I began to initiate in-depth conversations with friends who were very much interested in psychology, who read widely in the field and/or were pursuing degrees in counseling. I wanted to know what they had discovered about themselves in their introspection. I was eager to know if they had initiated dialogue with their Inner Wisdom.
One said he knew there was something inside that wanted his attention but he was determined not to engage it in conversation. And he most certainly would not give it any part of his conscious control. He describes himself, however, as the rich young ruler in Scripture (Matt 19:16-22)–full of sorrow at his own situation.
Another friend readily admitted that for her life was not worth living because she could not have what she yearns for. She has closed her mind to the possibility that life can hold something even more valuable than what seems beyond her reach. She rejects the possibility that an Inner Wisdom has a gift for her and teeters on the verge of suicide.
Still another will not allow himself to believe that new life is a possibility. What he wants it to be is so far removed from where he is now that he can’t imagine getting there even if ‘there’ were a reality. He refuses to engage in conversation with his Inner Wisdom.
A fourth intellectually understands that the process of wholeness requires a crisis where the old self is sloughed off and the new/real self emerges. She is, however, unwilling to allow the crisis to come on its own schedule. She is determined to effect the process by controlling the crisis and causing it to produce mini-crises. She fears loss of family and friends if she risks letting her inner forces have their way with her.
All four are highly intelligent adults who have suffered greatly. Most seem to know what is needed to achieve wholeness but will not let themselves experience the existential yearning for new life that lies deep within each of us—a yearning so strong that, once discovered, is willing to give up control (in the form of permission) in order to let a force beyond our control give us new life—in all its abundance.
Perhaps for some of us being in control is more important than being whole.