The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity, it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one’s desires and fears. ~ Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
I stumbled across this quote just last night, and in a flash of insight many questions I had were suddenly answered.
I have been reflecting on the inner, and outer worlds a lot lately. The mystical notion of “as within, so without” that whatever exists within us also exists around us, or is reflected in our environment, and relationships.
I recalled that Almine writes in her book “The Bridge of No Time” that the inner world is where we are able to explore oneness, and the outer world is how we explore duality.
The interesting thing that struck me about the quote is that within each pole the inner, and outer there are other poles, and each pole does NOT imply lesser or more, nor does it imply better or worse. Within the oneness, there is a tendency to narcissistic ways of being, and within the outer world, the world of duality, we learn about objectivity. Inner teaches us about ourself, the outer teaches us about others. They are both equally necessary.
Yes indeed, now it is no longer a theory, I SEE how both polarities are necessary. I also see how it is easy to polarize into one or the other. I see the consequences of over polarization.
It is true it felt like a moment of revelation to me, yet with the answers, some more questions emerged. Is it possible to never be polarized into anyone pole? Is there such a thing as maintaining the balance between the two poles? Does this mean that to reach a non-dual state we must just focus on the inner world?
I shall leave these questions be for the moment, resting, and trusting that if they are meant to be known the answers will some day be shown.