Belonging vs. Separation

We are all faced with a  ponderous paradox —> to be a separate Self (me), or to belong with others (we). I call this duality paradox the Primary Dualism. Primary in the sense that each of us must find a solution for this dualistic puzzle in order to have both a separate selfhood but also belong in relationships. Primary in the sense that if the Self does not find a solution to this belonging vs. separation paradox at the basal need level, how will it ever be possible to connect by attachment and affiliation with another person at deeper need levels? The primary dualism is the human predicament between me-or-we. Managing the Primary Dualism is coming to terms with our Self-interests that keep us separated from others. Handling the Primary Dualism is balancing-out the needs of the Self (selfish-gene) with the need to belong (social-gene). It is the struggle between the being-me and the belonging-we. The belonging vs. separation paradox is an intricate interweaving consolidation of Self-Needs with our Belonging-Needs. Erich Fromm underscores in the Art of Loving our deep human need to belong and to overcome our interpersonal separateness. (1956)

I value the following quotes related to our belonging vs. separation paradox: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?” (Hillel, 1st CBC)    “Our need for other people is paradoxical. At the same time that our culture is caught up in the celebration of fierce independence, we also yearn for intimacy and connection with a special loved.” (Dalai Lama, 1998)   “Oneness is bliss, separation is dangerous. And, yet we pull and pull and pull away. For the need to  become a separate self is as urgent as the yearning to merge forever.”  (Viorst, 1986) “In terms of  human relationships the majority of us  are still  living in the dark ages. We persist in   thinking that our own particular world  is the hub around which  the rest of  the universe revolves.  To get along with others we must learn to respect their worlds.”  (Ford, 1983)

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