One pursuit that I, and my closest friends, have sought all my life is the feeling of completion or wholeness. The desire for completion and wholeness springs from the desperate feeling that something is missing. For some we are aware that there has been something missing our entire lives. For others they only come to the realization late in life. Sometimes what is missing is purpose while at other times what is missing are the tools to complete that purpose. Sometimes what is missing is a feeling whether it be love or confidence. Sometimes what is missing is something to care for and nurture. No matter what is missing or for how long it has been missing we must remain mindful of opportunities where that completion can occur.
In Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) there exists the concept of “wise mind.” Wise mind is a form of wholeness as it is the merger of “intellect mind” and “emotion mind.” With intellect mind we can be hyper rational adhering to and clinging to logic for safety and false strength. With emotion mind we abandon logic and cling to emotion for a sense of expression and false vulnerability. In both cases there is that sense of something false and I draw attention to it because it is not True until it has merged with the other. Thus false strength becomes True when merged with vulnerability and vice versa. If we imagine a venn diagram wise mind is where intellect mind and emotion mind intersect. It is the wholeness obtained by merging the best of intellect and emotion — knowledge and feeling.
In ancient Chinese philosophy the notion of wholeness and completion is expressed through the symbol of Yin-Yang. Yin, as represented by the dark side of the symbol, represents the moon, the hidden, the feminine, and the negative. Yang, as represented by the light side of the symbol, represents the sun, the revealed, the masculine, and the positive. The yang contains a portion of the yin and the yin a portion of the yang. Together they wrap around each other forming a complete whole. One does not exist without the other.
According to Carl Jung there exists the shadow self. I address this nature in the article entitled simply enough, “The Shadow Self.” Jung stated the shadow self was composed of those things we keep hidden from ourselves and that we must integrate the shadow in order to obtain personal wholeness. In his work on the shadow Jung maintains that the integration must originate within our conscious (or light) selves rather than vice versa. Otherwise a person “who is possessed by his shadow is always standing in his own light and falling into his own traps … living below his own level.” Therefore integration of the yin must originate in the yang and not the other way around.
When we apply this model to the observable universe we see parallels in that it is hypothesized that it is composed of both ordinary matter and dark matter. Dark matter cannot be seen, neither absorbs nor radiates light, but has an impact on the gravitational pull of objects around it. Similarly physical objects are composed of atoms that are separated by space. Therefore even the most solid object is made up of space in between atoms. Complete objects are composed of both what we see and what remains unseen.
The article “Will, Truth, and Work” equates the titular principles with spirit, mind, and body — that which is felt, that which is known, and that which is seen. Essentially this means our world is expressed in terms of what we interact with physically everyday, what we think and know, and how we feel and find wisdom. Focus too much on one creates imbalance within the whole of the human Being. All three must be exercised and flexed in order for the individual to gain personal wholeness and completion. This comes with doing the Work, whatever that may be for you as an individual. While doing the Work we must recognize the Truth which is most easily done by removing all assumptions. Lastly we must exercise the patience required to listen to the Will, that service to our higher power or Self.
Gnosticism, an early teaching that transcendence is arrived at through interior and intuitive means, recognizes body, mind, and spirit through the Logos (the Word), Sophia (Wisdom), and Man. Return to the pleroma (fullness) is achieved only through the integration of all three. In fact theologian Gilles Quispel wrote, “The world-spirit in exile must go through the Inferno of matter and the Purgatory of morals to arrive at the spiritual Paradise.” We are born into the flesh and must succumb to the trials that exist within the flesh. From there we move into the world of the mind where we learn all that there is to learn. Once a degree of knowledge is obtained then we move into the world of spirit where Truth becomes Will.
Christianity is the most well known religion revealing the existence of the sacred trinity. Though they are often open to interpretation Christianity adheres to the idea of a Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The son represents the body as Christ is considered “the Word made flesh.” During the Last Supper he further explained this by stating that the bread, a physical food required for physical sustenance, was his body. The Father represents the mind as stated in Romans 8:27 “And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” It is the function of the mind to search and a function of the spirit to understand what has been searched. The Holy Spirit represents spirit and thus acts similarly to the Will. Mark 13:11 “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” With a pause to listen to the spirit the Truth is revealed.
Upon recognizing the importance of completion and wholeness it becomes much clearer the approach we must take to obtain it. Before we examine what we need outside of us to bring us to completion, let’s look at what is within us to bring forth internal fullness. We will begin by first recognizing our strengths broken down into the three aspects of body, mind, and spirit. An athlete clearly has strength in body. A scholar clearly has strength in mind. A priest clearly has strength in spirit. Look at your own self to see where you are strong. Do you love physical activity? Do you enjoy reading? Do you enjoy prayer and meditation?
Once we have recognized our strengths let us look at those areas where we are lacking. If you are one who is diligent in reading and prayer or meditation then maybe some physical exercise needs to be added to your life. It could be a short walk, going to the gym, or spending time out in the woods. If you are one who is physically active and loves to read then maybe you could add painting, writing, or dance to your life. The spirit is not just about prayer and meditation, but it is about expression of the soul. If you are one who gardens and paints then maybe you could add reading or piano playing to your life. It is now scientific fact that learning to play music boosts test scores in youth, alters your brain by creating new neuropathways, and helping with language skills. Now that we have added that missing piece in our trifecta of human completion we can begin looking outside of ourselves for our final completion.
Purpose, and the tools required for our purpose, are what we look for outside of ourselves. For some that purpose is to impact the world and for those who want to impact the world it is having the right tools and support to do so. In the 1990’s a movie called “Jerry Maguire” produced an iconic line when he proclaimed to the woman he loved, “You complete me!” At the time I argued that no man or woman should require someone else to complete them. Completion should come from within. However as we have uncovered a certain layer of completion can come from within, but the next level is to find that which completes us from without. In the case of Jerry Maguire he was kind of a jerk — self absorbed and lacking compassion. The woman he loved brought balance to his world as she tempered his self absorption and gave him reason to find compassion.
For me I feel very strongly connected to the idea of completion through full partnership with a woman. This is seen in many of my previous writings. Ideally the woman complements me in powerful ways just as I complement her. For example, I have a tendency to be stuck in my own head and to intellectualize things. She would balance me out through bringing more emotion into the mix moving me from intellect mind and into wise mind. She would support and nurture my purpose as much as I support and nurture her purpose. In ancient Egyptian ruins statues of pharoahs and their wives show them standing equal side-by-side. This is because even though the pharoah was ruler of the land, his wife was the ruler of the household.
Ultimately that feeling of completion is entirely possible. Begin with finding completion within. Once you start on that process that is when you can start looking without. Take a moment to pause. Be mindful of each moment. When that moment of completion is presented to you then take great care in pursuing it.