Expansion Versus Contraction – The Nature of Being

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Perhaps today’s political polarization is an inevitable part of our human history. Cycles of expansion and contraction have characterized all eras of human history, ruling over the natural order of human evolution. Today Trump repeatedly asserts that in order to make America great again, “We must build a wall to keep out all who…” Perhaps this contractive statement is best understood through human nature itself.

We are born as infants, owing full debt to our primary caregiver, without whom survival is not feasible. We begin life in this contracted state of full dependence, unable to exercise our  will for anything but survival, unable to care for our developing emotional needs without risking that vital connection to caregiver. We learn quickly by embodied experience that we depend on our bond to whoever controls our destiny; we give of ourselves completely to appease their whims, their moods, their needs, lest they should reject us.

Life begins in a contractive state that compels us to identify with our need of connection for survival, that above any other self-need. Only as our nervous system (including our cognitive function) develops are we able to begin the journey into expansion by separation from our caregiver through the process of individuation (i.e. discovering our personality). We evolve by seeking definition between our self and those around us. We marvel at any small act of self-empowerment. For a young child, the impact of throwing a stone in the water and watching its ripple effect provides a thrill as the product of their unique effort. There is a first time where we experience our self as a cause rather than an effect, and this sets the wheel in motion; forever seeking greater autonomy. We develop a sense of self, gaining step-by-step sovereignty over our self… until the “effect” mistakes it self for “cause”. At some undefined point, the ever-expanding ego becomes confused, believing itself to be the “cause” of who we are rather than the “effect” of our need for self-expression. It is then that we are prone to becoming lost in egoic delusion. The moment our mind is deluded by the mistaken belief that we are our ego, (i.e. confusing subject and object); at that moment we re-enter the contractive state. We move away from potential self-realization by ceasing to see our individuation as a mechanism for self-expression, contained within the vaster experience of our soul.

Once the ego eclipses our primary connection to the wholeness of humanity, we have lost our power to connect with the infinite. Our source of power is the infinite in us. All that responds to expansiveness, that is open to creativity, growth, and gaining experience that lends meaning to our lives, serves in recognition of our humanity and our wholeness. The benign in us, is any aspect that holds self-limiting, self-judging beliefs, and exports its power to systems outside our self. The ego is clearly defined by the latter.

Yet we must not disparage the ego, for it is an essential part of our evolution, our transformation. We must acquire it in order to master it. All the events of our life are but opportunities for us to recognize the deceptive nature of the ego and grant us the wisdom to re-assert true control over what we are. Expansiveness must follow nature’s order in evolving; it must wrestle back control from its counter-point of contraction. Contraction remains as vital to our growth process as does expansion, since they represent the yin and yang of life. We cannot have one without the other. One serves the purpose of affirming the existence of the other.

 

Advice For Reclaiming Self-Power –

It is essential to appreciate your sense of individuality, love yourself for all the unique traits you embody today. Don’t stop at that however, remember your individuality is but an aspect of your wholeness, designated to reveal the fullness of your truth at a deeper, more profound level. You are a spiritual being living in a physical body. You needn’t be confined to the narrow limits of physical awareness. You have the potential of living from all that you are. Your wholeness exists through your spirit-nature where interconnectedness is our common birthright.

Through the highly social character of our human nature, we feel the power of connection through satisfaction and joy derived from all loving and compassionate relationships. We are buoyed by feelings of synchronicity with others. As we gain maturity, we practice attunement with others as our basis for emotional self-regulation. We gain comfort as we share breath through speech, feelings through touch, and energy through movement. The bliss of human interaction lies in the fine art of synchronization, just as the skillful hands of the conductor coax perfect symphonic harmony from disparate instruments.

The whole of who we are is infinitely more gratifying than the sum of our parts.

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