The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other (1998)

We need to acknowledge that the character of all our relationships arises out of our first relationships, which we internalize and experience as an unconscious, phenomenological relationship to ourselves as well. Out of that relationship comes the depth, tenor and agenda of all others. Thus we will necessarily explore the origins of our sense of self, whence derives our interaction with ourselves, with others and, finally, with the Wholly Other – the transcendent.

If there is a single idea which permeates this essay it is that the quality of all our relationships is a direct function of our relationship to ourselves. Since much of our relationship to ourselves operates at an unconscious level, most of the drama and dynamics of our relationships to others and to the transcendent is expressive of our own personal psychology. The best thing we can do for our relationships with others, and with the transcendent, then, is to render our relationship to ourselves more conscious.

This is not a narcissistic activity. In fact, it will prove to be the most loving thing we can do for the Other. The greatest gift to others is our own best selves. Thus, paradoxically, if we are to serve relationship well, we are obliged to affirm our individual journey.

The Middle Passage | Swamplands of the Soul | Tracking the Gods | Under Saturn's Shadow | The Eden Project | The Archetypal Imagination | Creating a Life | On This Journey We Call Our Life | Mythologems | Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life | Why Good People Do Bad Things | What Matters Most | Hauntings