Thursday, April 12, 2007

Space the Final Frontier? No, Inner Space!

Space: the Final Frontier
is the solemn announcement that begins each episode of the
Star Trek episodes.

No. Not Outer space, but inner space is the final frontier.
And one we are failing to consider
as violence in the world grows and multiples.

In the past century, over 140 million people have died in war,
over 100 wars in every part of the planet earth.

Now the greatest empire in human history
is engaged once more in another war,
One in which modcrate estimates are
650,000 civilians, women and children have been killed.
Not to speak of our own military.

It that same ratio were applied to this country
that would be 6 millon who have died,
since we undertook the war in Iraq.

Thw question is how can humans be so murderous,
so willing to kill one another?
We may be on the verge of destroying not only
civilization but planet earth also.

Here below are some thoughts on the challenge of
understanding ourselves, written a few years ago,
but regarded as one of my best, most insightful and
provocative. The greatest challenge in life is
understanding ourselves. If we do not we shall
end up sabotaging not only ourselves, but Self-Intimacy is the Most Basic Skill in Life
To go inside oneself and sort out images, ideas and feelings, to listen to oneself and decide what is most significant, and to risk sharing that, pleasant or unpleasant, with someone important to you are the foundation stones of a intimate relationship.
Without this skill there is no "glue" in any bonding, no true reciprocity and eventually no passion. Lacking this skill many relationships cannot survive because they consist only of shared illusions about who the partner is or should be, and are, therefore mere "acting". This pretense can be mutually satisfactory and can go unrecognized for many years. However, for want of this skill, conflict is ultimately bound to be unfixable.
Many, perhaps most individuals, do not have this skill particularly the ability to sort out and talk about feelings because they never saw their parents practice it. They have a self-image ideal, a mask they have developed from childhood to present an approved face to the world. Couples can live together for years wearing the faces they have learned to wear. Their world is a masquerade, however, which is ready to crumble in a crisis.
Self-intimacy is the ability to listfn to ourselves in all the diverse facets of our human-ness. We begin to experience the mystery of ourselves as we really ARE, rather than as we PREFER to think of ourselves. This means we find the courage to listen to feedback from others about that to which we are blind about ourselves. Then regardless of how unpleasant it may sometimes feel, we weigh the feedback and use it to help determine if our behavior needs modification.
No one truly knows and understands themselves. Those who are certain they do are often the most deluded and blind because they have managed to avoid confrontation or have refused feedback from others. Such an individual becomes his own worst enem y.
Self-intimacy enables us to possess a secure self-esteem because it includes both the positive and the negative aspect of ourselves. The positive awareness helps us discover anddevelop our gifts and talents, our specialness; however, self-intimacy also confronts us with the ugly fact of our instinctual selves, our selfishness and weakness, our greeds, lusts and jealousies, and our dark shadow side (including our games, patterns and habits outside awareness) that continue despjte our best efforts and intentions.
Those without self-intimacy usually think their "map" of personal perspective is the way things are, or should be. They often have little idea of how truly different people are. They assume their vision is the only true and correct one. Those who are most sure of their view are probably the most blind (and the most dangerous of people). Por example the auto-makers in Detroit, hooked on big profits from big cars, were absolutely sure Americans would never buy small cars. They delayed developing for many years the technical skill on which the Japanese and Germans were working. That blindness cost this country nearly 20 million jobs and has affected the financial welfare of almost everyone.
Self-intimacy does not imply narcissistic fixation on self. In fact, it is only through the awareness and acceptance of all our personal needs: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual that we can truly be awake to the needs of others. Thus self-intimacy is paying attention to and accepting our WHOLE self: warts and dimples. Self-centeredness is blindly following my ego, my desires, my will, my attachments, whatever satisfies me now.
Our capacity to love others is predicated upon ourability to love ourselves: "Love your neighbor as yourself' (Matthew 22:39). Without genuine and mature self-love, we cannot love another. Instead, we will be needy, act like nice guys or sweethearts, play games, keep our distance, doubt, distrust, test, or use other means of masquerade or manipulation in relationship, for we will neverreally be sure another can love us as we are. Many who lack this self-intimacy escape into the addiction of Romantic love and idealizing one another. Some jump from one love to another without ever learning much about themselves. All they seem to need is someone else who will make them feel special. This isthe quickest, easiest escape (and the one most doomed to fail) hurting many othes

Namaste. Have a good day
Paschal, April 12


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