Disconnected: Tales and Talisman


 

There are times when we begin to have self-doubt about much of what we have tried to carry out in the world.  When reflecting upon our lives and wondering if we have made a difference in the world, we sometimes neglect that which makes our spirits lighter.  We often become detached from a healthy lifestyle by allowing routines and small matters consume our lives.  When one reaches this place, we begin to reflect upon that which will take us to another state of being, a place that is usually provoked by something we love, something that will transform our thinking and bring about happiness…..For me that element is…playing some music.

Unfortunately we can often become distracted, and become over time practice behaviors that become habits that will lead us down a darker road than the one we should have liked to walk.  Sometimes the habits of our thinking can distort the nature of ‘things-as-they-are’, and we become disconnected to fundamental healthy living choices.  There are many tales and talisman of those who become “disconnected”.  If our focus is too narrow, or too broad, we just may be leaving much of our experience to the realm that erodes these experiences.  We then little by little become stricken with a decay in our thought on how we should relate and live in the world.  Thus we begin a process of alienation that started with an imbalance somewhere in our own habitual routines which ultimately pull us away from what is truly important in our lives.

 

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein

 

Take a look at the cases for addiction.  One can become addicted to any number of things based on our “perception of being!”  We are profoundly affected by the environments we accommodate.  I posit this claim on the history of psychological studies  in the fields of human motivation, developmental psychology, behaviorist conditioning,  cognitive and gestalt findings, from Jean Piaget, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, (et. al.),  and the Eastern influences of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucian teachings.  This is also noted in studies of the Enneagram with conclusive findings supporting my following claim.

Addiction is not caused only by the drugs themselves.  Addiction is caused by a sense of isolation and disconnection in the addict.  It’s not the drugs—it’s your cage.

Causes of Addiction – A Revealing Truth


 

So our placement in the world, our views about the world can somewhat determine our “Being” in the world.  Our decisions about how we live, are ultimately important when finding meaning in our relationships.

When we become disconnected from

  • Nature
  • Social events
  • Values not based on ego / self
  • Music
  • Harmony
  • Humor and Laughter
  • Family

we may be heading towards hurtful discord and disharmony.

Being Disconnected is an anti-Taoist state of being

The quintessential question we often displace is about being!  How does one fit into the world?  We can become distracted, overstimulated by our passions, but there may be some consequences to our choices that we make about our relationship to the world and in the world.  We must first understand what in this world is critical for our “Being!”  How should we relate to it, the people in it, and what sources should we align ourselves to?

Through the process of immersion one can reconnect to the world.  If we follow paths that lead us down a meandering road full of distraction, such as problematic learned behaviors, maladaptive dissonant behaviors, or faulty poor environments which damage our awareness and dissuade our better natures; then we may find ourselves in an existential bewilderment.

One must use all of our senses and abilities to “Feel” this immersion.  It is not purely intellectual.  It is also emotive and felt from the “Heart”!  I cannot stress the importance of this connection since much of our “detachments” derive from within the mind, but are not solved without the heart being involved.  A disconnection can be largely caused by our will’s overpower other parts of our sensing apparatuses.  Thus we become lost, yet still don’t know why we have disconnected our way from the things that sustain our being the most: family, friends, hobbies, music, et cetera.  We give into our ego, and distort our other relationships that alienate our Being.  Alternately we can become lost in our passions, and leave our intellectual judgements at home on the porch.  Like the saying ….”If you don’t wanna run with the big dogs, than stay on the porch!”  An anachronism that seems to fit in this case.

There are many instances in which one can alienate themselves from that which sustains them.  Sometimes it is from powers outside of their control, yet they have to deal with the aftermath of burdens of such events such as parental alienation.  How we cope with the events in our lives is our decision.  We are responsible for seeking out solutions that will bring about our salvation.  Part of the process of healing, is directing ourselves to open our hearts again to receive the natural positive vibrations the universe has to offer us.  When we close ourselves to this, we risk the chance of becoming overloaded and thus become jaded!

So what’s your Muse?   What will bring you home again if indeed you stray from source of your fulfillment and well-being?

 

 

 


 

Alan W. Watts

“Here is the vicious circle: if you feel separate from your organic life, you feel driven to survive; survival -going on living- thus becomes a duty and also a drag because you are not fully with it; because it does not quite come up to expectations, you continue to hope that it will, to crave for more time, to feel driven all the more to go on.”
Alan W. Watts

Zhuangzi

“To forget the whole world is easy; to make the whole world forget you is hard.”
Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

Lao Tzu
“Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life.”
Lao Tzu & A J Girling – translator

Oscar Wilde

“Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.”
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

Lao Tzu

“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

recommended for reading:
The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types (Enneagram Resources Series)

 

People Hearing without Listening


 

Advice given from a sibling, parent, or a friend can be a troubling liability and will probably meet resistance from the recipient if it is unwelcome.  They may wish to impart wisdom to aid you, but many times we do not benefit from having another person give us advice unless it is sought out in the first place.  We in defiance of these verbal gems may just be able to figure it out ourselves, yet we are often stifled in the process when others impose their own thoughts upon our concerns.  For me, the purpose for telling others my struggles is not so much in asking them for their opinions and seeking out their counsel, as it is rather to hear myself working through the episode aloud and gain an empathetic allegiance from others knowing that I am perfectly capable of solving most of life’s curve balls.

If indeed they do listen to us, the act of which becomes a powerful talisman, can allow us to become silently supported without intervention of another opinion, and use our creative powers to free ourselves from the binding structures of our own creations.  They wish no harm to us, and they only want to help, but in replying to us by way of offering us guidance can lead to complete communication failure.  They are diminishing their respect for us and only promoting their solutions to “our problems”, something they do not own, nor in most cases have any involvement with.

People become transfixed into solving problems, and often make the mistake of offering their opinions about how to “fix” the problems other people are having when hearing their narratives.  Unfortunately these offerings only bring about a convoluted result.  They diminish the other person in that others often reach out for “understanding”, not necessarily soliciting others for information on “how” to fix the situation they are in.  Many times our situations do not need “fixing”.  Contrarily, I contend that the telling of our agitations to others in the presence of being “understood” elevates the psyche with strong medicinal factors to those that are ailing from these vexations.  It is not that we are incapable, it is only that we need understanding and thus supported in the process of listening over hearing any opinions on what the solutions may be to our healing.

 

 

If we lose our audience, we lose our trust in them.  My belief is largely based on my studies as an undergraduate in psychology.  I am disposed to thinking that Carl Rogers’ approach in his consultations was key in establishing a healthy working dynamic in communication.  Rogers believed that a therapist who embodies these three critical and reflexive attitudes will help liberate their client to more confidently express their true feelings without fear of judgement.

  1. Congruence – the willingness to transparently relate to clients without hiding behind a professional or personal facade.
  2. Unconditional positive regard – the therapist offers an acceptance and prizing for their client for who he or she is without conveying disapproving feelings, actions or characteristics and demonstrating a willingness to attentively listen without interruption, judgement or giving advice.
  3. Empathy – the therapist communicates their desire to understand and appreciate their clients perspective.

To do this, the client-centered therapist carefully avoids directly challenging their client’s way of communicating themselves in the session to enable a deeper exploration of the issues most intimate to them and free from external referencing.  Rogers was not prescriptive in telling his clients what to do, but believed that the answers to the patients’ questions were within the patient and not the therapist.  Accordingly the therapists’ role was to create a facilitative, empathic environment wherein the patient could discover the answers for him or herself.  If we draw a line of comparison to human relationships in general, the implications and successful communication dynamics are largely influenced by the work achieved from Rogers.

 

It is my bias, my understanding, and my study that have led me to conclude that human communications are indeed a highly esteemed skill to employ.  I am by no means an expert, I am by no means an authority, but when my inner fortitude becomes subject for an outsiders quibble (no matter how well intended they may be); and I find myself hearing the feedback from those whom may want to engage me with their psychological summations and epilogue’s, I lose all confidence in their credulity and am fully disenchanted.


 

“The Sound Of Silence”

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

“Fools,” said I, “You do not know –
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you.”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.

 Paul Simon

S&G

 


 

Listening: When the soul touches another


 

 

What is the toll when for those we love, we fail to pay full attention to the subtle qualities of their life?  We are sometimes caught up in our own lives so much so that we are often not “there” for others around us.  Our focus is primarily on how we fit into the world.  It is our issues, our needs, our wants, and other ego related concerns which take precedence over the interests of another person’s.  And what about those we love?  At what result do the people we love get overlooked when we do not truly listen to them and take all of them into account?  What do you pay attention to when your family members or other close friends speak out about their affairs?  We may just brush them off because we think we know them well enough,  and since we have already figured them out, we pay little observance to them.

One result may be the dilution of the relationship in that it greatly diminishes the authenticity.  We drift apart and this could happen to the relationships within our families.  We end up not validating others because we are not “present” with them in their accounts with us.  Our diversions take us away from being “present” when we are with them.  Presence in mind or mindfulness about them is such a crucial skill we do not often employ.

We all want to be understood, we all want to be acknowledged, we all want to be remembered and some people want many admirers.  In terms about our emotional connections with other people, I think that it is more important to be loved deeply than to be loved widely.  This irrefutable fact is more than what most of us get!  You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have a say in who hurts you.

I have struggled greatly with the relationships growing up as a boy with my family.  I often internalized the behaviors I observed and thought much on the subject for many years.  It is precisely why I feel deeply about such matters, because of the impact it had on my life, how I grew up, and to what extent it shaped my values and sensitivities at a very early age.  I had little validation and acknowledgement because I was the child that did not give my family any reason to fuss over.  I learned very early to self-soothe myself since I had little connection to the rest of my family.

I think that because of my awareness, I have seen the full spectrum of the emotional pendulum.  The examples of extreme detachment and extreme empathetic people are self defining.  I vowed to study and understand these phenomena so that I may never repeat the unfortunate examples that I experienced in my life.  That I would live my life in accordance with the values I recognized to be essential for “connecting” to other people.  Authenticity was a central theme for me through-out my progress.  In the course of my discovery, I gave of myself as I would like to receive.  In that odyssey and experience with others, I felt some of them on some very profound levels that I don’t think they even identified.  It taught me much about the human heart and the entanglements we can find ourselves in.

I must admit that I still value those moments I’ve shared with people because I have confirmed and substantiated my beliefs.  I have certified that I have loved deeply without misplacing myself into the equation.  I have never forgotten those moments when I was presently minded and without my ego to muck things up as I listened to another person’s heart open up to me.  It is why we as people can connect at great depth to others because of the power it provides us with.

 

 

We take exams about our reading essays and when graded they measure our reading comprehension.  Educators do this on all grade levels from elementary schools to University level students.  I ask why we do not call out for more training in human communications and ask for listening comprehension between people?  Think of the skills learned and the lessons learned that could greatly impact the communities at large when empowered with such training.  Sadly we do not invest in such matters, and many do not comprehend themselves let alone others.

When you open yourself up to other people, do you expect them to listen to you with an authentic ear extended?  What is the feeling you get when you share an emotive pairing of the minds and become one with others?  Not that you agree with what they say necessarily, but rather that you completely understand what they have said, empathize and give of yourself to them while they speak without judgement and accept them for who they are in the moment.

The tragedy found in many people’s lives is the non-recognition of how important the art of listening is and what it means to others.  If you have ever felt left out, if you have ever been ignored or not validated on how you feel or think, I can only say that there are people who will listen and are attentive even when the people you want the validation from are not there for you on this level.  If you are mindful and aware of this dynamic, then maybe you will express yourself in a way that will touch another persons soul.

Leo Buscaglia

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia
Jiddu Krishnamurti

“How do you listen? Do you listen with your projections, through your projection, through your ambitions, desires, fears, anxieties, through hearing only what you want to hear, only what will be satisfactory, what will gratify, what will give comfort, what will for the moment alleviate your suffering? If you listen through the screen of your desires, then you obviously listen to your own voice; you are listening to your own desires. And is there any other form of listening? Is it not important to find out how to listen not only to what is being said but to everything – to the noise in the streets, to the chatter of birds, to the noise of the tramcar, to the restless sea, to the voice of your husband, to your wife, to your friends, to the cry of a baby? Listening has importance only when on is not projecting one’s own desires through which one listens. Can one put aside all these screens through which we listen, and really listen?”
Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
Jiddu Krishnamurti

“You are now listening to me; you are not making an effort to pay attention, you are just listening; and if there is truth in what you hear, you will find remarkable change taking place in you – a change that is not premeditated or wished for, a transformation, a complete revolution in which the truth alone is master and not the creations of your mind. And if I may suggest it, you should listen in that way to everything – not only to what I am saying, but also to what other people are saying; to the birds, to the whistle of a locomotive, to the noise of the bus gong by. You will find that the more you listen to everything, the greater is the silence, and that silence is then not broken by noise. It is only when you are resisting something, when you are putting up a barrier between yourself and that to which you do not want to listen – it is only then that there is a struggle.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Simon and Garfunkel