The "AND" Process:
As in One and One are Two
I experienced the “Hedy Connection” at an Imago workshop in March of 1998. While the topic was FORGIVENESS, there were many other lessons interwoven into the workshop as well. I have come to learn that’s par-for-the-course when the workshop is being led by Hedy Schleifer. We danced, shared, cried and laughed. Heidi shared many of her wonderful gifts with us, the most precious being herself. She also shared some of her favorite quotations. The following one is by A. Eddington:
“We often think that when we have completed our study of ‘One’ we know all about ‘Two’ because ‘TWO’ is ‘One and One.’ We forget that we still have to make a study of ‘AND.’”
Throughout the three day workshop, I kept returning to that quotation. It captivated me -like the flirting of a baby during a church service. My mind's eye kept being drawn back to it.
What DO I know about ‘AND?’ Eddington equated the process of ‘AND’ to mathematics when he said, "... Two is One AND One."
In mathematics the word "AND" means Addition. I thought about how Addition is different from the other basic math operations (subtraction, multiplication, and division). Then it hit me: “That’s it,” I thought, “Eddington is right.” (Not that he needed me to validate him.) I was thrown by the importance and significance of the particular way of relating required by the "AND" Process in making two individuals a Couple. Indulge me for a moment as I share my study of "AND” as it relates to the process of Addition in a relationship.
To make a twosome, or, to use the more common word, a couple, both individuals have to relate uniquely and positively with each other. Each one has to add to the other. It is rich in its simplicity, yet encompassing in its appeal, communicating to the linear, logical, mathematical minds and the creative, artistic, and allegorical minds simultaneously.
When I explored the four essential math functions (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division) and how each of those ways relate to a relationship ... Well, I was amazed.
Imagine the human equivalent of relationships that most closely exhibit each of these mathematical operations, then you might be just as surprised as I was.
When speaking of Human Processes, the process of "AND" (addition) can only occur in a relationship. It cannot be experienced alone. Addition (AND) is the ONLY math operation involving two "Ones” where the end result is the greatest possible result. Please, take a moment and explore with me how the four basic mathematical operations apply to relationships:
One plus one is two (1+1=2); Jumping to the Bottom Line: It is Only through relating in an addition-sort-of-way, the “AND” Process, that Two individuals can get the most beneficial results. It is each person bringing ALL they are to the relationship and Accepting All of the other that creates not only a couple, but it also creates synergy. It is the most productive process of creating the best possible relationship. The ways of relating that are the other three mathematical processes don’t even come close to achieving this. Here they are:
One minus one is zero (1-1=0); How many people can you think of who are totally negative about their partners (subtraction)? What if a person only negates the only ½ of the other person’s qualities, doesn’t that leave 1½? Not really, because you actually have one person (1), a positive half (+½), and a negative half (-½). This is 1+½-½ = 1.
One time One is One (1x1=1); Here, I envision those who are trying to reproduce their partner into the image of who they think their partner ought-to-be. The other scenario is someone who co-dependently conforms their self to the other’s desires. Both of these last two are the flip side of the same coin -- an attempt to reproduce the one (multiple).
One divided by One is still only One (1/1=1); This one seemed the most difficult to apply to relationships. What occurs to me is the situation in which one person creates a gulf or ‘divide’ in their relationship. With a mental/emotional divide between them, each person operates independently of the other, resulting in two separate ‘ones’ living under the same roof.
Only when added - 'One AND One' - does the result equal the highest possible outcome, Two.
(I wonder if this is where the word "Twosome" originated – from Two-sum perhaps?)
Thank you, Hedy, for sharing that quote, prompting me to make a study of "AND.” It brings simplicity to understanding what makes relationships work. However, as the saying goes, “Never Confuse Simple For Easy.” There is much work that goes into creating the “AND” Process in a relationship. Knowing in which direction to go in is the beginning.
Love yourself (bring All of you) as you love your partner (and accept All of who your partner is), equally. Then grow your love for both. Making an effort is well worth it.
When this process is applied correctly, it dissipates the power struggle - and is replaced by a state of
Relaxed Joyful Connectedness.
Author: Joe Elwart, Psy.S., LLP
June 1998 (Rev. August 2018)