I wrote the following to my Gestalt class around the world and thought you might appreciate it. Nobantu is one of my class mates based in South Africa and this came out of a conversation with her. Enjoy it and let me know what resonates from your experience.
A little while ago Nobantu and I had a wonderful conversation. She inspired some thoughts and gave me some reading to do. I am also playing with a novel and there is a main character in the book called Ralph. A combination of his creation and where the inspiration from the conversation with Nobantu took me lead Ralph to think the following……..
‘Understanding deeply who and what I am is not determined by others around me or the environment has given me a great strength. Seeing the inner core of me and the beauty of life as a flame burning in me takes away all my anxiety and enables me to be. No longer do I have to win external approval by acquiring more or achieving goals I think others want me to strive for. I can now inhabit the island of me as a rich place of retreat with everything I need to be at ease with myself and the world around me. Every moment is filled with a joy of being and I need to travel no further than myself to experience it to the full.
To the normal person these ideas sound crazy or belonging to weird religious or spiritual sects. Since moving away from the merged state with mother the normal person is constantly seeking a return through judgment, approval, chasing a state others can give them or following those who appear to have got there. The break with mother is so devastatingly traumatic that a normal person can spend a lifetime using all the energy they have to put it all back together again. But all the kings horses and all the kings men cannot put Humpty Dumpty together again.
It is not easy to give up on this task of reconstruction. Our minds say if this, then that so we believe we must do this for that. Challenging that our minds might be wrong or that there are other ways is unnatural. Our minds have thought it so how do we get the same mind to unthink it. Curious people will find a way as they question, think, reflect, challenge and test how things fit together in their lives. Late in life a light may go on and insight rise to the surface. Others will get there through interventions that enter their lives or that they seek in their journey. Interventions from individuals who have taken generations of learning and are able to guide pupils to insight.
Imagine you are confronted with a wall you cannot pass through in front of you. It is made of steel reinforced concrete and extends forever in both directions. You notice a toothpick on the ground and believe this is the only tool you have to break through the wall to find the purpose of your life on the other side. You spend your whole life using the toothpick in all sorts of ingenious ways to get through the wall. Then one day you look behind you or someone makes the suggestion. There is no wall there and with no toothpick work to do life is suddenly filled with the pleasure of experiencing who and where you are. Now those in the know understand there is nothing worth having beyond the wall. Nothing. It was always a mirage you will never reach. It kept you busy with purpose but distracted you from seeing all along that everything you ever wanted was right there within you. Open your eyes and you will see.’
Now I am intrigued to know more about Ralph’s thoughts as they unfold…..but that is for another day. Nobantu….thankyou for the conversation and inspiration.