The Unified State of Wholeness


I have been reading a very eye-opening book; “Leadership and Self Deception – Getting Out Of The Box”, by The Arbinger Institute.  I have been very surprised to discover how many of the self deceptive practices, as described in the book, are literal mindsets I live with daily; “logical” (to me) ways of living life.  Briefly, the book describes how we live SO much of our lives viewing others as obstacles or objects, as opposed to considering them as being every bit as valid and important as we ourselves are.  Sounds simple … of course it should be this way, you’d say (as would I), but when the examples started coming I definitely saw how I was guilty.  I don’t personally view others as stepping stones to elevate my success … but I am just as guilty for using others to try and get validation and acceptance … it’s just a different form of currency … and don’t we ALL have our own form of currency based upon what we have chosen as our personal “path to happiness”??

I definitely recommend the book.  I started ruminating on just when it was that I began deceiving myself in such a way.  I went back to college, when I seemed fairly “open” to experiencing life fully … yup, there those self-deceptive (self-centered) practices were in all their glory.  I kept going back through my twenties, and then teens, and then to childhood memories … these behaviors were present all the way through!  I was baffled by this because so much of what has advanced my breakthroughs on spiritual levels has been “returning to a child-like state” (i.e. open-heartedness – open heart chakra – connectivity to God).  Finally it hit me, or at least it began to hit me over and over again like a pulsating current … my “a ha!” light bulb epiphany of a moment.

I looked at the behaviors of my nephew, Easton: exceedingly self-centered at times, will do just about anything as long as he gets what he wants, appreciates me primarily because I bring him treats, am only there for the fun times, and allow him to play Angry Birds and Clash of Clans on my iPad.  There are ALL those same self-deceptive patterns as described in the book.  Yet ALONG with all of those maddeningly selfish behaviors exists a beautiful soul … a wonderfully energetic and loving, open-hearted little boy … at the very same time!  The heart of a child is wide open and only learns to close through painful life experiences.

Birth               Childhood         /           Adult


Open Hearted  /  Progressively Closed-Hearted

While our hearts get closed more and more over time, we actually do learn to be less selfish (or at least outrightly so).  What we really learn is how to fulfill the “letter of the law” in terms of societal standards on how to treat other people.

Birth               Childhood         /           Adult


Self Centered  /  Progressively Adaptive to Societal Standards

A child can cry to induce the “objects” around him/her to provide whatever is wanted … as time goes by that no longer works, so what we actually do is discover new ways to get what we want from the “objects” in our lives.  Ways that fit into their rules, yet still provide us with the results we want.  People can tell whether you authentically care about them or not, but as long as you cross your t’s and dot your i’s you can get away with all of this self deception.  This type of behavior, coupled with a closed heart, becomes increasingly abusive to both the self and others.

Returning to the open-hearted state from childhood does not mean we become child-ish (self deceptive and self centered) … which may or may not be a state that we ever evolved out of.  Anyone can tackle one or the other and think that they are having success … and they are, in a way.  This is what makes transformation so difficult to accomplish … as thoughtful adults, desirous of authentic change, we are having to learn two different things at the same time … going in opposite directions.

The Unified State of Wholeness


Open-Hearted           Closed-Hearted


(Childhood)               (Adulthood)


Self Deceptive            Authentically Adaptive to Societal Standards (viewing others as human beings whose needs are just as valid as our own)

(Theory, Principles) 

If we are only doing one or the other, eventually we will regress into what comes naturally to us … that which we have been trained, and trained ourselves, to be.  I may have had HUGE transformations in my life that have been based on the principles of being open-hearted and connected to God … but I STILL am able to do so while being self-deceptive.  As the book says, I didn’t even know that I have a problem in how I view others!  Conversely, someone can learn all the theory, psychological principles and behaviors they want … if they can’t connect from and with an open heart … it just doesn’t come across as authentic to others; because it’s not.  Without an open heart it is just learnedness.

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