Hello lovelies!! I hope you had fabulous holidays and a chance to enjoy the wonderful people in your life. Today we are continuing our 3 part discussion on the gap:
Welcome to Mental Space Monday! Where we journey back to the place where the magic happens - inside the rabbit hole of collective consciousness - and submit to the whims of curiosity.
Just to clarify, because I had some questions from last week's post, we are charting new territory here. I am not recapping a book for you, this is not a concept that you should remember from philosophy class (though in truth it is the elephant in the room within any class you have ever taken). We are intrepidly exploring this theory together in order to learn through active conversation; through a mental trial and error so that we find more accurate paths to bliss in this crazy thing we call life.
In essence, the Gap is that something we are missing; that we are striving for. The Gap is the indefinable magic of science, ecosystems and physics equations. It is human connection; love, jealousy, friendship. It is the yearning within us to be more, do more, understand more. It is wanting; it is striving, it is struggle and failure and determination. The Gap is why we get up in the morning and what we dream about at night.
Last week we inspected the Individual Level of the gap and how it manifests itself in our personal world. This week we are turning our focus to the gap that exists between our 'self' and those around us. The second type of gap exists at the Social Level. Here we are talking about the space, physical and psychological, that separates each of us as an individual from those around us. This level can also be broken into 2 parts: the Primal Gap and the Perspective Gap.
The physical piece of the Personal Level that we talked about last week was internal; a cell to cell connection within the individual. As we discuss the Social Level, there is also a physical piece: the Primal Gap. This gap is all about touch, bridged of course through physical contact. The Primal Gap is that fundamental need within all humans (and many animals as well) to connect to those around us through physical contact. It has been said that touch is our primary language and has been proven that without it we cannot thrive and function at an optimal level. The Primal Gap is that distance that we must fill in order to reassure ourselves that we are not alone; that rather than simply occupying the same physical world as those around us, we are actually linked. A simple touch can bridge isolation, can connect us physically to another being. It can reassure those around us with a hug, a handshake or a pat on the shoulder. They all help us to feel like someone else is there in the infringing darkness; that in the midst of the swirling confusion that we all face on a moment to moment basis, another being knew, and actually cared, that you were there.
The magic that lies within each of us at the Personal Level can only be shared as we reach across the gap to share with others. And sharing doesn't just mean physical touch. If you recall, we discussed how the neuron to neuron connection is both physical and psychological. The two Social Levels share a linking factor as well. In this case, our social synapse connector is eye contact. This is the bridge that begins in the physical and sparks something more. It moves us within the Social Level from the Primal Gap to the Perspective Gap. *As a note, sex tends to bridge the two Social Gaps as well. As a simultaneous attempt to bridge the gap between two bodies as well as a way to connect on a deeper emotional level.)
The Perspective Gap is the formation of a team, it is also the space between my perspective and yours. It is the gap that, when bridged, makes us feel supported and appreciated; it makes us feel loved and connected. The guru on genuine connection is of course celebrated researcher, writer and storyteller: Brene Brown. She says, “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
I have a little 8 pound dog named Orwell. He is 11 or 12 and is slowly starting to lose his vision. At times, he will start whining for no reason or bark at people he should recognize. I began to put 2 and 2 together and realized that on these occasions, he thinks he is alone. He feels suddenly isolated or, worse to him, surrounded by strangers. All it takes to calm him in these situations is to speak. To assure him that there is someone there with him in the dark unknown that surrounds him. The Perspective Gap can loom large. It contains all of the differences between us; the miscommunications, the misunderstandings, the judgments. But the simple way to bridge this is to communicate. To delight in the fact that we all bring something different to the table. That you support me and I support you. We are a team in the face of whatever is to come and our team is richer and stronger for the gap that it is spanning. Relationships are a great example of this on many levels. We all find pleasure in bridging the gap emotionally with people we care about. In communicating our hopes and our fears we join one mind to another. In finding a way to share a moment, a smile, an experience, we all bridge the Perspective Gap between my perspective and yours.
There is an innate reality that the world around us is not real in many senses until we experience it. Our reactions to and interpretations of the world around us are part of the Fundamental Gap but of course, no two people experience it in the same way. One of my favorite things in the world is to watch others in moments when they are fully engrossed in what they are passionate about. There is magic in watching someone enjoy a part of life that I take for granted or don't fully understand. We can all learn to appreciate ourselves, the people around us and the world around us better if we incorporate the perspectives of others, if we learn to understand their side of the bridge just a little better. And this is another function of the Perspective Gap. We get a more accurate view of the world that surrounds us when we combine it with the perspectives of others. We will discuss this more next week when we examine the Universal Gap.
The gap is wide open; connect with those around you and delight in your collective strength.
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