Connecting to Others - Why Bother?


"Life is like a sh*t sandwich  -  the more bread you have, the less sh*t there is!"

I found these words written on the wall of a pub toilet in Norfolk and was impressed, not so much by their vulgarity, as by their apparent sincerity and the strength of feeling that seemed to lie behind them.
I believe that this down-to-earth poet was expressing a fairly common approach to life...

Get as many nice things as you can - Avoid as much suffering as you can

This approach to living can work quite well for a while, but many people have found that there comes a point in our lives where, despite our best efforts, the nice things are frustratingly diminished and the suffering has alarmingly increased

The simple philosophy of the down-to-earth pub poet is frankly not sustainable for most of us, as any browsing of autobiographies will show.

Why does "chasing good experiences - avoiding bad experiences" eventually fail?

The simple strategy of the pub poet quoted above is the strategy of "disconnection". For example, contact with people brings us a combination of good, bad and neutral experiences. If we run away from (or attack or punish) others, whenever we have bad experiences with them, over a period of time we find ourselves becoming more and more isolated ("in a rut") from others.

As our separateness (poor communication, lack of communication, misunderstandings & perceptions of inequality) increases, our bad experiences also increase. For example we indulge increasingly in the mechanisms that psychologists call 'projection' and 'polarisation'. As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth:

"'Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil !"

What can we do to reduce the accumulating rage, fear and misery of demonisation, victimhood and mind-reading that accompanies separateness?

We can simply begin the healing journey back to interconnectedness (wholeness).

*World Healing Day: overview
*Healing - what is it?


  Path of Healing  
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