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Author Topic: Love
Member # 9873

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"It is the function of the artist to evoke the experience of surprised recognition: To show the viewer what he knows but does not know that he knows."
-William S Burroughs

The Recurring Haromony of the Soul

The truest things speak to me, resound in my head, light up my neurons, cause my stomach to jump and my heart to race. And when I speak them aloud, tears come unbidden to my eyes. It is truly a shame and an honor to be a human being who believes in logic, and yet is truly driven by emotion, against the matter of the fact if need be. If anything, this is my fault, and it is one I cling to desperately.

One recurring theme, which many sources have rung in my heart, has been that of the all powerful, transformative nature of love.

I think the first resounding was the story of Jesus, the concept and practice of truly loving your enemy.

When I read Enders Game, this bell was rung again:
"I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”

Something about this seemed to overcome the monkey brain, even if for a short time. Perhaps an accident of evolution in mammalian brain, perhaps something more. Whatever it is, I have always been content to let love lead me around like a fool. Ender discovered, in learning and understanding his enemy, truly knowing what things led them to be who they are, that he loved them. This was something that tore him apart.

When I read Stranger in a Strand Land, the perfect love of water brothers was another resounding in my head. I remember being moved to tears when the group all shared water at the press conference.

Kurt Vonnegut was another confirmation: “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

When I was introduced to Buddhist ideas, and the concept of individuality being ultimately an illusion, the concept of love took on another dimension, that perhaps perfect love is really the truth, in the back of all of our heads,
perhaps in the depths of matter itself, that if we take down all these walls of individualism, we realize that you're me, and I'm you. That there is to separation between us, that we're nothing, but we're also everything in equal measure.

The description of "Namaste" that I first read caused that same tingle in my brain:
"I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us."

My view of love as part of the human experience has also been tempered by Martin Luther King Jr.:
“What happened is that some of our philosophers got off base. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites - polar opposites - so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love.
It was this misinterpretation that caused Nietzsche, who was a philosopher of the will to power, to reject the Christian concept of love. It was this same misinterpretation which induced Christian theologians to reject the Nietzschean philosophy of the will to power in the name of the Christian idea of love.
Now, we’ve got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”

I'm not sure how to wrap this all up into one cohesive thing.
What I think I want my practice to be, as much as possible, is to try to treat everyone like they are myself, living another life, because they may very well be just that. And even if all of this is idealist wishful thinking, I have never regretted acting out of love, and I don't think I ever will.

I hope I can figure out a way to make someone else's brain resound with truth some day. I think it's one of the ways people can really change the world.

Thank you to all of my teachers out there, including you, Mr.Card.

Posts: 14 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I also am awed to silence by Stranger in a Strange Land.

You quoted Vonnegut, but I'll add another: “I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit."

I think, imo, the issue with "love" is that we have so many meanings for one little word.

I mean, you have physical love-- I suppose you could also call it lust, but it can transcend that-- the love of the body, biological love, the need for another physical being to make your physical existence complete and produce human offspring.

But then there is emotional love. Romance. The feel of two hearts beating. The feelings in your heart, in your gut, in the most mammal parts of your brain, your feelings for another person sweeping you away and making you drown in their being. But this is not just your Romeo and Juliet scenarios, this is also family love. This is when you birth your baby and hold it in your arms and realize what love truly is. Holding your newborn, that love is entirely wrapped up in your emotions and the pain of that care. Same with your parents, siblings-- a love without rationality but so irresistibly strong.

Then the mental love. This is where it's a conscious decision of your rational brain. You recognize someone, you understand them, and your understanding strikes a chord in your essence. I think this is what Ender was talking about when he speaks of loving your enemy and knowing them. That is the love of the mind. This is how you love your friends and those dear to you.

And last, the spiritual love. The kind most rare, most strange, most unfamiliar. This is the love that goes above boundaries, above kin, sometimes above species. This love is entirely internal, and very difficult. IMO, to have this love, first you have to go through all the other three, AND love yourself. This is Speaker for the Dead territory. You have to have that understanding of virtues and vices, and ACCEPT it. This is loving with your soul. This is Martin Luther King Jr loving those who hated him.

I think these stages of love cycle through the stages of human development-- first physical (we learn to walk, to control our toilet habits), emotional (we learn to connect to other humans on an emotional level), mental (we learn to reason and use rationality and intelligence), spiritual (we learn a purpose for life-- this can be religious or secular, but this is what brings a sense of contentment to a human life-- not all get here).

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A very late reply:
Thank you for your thoughtful response. It's funny how we can end up drifting away from message boards or anything in our lives.
I don't know if this is not good forum manners, but I do want to reply to you.
I would actually like to converse with you, if you ever want to. You can use my name here to find me on gmail. Hopefully the spam filters don't block it [Smile] I don't want to publish too much personal information publicly, but if you can reply to this or email me, I'll most certainly respond if I know about it.

The different aspects of love are fascinating, and I'm curious about your observations as your life has progressed. I feel like I may be missing out on a connection with someone I would really resonate with.

But life is probably like that more than we suspect. Every person you think about saying something to then don't....every random social encounter...
I know I've had many turn into friendships out of nowhere, and I think those are some of the best kind.
I hope that you see this message,and I hope that you're well.

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