by Diane Brandon

Personal Causes of Alienation

Page 8 of 11

Why do we feel this separation (so strongly that at times it is more alienation than separation)?  One of the reasons is that old word "ego."  We are trapped in our egos -- and the ego need to feel important in comparison to others and separate from things.  And the ego need to feel important comes from not loving ourselves, from low self-esteem.  Which ultimately goes back to not accepting ourselves -- and all our parts and traits.  Ergo, learning to accept ourselves -- all of our parts -- is a step towards loving ourselves, as well as loving and feeling connected to others.


Another cause of separation is our own pain.  And our pain comes from different things -- from not accepting ourselves, from unresolved issues from the past.  The more we go into our pain (similar to going into fear), the more we resolve and heal it – and heal ourselves.  As we heal our pain, we become more whole.  Pain closes us in into ourselves.  It pulls our energy in and prevents that energy from radiating out.  As we heal ourselves of pain, we feel our energy flow outward -- thus connecting ourselves to other things and people.


Even our language may contribute to our feeling of separation.  We define by difference, rather than similarity or commonality.  We want to know how something is different from something else.  We have a need to distinguish by differences.  It is interesting to note that many Native American languages do not have nouns, only verbs.  In these languages, what we see as things or people are instead processes or actions -- a dance of energy, rather than something fixed or immutable.  It is very hard to label something that is in movement and thus changing.  And once we label or define, we cease seeing something or someone as unique; we cease seeing them afresh.  It is a mental shortcut to label and define -- we no longer have to deal with the more involved process of seeing freshly.


Our very society has influences for alienation.  As our population has increased and increasing urbanization has crowded us together more and more, we increasingly tend to view other people as objects -- as obstacles that get in our way.  We have to "fight" through traffic.  We have to stand behind others in line.  It is hard to feel connected to others when we feel others are "in our way."  So some of us seek a more "wholesome" life in less urban settings.

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