|Posted by Peter Gross,LCSW on September 22, 2017 at 4:50 PM|
The way of transcending the world
Exists in passing the world right through.
It is not necessarily in severing ties
With others and fleeing the world altogeth
The means of understanding one’s mind
Exists in using the mind completely.
It is not ecessarily in cutting off from desires
And turning the mind to ashes.
- Hung Ying-ming
Most of my clients come to therapy because they want to find a way to severe their ties to anxiety and depression. There is a strong desire for relief from their pain and a return to happiness. These are reasonable goals and our work begins with the intent of feeling better. We have to begin with understanding the feelings and meanings associated with the emotional pain. What is it like to be anxious or depressed. The basic assumptions we have about ourselves are usually very subtle and exist as givens in our mind. The assumptions about self worth are often connected to feeling happy or content. Any negative feelings or distracting worries are considered to be indicators of incompetence or failure. To use our mind completely involves all of our feelings and experiences. To be curious about our reactivity creates new opportunities for learning. The extreme strategies of isolation, avoidance, and denial have the capacity to turn our mind to ashes. We become trapped in the all-or-none thinking that actually increases our sorrow, shame, and fears. Transcending the world is not abandoning the world, rather it is gaining a richer and more fulfilling perspective of ourselves and others.