Sep 28, 2023Liked by Kevin Kaiser

We are often tempted to value resiliency over intimacy- it is easier to reconcile our strength as compensation for an inability (or unwillingness) to expose ourselves to attempting connection with others.

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Goosebumps Kevin! Leonard Cohen sang, “There is a crack, a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.” Rumi professed “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Yes, the light gets in and I always proposed that the light also needs to get out too! Thrilled to see you write that!

What we seek is seeking us as Rumi shared. The light is love. Love seeks us as we seek love.

In his book “The Second Mountain”, David Brooks says our life story resembles the shape of two mountains. The first mountain is about ego and a vision of prominence, pleasure, and success. A journey dressed in the conditions that were often placed upon us. The first mountain of life is “I am what the world says I am.” Brooks stating that the first mountain is about acquisition. We conquer the first mountain. We get to the top and realize a deeper need still calls from aching bones. The second mountain pulls us up. Something calls us to the top in a way Franciscan priest and writer Richard Rohr describes the second half of life as “falling upwards”.

Rather than a Hero’s Journey, it is more so a Soul Journey. More inwards and deeper, circular yet fractal, less individual and more diversely community. Psychologist, mythologist, and author Sharon Blackie calling it a post heroic journey stating, “Its not about slaying the dragon, but about harnessing his special skills and making him part of the team”. Transformation of ourselves and of the world around us. If the first mountain is the safety of our ego, the second is the song of our soul. Individual to interdependence. The transcendence of self. Me to We. Head to heart. Heart to soul.

As Mate said “Safety is not the absence of threat; it is the presence of connection.”

The door only opens to the inside and “know thyself” was carved into the Greek Temple at Delphi for a reason. Connection starts with us and as we transcend to beyond a self we look for that non duality oneness of connection with everything.

As I hit my fifties I could finally see that our individual lives are defined by raw, aching, open questions. The ones that have no right to go away. Asking a beautiful question starts to shape our identity as much by asking it, as it does by having it answered. We must live the questions, here and now. Gradually without noticing it we will blossom into the answers as the great poet Rilke revealed. As we look back on our lives, we will see that the questions themselves were what shaped us all along. The questions are the journey. There is no bypass. As I wander in the spaces of that journey I write a little poetry to stay present and connect to it all!


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Great post Kevin!

I think I’ll like it here.

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Thanks so much Kevin! Sounds like we will meet in the same section of the bookstore for sure! I’ll dive into your older posts for sure this weekend. I like Sharon Blackie’s take on the heroes journey with a comparison and different take to Joseph Campbell’s initial work on the theme. I guess it relates to what mountain we’re on and how we are perceiving that journey from a goal line ego perspective or a soul line awareness of being perspective. Both are valid and reality is always in the middle.

I look forward to meeting in between the spaces here and growing with you and your community. Bless you.

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I loved reading this Kevin, thank you, quite a few phrases stood out to me which I jotted down as a reference to reflect on over this week, I was interested in your thoughts of denying yourself freedom, self-love, and joy - the nature of who you are - do you see this as a denial to experience these within yourself, or a denial to pursue a life where you experience this through what you do, or a combination of both?

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“I’ve started to re-frame intimacy. I now see it as the compound interest of consistent, courageous connection.” Indeed. Thank you for this beautiful work.

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Fantastic article, Kevin. I've seen in my own life how vulnerability has made me a better human being. But vulnerability has one aspect missing, as you've articulated so well, and it's what true intimacy brings--sharing what comes out of the crack. I've always struggled with intimacy all my life and seen it as something more connected with sex. But reading your post has reminded me that not only is it not, but we men struggle badly with it. And yet all the men I've admired (Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain) oozed intimacy, and that's why they captivated us.

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