becoming a jar of marmelade

David Bohm called it suspension: holding our thoughts, and our mental and emotional status in view. I started to call it marmelade when a participant in a workshop used that pungent metaphor. And what is marmelade, apart from something zingy you put on toast?

This kind of marmelade comes from self-awareness. We start to see the peel, the rind, the flesh, the seeds: all the bits of ourselves. That is, we can become acquainted with our prejudices, beliefs, doubts, emotions and ideas as though they were bits of fruit in a pot of marmelade, or particles in a suspension as scientist, Bohm, would have it.

In marmelade we can still see all the consituent ingredients. We can explore the fullness of our experience and not shun the nasty bits–the prejudices we don’t like to acknowledge, or the ideals that have hardened into fundamentalism. In that way we grow more healthy and open to ourselves and to others.

I have thought about this a lot in reference to the way we communicate. For me, authenticity comes from our capacity to listen to ourselves and to discover all our fruity bits, even the tough skin and the bitter pith, or the pip that just may choke us.

We can acknowledge our own bits and then we don’t get hooked by them, or at least not SO hooked. Once we’re clear of our own ‘stuff’ we can listen better to others.

So, enough with the marmelade. I’ll let it go and you can just spread it on your toast.