I was disheartened for a while, yesterday. The world looked more business-like than is palatable to me. A friend and I were discussing the state of human affairs and how people have forgotten to award each other the basic modicum of decency (I have a post elsewhere about the Unbearable decency of being, but that is a different facet of the same issue). As in think about it, this friend of mine and her boyfriend have strong disagreements. She is made of the wind and he of this earth. But the earth is soft and powdery at places while retaining its hard bulwark at others. Her guy was not ready to flex himself to work with her and create something where both can enjoy life. His take seemed to be: “This is what I have to give; take it or leave it”. Hmmm. Now that she has revealed this need of hers to work with him on creating happiness and excitement and joy, he kinda backed out with those lines and has effectively “broken-up” (sheesh! I hate that term). I felt really sad that my friend had to go through this, she being such a sweet person.
I then recounted this tale of a friend of mine who was very close to me. She got married and then for some strange reason denied me even the basic decent level of friendship that people can maintain. No calls, no return of calls, no emails, … Well, when we met once at a bookstore, she simply turned away and hurriedly looked inside her bag and was searching for something!! Everyone is entitled to their choice, but my concern is about the basic level of decency that one awards another human being.
All these and several recent incidents made me sit back and think as to whether anyone really respects and loves another person. When I told my friend that “Love is a load of **it” she smacked me and said, “You should be the last person saying that.” 😮 But seriously, I believe that it is in its present state. People want to be love and are hence, willing to love another. But forget about that. I was lodged securely in my metaphysical closet (and it is fairly roomy) last evening when I thought: “Can I truly love a person without being able to love everyone?” Please do not interpret that as: “Can I truly have sex with a person without being able to have sex with everyone?” Love and sex are highly unrelated. I could love a person but never touch her/him. I might feel sexually attracted towards a female and never get myself to love her. But then, love is a load of **it!!
So here I was staring at the ceiling wondering why spiders prefer building their webs out there (beyond the architectural considerations) and why people when they have the entire world for themselves can’t build a single stable thing (all spiders do that; all human beings don’t). So I returned to my question: Is it possible to love by selection? In English: Can I pick and choose the person I wish to love?
Then I realised that it has been a long time since I spoke to my dear friend (I have only two dear friends in my metaphysical closet: JK and Lao Tsu), and pulled up my application. What do I have!!? (You might be interested in Serendipity 1 where something similar happened. I so love the comments in there! 🙂
Is it possible to love without thinking? What do you mean by thinking? Thinking is a response to memories of pain or pleasure. There is no thinking without the residue which incomplete experience leaves. Love is different from emotion and feeling. Love cannot be brought into the field of thought; whereas feeling and emotion can be brought. Love is a flame without smoke, ever fresh, creative, joyous. Such love is dangerous to society, to relationship. So, thought steps in, modifies, guides it, legalizes it, puts it out of danger; then one can live with it. Do you not know that when you love someone, you love the whole of mankind? Do you not know how dangerous it is to love man? Then, there is no barrier, no nationality; then, there is no craving for power and position, and things assume their values. Such a man is a danger to society.For the being of love, the process of memory must come to an end. Memory comes into being only when experience is not fully, completely understood. Memory is only the residue of experience; it is the result of a challenge which is not fully comprehended. Life is a process of challenge and response. Challenge is always new but the response is ever old. This response, which is conditioning, which is the result of the past, must be understood and not disciplined or condemned away. It means living each day anew, fully and completely. This complete living is possible only when there is love, when your heart is full, not with the words nor with the things made by the mind. Only where there is love, memory ceases; then every movement is a rebirth.
He makes sense to me, but he also seems to connect where sense has lost its stronghold. If I can love someone and not, another, then love becomes a decision (and people hated me for calling love that). Simply because two people decide mutually agreeably doesn’t make that decision natural or holistic or spiritual. It is still a decision that one makes. Scientifically, it seems love and falling in love are based on some conscious and unconscious decisions, but the love the talk about is the utile nature of a relationship and what economists and – of late – software engineers call feasibility analysis. So I am not interested in that. What I am interested in is the basic amount of decency (I call it that, to love) that a human being awards another. I think JK calls that love. It isn’t anymore about what there is to gain and whether you would be kissing and making babies with this person (yes, I am aware that mere kissing doesn’t produce babies. I read my Biology texts well). It is about the soul and how one naturally feels about interacting with the soul. JK and I are approaching the same thing from different ends. I am concerned about the decency we exude towards everyone. If I cannot treat a person decently, can I ever love? Am I capable (bad word) of loving or being loved? Being loved is an extremely difficult thing. As Zarathustra (actually Nietzsche, pronounced Neet-z-shuh, I think) says “What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for whom thou shinest” and that best describes the responsibility of he who receives. When one realises the decency of being with another soul (human or otherwise), one isn’t vassal to pain and pleasure (though I would say that there is a blissful state which people might call pleasure). A state of joy and fervid vitality which is not obtained in the context of banausic pursuits.
And this brings me to my last bit! Now you will understand why I had her picture up for this post. I have always liked her, but recently I read a story by Arthur Miller called, “Please Don’t Kill Anything”. It is a beautiful story of the human soul’s violation in the presence of the vulgar. A couple are on their walk along the beach where they meet fishermen pulling nets out of the ocean. The fishermen discard some fish which are not sold or are of no use. The lady, (and it seems she was carved out of the heart of Ms. Monroe) is unable to watch those fish die pointlessly on the sand. She starts throwing them back into the ocean and her husband joins her. A very wonderfully told story (Miller has all my respect, though it would be sealed after I read one more story of his and conclude in alignment) and I couldn’t help laugh and smile and smack my forehead when the dog entered the scene. When I read that this story was distilled from the life that Miller and Monroe shared, I held her in greater respect. And she also helped me realise that the trueness and purity of the soul is far more essential to the human specie than anything else. It is this trueness and purity that gives rise to the decency I talk about, or the love that JK mentions in his conversation with me.