The Spiritual Breathing: Ascents And Descents
Question: You said that it is very important for a person to be in harmony with the rhythm of nature’s breathing: inhalation and exhalation. Psychology examines the process of psychological “breathing,” the so-called “splitting,” when a person’s “Self” seems to break into pieces. Afterwards, thanks to this splitting, a person can once again assemble his “Self” and so on. He does this independently, trying to assemble himself anew every time. Gradually, it becomes more difficult for him to do it, which leads to depression.
Answer: A person becomes depressed because he constantly needs to overcome himself for G-d knows what—just to rid himself of bad feelings, despair, and emptiness. Whereas in integral upbringing, he has a clear goal relative to which the spiritual breathing takes place. As one gets closer to the goal, he inhales, which means that he feels the oneness, senses its greatness, the power it gives him, admiration, and inspiration.
Then a person needs to exhale because otherwise he will not be able to go on. He needs to reveal new emptiness, new negative qualities in himself, in order to once again become one with them and attain unity with everyone, in other words, to move on to a new phase of breathing.
This kind of inhaling and exhaling happens to every participant in the group, usually through some interesting contact between them. There are periods when every participant has his own movement, his own frequency of ascents and descents. And there are periods when the group has special events: picnics, gatherings, and conventions, that is, very serious moments of unity, for which everyone prepares and where everyone participates. These ascents are also followed by certain descents.
There are different descents: descents into bad states and descents into states of indifference. Bad states are better because they pass more quickly and sharply.
States of indifference can last a long time. This requires somehow arousing people in one direction or another. As a rule, they must be aroused in a good direction and never in a bad one since they might fall into an even worse state. In any case, the key is to bring them out of a dead state.
Question: What does it mean, “into a good state?”
Answer: Good state means towards unity. But in general, there are periods when these ups and downs happen in unison in the group, and there are periods when this happens in people individually in their own time, with their own frequency, and so on.
However, only the entire group can help a person. It must inspire and help, it can even obligate him. It can literally pull a person out of bed as there are different cases of depression. In general, the group has the ability to stimulate a person in a positive manner without pressuring him—if it is a real group.
A person can say: “Leave me alone! I do not want to be friends with you at this time.” And this needs to be respected, and a person needs to be left alone. Let him experience the entire state. He will be back anyway. People return as a rule. If not, he still needs to be observed and invited at the right time.
We need to understand that there is no other way! Maybe pride is getting in his way: “You want me to come back?!” We need to show him that we want him, need him, that is, help him come back.
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #11, 12/16/11
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