Ongoing loving relationships offer the most opportunities for essence contact because of two factors: wide-openness (discussed earlier) and trust. Trust is important, and it is often both misread and misunderstood.
The Trust Trap. What part of us feels trust? Most of us judge trustworthiness with our adaptive (e.g., neurotic, false or skewed) personalities. If I have adapted to some fundamentalist religion, then that is what I will trust. If I grew up with abuse, in some ways I will feel safer and more comfortable with abuse than when I am treated with love. I cannot trust that which I fear. Therefore, because my adaptive personality fears my essence (my loving soul), I will not trust genuine love, genuine caring, or my/your essence as long as my adaptive personality remains strong.
The key person to trust is you. Without self-trust, which causes us to be wide open, perceived essence contact is most unlikely. Trust of the other person is not necessary, for if we trust ourselves enough, we can be in our own essence in the presence of strangers. That is why perceived essence contacts can take place when meeting a stranger on the street or during casual sex. (Note: people reading this book will often trust neither my words nor me, because I am pointing out ways for them to become more aligned with essence.)
"The problem life poses for the human self is to cleanse the dross of its being to the point where its infinite center can shine forth in full display." The World's Religions, (Smith, 1991, p. 22)
In an ongoing relationship, where fear is minimal for both partners, essence contact may happen regularly and often, whether or not there is sexual behavior. Most often, the actual essence contact is for a few seconds, but the ongoing lack of fear and obvious caring of both partners make for major alignment with essence most all the time. In my experience, the gender of the person being contacted has made no difference. Even though I am currently more gay than bisexual, essence contact has felt and does feel the same with both genders and is independent of sexual orientation or attraction. Essence contact happens most regularly between mothers and their babies, but is also relatively common in other relationships of adults with small children.
Once we start looking at two adults, however, there is usually too much adaptive personality for significant essence contact. Both observers and participants often misread infatuated relationships. They see the love (often mostly genuine), but not the fear that drives the infatuation. Significant infatuation prevents essence contact.
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "For example, loners often get little acceptance from society or even from many other therapists. Yet, for many loners, being alone is not only their preferred mode but their best mode."|