The “Silly Season” is fast approaching. For some people that means presents and Santa and Christmas trees and other fun things. Yet for many people, it evokes an anxious feeling of dread in the pit of the stomach, at the thought of imminent dinners and gatherings with one’s extended family. (This applies equally to those celebrating Hannukah and other festive religious occasions throughout the year). Why do so many people feel this way? Because this is the time of year when Terrain Clashes are most likely to occur. And they can be incendiary.
When any group of people are gathered together, there will always be differences in personality-type and interests, etc. Yet coming from a different Terrain adds a whole other layer of difference that is so fundamental, so formative, that it completely colors the way people hear each other. And in most families, at least one person will be at a different Terrain from the rest. In some families, there will be people at several different Terrains in the room, especially if there is more than one generation present. Such people may not be used to spending time together, but they feel they must at Christmas time. The potency of Christmas in the collective Field is so strong that it brings people together who otherwise wouldn’t gravitate to each other.
If a family with people at differing Terrains manages to stick to benign chit-chat at Christmas dinner —like the weather and the state of the neighborhood—then it is possible to pass the meal in peace and ease. However should any more substantive topics come up —such as politics or money or career or health or relationships or chid-raising, etc—then BOOM! Arguments and raised voices are likely to ensue.
Let’s look at a fictional example, of a family with 3 generations represented, at 4 different Terrains. The parents are at the Order-Based Terrain (Square), the two children are at the Reflection-Based Terrain (Diamond) and the Connection-Based Terrain (Circle), and the grandparents are at the Will-Based Terrain (Pyramid):
You can see that none of these people are really able to hear each other. They are each defending their positions, and are actually getting quite offended by points of view that feel alien to their own. If this topic continued, the conversation would most likely escalate increasingly until someone stormed out. This is because the first six Terrains (Particle-to-Circle) are what we call “Single-Truth Terrains”. This means that people are unable to truly hear or accept the positions of those at a different Terrain, as they perceive these as being threatening to their own relationship with reality. And since approximately 97% of people on the planet today are at one of these six Terrains, you can see how this leads to disagreements and fracturing of the family unit… especially at Christmas time!
Half a century ago, when more people were at Square and the Prevailing Terrain in our culture was at Square, family dinners like this were more harmonious, as the imperative to come together as a family and behave as civilized ‘normal’ people kept unusual and eccentric opinions from the dinner table. But in today’s Diamond world, where people are encouraged to express themselves and be true to themselves, in many families ‘anything goes’ and children speak up to their parents, and therefore such incendiary disputes can easily alight.
But imagine if everybody knew about the Ten Terrains. Imagine if the people at that dinner table all knew, not only their own Terrain, but the Terrain of everyone else. The dinner would have flowed very differently. They would have known that they each have a very different relationship to reality. They would have know, from the start, that they weren’t going to agree, so they wouldn’t have wasted their energy trying to convince each other. They would have been able to hear each other’s points of view with much more compassion and understanding. They would have been able to ‘agree to disagree’ without getting triggered. They might have even sailed through this very touchy topic and felt closer to each other at the end.
And if that were the case, we might all be willing to have such dinners more than once a year!
～ by Tahnee Woolf ～
co-creator of the Ten Terrains Of Consciousness
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