where radical identity & mutuality meet authenticity


Bernie Glassman, a Zen teacher, has a practice called ‘Bearing Witness.’ You go into a hard, complex situation with the mind of not knowing, of having no idea or opinion, and instead, feel, listen, and be in the actual situation, becoming one with it. This nonjudgmental state of mind can position you so that you might be able to find a way to help, not out of your own need to make something better so that you feel better or in order to alleviate your own fear, but so that you act when empty of yourself. You get yourself out of the way. Often, caregivers, peace activists, writers, you name it, begin work out of deep concern but find that their concern turns into indifference because they cannot bear the pain. Sometimes we act as though we have found equanimity in our hard work, but we may be disguising our aversion or numbness because we can’t take it anymore. Even our self-hatred can be a defense from feeling things as they are. We need to learn compassion not only for those we work with but also for ourselves. This spiritual component can sustain us……Natalie Goldberg

taking a long look at our disconnections ultimately empower our deepest connections…..another paradox of serious consequence……true authenticity may present itself in our own bearing witness to ourselves, allowing those most vulnerable traits to be validated, revealed and shared…..it is here we reshape our inter-beingness……

The process of psychological growth requires the participants to respond empathically to each other. Because each feels this empathic response, each can ‘take off’ from this empathic base and add thoughts and feelings as they arise. These additions create the interplay, the flow. This mutually empathic interplay is created by both people and builds new psychological experience, that is, growth for both. Mutual empathy and mutual empowerment are at the core of growth-enhancing relationships. empathy involves a motivational component (the desire to know the other), a perceptual component (the ability to perceive verbal and nonverbal signals), an affective component (the capacity to resonate with another person’s feelings), and cognitive component (the ability to make sense of this joining resonance). It is important to note that in mutual interactions, it is not a question of giving or getting, of helping or being helped, or of being dependent or depended upon. It is a question of whether both people participate, whether both people grow, and whether both therefore want more of the same….R. Frager & J. Fadiman

finding moss & nails…..

Spiritually sensitive people often feel contaminated by the destructive elements in their environment, and may dedicate themselves to rigorous spiritual practices in order to cleanse themselves of these pollutants and transcend the limitations of worldly life. This approach may also hold them in an adversarial role with their environment and even with their own humanness. It may isolate them in a  bubble of attempted perfection that is constantly threatened by their interactions with other people. It may also engender ongoing self-criticism and disappointment as their attempt to purify their thoughts and actions fails. Human beings have tremendous potential for transformation. We can cultivate compassion and gradually empty our minds of destructive thoughts and limiting beliefs, but we cannot truly release the fear and anger from our mind and body if we still feel aversion to the world around us, or if we feel loathing for our own imperfection…..Judith Blackstone

4 thoughts on “where radical identity & mutuality meet authenticity

  1. Connectedness, allowing ourselves to feel, even to be the other … Sometimes with supreme effort, when the other has little or no soul connection, then there is little for our energetic being to enfold and interconnect with … If talking about healing, where there is any willingness to grow as M Scott Peck teaches us, then, there is a chance … I suppose where there are situations where there is no reciprocal then we can hope for a quiet understanding in ourselves and a blessing imparted to the lost one, with a prayer for their sometime acceptance of the good. Darkness is only the absence of light … Light being the natural condition of the out-breathing … May the Sun warm your day !

    • no easy place to be with a big heart is there? this enormous capacity for compassion is the rising of something timeless, ageless, unknowingness…..a growing in the dark, fertile ground…..may your prayers be whole g.f.s…..

  2. In every relationship, we are present – a part – a piece – a consequence not yet understood. When relationships fail, most are quick to place blame. And yet, in the failing, we should look deep into the places we keep – to find not only mercy but threads we helped to weave – choices we were a part to. In our acceptance lies our forgiveness, and in forgiveness, our understanding of what love really means – what love really asks of us (what of unconditional is really). And in that moment of personal intimacy, we understand that ‘blame’ is never a word used by love. 🙂 Thank you, Blue. ~ Much love, Bobbie

    • a beautiful vision of love…..about how we love, not what we get from love…….nothing is too ugly for love….nothing too small…..no hurt too big…..with gratitude for your light Bobbie…..

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