Question: The majority of people aren’t capable of expressing their thoughts and desires. They simply have a collection of some prescribed clichés. A person doesn’t think about self-expression and instead is concerned with avoiding saying something inappropriate.
In the course of integral education, can we talk about how important one’s inner self-expression is since whatever one feels, thinks, and sees is more critical than the collection of stereotypes and clichés?
Answer: I approach the world seeing that everyone has blinders on: People are unsociable, they don’t want and are afraid to open up because they will immediately receive a negative reaction.
In this regard, we need to leave them alone. Let every person live “inside himself” just the way that they are. We don’t need to break him, don’t need to drag him, kicking and screaming, out of his “cage.” He doesn’t want to come out, yet you open the door, break it down, and drag him out of there, while the miserable fellow digs in his heels and refuses to leave.
This is not good. Through this you invoke resistance, and people stop trusting you. You barge into a person’s private life making it neither lighter nor better, just more difficult. This person spent their entire life hiding, he or she knows that opening up means making oneself vulnerable. And here you are, pressuring them.
What needs to be done? We need to create a common integral level above the person, above us, and then we will be able to peacefully ascend onto it. I remain as myself with my own qualities, but at the same time I connect with the others on this common level. I can talk about general love, general interaction, and universal mutual guarantee because in this case they are not egoistic and personal to me. We are not touching egoism yet.
It is as if you’re taking them on an adventure on a magic helicopter and they participate in this game. They agree to ascend, agree to play, agree to interact. This isn’t forcing them to open up and allowing themselves to be vulnerable; it doesn’t pose a threat to their narrow inner egoism.
Allow them to gradually feel this state through, to exist and linger in it for some time. Let them warm up in it a little, to thaw, “squeeze,” and “probe” each other, to understand that this is possible. Then, from within this state, they will begin to influence themselves on their own and you will see that they’re different.
They will suddenly discover that they don’t need to take care of this “cage” in which they exist and in which they constantly hid from the others; it stopped being important to them. But this is something that they’ll decide on their own.
Question: In that case what should we talk to a person about?
Answer: About the goal, about what’s ahead of us. We need to exalt the goal so that goodness beckons us forward instead of evil pushing us from behind. Precisely this!
A person develops when you feed them, when you take care of them. Then he becomes “plump,” like a child, and grows. He requires the kindest possible impressions.
From a “Talk About Integral Education” #8, 12/14/11