| I and Thou
About Close Relationships
Even if you have read all the other books, taken all the courses, attended all the seminars, self help groups and counseling sessions, read this book. A grounded understanding of how we got to be the way were are is the path to happiness, or, at least, gracious acceptance of the of the peculiar ways of relationships. I and Thou focuses on self-identity and the interface between one individual and others. Humans are social animals and generally depend on each other to provide context and meaning. The strongest drive is to have a deep bond with one person, the soul mate, lover and custodian.
The notion of a self alone is popular but individuality is more of an illusion than a fact. A sense of a common or shared consciousness pervades individual consciousness. Each human is born with a deeply imbedded sense of social involvement. Each human will bond to parents, siblings and a few other individuals. Each human will seek affiliation with other humans and will select a few among many to be intimates and close associates. Each human will exploit, avoid or reject others who are not close associates.
Human tendencies were not invented by society and are not going to change until the construction of the human brain changes. The mind of each human is mapped into the minds of other humans and the dominant experiences of each human are observing others, desiring the company of others, working with others, playing with others, feeling others, talking to others, thinking about others, dreaming about others, strategizing about others, conflicting with others, loving and hating others, making love to others, missing others when they are gone.
Each human discovers who she or he is in an ongoing series of revelations. Humans often have the illusion of inventing themselves from nothing. They often claim to be the authors of their own destiny, but they are passengers in an ancient vehicle on a journey that they have difficulty comprehending. As humans journey through life, they continue to discover who they are and what it means. If they have choices in the direction of their journey, reasonable decisions are achieved by diligent effort, learning and practice. The process of individuation depends on the opportunities provided by the local environment and by practicing innate abilities and following innate tendencies.
Humans interact continuously and although they may not agree with one another, still seek and require consensus about what is real and true. "Thinking" is largely talking, a social activity. Isolated individuals will talk to themselves and will tend to lose track of what is important and real without interactions with others.
Hear Overview of Human Bonding