Whether we are aware of it or not, every act of trust carries with it a shiver of fear. A favorable situation can become dangerous. Deep down we know that life is insecure and precarious. However, if we do trust, the shiver carries with it a philosophical optimism: Life, with all its traps and horrors, is good The bet is implicit in trust itself. If we could be sure of everyone and everything, trust would have no value - like money, if it were suddenly limitless, or sunshine, if there were always fine weather, or life, if we were to live forever
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Something similar happens on the other side of the equation: Giving kindness does us as much good as receiving it. . . . The true benefit of kindness is being kind. Perhaps more than any other factor, kindness gives meaning and value to our life, raises us above our troubles and our battles, and makes us feel good about ourselves.
In trusting, we let ourselves go. We know that all kinds of unexpected events may come our way. Our tension eases, our mind and our hearts open spontaneously to be possibilities. It is an ever new state of mind, in the present moment, because we have detached from all we know. But it is also a feeling as old as can be, because, before all betrayals and all disappointments, there was a time in which trusting another was the very substance of our life.
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Kindness, as we will see, has many facets. But its essence is as simple as can be. We will find that kindness is a way of making _less_ effort. It is the most economic attitude there is, because it saves us much energy that we might otherwise waste in suspicion, worry, resentment, manipulation, or unnecessary defense. It is an attitude that, by eliminating the inessential, brings us back to the simplicity of being.
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Awareness by itself is not enough: it must be joined by mastery. We need gradually to develop a steering ability to keep ourselves from slipping mechanically into this or that sub-personality. Thus we become able to identify with each part of our being as we wish. We can have more choice. It is the difference between being impotently transported by a roller coaster and, instead, driving a car and being able to choose which way to go and for what purpose to make the journey.
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If we live in the here and now, each moment is a surprise, every instant a new wonder. But it often fails to work this way. Onto the present we superimpose our expectations and opinions, based on the past or future. We meet someone, and we already anticipate what he/she will be like and what they will say.
Psychosynthesis brings the matter to a point of extreme simplicity, seeing the self as the most elementary and distinctive part of our beings - in other words, its core. This core is of an entirely different nature from all the elements (physical sensations, feelings, thoughts and so on) that make up our personality. As a consequence, it can act as a unifying center, directing those element and bring them into the unity of an organic wholeness.
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The word humility (also human) is derived from the Latin humus, meaning the soil. Perhaps this is not simply because it entails stooping and returning to earthly origins, but also because, as we are rooted in this earth of everyday life, we find in it all the vitality and fertility unnoticed by people who merely tramp on across the surface, drawn by distant landscapes.
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