The FolkCommons – From Psychopathology to Well Futures


Dr Les Spencer




A precursor to this paper - The Renaissance and Enrichment of the FolkCommons



Posted 3 July 2019; updated 24 July 2019


The following brief and succinct monograph will be further detailed in the coming weeks. It has emerged from conversations with Dr Andrew Cramb during July, 2019 relating to the paper, The Renaissance and Enrichment of the FolkCommons - A Resource for Common Folk (Spencer, 2019b). That paper introduces the folkCommons and a sub-aspect of this commons termed the psyCommons alongside the psychopathicCommons. Quoting from the Renaissance paper, and to expand on the psychological aspects Postle writes on the richness of everyday social relations:


The psyCommons is a name for the universe of rapport – of relationship between people – through which we common folk navigate daily life. It describes the beliefs, the preconceptions, and especially the learning from life experience that we all bring to bear on our own particular corner of the human condition. To name these commonsense capacities ‘the psyCommons’ is to honour the multitudinous occasions of insight, affect, and defect that we common folk bring to daily life: in parenting and growing up, caring for the aged, the disabled, and the demented; persisting with the love that brings flourishing and success, supporting neighbours visited by calamity, joining friends and family in celebrations of life thresholds (Postle, 2000).


The folkCommons embraces many sub-domain commons - aspects experienced in common by common folk such as experiencing the physical body, the personal, the interpersonal, the relational, the psychological, the emotional, the familial, the communal, the social, the societal, the cultural, the intercultural, and the environmental. These various ‘commons’ are a rich resource of ‘ordinary wisdom’ and also, more controversially, ‘shared power’ among the common folk. Other examples of the commons are the air we breathe, the radio spectrum, the oceans and the land we occupy – all these are commons, or ‘common pool resources’. As value, they are the common wealth of the common man; they belong to us and we belong to them. The psyCommons (psychological and emotional wisdom held in common) is one of these commons


This monograph draws upon collective prolonged action research since the 1950s focusing on the folkCommons and psychopathology. This action research into relating well has involved thousands of people - individually, in small and large groups as well as large collectives. The research is based upon the pervasive interwoven, integrated, enfolded inter-connectedness of every aspect of being a human being. The latest understandings in complexity and quantum physics (Bohm, 1980) are woven into the action research. People have been experiencing relating well or unwell with all aspects of self and other(s) – the biological in every aspect, including brain plasticity, gene modulating, and epigenesis, the psychological, the emotional, the sensory, the communal and the social and natural life worlds, including the interplay of integration (habit) and flexibility.


The findings about biopsychosocial dynamics are summarised below:


o   Typically, folk have little conscious connexion with the contents of the folkCommons and all of the sub commons of the folkCommons. Even when folk are experiencing and acting upon the richness of the folkCommons they typically do not notice that that is what’s happening and what they or others are doing.


o   Contexts where the application of the folkCommons is encourage at conscious and unconscious levels may see increase in the frequency and application of the folkCommons.


o   The folkCommons includes and transcends the psychCommons.


o   The bodyCommons includes and transcends the headCommons.


o   The folkCommons relates to wellness. There is alongside the folkCommons, the psychopathicCommons that relates to biopsychosocial illness.


o   The psychopathicCommons in action is a defence mechanism of highly intellectual dissociated articulation as a protection device. The psychopathicCommons is still used as a defence when they feel threatened. Their bodies instantly respond with habituated freezing, fleeing or being violent as a function of their integrated autonomic habituated tuning and the context.


o   Members of the psychopathicCommons are disconnected in many ways and this reinforces their state position (Spencer 2017, p.574-598).


o   The notions ‘Implicate order and explicate order are David Bohm’s concepts for exploring and discussing ‘being’ in quantum theory. They may be used to explore two different frameworks for comprehending the same phenomenon or aspect of reality. Bohm's in his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order uses these notions to describe how phenomena may appear in differing contexts. Implicate order is perceived as a more fundamental or deeper order of reality. In contrast, the explicate order includes abstractions. Bohm wrote:

In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders (Bohm, 1980 p. xv).


The folkCommons is of implicate order and implicit centric. The Latin root of implicit (implicāre) means ‘to involve or entangle’. The psychopathicCommons is of explicate order and explicit centric. ‘Explicit’ means precisely and clearly expressed or readily observable; leaving nothing to implication.

o   As the folkCommons has been eroded and enclosed by societal forces, the psychopathicCommons by those same societal forces has become more dominant, and yet less visible.


o   When biopsychosocial illness from the psychopathicCommons becomes the normal (as it has done), for wellness, hope lies in the mobilising of the abnormality that defies biopsychosocial illness and accesses the folkCommons to generate wellness. This rarely happens, though folkCommons supported instances of peers with peers may raise consciousness of the abnormality in action that defies biopsychosocial illness and accesses the folkCommons to generate wellness – refer Fraser House later in this monograph.


o   What is needed by those who are bio-psycho-socially ill is embodied awaking. This may be achieved by something that interrupts habituated body states such that their moving-thinking-feeling loses its integration and becomes amenable to transforming (Spencer, 2013b p. 562 – 567).


o   People connecting with the psychopathicCommons are extremely intelligent. It is typically dissociated intelligence; intelligence they have, though do not and cannot access. Their intelligence is developed in a state of frozen terror which they do not often feel. Not only does this intelligence work automatically as an attack defence mechanism to protect the psychopathicCommons from ‘others’, it also works against their ability to ground themselves and ground their bodies.


o   The psychopathicCommons is in a state of perpetual war on terror. Hence top power people from within the psychopathic commons were able to easy have the psychopathic and disconnected masses go along with the War on Terror Declaration in the States. The folkCommons awakens with realising terror’s nature. Folk bodies hold practical wisdom though it is totally unavailable to them. Until their war on terror ceases, they will continue to maintain terror within and disconnected shutdown of their body in defence and/or attack while using their intelligence to control others as a way of feeling safe from attack. Once the members of the psychopathicCommons can awaken and release the frozen embodied preoccupation with terror, they can have, realise, access, and utilise their pre-existing potential for pure intelligence without the terror.


o   Disembodied moving has no connecting with bodymind. Particular movement’s link to particular emotion is not realised. Emergent moving has its own mind. With awakening, what is released is blocked energy. Power is when the product of Energy and intelligence manifests a higher order outcome. Pain is when the product of energy and intelligence manifests a lower order outcome.


o   Often the key variable to whether Pain or Power is the outcome is not so much the input of energy but rather the resourcing of organising intelligence.


o   The psychCommons serves to focus (entrain) attention. Modern neuro-psychology demonstrates how cortical self reflection (mindfullness) can interrupt habituated sub-cortical resourcing and engage higher order outcomes by entraining to intelligences generated at more primal and thus implicate order. Pain can therefore be seen as phenomenon mobilised by the folkCommons that serves the psychCommons to entrain from a less resourceful state to a more resourceful state. Once bridged, the elements that can be explicated that serve the bridging become available to the domain of the psychCommons.


o   Repeated experience with thousands of people is that given the possibilities opened by awaking, people’s bodies know what to do in release and let go. Often intense strange movement ensues towards release, re-organising and re-integrating – wholly different mode of embodied being.. In these states, their embodied intelligence can be used for the good of their exceptionally rapid human insight and development.

A significant example of the Commons action research was Dr Neville Yeomans’ Fraser House Therapeutic Community that commenced in North Ryde NSW, Australian in 1959 (Spencer, 2013a; Spencer, 2013b; Spencer, 2017; Spencer 2019a; Spencer, 2019b). The Fraser house peculiar social wellness environment (milieu) bracketed off from everyday life set up a commons where ever micro aspect was woven together towards the awakening, discovering, recognising and applying the practical wisdom in the group and the renaissance and enriching of the folkCommons. Fraser House residents were eighty folk of the psychopathic-Commons who were invited to attend. The residents were out of mental hospital back wards where all treatment had failed (the mad) and out of prisons where they would not be allowed parole (the bad). A condition of becoming a resident of Fraser House was attending ten Big Groups (and the following Small Group) along with their family and friend network as outpatients.


A framing expectation and understanding within Fraser House was summed up by the slogans, ‘no madness or badness here’, ‘bring it up in Big Group’, and ‘get on with your change work’. Fraser House Big Group with 180 attendees was held twice a day Monday to Friday. Fraser House  processes ensured that Big Group was FolkCommons concentrate - the Big Group leader focused all participants awareness on occurrences of folkCommons practical wisdom in action within group interaction - which was sensed as ‘role specific functional in context’ (Spencer, 2013a, p. 240-244). Typically, it was the residence and outpatients that began to first notice bits of behaviour that ‘worked’. Processes that worked were repeated and became policy and the output was enriching the Fraser House psychCommons. This in turn was enriching the utility of the Fraser House folkCommons. Fraser House Ex-residents networking networks continued to enrich the psychCommons and folkCommons in everyday life.


As detailed in paper ‘The Renaissance and Enrichment of the FolkCommons - A Resource for Common Folk’ (Spencer, 2019b) there are major forces enclosing and shutting down the folkCommons while enlarging the psychopathicCommons. This paper has provided glimpses of processes to reverse the above, that is to enrich and expand the FolkCommons and reduce the psychopathicCommons in a world where forces are lining up to ensure this does not happen. Natural forces linked to the prevalent presence of free energy in nature are available and are being used in enriching the folkCommons. That much of the forgoing is never noticed is being used as an advantage.






Bohm, D., 1980), Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge, 


Spencer, L., 2013a. Whither Goeth the World of Human Futures - A Biography on the Life Work of Dr Neville Yeomans. Internet source accessed 1 July 2019.

Spencer, L., 2013b. Coming to Ones Senses – By the Way. Internet source accessed 1 July 2019.

Spencer, L., 2017. Nurturing Community for Wellness. Internet source accessed 1 July 2019..

Spencer, L., 2019a. Therapeutic Communities and New Social Movements in Latin America, SE Asia, Oceania, and Australasia. International Journal of Therapeutic Communities Vol. 40, Issue 2.

Spencer, L., 2019b. The Renaissance and Enrichment of the FolkCommons - A Resource for Common Folk. Internet source accessed 1 July 2019.