Letter from Cressida Pryor
September 19, 2023
FOI Autumn Equinox Letter 2023
Dear FOI Friends,
As we swing into the equinox this week, I am wondering how and if balance is present in our current world...and if not how we can foster more of it...
I recently was reminded of the tendency I have, and perhaps many others too...to use, what the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber termed the unequal ‘I-it’ relationship to the world and others...this is the stance of ‘myself’ to an objectified, quantifiable and ‘judged’ other. We have, in the UK in the past few days, been made more aware of the predatory and misogynistic style of a media hyped man. Descriptions of his behaviour show scant awareness of a woman’s humanity and needs...women have become commodities to be used and exploited. This demonstrates the ‘I-it’ relationship where there is no balance, fairness or equality. I have described an extreme example; my ‘I-it’ moments are more mundane and every day. My irritation with the slow driver in front of me, my neighbours parking quirks...
In contrast Buber’s more humane and in effect ‘non-dual’ relationship ideal is that of ‘I-thou’...a rather charming use of old English’s less formal, family friendly ‘you’ as compared to the ‘thee’ of status differential and hierarchy.
The ‘I-thou’ relationship I feel grows from the early parental ‘real’ and reciprocal connection with the infant.
Last Saturday I was entranced when I witnessed a young father’s interaction with his baby daughter...they were face to face, he gurgled at her, she in delight, chirruped and gurgled back. It was a sacred and very special moment to be part of. Both seemed oblivious to anything else, totally captivated by the other’s gaze and joyous response. I felt humbled and reconnected to the beauty of true human connection.
May we all, at this time of the earth’s balance within day and night find peace in our connections
May we find the strength to hold this balance in our relationships
To weave new patterns of Truth and Justice into a web of life that is strong,
Beautiful and everlasting. In Her name, amen.
Cressida, FOI Steward