We’re complex creatures, full of double-talk, misconceptions about ourselves and others, built-in hypocrisy, confusion and dissatisfaction. Do animals have these problems?
I ran across a THEE page about The Struggle for Power in Politics, where it says: “Being human seems to mean never feeling safe enough, valued enough, appreciated enough, wealthy enough, powerful enough and treated well enough.”
I guess that’s why the old saying about “a dog’s life” comes across as so wistful makes it seem so idyllic. Dogs don’t care. Does that mean the trick is apathy? Or, to philosophize it, should we just surrender, allow ourselves be blown about by the winds of fate and happenstance?
It’s all very Buddhist, and probably way too simple. Beyond that, we can’t help caring—about our endeavors, the people in our lives, our children, society at large, our money, etc.
For all of our complexity, we try so hard to simplify everything: “women are emotional; men are rational.” We torture ourselves with magical thinking: “If I can just get another job, or move to the beach, everything will suddenly be coming up roses.”
Perhaps the “trick” is realizing there are no tricks and no shortcuts to understanding relationships or leading a fulfilling, aware life of which healthy relationships are an integral part.
“What does THEE have to say about relationships?” you might ask, knowing full well that I’ll be coming to that eventually.
Well, that’s the thing, THEE is complicated. Why? Because THEE is us, and we’re complicated. THEE is contradictory dualities, balancing acts between freedom and constraint, changes through time, creativity in commitment (particularly in respect to significant others) and it separates—for the purpose of giving us a chance at understanding—things that are interrelated while acknowledging the unity of being human.
See my blog, “The Multidimensional Person,” for a discussion about this, but as an example, you might think that Interacting for Benefit contains all you need to know about getting along with the people in your life—and it so simply puts us all into one of seven categories!
Well, not so fast, because dealing with others also involves making decisions, alone or in a group. And given that the way in which people make decisions is a source of much conflict, it’s a huge factor. It’s going to be helpful to become aware of decision-making. Furthermore, any group that makes decisions has an element of politics as well.
THEE can help with relationships. But it’s not going to give you any answers. First of all, to use an analogy, if what is available on the THEE website is, say Venus, all that it is to be human is the entire solar system. Much more remains to be discovered than is currently accessible—and you are more than welcome to contribute.
What it can do is orient you toward reality. No magical thinking, no black and white answers, no stroking of your ego—just a plea for you to awaken your awareness of what’s really going on with you, the people in your life, the society you inhabit and the entire scope of humanity.
What kind of relationships can we realistically hope for if so many more of us wake up? Well, we here at the THEE Online Project call the next step toward this world the 21st Century Enlightenment.