Excerpt About Resistance

Hardening Ourselves
Resistance is an active mode of inner coercion that reflects or overlaps with a more passive form of inner manipulation—our defensiveness. As with defense, resistance frequently implies a need to protect ourselves. Sometimes we resist because we don’t like what we are experiencing; we’d prefer something else, so we judge what actually is. Perhaps we are angry at what is happening in us. Or we are tired of it. But much of the time, we resist because we feel we need to protect ourselves. And protection is the basic motivation for putting up inner defenses. When we perceive a real danger or threat, or when we imagine one, we tend to harden ourselves for self-protection. But by hardening ourselves, we are not only thickening our consciousness, we are also making it stiff and solid, and it becomes impossible to experience that delicacy, that gentleness and intimacy, of being ourselves. That hardening reaction—building a wall of protection and separation—which becomes an impediment against finding where we are, is the ego’s basic mode of defense. Ego is based mainly on defenses—defending itself against dangers—inner and outer, imaginary and real. Ego does not really exist without its defenses.

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