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Finding Things to Move Towards

September 6, 2018

A common pattern in my life has been an unwillingness and anxiety about showing genuine good feeling to others, and to sympathise with their point of view, with them as a whole person with an identity, orientation and meaning of their own in life. I have found ways to cope in social life by learning to skirt around the danger spots and sensitive areas in other people. But rarely do I achieve a positive identification with another. Because I need to keep some distance between me and others for some reason. As a result of this, and the levels of anxiety I always get in these situations, when ever they arise. (As they always do, as I have learned from recent reading of Colin Wilson on the psychology of Maslow and others, in which is shown that once some of our more basic physical needs are met in life we move towards the higher levels of pursuing meaning and self actualisation.) I find that I try to move away from the level of anxiety experienced when this is being asked of me by reverting to a more primal level of being. I do this in various ways, spend away all my possessions and money is one, break the things I own is another way, give up on a certain job, hobby or lifestyle is another way. The common theme is to force myself back in to a situation of having to face issues of physical necessity in my life, so I do not need to worry about the higher levels of being where love of others as people is required as part of the meaning of this domain, and where freely chosen obligations are made to others which you are responsible to stick to.

Don’t get me wrong, I have made some progress on these fronts for sure. But it is useful to see this pattern of reversion in more detail as to why it happens, and what I am doing, and why to me at the time, it could seem like a rational way out of the problem. The fact is I have to learn to face some of these anxieties I have in facing others as people. I need to keep on a forward moving path of spirituality towards better understanding of self and deeper levels of self actualisation in the world. I have to stop seeing life as something just to be survived as each crisis emerges, but as something within which to thrive.

For these insights I can thank some of the books I have read recently: Scruton, The Soul of the World. Regarding treating others as persons. Colin Wilson, New Pathways in Psychology, regarding the layers/pyramid of self actualisation. And Branded Mind, for showing me in its most basic form what is going on in my brain when I decide to turn away from others in the world, which is that its a simple matter of love and hate. And the more you think about things you hate, the more neuro connections in your brain tell you to move away from other people and from those things, and from the world. While the more you think about things you love, which doesn’t at this level mean anything complicated, platonic or sexual or altruistic or moral, or even selfish, it just means things that you find yourself moving towards, rather than moving away from, the more those neuro connections form in your brain, the more you find you can move towards the world and the things you love within it.

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