Interesting perspective from Charles, which feels like an accurate metaphor for the cultural blind alleys down which we have lost ourselves. Most of our social structures are predicated upon a parent/child relationship – hierarchical, authoritarian, external-locus based…. We are taught to judge, blame and punish (ourselves and others) – breeding alienation from our organismic experiencing, inward and outward division, separation, fear and isolation, in place of values around a sense of the sacredness of life, empathy, relational connection and compassion.
Many of us have a similar sense that it is time to awaken, time to grow up: to make the shifts into new paradigms founded on equality and loving presence, offered to ourselves and to other living beings/systems. The metaphor of a lover (as opposed to just two adults) is important, because it offers both elements – and both are needed. Equality, infused with a depth of love and commitment, are what support growth in relationship – whether or not that relationship has a sexual dimension.
Even where the relationship is actually one of parent and child, ‘conscious’ approaches to parenting share a fundamental respect for/valuing of the child’s unique personhood and internal locus. From this perspective, a recognition of ‘other as different/real/sacred’ infuses teaching; nurturing; setting boundaries; finding the balance points between caring for/protecting, and allowing enough space for self-determination and growth. In other words, conscious parenting is founded on a sense of our underlying equality as beings, despite temporal differences in needs, roles and responsibility. Parenting as a sacred trust (as is all relationship).
Carl Rogers observed – as we do at this service – that deep growth and expansion within an individual person inherently and inevitably radiate outwards in an enhancing way – relationally and socially. In the later phases of his life, he gave considerable attention to what person-centred might look like at fractals beyond the personal – for example, in terms of education, organizational structures, relations between nations. In this excerpt, Charles is looking at those same ideas at a still larger fractal – the relationship between the human race and the planet which supports us.
Here is the book, in which you will find Charles’ essay (and much else besides):-
Thank you to Jason Hine on Facebook for drawing our attention to this:-
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Counselling Exeter since 1994