Abraham Maslow & Marianne Williamson on Not Evading the Full Intensity of Life & Relationships


Evading the Full Intensity of Life & Relationships” – Abraham Maslow

It is precisely the godlike in ourselves and others that we are ambivalent about, fascinated by and fearful of, motivated towards and defensive against. This is one aspect of the basic human predicament, that we are simultaneously worms and gods; gods with anuses.

Freud’s greatest discovery, the one which lies at the root of psycho-dynamics, is that the great cause of so much psychological illness is the fear of knowledge of oneself—of one’s emotions, impulses, memories, capacities, potentialities, of one’s destiny. We have discovered that fear of knowledge of oneself is very often isomorphic with, and parallel to, fear of the outside world and fear of intimacy.

We fear our highest possibilities as well as our lowest ones. We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments. We enjoy and even thrill to the godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in such peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe and fear before these very same possibilities.

And the result is what we would expect of a weak organism: we evade and cut back the full intensity of life. We are just not strong enough to endure more! It is just too shaking and wearying. So often people in ecstatic moments say, “It’s too much,” or “I can’t stand it,” or “I could die.” Delirious happiness cannot be borne for long by most. Our organisms are just too weak for any large doses of greatness.

The evasion of one’s own growth, setting low levels of aspiration, the fear of doing what one is capable of doing, voluntary self-crippling, pseudo-stupidity, mock-humility, are in fact defenses against grandiosity and greatness, borne of a partly justified fear of being torn apart, of losing control, of being shattered and disintegrated, even of being killed by the experience.

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Our Deepest Fear” – Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel unsure around you.
We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

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