MY FIRST AESTHETIC REALISM CONSULTATION
When I had my first Aesthetic Realism consultation at age twenty-three, my life represented the hopes and ambitions of many women. I thought if I dressed well, looked pretty, worked hard, and acted important, all good things would happen to me, including love. But as time went on, I felt more and more that my life didn’t have a purpose, that love wouldn’t be, and that things had little meaning. I felt as if I were in a dull swirl.
I love Eli Siegel, Aesthetic Realism, and my consultants, The Three Persons, for they taught me what my deepest desire was: to like the world through knowing it. I also learned that I had another desire: to have contempt for everything I met, to make less of it, so that I could feel important and superior. My first consultation was the beginning of a change in how I saw the whole world. In that one consultation my consultants spoke to me about: how I saw my mother and who she really was; my hope to be disappointed; how the world and I are related through our structure, the opposites.
I was angry with my mother. Mostly I thought about how she was to me, and I was cold and sarcastic with her. My consultants wanted me to see that my mother had a life to herself and what she felt was just as important as what I felt. They asked me, “Have you ever seen your mother cry?” I answered, “I haven’t seen her cry, but I’ve seen her go to bed for a few weeks at a time.” And my consultants said, “The opposites of repose and energy fight to be in a good relation every minute of our lives. Do you think a woman could be so against herself, she would want to go to bed?”
I had never thought about how my mother could feel disappointed in herself. As they spoke about repose and energy, I thought, “This describes what I have seen about my mother for as long as I can remember. This is tremendous!” When I was asked, “Do you think your mother would have respected herself more if she understood you”,? I said yes. I understood my mother more, respected her feelings more. One day soon after the consultation, I saw my mother sitting alone in the living room, and instead of going up to my room I started to talk with her about what she was reading. I really wanted to know what she felt.
A Hope for Disappointment
When I was asked, “Do you think you see other people the same way you see your mother?”, I was very surprised. This question did two things: one, it had me see my mother in relation to other people; and two, it had me think about how I saw all people. I knew I was disappointed, but I had no idea I hoped for such a thing. If I hoped to be disappointed, to have contempt, that meant the world must be better that I thought and that, to a very large degree, I was the cause of my own pain. This meant I could change. At work the next week, I met a co-worker in the hall and saw I had a hope to be disappointed by what she would say as soon as she began speaking. As I saw this, I changed.
I Learn to Like the World
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