One of the key tenants of the school of philosophy to which I vaguely give allegiance (Existentialism) argues effectively that there is no such thing as the “autonomous individual” – that all Being is intrinsically “Being-In-Relation”.
At the heart of every one of our cells is that truth – our dna is half the code of one human that is “in relation” with half the code from another human. At our chemical core we are a community of two but also the expression of a community of survivors stretching back roughly three billion years.
Being-In-Relation. That is our Being. Intrinsically connected. Our development from newborn to adult requires connection – the quality of the connection we are given has a powerful impact on how we develop and how much of our genetic potential is undermined or supported and released.
In strange ways we are also in relationships with our self.
We are “self aware” – we are aware that we are thinking, we even “watch” or “listen” to our self think. Have you ever thought about how wonderful and strange that is? If I am listening to my self think, who is the “I” who is listening? Of course some argue that this is just a verbal trick and that the grammar we use to construct such sentences mislead us into thinking some actual reality is being expressed, when it is not. Huh, personally I am not convinced by that argument, but I can’t disprove it either. 🙂
If we are lucky we get to share connection with awesome people who inspire us, feed us, enrich us and empower us.
It is a nice moment when someone experiences ME as the person who inspires, feeds, enriches or empowers THEM. It is never expected but it is truly sweet and wonderful when it happens.
Being-in-Relation is not a one way flow – we are all part of an astonishingly complex web of relationships, we are putting our gold out into the web, where it flows far out of our sight, and the gifts that others have released into relationships far from us come to us humble, nameless and no less enriching for that anonymity.
Our different cultures will probably have many similar but different and different but similar models and concepts of how to relate together. When I travel, this is one of the areas I am always curious about – so much to learn about what is possible for me as a human by watching those who are not like me.