Relating to the world, on both sides of the split

When we relate to the world from within a sense of I-Other split, we relate to both sides (I and Other) the same way. We just can’t help it.

In short, it means that to the extent I am at peace with myself, with what I take as me, with this human self, the more at peace I am with the world. The more acceptance with this little guy, the more acceptance for others and the wider world. The more generosity with this rascal, the more generosity with life in general.

As with so much of the essentials of life, it is very simple.

And it seems fresh when I notice it anew, partly because everything is, even that which a thought may tell me is very similar or the same as a previous insight, and partly because it is always discovered in new ways, from new angles, with different filters, maybe a little more finely grained.

Talking about it in a more finely-grained way, I see that how I relate to the world, to life in general, has to do with my beliefs (at least as long as there is that core belief of I and Other). And these beliefs don’t discriminate between I and Other, although their expression in each case can certainly be colored by other beliefs so it comes out in slightly different ways.

If I believe that people shouldn’t lie, that belief hits me as well as others. When I lie, I either deny it for myself, blame myself, experience guilt, or try to justify it (or all three!). When others lie, I do the same, maybe exchanging guilt for self-righteousness.

In either case, there is a lack of acceptance, of finding peace with it, of a certain generosity. There is resistance, and an identification with this resistance. And this is what creates and fuels the initial I-Other split.

At the head center, there is a fixed view and position, a belief, taking a story as an absolute truth. At the heart center, a closing down towards myself and/or others. At the belly center, emotional reactivity.

And all of this tends to turn around if there is more acceptance, if there is an allowing of what comes up, a being with it. There is more acceptance for it in myself, more empathy, more love. Another pattern is created, and this is now also how I relate to the wider world, to others, to life in general.

At the head center, views are held more lightly, with the possibility of acknowledging the truth in the reversals of the initial belief. At the heart center, more empathy. At the belly center, more of a steady nurturing fullness.

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