NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

April 19, 2013

Health and Well Being: Living psychologically

(Continued)

Nothing could be further from the truth. Our psychology involves forces that are often in conflict. If we deny and avoid these conflicts and contradictions, we cut ourselves off from important parts of who we are.

There is an art and science to learning how to creatively work with all parts of ourselves. In doing so, we generate self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is the basis of a high quality and healthy life. The difference between living with, or without, self-knowledge is the difference between driving at night with your lights on or off.

The ancient Greeks understood the need to cultivate a balanced and harmonious relationship with the gods. The gods of the ancient Greeks were not in the sky. The Greek gods were the forces at play in human psychology, personified as gods.

By believing the false-to-fact assumption that we should be only one stable identity, we cut ourselves off from many of the “gods” and so from the deeper parts of our lives.

These deeper parts are the realm of soul and spirit. A life of depth and meaning is a life of inner work and self-understanding. If we live at the surface, we can get caught in the American hypnotic trance that money is the way to keep score in life.

A life filled with boatloads of money and material things is not necessarily the good life. However financially wealthy we might become, if we live in a surface identity the size of a postage stamp, without access to our depths, we’ll wind up living poorly.

Our “psychological problems” can be coded messages that we are not living true to our heart. If we’re confined in an ego identity too small for who we deeply are, then we can’t create a life that can be well lived, loved and understood.

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