How To Argue Well

Q: I don’t want to stay in my patterned ways of relating, and the best way I know is not to let arguments persist.

John: For arguments to become fewer you would have to learn to argue well. For you to learn to argue well is for you to use everything that you are in support of clarity coming through. In a good argument, no one wins but clarity.

Q: I’ve experienced that. There was no emotion; there was straightness and I was in my feet. I saw that as not standing in myself but in the inner me. Is that true?

John: Study those qualities by caring for them. In learning how to argue well you would have to develop well, developing your heart and your mind because of your eagerness to be true.

Q: What do you mean by “argue well”?

John: For you to learn to argue well you cannot use your will, either in strength or in weakness. It is just you intricately applying what you know, with all of your heart, through all of your mind. It is a skill of kindness to learn. Without it clarity cannot make its point.

It is essential to be moving in a direction of having good arguments. Love, moving through the mind, argues so well. It is all for the sake of clarity. It begins in your heart with what you know, then see that it moves through your mind without a catch – without you getting stuck. Begin with what is clear in your heart and then gently, but surely, apply it. It is about applying simplicity in complex things.

The Echo of Tenderness Into Eternity

Q: I have this question about innocence. All those things that we do to our selves and to other people … do they leave marks? Do they go away?

John: Never. Did you see the movie ‘The Gladiator’? What he said is true: that everything that you do now echoes through eternity.

Q: So you just let it echo?

John: That’s acceptance. When you, in tenderness, let what you’ve done to your self, to your being, to others … when you let that, in tenderness, echo through eternity then it is that tenderness that echoes around that for eternity. It will take all of eternity for you to realize.

Q: Can you say more?

John: It will take all of eternity for you to realize how pregnant every little action of yours is. We make it all so small by justifying what we do, rationalizing things. Then we take something that is so endlessly huge, such as a single action in one moment, and we manage to reduce it to nothing, and in that we become calloused. We lose our innocence. Innocence feels and is in touch with, in largeness, the smallness of every little thing.

It’s only innocence that knows the echo of things.

Q: Did I know that echo when I was running around like a bull in a china shop?

John: Way deep down, but not on the surface. It was so deep down because it was that far away that you needed to push it. If it would get any closer it would interfere with your life. It would interfere with what you wanted. Desperation to control pushes the knowing of the echo away.

While you’re still on the earth plane you can push such echoes away with more action: awareness invested in action, making yourself busy about nothing. Then we manage to do much talking that has no meaning. That is awareness invested in action, just to keep the echo away. When we let the echo in that is when the old begins to die. When you let the echo in, all that remains is what is new and then even old echoes will touch only what is new, which again creates a very different echo – one that is not coarse.

Once you leave the earth plane you can no longer delude yourself and then the echo pierces you. All that it will touch within you is tenderness. The echo of meaningless words, meaningless action; the echo from that will forever, in tenderness, pierce your heart because you’ll see it for what it really is instead of how you may have wanted to see it.

Q: Are they meaningless because they are empty?

John: They’re meaningless because they were used to cover something. That makes them empty, then we use words to accomplish something other than their actual meaning. Then our energy and our words don’t match.

Any action that arises out of openness or softness also echoes throughout eternity, and after you leave this earth plane such echoes will always, in tenderness, pierce you as well, because then you’ll see your own heart. You’ll see the movement of gold in it. You’ll be moved by the meaning of what you were being.

When a bug crawls across the ground, its every step affects in fineness the entire universe. The actions of a consciousness such as we are affects the whole universe in a way that is so much larger, you could never measure it. Innocence can feel that. It’s only innocence that can let that in.

The Opening of Pure, Clean Sexuality

Q: Sexuality has been a challenge for me my whole life. You have spoken about the fire of sexuality. I know a little of that, but for many years it hasn’t felt like that at all. I’ve experienced reduced potency and this has created disturbances in relationship. Now there is almost no sexuality in my life and I’ve enjoyed not having to worry about it. I don’t feel inclined to be sexual with anyone else, but without moving it in my life, how can I continue to go deeper? I feel I need to come towards my sexuality from something different.

John: The opening of pure sexuality, clean sexuality, comes with the opening of your heart and it isn’t focused on sexuality; it isn’t focused on sexuality as you’ve understood it. As you unconditionally, at any personal expense, return to your heart and everything that’s deeper, your deeper sexuality begins to open which is different from your hormonal sexuality.

Your deeper sexuality is the movement of your being through your heart that moves as meaning in you to another, in you to others, and in you to everything. It’s what enables you to directly meet something or someone. It’s what enables you to meet and commune.

As your deeper sexuality opens, it brings your opened heart up into your face and into your eyes and it shifts your whole perception of reality. It changes how you see others. It’s your return to your innocence and then it’s how you relate from within your innocence to others regardless of how they treat you, regardless of what they’re like. It means that you are naturally predisposed to meet with others and to commune. Because from there your heart is up into your face and up into your eyes, you’re able to find the same in anyone regardless of how covered-up their heart is. Because it’s up into your face and up into your eyes, you can see it in others. Within that, there is a natural movement of your heart, in your face, in your eyes, toward others.

Q: Can I do this on my own? Does it take loving, intimate relationship?

John: You don’t need it. The intimacy is intimacy of being that’s free to move in all of your heart and that’s free to move in your face, the interior of your face, and in your eyes in everything that you see. It returns you to where you left off when you left your innocence when you were really little.

Q: So is that the purpose of sexuality, in the end?

John: The purpose of sexuality is for you to move as a being, physically, so to make that meeting and that communion physical through your sexuality – through your hormonal sexuality. The premise of this is that your sexuality, as with everything else, doesn’t belong to your self; it belongs, through your heart, to your being. Kept for your self, through attraction or aversion, puts it out of balance.

Q: You’re talking about a return to innocence and opening the heart?

John: That’s everything. As you return to where you left off, and as you develop from within your innocence in the present state of your self and your life, as everything is being returned through your heart, present in your life to your being, your sexuality will re-awaken. It’ll re-awaken because of the movement of your being. As your being gets to have everything else, it will also come into your sexuality. It’s like you coming into a second puberty.

Q: I’ve had glimpses of that. So I can actively do this on my own?

John: Instead of your body and your self coming into puberty, your being, through your body and your self, comes into puberty. The meaning of hormonal sexuality isn’t the same.

Your sexuality is your greatest human power. It isn’t a power of your self. It’s a power of your humanness, which is exclusive to the heart. That power doesn’t belong to your self. Used for your self it goes out of balance. Given to your being, it empowers your being. It’s the greatest human power you have that has reach into your deeper levels, that has reach into all of your being and is able to bring your being right up into the physical, into your self, into the person. Your sexuality, given to your being, has unlimited reach. It’s reach is directly into meaning and it has unlimited capacity to express meaning that it has reached into.

Impotence is symptomatic of a lack of meaning in sexuality. It’s a self, a physical self condition. It isn’t a human condition. There’s only one real and direct aphrodisiac and that’s meaning. It’s not the meaning of your self: it begins with the meaning of your heart, and from there, all of the levels of your being, all of the meaning of being. As you move in that, that directly awakens your sexuality. In that way, your sexuality is given back to your being.

Q: Can it be that at a very early stage I experienced a lack of meaning around sexuality? I always wondered what it was really about. Or have I turned away from it because of pain or shame?

John: That didn’t occur because of something happening. That occurred because of what you were being in what happened. When what you were being was different from your own being, then through a distorted beingness, or a tightness of being, you separated from what was real. That alters your perception and experience of sexuality. For each self that manifests differently, but in every self it manifests as a lack of meaning.

Q: Does this mean that I should not involve myself in another relationship until I’ve grown deeper into my own heart and being?

John: Yes. Because if you start a new relationship you’ll use how you relate in your self to others – you’ll use your training – to be in relationship. It will all be sweetly dusted with touches in your heart, but what will be predominant is your self.

Q: That sounds like most relationships!

John: Anyone in relationship through their conditioning develops a conditioned relationship. It can have elements and touches of realness but it’s not a real relationship. A real relationship is from the inside out, with two. It’s based on real meeting, real communion, and there’s never anything in the way. It’s based on beings together, through the heart, all manifested directly in the self, in the person, in the body.

Q: And that goes for both, which means that I would have to find someone who is coming from the heart and the being.

John: Basically, you become, from the inside out, the kind of being, heart, self and person that you would most want to marry. It doesn’t have to take very long. The quicker it is, the more disturbing it is.

Q: Does it also imply that at that stage you might be just as happy on your own?

John: Yes. Then, the only reason that you would enter a relationship is because you are deeply, quietly clear. The impetus doesn’t come from your self; it comes from a depth of clarity that’s made of knowing. It has no polarization in it. It has no charge in it – nothing positive, nothing negative. It’s you, as a being, freely seeing, in your forms, someone else and being clear from the inside out to be together for what you are clearly coming from. It isn’t for reasons of relationship.

It’s in the same way that you came into relationship with your mother when you were in her body. You didn’t come into relationship with her as a self or as a person; you didn’t have one. You came into relationship as a being. It wasn’t on her terms; it was on yours and as you moved as a being you got right into her. She didn’t comprehend. She just quietly knew. All of it bypassed her self, her personality and her whole life: two beings together in one body. There begins the model of real relationship.

Q: That makes total sense.

John: To see how sexuality moves as a being, you get a little idea in seeing a baby smile. When a baby smiles at you, through the unseen levels in the baby the baby moves in them and expresses through its self that is already developing, and reaches way into you. Not just meeting: the baby enters you, accesses you and elicits a response, and any little bit that is open in you, the baby reaches in and gets you.

Hormonal sexuality belongs to that movement.

How Can I Help Myself During a Panic Attack?

Q: Lately I have been having panic attacks. I’ve had anxieties as long as I can remember and I feel I’ve trained my nervous system this way. I wish I could let go more and relax, like a child in her mother’s arms. Can you help me with what to do when this panic comes up in daily life, when I’m at work or with other people? It scares me.

John: Your nervous system in distress is like your child. As that’s occurring you are like your child’s deeply quieted mother and, as that, your distressed child looks to you and listens to you. Your distressed nervous system is really calling out to a different level of you than what you are being in your nervous system, which created the distress in the first place.

What creates the distress in your nervous system isn’t the pressureful circumstance that you’re in. It isn’t the lack in your self. It’s what you’re being in that, you being the same as what you’re experiencing instead of being what is just a little bit deeper than you’re experiencing. Then, instead of you being distressing to your nervous system, you are a little bit like ointment to it.

Q: What would that look like? I often feel as if I’m trying at that point to be a little bit deeper, but it’s still quite hard for me not to believe what I’m experiencing so strongly.

John: It’s a little bit like you being what sounds like “mmmmm” in the midst of what is “ouch”, instead of you being “ouch” in what is “ouch”. Despite what is “ouch”, find even the tiniest little bit of “mmmmm”. If you’re open to find it, it’s there.

Q: I can do that.

A Real Foundation For Relationship

Q: I’d like you to help me look deeper at a pattern of mine. I keep falling in love with men who seemingly don’t want a committed relationship. I can see the reflection of my own lack of commitment and maybe even lack of loving, yet I do feel that the love is very genuine.  

John: The love for …?

Q: The man, and the love for truth.

John: Leave out the first one! Let your whole life turn into the second one. Without your whole life turning into the love of the truth, you won’t be with a man rightly.  You’re trying to find, from a man, what you lack in the love of the truth. When you’re going to a man and trying to find in him what you’re lacking within, that is exactly the kind of man who will be attracted to you, so you’ll be teaching each other the lesson that each of you needs to learn: that you cannot find, without, what you’re lacking within. It will never stop until you do, but for you to stop will have you facing everything that you’ve been running away from.  

The only part of you that can have a real relationship with a man is the part of you that doesn’t need to. Very gently leave alone that which you want the very most. When you think that you’re ready to be in a relationship with a man, then be open to be in relationship without it being at all physical. If you find that disturbing then you’re not ready to be in a relationship with a man. You can only handle being physical when you can first handle not being physical. The more that you relate to the physical in a relationship, the shorter that relationship will last. It’s not going to stop until you do.  

Q: I can see I need to stop the neediness part, but loving from the heart, too?

John: Loving from the heart, but not using that to get from a man what you can only have within. If you cannot have it alone, within, with neediness quieted, then you will not be able to sustain it without. The ‘I’, being in right relationship with what it knows, is much easier than the ‘I’ being in a real relationship with another. The more that you gravitate to what is actually more difficult the more that you are avoiding what is actually easiest within.

Let your own foundation heal and come together rightly, then you can join, healthfully, with another.

I’m Not Getting The Promotion I Deserve!

Q: My husband and I worked very hard last year and didn’t get promoted. What can we do to have our work recognized? We work very hard, do our duty, but there seems to be no justice.

John: Do what you’re already doing without needing to be promoted. That makes you more promotable than when you need to be promoted. Once you both have what you’re looking for, then what will you do?

Q: I’d continue in the work I’ve chosen, but I am looking for justice and recognition in our workplace. Others seem to do things that aren’t honest or true in order to be promoted, while we do all we can to be good, honest people and work hard.

John: What you’re looking for, you won’t be able to find. Even if you would find recognition and justice, what will you do with it?

Q: I will do what I think is my duty. I believe in justice and it’s not easy to find.

John: What you’re looking for, without, you can find within. You’re looking for justice without, but is it there, completely, within? If it is not completely within you won’t be able to manifest it without. If you’re looking for respect, do you completely respect everything that you are being?

Q: I think so: yes.

John: Do you get angry with your husband?

Q: No. Not at all.

John: If you ever get annoyed, frustrated or angry then you’re lacking self-respect. Whatever lack there is within your self will show outside of your self. If you’re going to be climbing a ladder without, you won’t be able to do so wholesomely unless you’re bringing all of those around you, with you. It cannot be for your self. If it’s to be wholesome, it has to be for the whole, which would involve a total change of perspective. Then it wouldn’t be about you being promoted; it would be about the very best one to be promoted, otherwise you’ll always be in a race, competing with others instead of being with others.

Real justice isn’t about you being promoted. It is about the very best one being promoted, and it’s not for that one. It’s for the whole, so that the quality of beingness within the whole increases. Otherwise when you get what you want, someone else won’t be able to. When you arrive at something good, within, it leaks out to everyone. It doesn’t matter how much you achieve if it doesn’t include the whole of everyone. If you make it and others don’t, then you’ll have to go back because you haven’t really made it. Exist so that the highest goodness can unfold within, and then continue to unfold without. If your manner of moving ahead isn’t of the highest goodness, then your moving ahead isn’t good.

It cannot be about what you’re building in life. It must be about why you’re building it and upon what kind of foundation are you building it: knowing why you’re doing something and knowing what kind of foundation your doing is coming out of. If it is not so, then you might do much in life but there will not be as much value to what you’re doing as there is the much that you are doing.

Evolving In The Midst Of Bipolar Disorder

Q: For some time now I’ve experienced strong bipolar episodes. I don’t want to be a victim and I do accept responsibility, but their impact is so intense and they throw me so far from my self, I feel that I don’t have my independence anymore. There’s a relentless inevitability and I wonder what to do about it.

John: You suffer from what, in a tropical climate, is called hurricane season.

The seasons that you pass through don’t stop you from being what you first are. They don’t stop you from being in your body, as is. You’re able to be, as awareness, stillness in a hurricane. You don’t need to be troubled by what you’re experiencing. You are the equanimity of being, despite what experience you’re in, despite what’s happening in your body and how that affects your self.

Q: During the episodes it’s such an altered state. When I come out of them I wake up in a far field somewhere, so much of my life is about repair and the journey back. I can’t seem to hold on to any momentum in what I’d like to live from in my self.

John: Because of the extreme changes in what you experience, you keep losing your ground. You do what you can to regain your ground for your ground to be lost, over and over. Don’t have your ground in what can be changed. Don’t have your ground or your grounding in anything to do with what you experience.

What you have, as awareness, is what you know the truth of in your heart. That knowing isn’t subject to what you experience. That knowing in your heart is subject only to your belief or your disbelief. If what you know the truth of in your heart is subject only to your belief, then, as that, you are not anymore what you’re experiencing. The experiences are what you have, and you no longer have your ground in what you’re experiencing. You have your ground as awareness in what you’re knowing, in what you know the truth of in your heart. Knowing is your only ground.

What you’re experiencing and what you suffer from in your body invite you to no longer have your ground in what you experience in your body and in your self. What remains for you is only what you know the truth of in your heart. You don’t need to see it. You don’t need to feel it. You don’t need to experience it. And regardless of what storm you’re in, you are that knowing in your heart. What you’re in is the invitation to realize what you really are, to realize what doesn’t change and isn’t subject to what you’re suffering from. You’re able, as awareness, to be coming from what is deeper within than you suffer in.

Q: There’s such a price!

John: The way that you suffer in it reveals that if you wouldn’t have this happening to you, you would most easily be lost in your self and in your life. If you won’t be what you really are in difficulty, you really won’t be what you really are, within, in ease. In that way the difficulty is, for you, a gift. You’re not in this world to have an easy and a comfortable life. You’re in this world, in your body and in your self to be what you first are, within, and to evolve and develop as that. The difficulty and your suffering make it clear. You don’t have the option of being lost in ease.

Q: I have a struggle with it and find it so difficult to accept as a gift.

John: Your real ground, within, is ground unshakable. Have no rest in what is shakable. Have your rest, as awareness, only in what is unshakable. This you can be and you can do because the unshakable, within, is what you are. The shaking and the turbulence point you, as awareness, to what isn’t like that, within. When you are, as awareness, being what you know the truth of in your heart, you are what is unshakable and you have, then, the beingness of that: most quiet love, love that is also not subject to what is shakable. You’ll have the second when you are actually at home in the first. Then you’ll also be genuinely okay, as is, with your condition. You won’t be wishing for a change. What you’ll be coming from has need of nothing. That you are grounded in knowing, and evolving as awareness will matter more to you than anything you’re experiencing. From within what you know the truth of in your heart, you don’t need anything to be different.

You are then the tiny little bit that you know the truth of in your heart. You are unwaveringly that: the tiny little bit within, repeatedly imprisoned, cast away, returned for apparent recovery over and over again as that tiny little bit … evolving. Your own beingness is your home.

Your packaging is entirely suitable to what you are as the tiny little bit, within. It’s only unsuitable to your experience as a self. As you evolve within your packaging, your self will change. Your self will become as you are. Your forms will slowly transform and be as you are in them. As long as you are disquieted within what you are experiencing, your self continues to be the same. Your self becomes as you are.

You have your seeing from what you’re experiencing, and your seeing is not representative of you and what you know the truth of. Your own seeing will not be representative of you, of what you really are, within, until you are being what you really are, within. When the little that you know the truth of in your heart means more to you than anything you’re experiencing, your seeing will come from what you know and not from your experience anymore.

The shaking ground, the most unstable ground in your self, sends you, as awareness, to the unshakeable ground within – your ground of knowing. Your self is no longer the ground of your heart. What you know the truth of in your heart is the only ground of your heart. Instead of having a somewhat uncommon experience in your self, as awareness you’ll have most uncommon seeing.

Q: You mentioned “quiet love”?

John: A depth of realized love that needs no voice: the beingness of dwelt-in living knowledge, beingness that is indomitable. It is not subject to even the harshest of weather systems. Your condition is your beloved personal trainer.

Q: “Beloved”?

John: When it’s gone, you’ll realize it. When you are, as awareness, being what you know the truth of in your heart, great development occurs within great difficulty.

Q: Why not in great joy and light?

John: Because it’s so suitable to a little self.  As a little self, you will work joy into your shakable ground. You’ll work joy into familiarity. You’ll spend the newness of what you are as goodness.

In facing your own evolution as awareness, there is nothing in it for you in your little self, in your shakable self.  As awareness in your little self you relate to convenience and to inconvenience. In your little self you live by short-sighted want and need. The development of your bigger self, your deeper self and your higher self comes by your evolution as awareness, by having your ground only in the little bit that you know the truth of in your heart.

Q: It doesn’t feel like such a little bit. It might be a small jewel, but it’s very, very precious.

John: When you’re outside of it, it’s most little. When you’re in it and coming from it, it is absolutely everything. It’s what you are. It even comes with a personal trainer: unhappiness. When you know how it works and you’re at home in how it works, it all works. You don’t choose your difficulty. Your only real choice, as awareness, is knowing, despite any kind of difficulty.

How Can I Experience Forgiveness?

Q: I feel so much pain in my heart. Can you speak of how to experience forgiveness?

John: By never, ever being hard on your self again.  

Q: How do you do that?

John: By never judging yourself based on anything that you’ve ever learned, never judging yourself based on anything that you’ve ever believed; by letting your whole heart be totally naked, and letting it stay naked.

Q: It stays naked by not reacting to the mind’s thoughts?

John: Not believing them. Not dressing your heart up.

Q: Do you mean with beliefs?

John: Not dressing up your heart with what is supposed to be, not dressing it up with what could be, not dressing up your heart with what you want it to be, but letting all of the clothing on your heart come off, and being gentle with what’s left over. No longer needing others to like you and no longer needing your self to like you.

What’s left over is the most tender okayness that needs no help.  Very gently give up on your self, and be content with being simply okay as is.  

Q: My heart thanks you.  

John: Let your whole self be reduced until all that’s left over is a smile, then you’ve found your self.  It’s as simple as that. When all that is left over of your self is a simple smile, then you’ll no longer have a single problem within: the end of your misery and the end of your whole life as you’ve known it.

Bringing New, Deeper Love Into Your Marriage

Quote: Everything that you would learn in your next relationship, pour into this one.

Q: I’ve been in love with my husband for many years and we have two children. For a few months I’ve been in a deep connection and love with another man, and this love feels so deep, peaceful, and easy. I’m seeing how my ability to be in love depends on the qualities in another and wonder if I’m evolved enough to be with someone who’s closed and distant. It’s a pain-filled situation for us all.

John: Use what comes up in you toward another man than your husband to inspire what you’re able to find in you toward your husband. What another man finds in you, you bring to your husband. Don’t learn how to do that in your next relationship.

When you come to what seems like a wall in your relationship, instead of giving up, dig; dig and find him. Bring to him what you’re looking for from him. Turn into everything that you’re looking for and, in that, go the distance. Instead of being met by another man, be met by what comes up in you, seemingly because of another man.

Q: Yeah, I understand now.

John: Expire every resource you have to uncover what you’re looking for from your husband. Find it without you waiting for him to bring it to you.

Leave your familiarity that you have with your husband aside, so instead of coming from what you’re used to in your self when you’re with him, leave your self aside and be open to see him despite his self. Then, as you begin to see, give of your self to what you see of him. That’s like you developing a new garden toward him. He doesn’t need to see it. Your reach eventually makes its way. Believe the part of him that wants to see instead of believing the part of him that doesn’t. Love making it easy for him to say “yes” to you, and you’ll find him.

Everything that you would learn in your next relationship, pour into this one. Pour into your husband. The two of you have picked the tree of all of its fruit and you haven’t grown anything new. That’s not the fault of the relationship. It’s a cycle in a relationship. When you realize the cycle, then you begin to grow new fruit. It costs much more than coming into a new relationship where there appears to be so much ready fruit.

Q: That’s a lovely picture.

John: Love gardening in your relationship. You evolve in the midst of your relationship as it is. If you don’t know where to begin, begin with feeling sorry for him. As soon as you feel it, then don’t stay there. Go one level of feeling deeper, so as soon as you feel sorry for him, feel for him, and as soon as you really have that, go a level deeper of feeling; instead of feeling for him, feel him, and there you’ve found him again. As soon as you have reached feeling him, move your heart to him. Move your vulnerability unceasingly; stay with it regardless of what he’s like. Believe the part in him that wants to be reached. Don’t give up on that part just because of the other parts that show.

Falling in love with another man – that’s good. It shows you what’s inside of you. Take all of that to your husband. Instead of feeling guilty about it, let it move you and inspire you.

Start a whole new garden toward your husband until he gets it.

Q: Thank you so much.

How To Connect With Your Autistic Child

Q: One of the happiest people I know is my eight-year-old grandson, who is autistic. He is so creative in what he does, but he often plays entirely on his own. I’m wondering if autism is a defense against the world? It occurred when he was about two years old. I wonder if he’s operating at a higher spiritual level than most of us, or is it a lower level?

John: Higher, but not higher in a way that works or is conducive to this world. The form of it is its own restriction. He’s then, as awareness, free within himself to go high but he’s restricted in his outermost form. He’s restricted as a person to go high.

As awareness, he’ll be restricted to a particular style of opening, softening and moving in the way that his being is like, and that style will most not work in his person. Because it doesn’t work in his person he’ll naturally, through habit, refrain from his person, making him more and more difficult for others to find.

Being with him is still really easy as long as you are okay with opening and softening in a way that is particular to his style – his stylized movement of opening and softening. Within that, being together with him is easy. Step outside of that, and the two of you can’t be together.

The way to lead him out of that is for you to be with him completely on his terms, and then be more than what he is, still on his terms. That draws him out beyond what he’s accustomed to, but still allows for precisely the same beingness: the same beingness with different form. He’ll experience discomfort in that in the same way that anyone who moves past themselves experiences discomfort.

Q: Is what you say particular to this condition or is it the same for all people with different mental abilities, like Down’s syndrome – or can we not generalize? People often say these children are so happy in a different way, but I often wonder what that means.

John: He’ll be happy until you frustrate his experience. If he’s responding to what he knows, which enables him to move in the way that his own being is, then he can be taken past what he’s used to in himself which won’t feel good but he knows is good. It is good because it’s not only purely him, but there’s real form to it and it will be a stretch for himself