense of responsibility to more junior members, then to look upon it as a responsibility that has some sort of divine aspect to it, you know, that you're not just protecting that profession, and the members of it, but you're also looking out for the entire community, because good lawyers or lawyers who are healthy, physically and mentally, are going to be much better for everybody else. But it's, yeah, thank you so much.

 

Amar  33:10  
You're picking up on I think there's a few things that come in through, you know, the idea of law being meaningful, finding service, you know, we talked about what I, what landed for me is a shared love of law. 

 

Geraldine  33:26  
Yeah. 

 

Amar  33:27  
That you and I share. And, you know, then we've talked, then you're talking in almost a sense of sanctity, that that's coming in, you know, l-o-r-e and l-a-w. The l-o-r-e version of law having this embodied, sacred aspect or sacred dimension to it. Well, you know, what is more sacred than love whatever it is, you know, whether it's my partner, whom I love, or engaging in activities that I love, I think there really is this sanctity that can creep in. And when it does, it changes the doing. 

 

Geraldine  34:04  
Yes, yes, 

 

Amar  34:06  
That, and I think that's the bit to share, you know, to propagate in the discipline.

 

Geraldine  34:11  
Well, there was one other subject I was going to touch on in the last few minutes we have left and that is your connection with the Mankind Project. I think that what you're talking about is the idea of mentorship and the therapy that you're doing for lawyers. I'd love to understand how that's reflected in the work that you do for the Mankind Project, which is really around dealing as I understand it with cohorts of of men, to help them better understand themselves and their role as men in society.

Amar  34:44  
So interesting question, how they connect? Well, firstly, you know that one of the, so I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a paradox, but one of the challenges that the Jungian term is enantiodromia. Are you familiar with that word?

 

Geraldine  35:02  
No, I'm not. Please could you explain it.

 

Amar  35:04  
Sure, sure. So it's to go into a polarity so deeply that it turns into its opposite. So an example of that would be, let's say, I learn a bit about life and I become tolerant, and I become an advocate for tolerance. And then I end up becoming so, such an advocate such a passionate advocate for tolerance that I become intolerant of intolerant people. And so my journey into tolerance actually turns into its opposite. 

 

Geraldine  35:35  
Mm-hmm.  

 

Amar  35:38  
Yeah? So where I would bring this back is one of the things for men doing work around exploring their masculinity is it inevitably turns into them doing work to connect to their feminine aspect. And, you know, men can only go so far into that sacred masculine path or exploration without needing to connect to their sacred feminine. The path kind of turns into its opposite. And I think it's this, so where the two align is in the exploration of polarity deeply. So for humans, for lawyers, whether, you know, whether it's the Mankind Project or a lawyer, it's excavating what's meaningful. What is it that's truly meaningful to the individual? What are the obstacles that stop living a meaningful life and identifying them, and sometimes, you know, for a lot of people, you know, how they come to what's meaningful is actually through finding the pain of all the things that aren't working in their life. And that being the crisis that actually really enlivens a search with a surrender to where that search needs to take them rather than if we go back to the achievement addiction thinking that I've got control, and I can do things and I can stay in control. And I can map my life and engineer the way I think it needs to go rather than actually. Well, eventually that, that path unravels. 

 

Geraldine  37:13  
Yeah. 

 

Amar  37:14  
And people will come to the sort of questions that, that we're talking about all aspects of self. So you know, it's all it's all the same stuff, whether I work with boys or men at the Mankind Project. Pain is pain, suffering and suffering. 

 

Geraldine  37:29  
Yeah. 

 

Amar  37:31  
And resistance is resistance.

 

Geraldine  37:33  
So it's about rescuing that lost ignored part of yourself, whether it's the emotional part, if you're a lawyer, or it's that nurturing part, if you are someone who's a stereotypical male.

 

Amar  37:45  
Yeah, well,  how about we reframe? I'd actually say it's actually about rescuing yourself. And part of the way you do it is by reintegrating the part that you mentioned was. 

 

Geraldine  37:57  
Yeah, thank you, Amar, yeah, I really wish I could, I had another hour to discuss all these concepts with you and probably more hours. But gosh, thank you so much, we just scratched the surface of extremely deep subjects and you've given me a lot to reflect upon.

 

Amar  38:18  
Thank you, Geraldine. It's been a real pleasure to meet you. And what a gorgeous way to spend a Friday than having a real conversation, with a fascinating, intelligent, passionate human being about something that actually matters.

 

Geraldine  38:30  
Bless you. Thank you. 

 

Amar  38:32  
Thank you very much.


 

 

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