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“Where I and Thou meet authentically is where we find God”, says the Jewish mystic and scholar, Martin Buber. To what is he alluding?

Our inability to encounter each other authentically, naked if you will, not mediated through the social veneer of our personalities and concomitant strategies, may be the main reason why there is so much suffering and anxiety in the area of human relationships.

HeartSpace is a course on human relationships. In particular, it is about what is made possible when human beings do connect with each other in an authentic heart-space. The claim made herein is not only do we not meet each other open-heartedly, but that we have also lost the capacity to do so. In other words, we are so embedded in an inauthentic mode of existence that we cannot even see our situation for what it is, never mind consider another possibility of being or relating.

We are born from and into an original wholeness, a pure untended space of love and connectedness. What then seems to happen is that we gradually lose the original innocence, we fragment into separate discrete selves, little islands spread across a vast sea. By the time we reach puberty, that process is complete; we are fully individuated and “on-our-own” so to speak. We realize we must fend for ourselves. Some do it by being head-strong and aggressive; others do it by being adaptive and passive. Ultimately, these respective strategies are designed to conceal the fragmentation, the breach in that original bond of trust between I and Thou, and I and my world.

In this programme, we will unconceal the essential ontological structure or pattern that determines how and in what way we relate to each other on the intimate, interpersonal, and social levels. In discovering that these patterns are inherited through our culture in the broad sense and handed down through our families in the narrow sense, we can begin to address the fundamental lie that is being told and get underneath that which is unhealthy or destructive in these relationships.

The intention of the programme will not be to devise better strategies for dealing with or fixing given relationships but to place these relationships onto an authentic ground so that they are living in a “truth”, one which reconnects us to life through Thou. When humans encounter each other authentically, it can be like a light switch being turned on, a connectedness or circuit is established in which life energy flows. The truth of our mutual connectedness and interconnectedness with all of life is revealed and we find ourselves standing on a new ground.