Symbolic Substitutes

6.10.12


Here's something to chew on . . . 

Symbolic Substitutes 
By now you are probably aware of this fundamental paradox in human nature: A part of us wants inner peace and transcendence, and another part of us actively fights against it. Each of us instinctively intuits our prior wholeness, the spiritual source that lies hidden within. We are born with an evolutionary implies that drives us towards the fulfillment of our greatest potential. If you have ever felt a "calling," an inner urge to be something more, it is the evolutionary implies sparking you toward unfoldment. This drive is as real and as demanding as the inborn drive to eat, drink, or procreate. At the same time, however, the ego seeks to maintain its condition of separateness and aloneness. It fears its own annihilation because true fulfillment entails the healing of our separation, the integration of the ego into its original function - the health maintenance of our unique sense of "I." 
Because of this basic dichotomy, we seek transcendence in ways that actually prevent it. When we desire something too difficult to attain, we reach for the closest approximation, a symbolic substitute. If we lack personal power, we may seek money and influence as a substitute for this quality. If we lack stability and roots, we may build a lavish home to overcome our sense of insecurity. If we feel a lack of meaning or excitement in life, we may turn to food as the best available substitute. It is a brilliant strategy of the mind to reach for substitutes when we cannot acquire what we really want. Why not reach for food when we are feeling lonely, or search through the refrigerator when life is a little dull? Substitutes can serve as a useful purpose in our day-to-day existence. Yet they work against us when we hold them exclusively as a means for true fulfillment. 
Nourishing Wisdom, by Marc David.


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