In the beginning… I suffered.
It is a highly evidenced fact human life exists as a multi-sensory experience, an experience most of us believe to be accurate at the individual level. I intend to approach multiple views of this experience while writing a single draft of creation. The thought is intimidating, but I trust the reader to help me by keeping an open mind and even more by possessing a heart that is equally, if not more receptive.
Let’s begin with a conversation about development. There is an entire universe to navigate in the discussion of human development, and I expect I shall make the mistake of finding too much of it in some ways and not enough in others. I will likely go too deep here and completely miss something there, but I ask you to remember dear reader what I present to you here is not about a complete thought. It is something more profound than the realm of thought. It is a concept, a study, an exploration into what might be. The full realization of it, I believe we will make together by the individual pieces we bring. Wherever our journey takes us, what I desire most in my part is that I represent you well.
If I am to begin this discussion anywhere, it must be with the experience of suffering in early development and what the Sufi might call our ‘journey away from the beloved.’ The condition of suffering associated with early development is inherent in all new life. We all begin our journey here, vulnerable. I lived most of my life feeling powerless, and I see now how feeling powerless created for me an equivalent state of suffering. I also realize how coming to an accurate understanding of power has ended my suffering.
Many of our species are experiencing the same state of unnecessary suffering I experienced and with it a feeling of having little or no power to change it. Throughout this study, I hope to reveal the genuinely powerless position we experience during our early stages of development and how that state often continues to exist throughout a person’s life, as the experience of suffering.
Regardless of our upbringing, be it kind and supportive or something significantly less, we are all small in our beginnings. We are all vulnerable, and we are entirely dependent on the world around us. We are powerless.
We are also absorptive.
While absorption is critical for early survival, it is the thing that also has the potential to devastate our life experience in the long term. What saves us is also potentially what kills us.
In the early chapters of this book, I hope to reveal an understanding of what it means to be powerless. I will share experiences from my own life, demonstrating the suffering inherent to being vulnerable. I will also introduce the initial steps of recognizing power. My beginnings naturally expose the potential of suffering in both the state of vulnerability created by the need for an ‘Externalized Source’ and the potentially equal but not same suffering that occurs with the ‘Absence of Source.’
While this first book series is at times dark and not the one I would have you hold as the accurate representation of my craft, it is honest in its depiction of my beginning. It is where, if I am to be exact, I must begin.
When we are born, we are highly sensitive observational beings. Being this, we are incredibly open to sensory impress. Our initial experiences of life—what I consider to be the first six weeks after birth—can be overwhelming at a neural level. As adults, we are often taught to condition our children to adapt to the overload, but this might be our initial mistake. It is my premise that sensory impression is the driving force of all neurotransmitter activity in the brain. To temper our ability to fully perceive our surroundings is to limit our potential. Being desensitized during the early stages of development is likely the first in many contributing factors to the poor health and well-being we experience as a species today.
As we move beyond the experience of early infancy, we begin to live in a constant state of observation and not just the visual, audio, kinesthetic observation we would typically consider. We are in touch with our feeling body, and our experiences are not just telling us the rules of survival. They are telling us who we need to be to survive. The issue is that message is seldom just to be yourself.
Again, when we speak of early development, it is governed by gathering information from the world around us, for survival. You can often see this in children through their natural inclination to ask, “Why?” We often fail to realize that children are not recording our answers to these questions as a thought or at the level of higher reasoning we often use to convey them. We record everything as sensory impress based on the limited perspectives of a child’s mind. Later in life, when we face the complexity, the potential threat, or even the reward of any circumstance, we consider this history. However, we do not consider it consciously or with the same complexity. Even as full adults, our responses are still determined using the sensory impressions of a child’s mind.
Due to these early development mistakes, the vast majority of us are not living at developmental stages equivalent to our chronological age. Those who are, are a small fraction of our global society. This condition is not as much a failing of our species as it is a process of development. Humans are not a pack animal or even the tribal animal we once were, but we did require a tribe for support when we were young. We were powerless during those years, and we knew we were dependent upon an externalized source for survival. This source would typically come from our elders, but our species is changing, and as it changes, our elders can no longer guide us toward our best chance of survival.