Horizontal & Vertical Inquiries 🚥Sep 15, 2022
Recently I watched someone angry try to "claim his experience" (take a more empowered relationship of responsibility for their part of what’s happening in them, versus blaming someone else) by sharing more detail about what he was angry about. I see this as a "horizontal" exploration because it keeps awareness on the same level of causation. There is lots of value in horizontal explorations (consider "I feel inspired right now" vs "I feel inspired right now by you"), but rarely empowerment.
As I see it, "vertical" explorations bring awareness to more fundamental causes. Being in touch with a more core generator of experience gives us more freedom to choose. This happens when we hold experience as a gift to unwrap that will surprise even us. This happens when we ask questions, like "What drives this experience?", "What assumptions do my feelings rest upon (including bodily, like a nervous system reaction)?". This happens when we recognize that these 'deeper' causes are already present but generally remain unseen, like atoms and molecules. Much of the power of relatefulness comes from bringing conversational awareness to their already-here-ness.
Horizontal: "I feel sad because… [fills in details] no one wants to hang out".
Vertical: "I’m sad because... [inquiry into the not-yet-known] I feel unlovable when I think no one wants to hang out with me... [continues to inquire] and it’s safer to feel sad than feel unlovable".
With love, Jordan
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