The core ideas of the Program

     *** Various events (lectures and experiential workshops) interconnected in a common framework making up a “Program”, on relationships of eros, sexual desire and love. 
     *** The full title of the Program is: “…to the heretics of love: the eyes in which I was mirrored”. The whole idea is based on my book under the same title – to published in English around the end of 2020.
     *** The Program is very flexible: both lectures and workshops can be realised either independently or interconnected in any order and sequence. 

The Program’s overall perspective is based on some fundamental ideas.

[Α] What is a “relationship”.
In this Program the relationship is seen:
… as a coral human need, emerging from the nature and the way of functioning of the human being itself,
… as a very special “space”, as a unique level of existence.
This “space” in the “between” of the persons involved in a relationship, is something more than the plain numeric sum of these persons.
Moreover, it has its own features and is composed bodily, emotionally and mentally by the persons engaged in their meeting.   

Furthermore, it seems that the relationship is in a way “happening” beyond our expectations to fulfil our ideals about princes and princesses.
Besides, the relationship itself, exactly because it something more than the individuals forming it, manifests several needs.
It needs to be taken care of; it needs to be trusted in its endurance because it constantly changes; it needs certain frames to get its shape, depending on its each time nature.

And mainly the relationship is not identical with closeness.
Rather, it can flourish when we accept our differences, when we become flexible enough to move “towards” or distancing “from” the Other, in an eternal dance of closeness and moving away.  

Nevertheless, any relationship is also affected by the broader field of life in which we grow up and shape our personal psychic landscapes.
And it cannot but be also affected by our ways to experience eros and love, our stance regarding loss and death, our skills to attribute responsibly meaning to any moment of our lives.

[Β] Different relationships bring to the foreground different aspects of our selves. 
Another fundamental idea in this Program is the following one:

our tendency to build relationships between us may originate from our relational nature, however, it is manifested in several ways. 

Such ways have to do with several of our needs and functions, which are very often -and very naturally- contradictory between them (something that produces strong anxieties and fundamental misinterpretations).
So as we try to satisfy these needs we manifest different aspects of ourselves. For example: 

*** Some of these aspects are determined by our need for psychic closeness, our need to love and to be loved, to walk in life “together” with the Other, to share with him/her our world, to receive and offer care and protection.
*** Some other of our aspects are determined by our need to transcend our personal boundaries and our differences with the Other, by throwing ourselves right into the overwhelming whirl and the colourful mist of eros.
*** Moreover, some other of our aspects are based on our need to seek our chthonic roots, to experience the primary vitality characterising our sexual Self.
*** And all these needs seem to converse within the general frame made up by the universal human need for safety and for developing systems of bond and attachment.

[C] Our needs for eros (“to be in love”), for love and for sexual desire may have common areas, however, they are in several points contradictory. 

The core of all 5 cycles is the idea that love in the intimate longterm committed relationship, eros (“being in love”), and sexual desire,

represent different needs and areas of our existence.

This means that these needs flourish on different grounds – the ground that is nutritional for one may be toxic for the other.
In any case, it is impossible to overemphasise one of these needs in order to satisfy the others from the “surplus” (no matter how much we eat our thirst remains thirst).   

However, our technocratic and consumer societies, in order to survive, create an illusional “ideal” icon of a relationship, in which all these needs should by satisfied by our partner constantly, for ever and always fully successfully.
Moreover, as we grow up we easily learn to see several of the aspects of our selves emerging as we connect to each other, as “negative”, “dark”, “forbidden”, “sinful” – as a fatal “stigma” and “mistake”.

So, we often forget that:
*** Whatever aspect we manifest is always “our” aspect and to manifest it is as natural as saying that my hand has five fingers.
*** The important thing is not on whatever feeling or need emerges from our non-conscious depths but our responsibility in the way we are coping with it. However our social education often teaches us that we “must” cut off aspects of self that are not “acceptable” socially, instead of teaching us the art of accepting our wholeness and embrace it with love and responsibility to both our own being as well as to the Others.

Summarising:
today, eros, love, desire, are often squeezed in a merciless Procrustean mentality, in an attempt to smooth out their crucial inherent differences.

In this Program, it is very important exactly the opposite perspective:
all 5 sections of the Program attempt respectfully and carefully to see, to explore the individual nature of each one of these needs – of course along with their common areas.

This attempt is based on the belief that for each one of us, accepting the differences between these needs, is a key to find out creatively what to do with them and their controversy in the various situations of our lives.

[Δ] Η σημασία της υπαρξιακής μοναξιάς στο πώς σχετιζόμαστε.
Another coral idea of this material is that “existential loneliness” (this not describable yet common and deep sense of a peculiar kind of “distance” from the Others), is different from the “interpersonal loneliness” (our isolation from the Others).

Neurophysiological researches, today, indicate that our existential loneliness seem to be a result of our own human construction, of the way that our brains function in order to compose the stream of our experience and of our Self-sense.

So, it seems that each one of us does not live in an absolutely individual micro-universe because someone condemned us to loneliness as our punishment, or because someone kicked us out of  paradise in which we “should” have been able to remain if we were not bad boys and girls.
Rather, things tend to show that the loneliness of our existence is a result of our own nature.

And this can be okay, no matter if our consumer culture insists cursing this fundamental human feature, creating panic and guilt, isolating whoever dares to accept it.
And when I say to “accept” it I do not mean to do so for fighting, but just in order to attempt to create a good life within the possibilities for healthy relationships emerging out of such an acceptance.

Finally, it seems that when we complain about our loneliness, the universe is not so terribly cruel including indifferent for us Others who do not pay attention to our expectations and deny to give us whatever we think that life should have given us.

It is us ourselves who “kill” any possibility of healthy connection with any Other, when:
     *** We accuse the Other for betrayal, because he/she was finally not good enough to manage to take off our shoulders the heaviness of our existential loneliness.
     *** When we think that the Other has absolutely to be always here, available for us, whenever, how and how much we need her/him – not as an autonomous being axiomatically different from us in her/his alterity, but as an “aspirin” to forget our own inability to accept our own nature.

[E] The relationship presupposes the acceptance of our differences from the Other.
From everyday experience, it seems that:
*** When we say the word “relationship”, we often do not know what we are exactly meaning.
*** There are a lot of delusions around the meaning of the word “loneliness”, as well as a lot of myths about what a relationship is.

So, finally, is it possible to be somehow together with the Other?
And if yes, what does it mean “together”?

In any case, today, a new certainty is emerging:
we, humans, exactly because of our relational nature, we are capable to build very beautiful interpersonal relationships, no matter if we cannot avoid the fact of our existential loneliness.

But at first, we have to accept our differentiation from the Other and her/his own autonomy – not better not worse than our own autonomy.
And we have also to cease considering the Other responsible because we did not manage a few fundamentally impossible tasks:
*** to “win over” this unspoken but often torturing sense of loneliness in every moment of any kind of relationship with the “Other”,
*** to experience the perfect, idealised, absolute and eternal confluence with any Other in our adulthood,
*** to “win over” this paradoxical, bitter-sweet nostalgia for something that we know we never experienced, yet we consider it as “lost” – in the sense of a lost paradise,
*** to ignore once and forever the inherent and collective terror generated from our certitude that one day we are anyway going to die.

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