Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Fusion!?

About three weeks ago, after I wrote that another chapter was closed in my self-awareness journey [Another Chapter ...], I had a vague idea that my next phase of journey would be related to ``sexual intimacy''. I did not have a clear idea of what would come next though. The first confirmation came in the form of an NPR email that was introducing three books on love, sex, and marriage. So I went to a local used book exchange store (Book Nook) and found one of them (Mating in Captivity, by Esther Perel). In the process of browsing books, I also found the David Schnarch's book, Passionate Marriage, quite randomly. Something in the book caught my attention. Now, the latter book is changing some of my views on life fundamentally. It makes so much sense, so perfectly, that it worries me! Why? Let's look at a quote from the book :)

Emotional fusion is the opposite of differentiation. Fusion is an invisible-but-tenacious emotional connection. Notice that the opposite of differentiation is neither connection nor lack of connection---it's a different kind of connection. ...

Lack of differentiation alienates us from those we love. Emotional fusion deceives us into thinking that we're not connected and we move away in defense. But the deeper truth is that we have to move away to counterbalance the tremendous impact we feel our spouse has on us. Or, unable to turn away, we turn ourselves over to the connection, but it feels engulfing. ---p.57, Passionate Marriage

One example of fusion for me is in the intellectual realm. When I read a new book that fascinates me, I give up all my critical defenses and absorb the ideas from the book like a sponge. It takes me a while to establish a healthy distance between myself and the book/writer and regain my own differentiation! :) I have many examples in mind, the most important is the Rober Boice book, Nihil Nimus: Advice for New Faculty, which captivated me for more than two years!!!  (The careful reader notices that the current name of the blog, Nihil NimIs, is the correct version of the books' title, Nihil Nimus, lol)

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