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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %OBJECTIVE SUBJECTIVE REFLEXIVE PERSONAL TOUCHING 890701 It is virtually impossible for human touching to be a purely objective action. Thus it cannot properly be understood through participation in just the objective paradigm of analysis. Touching may be understood through an existential consideration of its roots and significance. People who are compulsively trying to be objective at all times are likely to avoid human touching, for human touching is likely to undermine their collusive pretense that it is possible to be objective all the time. To touch such a person is a threat to their collusion, and thus not a purely objective action; similarly for them to touch anybody else. There is symbolic significance in all human touching; even in touching which is intended to avoid significance, for there is human significance in the attempt to avoid significance. Medical professionals and physical-care professionals learn how to touch in ways which avoid conveying unwelcome personal meanings in touching; and thereby their touching has professional significance, it signifies a professional attitude and approach which is more acceptable in its context, than would be an unwelcome personal advance towards personal intimacy. Alienated people often touch through violence, because they do not know how to be tender in touching, and are threatened by tender touching. The physical touching of physical combat points to the personal alienation which leads to such touching. Physical violence has its own roots, meaning and significance. The human touching of friendly handshakes and hugs has its own significance which affirms the presence and integrity of the other who is touched. In such touching there is a non-judgmental acceptance and affirmation of human fellowship as physical creatures in similar circumstances of human finitude. Some touching points to efforts to manipulate each other for personal advantage or for the advantage of a coercive purpose or cause, which may be motivated by high ideals. Such touching lacks integrity, and is often experienced as threatening and offensive, even though at a subconscious level which is not articulated verbally. Other touching has integrity. Authentic touching is an expression of affection without manipulative desire or intent. Authentic touching does not take advantage of a person's vulnerability. Authentic touching gives security in the presence of vulnerability, and so elicits no defensive response. Authentic touching is common in healthy living; but is absent from addictive, collusive, manipulative, and coercive living. Authentic touching entails vulnerability made meaningful through the gift of security. Authentic touching is not understandable to people who are defensive because they have not received the gift of security in the presence of vulnerability. It is difficult to be misleading through touching. It is difficult tell overt lies through touching, for the symbolism of touching does not yield to manipulative efforts as well as does the symbolism of formal languages. Attempts to be deceptive through touching expose the would be deceiver as much as the attempts may mislead the intended victim. It is dangerous for deceptive people to try to use touch as a technique of manipulation, for human instinct can tell the difference between authentic and deceptive touching. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================