Dear Inner Circle,

The more we become masters of experience, the less is our power to enter into relation. We live in an age that has turned our spirit into a means of enjoyment for the self. That which ought to be supple and flexible, to make connections with others, has hardened and divided the world into the realm of feelings and the realm of all other things. Our ingrown spirits, like ingrown toenails, keep us focused upon that which, if we were well, would be of no consequence. With our heads up our bums, constantly analysing how we feel about matters past, we become easy as sheep to manage and we’re inclined to buy anything or sign up for anything when someone proclaims, “I’m excited”.

There is nothing much more human than a conversation. Believe it or not, I think they are a rare thing. There is a lot of “syllable exchange” – you give me 20 syllables and I’ll give you 20 syllables and we’ll be satisfied while the count is even. There is no lack of talking, selling, sharing of how we feel, telling off and unloading, but not a lot of conversation. I’ve become quite used to sitting in a group where people are facing one another and conducting three of four unrelated chats. What a miracle when among all the talk, a conversation takes place. I had a conversation with a young man yesterday who walked into my office and said, “I’ve lost my ‘mojo’”. We began with the familiar theme of, “If I don’t feel good, something must be dreadfully wrong”. As he extracted his focus from his inner life and we looked around, it became clear that an important relationship was rocky and needed some investigation and repair. I believe this young man couldn’t diagnose his troubled relationship because he couldn’t entertain the idea that it might end, yet he was almost already blaming himself for the failure that was yet to occur, or which might never occur.

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