Tomorrow will be our 6th year together. I like documenting our relationship as the years go by, because everything is always changing. I feel tremendously grateful that despite all the shifting variables…
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Joyce says that you put a frame around it and see it first as one thing, and that, in seeing it as one thing, you then become aware of the relationship of part to part, each part to the whole, and the whole to each of its parts. This is the essential, aesthetic factor—rhythm, the harmonious rhythm of relationships. And when a fortunate rhythm has been struck by the artist, you experience a radiance. You are held in aesthetic arrest. That is the epiphany.
The peak experience refers to actual moments of your life when you experience your relationship to the harmony of being. My own peak experiences, the ones that I knew were peak experiences after I had them, all came in athletics.
It says that we’re in two worlds. We’re in our own world, and we’re in the world that has been given us outside, and the problem is to achieve a harmonious relationship between the two. I come into this society, so I’ve got to live in terms of this society. It’s ridiculous not to live in terms of this society because, unless I do, I’m not living. But I mustn’t allow this society to dictate to me how I should live. One has to build up one’s own system that may violate the expectations of the society, and sometimes society doesn’t accept that. But the task of life is to live within the field provided by the society that is really supporting you. A point comes up—for instance, a war, where the young men have to register for the draft. This involves an enormous decision. How far are you going to go in acceding to what the society is asking of you—to kill other people whom you don’t know? For what? For whom? All that kind of thing.
The greater the congruence of experience, awareness and communication on the part of one individual, the more the ensuing relationship will involve: a tendency toward reciprocal communication with a quality of increasing congruence; a tendency toward more mutually accurate understanding of the communications; improved psychological adjustment and functioning in both parties; mutual satisfaction in the relationship.
If you really understand another person in this way, if you are willing to enter his private world and see the way life appears to him, without any attempt to make evaluative judgments, you run the risk of being changed yourself. You might see it his way, you might find yourself influenced in your attitudes or your personality. This risk of being changed is one of the most frightening prospects most of us can face.
But being himself doesn’t “solve problems.” It simply opens up a new way of living in which there is more depth and more height in the experience of his feelings; more breadth and more range. He feels more unique and hence more alone, but he is so much more real that his relationships with others lose their artificial quality, become deeper, more satisfying, and draw more of the realness of the other person into the relationship.