Our usual way of relating to the world goes something like this: ‘I’m here, and everything else is out there separate from me. The Wider Embraces method unfolds two more ways of relating: as a part to the whole, and as a whole to its parts.
Interrelational, Transrelational and Introrelational
I call these three ways of relating interrelational, transrelational and introrelational. It’s the best wording I’ve found and they fit well with the Latin origin of the words.
- Interrelation from the Latin word inter meaning between, as in international.
- Transrelation from the Latin word trans meaning beyond, as in transcending.
- Introrelation from the Latin word intro meaning to the inside, as in introvert.
Our languages are not set up for ‘trans-‘ and ‘intro-‘ relations, and it can be a bit strange at first to think along these lines. However, when you start to experience them, they will open up a new way of perceiving the world.
Interrelations – Me and Other
The world is out there.
Most of us relate to everything in this way, regardless of whether we are separate or actually a part of it. We tend to imagine our friends, family, organisations or country as an ‘it out there’, an external object separate from us. We also frequently relate to things like our feet or our gut bacteria as separate from ‘me’, the person who ‘have’ them.
I relate in the same way to Denmark and Sweden even though I am Swedish and not Danish; both are conceptual abstractions in my mind, and I treat them as an ‘it out there’. However, I’m inside Sweden and outside Denmark. Our language and habitual sense of self is set up to support this illusory separation.
We see Nature as Separate from Us
How we look at the Biosphere is the most significant example of this illusory separation. We call it ‘nature’ and talk about it as something separate from us. We, the humans, are here, and nature is over there. When in fact we are all part of the Biosphere. We are in it and from it, completely immersed, yet we hold it off conceptually ‘as if’ we were separate.
Relating to a ‘You’ or a ‘We’
Our relations to a ‘You’ or to a ‘We’ are also often experienced as separate, as interrelations, although they have a more intimate quality, and they can act as a bridge to a transrelation.
Transrelations – Me to the Whole
I become aware of the Embrace
I sense it, I rest in it
Transrelations are our relations to everything we belong to, to our wider Embraces. We experience ourselves as fully embedded. Belonging to everything we are a part of. This is a relaxing and healing relation.
Introrelations – Me to My Parts
I am my parts and they are me.
Separation is not possible.
Introrelations are the relations Embraces have to their parts. Embracing all its parts, unconditionally. This is where the Wider Embraces method takes it one step further, and it is where everyday language lack words to describe the experience.
I’m a part of me
In a transrelation, me to the wider, I am still a person. Moving into the introrelational, I shift my first-person perspective and become the Embrace, shifting from the person I was to a wider me. From this perspective, I relate to all my parts, including the person taking the perspective. I experience the entire Embrace as me, and the person I was, is no longer central to the experience. The ‘me’ is just one part amongst all the other parts which I am.
Trans-Introrelations – Always Both Ways
If there is a transrelation, there is an introrelation. It’s one relation with two directions; from the parts to the whole and from the whole to its parts. We call this a trans-introrelation.
If you have been to a jazz club and listened to a group improvising, you’ve probably seen a trans-introrelation in action; music being played by the group, with individual flavours but not by separate musicians. each member is simultaneously experiencing and expressing themselves as the whole, and as the part making a unique contribution. The same if you have been training a martial art on a higher level; you and your partner moving as one.
Stillness – No Relation
Being nowhere and everywhere
Being no one and everyone
So far we’ve been talking about relations with a direction; sideways, outwards or inwards. In the Stillness, you have no direction, only here and now — pure being.
In stillness, there is not even a relation to myself, so it doesn’t matter from what perspective I enter into Stillness. There is no difference between being still as this human being, or as the Embrace of the Universe. They are just as vast and intimate because there is nothing there to compare with, no relations.
Sometimes Stillness can be confused with one of the wider Embraces, especially the larger physical, because the timescale and size are so vast, they seem to be still. So the quality can be experienced as very much the same, but they differ when it comes to insights and alignment.
Stillness is a bridge, a place where everything coincides. Now.
All Relations at Once
We always “relate” in all directions, including stillness. But we can only be aware of one at a time, due to perspective blindness.
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