Journey Toward Wholeness
“In our full potential we are not separated I's. Each individual is also part of a group, and each group is a unity with its own mysteries and its own journey toward wholeness.”
Arthur Coleman, Jungian Analyst
To carry this idea further, we are also part of a community, a region, a nation, and a continent. Each of these has its own identity. As a Southerner, I can say quite conclusively that I am perceived as being different from a West Coast or New England native. Today the Brits have exited the European Union, feeling, as they do, that they are first and foremost British and desire autonomy in their decision-making. Being British is a “entity” even though Britain itself is composed of people from many different ethnic backgrounds.
The group with which we identify has great impact on our way of thinking and being in the world. I, for instance, am a liberal and have chosen to live in a very blue section of a very red state. I feel I would not “fit” into many other parts of this city and state. I belong to a progressive church, truly a rarity in Alabama, because that is where I am comfortable. My friends are also liberal and progressive. We have many conversations based on our ideals in the areas of human rights, social equality and politics. When we go away from such conversations, we all feel good knowing that we belong to a like-minded group.
There is only one problem with all this belonging. It has a tendency to become exclusive. It works to block challenges to its identity. It sometimes refuses to hear the opposing voice as legitimate. It's self-interest becomes all consuming. With enough steam built up, it can decide that those who think and live differently are simply wrong and without merit. The extreme of this ideology is that those who are different don't deserve a seat at the table of life.
Even though we love our individual identities, even though we function best when we are among like-minded friends, we must be able to make a crack in the wall between us and find common ground. We must find a way to bring all our various identities into one world, one people, one shared earth. We are, after all, one human race, created in the image of God, on a common journey toward wholeness.
In the Spirit,