Thursday, June 14, 2007

4 - The Opportunity

The Opportunity
Many people by taking small and achievable successive steps will increase their life-affirming actions and decrease their life-negating actions. Most of these steps will be taken in connection with one or more other people in mutually empowering relationships which will transform individual and institutional behavior and which will result in fundamental change towards a sustainable civilization based in love and joy.

Why Will People Take These Small Successive Steps?
People are happiest, most fulfilled, most empowered, and most actualized (realizing their full potential) when they:
*** Have optimal health of body and mind along with the confidence that that they have the competence/power to sustain that optimal health
*** Are connected harmoniously (in life-affirming resonance) within themselves, with other people, and with the natural world

These two basic conditions are inseparably intertwined. Our bodies and minds grow and develop best when we experience connection, love, and life-affirming resonance with another person or persons. At birth those other people are usually our parents. The mother actually has begun establishing that emotional or limbic resonance with her child in utero.

Humans face a supreme existential challenge. The same capacity which permits us to learn language and to create complex human systems and institutions also brings the liability of permitting each of us to be alienated within and from ourselves and, hence, from other people. When we individually are internally alienated or not integrated, we are out of balance in our bodies and minds (including spirits). In this out-of-balance condition, our minds and bodies cannot be optimally healthy – we are vulnerable to disease, insecurity, disempowerment, and confusion.

We humans must consciously engage in practices and in new social learning which can bring these parts of our brain into harmony, into balance, into life-affirming resonance within ourselves and with others if we are to be optimally healthy. Our internal dissonance is projected to others thereby interfering with their inclination towards resonance. Even if their signal or their resonance is clear, that resonance does not have a clear signal to resonate with. If we are confused about who we are, we give confusing messages to others, and undermine our ability to be loving with, to be connected with, or to be in life-affirming resonance with others.

Clarity or confusion regarding emotional resonance starts at the earliest stages of our growth and development. We hunger for resonance – our survival is dependent upon it. Ideally, this resonance is life-affirming. However, we will cling to life-negating resonance if it is all that we know and if the only alternative that seems possible is indifference and isolation. Our emotions may be confirmed and allowed to be expressed by a loving parent; or, they may be denied or squelched by a hateful parent or by a parent who just doesn’t know any better – “don’t cry, be a big boy,” and many like messages essentially confuse us by telling us that what we are feeling is not OK, that we are not OK, that we should squelch and hide those very real emotions that we feel. Before we know it or are able to know it, we have incorporated beliefs that say we are only capable of living in seriously limited ways.
Learning how to connect with others, how to be in life-affirming resonance is a lifelong process. We can make choices about how to feed this lifelong process; or, we may choose consciously or unconsciously to constrain that process. Loving connections or mutually empowering relationships enhance our growth and development, are healing, and are inherently fulfilling and joyful.

Life-affirming connections are essential for full and healthy human growth and development. The individual seeks integration and harmony within oneself. The human brain is complex with one part being the source of emotions (limbic system) and another part (neocortex) being the source of language, thinking, and planning. Furthermore, the brain has right and left hemispheres which assume different functions. The left side of the neocortex is in most people the part which is responsible for our capacity for language. The right side is the seat of broad concepts and artistic expression. The right side of the limbic part of the brain connects more strongly with the right side of the neocortex. The left side of the limbic part may have little or no direct connection with the left side of the neocortex. In order to achieve internal harmony or resonance, our emotional brain needs to communicate clearly with and be understood by our thinking brain. And, the left and right hemispheres of our brain seek to be in balance and unified. We learn about and develop our internal capacities in relation to others with whom we seek emotional or limbic resonance. If we are clear, integrated, and life affirming internally, then our chances of establishing clear, life-affirming resonance with others are significantly enhanced. If we are confused internally, then we will be communicating mixed messages to others, we are limited in our ability to establish life-affirming resonance with others. We can learn how to increase life-affirming resonance with others through engaging in inherently rewarding, mutually empowering interaction with others.

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