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On being/feeling 'different'.....

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  • Bob M.
    I ve had a grand ah-ha experience very similar to the one reported below while watching a parade with my dad when I was around 6-7. And not only was it a
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2006
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      I've had a 'grand ah-ha experience' very similar to the one reported
      below while watching a parade with my dad when I was around 6-7. And
      not only was it a 'birth of self-consciousness' (or one of several),
      but also like Mr. Keen, it was too the realization (though it was a
      rather terrifying one in my case) that I was also very *different*
      from ALL those around me. And while I coped fairly well (though
      surely not without considerable suffering from time to time) from
      then on half-realizing that I was living largely among the dead, the
      wounded, and the broken, at 36 I was (re)awakened to the full and
      absolute realization that this was in fact the awful case. And the
      many different rose-colored glasses that helped get me safely through
      it all and into adulthood finally had to go, along with the bottle
      and a lot of other things too.

      "Where does my story, or yours, begin? When I trace the roots of my
      being, at what point do I distinguish between 'my' self and the soil
      in which I was planted? When can I first say 'I am'?.....I could
      begin with the birth of self-consciousness. One day, when I was nine
      years old, I was walking down Court Street in Maryville, Tennessee.
      Near the bottom of the hill, fifteen feet from an apple tree, on a
      part of the sidewalk that was smooth enough for skating, I knew
      suddenly and with blinding clarity that I was different than my
      parents, my brothers and sisters, and my playmates. Self-
      consciousness descended on me like a hawk. In a sense, I might date
      the origin of my self from this moment.....But my consciousess was
      swaddled in a cradle made by nature and culture long before I knew
      myself to be a person apart from others. I was neither
      father, mother, nor architect of my own being. No self-made man. I
      grew like a seed in humus that was composted of the residue of
      generations. A nexus of communication of the living and the dead wove
      the tissue of my mind and body. My individuality was born from a web
      of life too intricate to unravel. Thinking back on the context that
      created me, I can only conclude that I must start my story with this
      affirmation: I was loved; therefore I am. As Martin Buber put it, "In
      the beginning was relationship"." Sam Keen - 'The Passionate Life:
      Stages of Loving'.

      Bob M.
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