Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quote from "Being-In, Being-For, Being-With" by Clark Moustakas

This is from the "Introduction" of Moustakas' book, Being-In, etc.:

The aim is to evoke a human presence, a freedom to enter into peaks and valleys of experience, courage to walk through darkness and traverse shadows of life itself. To achieve these aims, one must become internally alive, embrace one's own perceptions and senses, and face whatever appears in one's awareness and understanding--the imponderable and unknown regions of the self that inevitably occur in individual and communal living.

To Be-In means to cherish one's inner light, to stand out, as a unique being and to know others and life from the substance of one's own unique self.

To Be-For ones self requires that the person stand by her or his own values, convictions, and beliefs and not to be swayed or manipulated by outside opinions, expectation, or demands. Being-For oneself means to support one's own creations and communications and to affirm one's own identity, one's feelings, one's choices and preferences. To Be-For is to confirm oneself. At no time does this have more immediate power and danger than when one is alone, on a private path, at a time when one is not being confirmed by anyone else. Being-For means daring to gaze inward and finding strength in self-resources and self-expressions. In Being-For oneself one remains with one's own perceptions and views; the evidence of one's own senses guides one in pursuit of the truth [this is what Clark means by heuristic eduction, learning from one's own experiences].

In Being-For oneself the person takes cues from the resources and possibilities of the self, from inner tendencies, leanings, interests, and tacit self-resources.

To Be-With oneself is a way of facing the polarities of one's world, a process of realizing hat each contrasting component represents a legitimate voice and that the challenge is to find a place of harmony and balance among the diversity of possibilities and actualities, opposing views, inner tensions, and contrary ideas [sounds like healthy Taoism to me....all all all is in the Tao]. To Be-With is a way of talking to oneself, of facing the fears and doubts of existence as well as the enticements and attractions of life, listening to the inner silences and words, and daring to cope with the strains of freedom and imprisonment. To Be-With is to accept and let be the forces of darkness and light, discovery and mystery, joy and sorrow, life and death.

Being-In oneself and in the world of others, Being-For oneself and for life, and Being-With oneself and with others are ways of being open to the possibilities of creative life, of being receptive to new rhythms, and of finding ways of expressing individuality, wholeness, and essence.

Truth in Being-In, -For, and -With becomes a form of self-other discovery, an heuristic process leading authentically to I and Thou. Each reality holds shapes and patterns and exists in its own terms; each leads to the freedom to explore regions of mind, heart, and soul or to be blocked by roles, rules, and expectations...

Salmon Rushdie (1992) emphasizes the imperative of holding to one's own reality, to the truth and freedom of one's own self.

"Our lives teach us who we are. I have learned the hard way that when you permit anyone else's description of reality to supplant your own--and such descriptions have been raining down on me, from security advisers, governments, journalists, Archbishops, friends, enemies, mullahs--then you might as well be dead. Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried is rather more vulnerable. Yet I must cling with all my might to my own soul; must hold on to its mischievous, iconoclastic, out-of-step clown instincts, no matter how great the storm. And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've live in that messy ocean all my life." [p.85]

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