SESSION TITLE: NVC and Spirituality: "Beingness"
Convenor: Robert Gonzales
Recorder: Jim Manske with notes by Rodger Sorro
Others present:About a dozen kindred Spirits

Note from Jim, author of this report: The topic does not lend itself well to language. At best, the report below is a "naturally limited" attempt to describe the undescribable.
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Discussion/recommendations/actions

Robert began by recalling a story from his childhood in which he had a profound personal experience and insight into the nature of "Oneness" or "Beingness". While standing alone under a dark and starlit sky, he first entered into a state of "wondering", pondering the vastless, endless sea of space, questioning in his mind, "how far does this go?" He seemed to dissolve or dis-create the boundary between his "ego-self" and the Universe, shifting into an awareness of his Identity with the All. He received the answer to his open question: :"Always".

This experience became a new foundation for his ongoing, life-long exploration of Spirituality which has now brought him into new understandings about NVC as a vehicle for deep personal connection with Oneness. Robert believes that NVC can bring us to the place where love and connection transcends "you and me".

Lately, he has been playing with the idea that the Ego is a "thought construct", created as the infant begins to differentiate between hirself and the hir mother. From the moment of conception, the new being does not experience any separateness from hir mother lives within a matrix of Oneness. Experiences and interactions with the world, initially the mother, begin the process of identification of "I" and "not-I". The "I" is the ego, constructed by the general thought that "that (table, chair, toy, mother) is not me." Initially this is a "pre-verbal" experience.

This ego has needs, the universal needs identified by Marshall and others. Once a strong ego has been differentiated, a "secure" entity can move with confidence through the experiences of life working to fulfill hir needs and the needs of others. Then, something else becomes available. One can begin to use the experience of "Need" as a gateway to Spirit or Oneness. When one becomes aware of a need, one can ask "who is the one who is needing this?" The answer is "the ego". By realizing that the ego is a thought construct, one can move into the experience that the "Me that created the ego, the Me that is One with the "Always" has no needs, is in a constant and infinite state of enoughness or needlessness." The result is the experience of Connection with all of Life. This insight temporarily removes the obstructions to the awareness of that Connection, which may be called Love. From this point of view, all needs of the ego can be seen as expressions of fear, resulting in suffering. This fear becomes the gateway to love and connection when followed back to Source, to the place where there are no needs.
Additionally, when the ego has the experience of a need being met, Connection can also take place. Follow the feeling when a need is met and it can take you to the same "place" of connection.

Compassion for "Others" can also be a tool to take you to connection. Through the intent to connect and experience empathically the suffering of another, one can move into a state of deep connection with that person and with the Deep Space within oneself where the only Reality is connection.

Conclusion
Once a "strong" ego has been formed, an individual has the opportunity to use life experiences and NVC as a gateway to Spiritual Insight.

1. When you experience a need, ask "who is the one who is needing this", or say, "I need ______ , and I don't have to have it".

2. Use the experience of having a need met to feel the Connection.

3. Through loving empathy with another, create a connection which leads to the insight of Connection.

4. Needs can be followed back to the source "Always"

Suggested readings: Ken Wilbur, A Brief History of Everything.

Jim also suggests Ken Keyes, Handbook to Higher Consciousness. I have been utilizing the Methods as presented in the Handbook since 1975. When I was introduced to NVC in November, 2000, I felt that I had discovered "the missing piece" in Keyes work. I found the insights that I discovered during Robert's talk to be the link, the keystone, that I was looking for to integrate NVC and my previous inner work. Robert, you have my eternal gratitude!

Another participant recommended the Conversations with God books, especially the fourth book in the series. I believe the author's name is Walcsh.