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 opens two more ways of relating: as a part to the whole, and as a whole to its parts.
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. Our languages are not used to the last two relations, ‘trans-‘ and ‘intro-‘ relations, and it can be a bit strange at first to think along these lines. However, when you get, and experience them, you will understand how precise these words are in relation to the experiences, and they will open up a new way of perceiving the world.
Relating Between, Beyond and Inwards
The Wider Embraces method opens a gate to relating to everything I’m a part of directly, in the present moment. Our knowledge about the Embrace and how we are connected works like bridges to enter into the relation. It wasn’t so easy to rest in the Embrace of Humanity before we got connected through modern technology.
Below I’ll explain this in more detail and the terms we use to talk about these different relations. Then we will move on into the qualities of conditional and unconditional relationships.
Interrelations – Me and Other
Interrelations are what we usually speak of as relations. It’s me here and the rest of the world out there, separate from me.
The term interrelation comes from the Latin word inter meaning between, as in international.
Most of us relate to everything in this objective way, regardless of whether we are separate or we are 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 is relating.
We use symbols, representations and abstractions to relate to both Embraces we belong to and the ones to which we don’t belong. 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 usually interrelate to them, treating them as an ‘it, out there’, rather than a subjective ‘we in here’. Our language and habitual sense of self is set up to support this illusory separation.
The world is out there.
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 clearly 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
Transrelations are our relations to our wider Embraces; Belonging to everything we are a part of.
The term transrelation comes from the Latin word trans meaning beyond, as in transcending.
I become aware of the Embrace
I sense it, I rest in it
Introrelations – Me to My Parts
Introrelations are the relations Embraces have to their parts. Embracing all its parts, unconditionally.
The term introrelation comes from the Latin word intro meaning to the inside, as in introvert. This is the mirror relation of the transrelation.
This is where the Wider Embraces method takes it one step further, and it is where everyday language has less traction to describe or report the experience. In the transrelation, I am still me, a human being, inside a wider Embrace. Moving into the introrelational, I take the perspective as the Embrace, shifting who is aware, shifting from the person I was to a larger me. From this perspective, I relate to all my parts, including the person taking the perspective. I experience the entire embrace as the subject of my experience, and me, the person I was, is no longer central to the experience, just one part amongst all the other parts which I am.
The most surprising insights and the most profound healing occurs in the introrelational, when I, as the whole, am embracing my parts.
I am my parts and they are me.
Separation is not possible.
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
Here and now.
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 intense because there is nothing there to compare it with, no relationality.
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.
Being nowhere and everywhere
Being no one and everyone
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, more about that later.
Conditional and Unconditional Relations
The experience of unconditional qualities is one of the most significant and healing aspects during a Wider Embraces session. To rest in the Embrace of the Biosphere, Humanity, or any other Embrace, and feel that I belong, unconditionally, is something I wish everyone on the planet would have access to. It is a home-coming, a reintegration with dimensions of our self that we have forgotten.
It took a long time to figure out the source of the unconditional dimension. The key was to realise that unconditional is the norm, and conditional relations are rare exceptions. To relate conditionally, you need to be able to perceive the world, process the information, remember the past and imagine a future. Most things in the Universe don’t.
Irrefutable Relations – No Way to be Kicked Out
I can’t change what species I belong to or which galaxy I live in so for me the Embrace of Humanity and the Milky Way are unconditional in the sense that there is no way for me, as a single human being, to leave them. I will live and die inside them.
It’s one thing to know this intellectually, another to rest in the Embrace, and experience the unconditional belongingness first hand. Or to lean out and be the Embrace, holding all my parts, unconditionally, because they are me.
No Memory or Intention – No Past and Future
Because the Embraces lack processing capacity, they are always only now. Their memory is the present moment and the way their parts are right now. There is no thinking about the future nor intentions to change.
Intentionally Being in the Now – No Judgement
As a human being, I can move into the intellectual position of accepting everything as it is. Focusing on this present moment. It’s me being aware right now, letting go of my mental images.
I guess one reason some of us love to meet new people and travel, is because it propels us into the present with no preconceived images. This may also be why we love activities where all of us have to be present, like dancing, gaming or climbing.
Love and the Unconditional
At the beginning of the development of the Wider Embraces concept, we used the term “unconditional love”. But we found that the word “love” has too many connotations, so we skipped it. But the unconditional has a lot in common with what we call “love”.
I love to be loved because I’m special – Conditionally
I love to be loved without being special – Unconditionally
Next part: Perspectives – See as the Embraces