Years ago a supervisor in Harlem Hospital told me that it is important to "give weight" in the psychotherapeutic encounter. She was borrowing the term from her experience in contradance, where giving weight refers to the practice of putting some counterpressure in your hands and body to alert your partner to your movements, intentions, and presence.
We want to sense the pressure, the counterpressure, of another person, a being. Sometimes we even get in arguments just to know the other person is there, and that we are there.
This last week we experimented in dyads with first accepting, then rejecting, then again accepting the radiance or pressure coming from another person. We felt what it is to put out a spherical radiance of our own presence, and what it is not to bother. Then we moved into a central meditation, daring to radiate toward, and feel the counterpressure from, an invisible being. (It was left up to each person to choose: a dead human being, a god, a nature spirit, etc.) As an "interference pattern" develops between raindrops in a pond, we tried to sense the complexity of what happens at the boundary where our outflowing radiance meets the inflowing counterpressure of the visible or invisible other being.
In Hebrew, the word for glory is kavod, which refers to weight, as in giving weight, as in weighty significance, as in gravitas, as in "That's heavy, man."
In Greek, the word for glory is doxa, which Kuehlewind translated as "expressive radiance." It's related to doctor, doctrine, doxology, dogma, but also to shine -- radiance.
These two kinds of glory, the weight and the light, are put together neatly in Blake's dictum, "We are put on earth a little space, that we may learn to bear the beams of love."
How much of the radiance can we bear before it is too heavy for us? How much "interference" before we get confused, discombobulated?
Next week, we continue this theme of making meetings more real and noticing what happens at the boundary. We will give ourselves a challenge: to sense that the totality, being itself, is a person. Being is a being.
Being, the source of all characteristics, has no characteristics, and is yet a specific being.
all blessings to all,