Sometimes things become clearer when we have just a bit of information, or several small bits. A single detail can sometimes make us perceive the whole in ways we had not before–we may notice connections we had not noticed or recall pertinent memories that had been submerged. I hope the following short notes will be helpful in this way.
- When we speak to someone, we speak to what we think is in their mind. FIML practice helps us know with much greater accuracy what is in the mind of the person we are speaking to.
- FIML helps us avoid the worry of wondering if our partner is bothered by something we said (or did) because we know that if they are, they will bring it up.
- FIML allows far more leeway in how we speak to our partner. It allows us to speak creatively and exploratorily with our partner. We can speak tentatively without the need for strongly expressed conclusions. We can share doubt, wonder, uncertainty with our partner.
- Our minds are dynamic processes. FIML helps us access the dynamism of our minds in the moment with our partner. We can share and communicate dynamic states without clinging to static interpretations.
- Interpretations of what others say or of what we think they are saying are all too often static interpretations based on things that happened in the past. With FIML practice, by simply asking, we avoid making harmful or mistaken interpretations. There is no need to guess at what our partner means, and every reason not to.
- If you wonder what your partner means but don’t ask, you will still make some sort of interpretation. If you don’t ask them because you think it might feel awkward, you are still making an interpretation and limiting your understanding of yourself and your partner.
- Neuroses (ongoing mistaken interpretations) are fed in the moment. Conversations move quickly and are dynamic. If we withhold a FIML query from our partner, we will almost certainly feed one of our ongoing mistaken interpretations of them, we will strengthen our own neurosis and miss a chance for mutual liberation from it.
- When we speak or listen, we all tend to be self-centered, in a neutral sense of the term. I don’t mean selfish here, but simply self-centered. When we listen, we tend to listen first of all to how our partner’s speech impacts us. Did I do something wrong? Did I do something right? Will that cost me energy or money? Does that refer to me somehow? Our fundamental self-centeredness is based on being in a body and having a mental autobiography. There is nothing wrong with that unless we use it mistakenly as an integral part of our interpretation of what our partner is saying. If you are wondering if their comments are being directed, subtly or not, at you, just ask them. If you don’t ask, you will either come to a conclusion based on insufficient information or you will continue to wonder about what they said. In either case you will be wasting both your own energy and your partner’s. It’s always “cheaper” (more energy efficient, more truth efficient) to do a FIML query than to avoid it.
- It’s always “cheaper” (more energy efficient, more truth efficient) to do a FIML query than to avoid it.