QA147 QUESTION: I am self-sufficient, but I think I’m self-sufficient in a negative way. In other words, I am rather closed in and feel that I shouldn’t have those needs to a certain degree. Can you give me some light on this?
ANSWER: Yes. You see, as in all distortions, there can always be the two extreme opposite pseudosolutions adopted. The one extreme would be the clinging dependency, the appeasement, the dominating strength with which one tries to accomplish that the other gives you what you need.
In the other case, like what you described, the self-rejection and the self-contempt for this dependency or need is so strong, and the anxiety that arises out of the dependency so undesirable, that one withdraws and creates a false independence.
False, because it does not resolve the dependency; it denies and rebels against the dependency, and therefore, the self-sufficiency arises out of a spirit of defiance, of resentment almost, of separateness, of seclusion, of fear of involvement – because the involvement then means the dependency, and it says, “I do not want contact. I want nothing for myself. I can do without you.”
There is an anger and a defeatism and a negativity involved in this that is utterly different from the spirit I described of self-sufficiency, that heeds and realizes the ever-present processes of the in-built self-respect that is either preserved or abused.
It does not foster self-respect when the personality runs away from the dependency he actually really wants. So therefore, in such a case, the first step would be to examine the falseness, the defiance, the anger – the almost perhaps pouting quality of the independence, the separateness in it, the denial.
You see, when this kind of self-sufficiency alienates the self from others, it creates a wider separation. The real self-sufficiency and independence never does that. It makes one more one with others, but in a free spirit – in a spirit where one deeply experiences, and feels for and with the other person, and senses.
He who wants to triumph over others denies that sameness of being average human beings, and he who clings to the others as the suppliers of strength and self-respect also denies that sameness on the opposite. Often both exist in one and the same personality.
He may, on one level, feel himself above others, and on the other feel himself below others, and want to use others for his suppliers of strength and self-respect. The strength he thus derives from them is then used to set them up above him.
It is never the evenness that brings the getting closer together. Getting closer together in freedom can only be when healthy self-sufficiency is established.