In a quantum perspective, relating is our nature. We are part of the cosmic connection of the universe and when we’ve ruptured connecting, the human problem ensues.
The authors state:
“We posit that for ALL (emphasis added) human beings, a threatening event occurs in the child-caretaker Space-Between. An intrusive or neglectful caretaker, or both, ruptures the child’s resonance which, in turn, fractures our cosmic connecting, and the sensation of full aliveness, joyful relaxation and wonder is replaced with anxiety, initiating the human problem.” (p.101)
Basically, all of us at some point, experienced this connectional rupture, and that disconnect triggers anxiety which is then converted into anger and depression.
“Imago theory points to connectional rupture as the root cause of all dysfunction. … The loss of capacity for social engagement produces the feeling of a separate self that is so emotionally isolated and defended that it mirrors the separate self of classical psychotherapy. In fact, they may be the same.” (p.101) Isn’t that interesting?
However, the author’s insist: “We think it is possible to give the story a new ending: to finish childhood as it should have been, thus breaking the transgenerational cycle of nurturing failures by restoring and sustaining connecting”. (p.103) How? In a conscious relationship.
Why does disconnect occur?
They explore two ways: nurturing deficits and repressive socialization. Nurturing deficits show up because none of us is perfect; your parents weren’t perfect; you are not perfect; I am not perfect. And this is not about blaming parents. All parents do the best they can do but we just haven’t figured out yet how to meet all of our children’s needs all of the time. And remember, it is always the subjective perception of the child that determines if something is missing or not.
Repressive socialization shows up when the needs of society come up against the desires and needs of the individual. Think of messages you might have received around the human functions of thinking, feeling, acting and sensing that weren’t very encouraging.
- Thinking – Don’t think that way. Listen to me, not yourself.
- Feeling – You shouldn’t feel …. Or don’t cry etc.
- Acting – Do what I tell you. What you did was stupid.
- Sensing – Don’t indulge your senses
You get the idea. Caretaker/parents are just doing their job – keeping the child alive and out of trouble, and although they do their best, often their messages match the messages they received as children themselves. “In effect, we grow up with the understanding that it is not acceptable to be who we are.” (p.104)
Consequences of Ruptured Connecting
The authors highlight four: Anxiety and the development of character defenses, the birth of desire, self-absorption and they spend a long time on symbiosis and the resultant loss of empathy and objectification – the inability to see others as human but rather as ‘objects’.
Anxiety and the development of character defenses
“Danger triggers adaptive defenses … Anger is our protest against our potential demise, and depression is our submission to its possibility.” (p.106) Two common defenses are maximizing and minimizing which they go on to explain in some detail.
The birth of desire
“When anxiety is triggered by connectional rupture, desire is born, desire of the restoration of the wavicle nature (in a quantum universe everything is both particle and wave – i.e. wavicle) we had in the original condition of connection and the sensation of joyful aliveness that was lost with its rupture. We see this as the quest of ‘everyone’ … Anxiety and desire are not indigenous to humans; they replace full aliveness, joy, and wonder which are our original condition.” (p.108)
“Ruptured connecting is so exquisitely painful that we cannot avoid turning in towards ourselves and become self-absorbed. Self-absorption is a necessary element of self defense. In the self-absorbed state, energy is diverted away from engaging with others, causing us to focus instead on our pain, on our own subjective (and often distorted) reality.” (p.109)
“The self-absorption that is operative in defending ourselves leads to yet another barrier to intimacy: symbiosis, which is a lack of awareness of the separate, subjective reality of others. It is symbiosis that lies at the core ruptured connecting. It is symbiosis, therefore, that is responsible for the lion’s share of human relationship problems.” (p.109)
“The basic operating premise of the symbiotic mind is that ‘my’ world is ‘the’ world.” (p.110) “In couple relationships, symbiosis manifests as the belief that one’s own reality must also be the reality of one’s partner.” (p.112)
Symbiosis leads to loss of empathy and to treating others as ‘objects’.
“While symbiosis may be the universal human disease, the tragic consequence of the emotional/cognitive isolation is the loss of empathy, the capacity to experience the inner states of other human beings and distinguish them from our own.”(p.113)
And “although controversial, prolific research tends to concur that empathy (the natural capacity to experience others as they experience themselves in moment-to-moment interactions) is an innate human capacity that is built into the hardware of the human brain, called mirror neurons.” (p.113)
And finally, “Self-absorption, emotional symbiosis, and loss of empathy contribute to our inability to see others as humans, so we objectify them. When they become ‘objects’ to us, they are no longer human, and we can treat them as we wish. This is the source of our most grievous sins, prejudice, racism, manipulation, devaluation, inequality – you name it! Paradoxically, the dehumanization of another person dehumanizes oneself.” (.114)