Thursday, April 23, 2009

Love (lost)

Love, ah yes. Now we are getting to the nitty gritty. Now we are getting to the subject of how I became interested in philosophy in the first place. The reason I know a thing or two about it, the reason you are reading this blog on healing philosophy right now is because of love. Love lost. Or perhaps I should say love ‘lost’.
There is a lot to say philosophically on the subject and there will be many other posts to come. Much of what I will say may be common sense to many of you. We are all at very different stages in our relationship experience and skills. For example, what I am going to say is very clear to me now, at the level I am at now, but I can tell you that it certainly was not clear to me at the time it was happening and it caused me great pain.
I will share with you those insights that helped me along the path of healing. I hope some of them will help you. For I am here to tell you that for every book you read you may come across one small idea that will ‘hit the spot that hurts’ and help you. And you may not. You may not even come across that one little idea in a dozen books. The ideas that I will share with you are the synthesis of a long search.
So to kick off with, here is a draft of a post that I jotted down a few weeks ago in a rare lucid moment. I was going to ‘polish it up’ a bit but I think it is better as it is, straight from the heart:

The beauty that was, the love that was, the magic that was….was all in my head. I created it. All of it.
How did I do it? I got help from my personal history, my upbringing, my relationship background, my tastes, what was going on in the world, in my world, at the time… In other words a great conflux of events, associations and ideas all came together to create a special feeling … in my head.
Of course this person I loved had beauty, charm and wit or else I could not have loved her. But the degree of it, the particular pitch of it, was in my head. Of course it is so, otherwise everyone who met her would fall in love with her too, which is not the case. And if I were to meet someone like this person today, or if we were to try to ‘get back together again’, I am certain that, being now at a different level, I would no longer be able to see or recreate the magic that was, as I am sure many couples who have tried it will agree.
Therefore it is not her beauty, her charm or her wit that I loved. It was ‘beauty’, ‘charm’ and ‘wit’ that I loved, as perceived in the person of this woman at that time, by the person that I was at that time. Therefore, the love that, at the time, I felt was ‘taken away from me’ by this person, was never actually taken away because it was something that I had created myself and as such belonged to me, is a part of me, and can never be taken away from me. It is something that I can cherish still. Not everyone gets to experience a great love in their life.

Since writing this, I have discovered a quote by Rabindranath Tagore, which expresses in a nutshell the same sentiment:

Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.
Photo by Flavio Takemoto


DrDeb said...

Your article reminded me of a theme from A Course in Miracles (ACIM), which is that no one is special. We are all equally beloved by the Divine. None of us is more lovable than any other, and the only we reason we *think* someone is special is because of the projections of our own ego. I think what you wrote is very much in alignment with that ACIM theme!

Alex said...

Yes, to paraphrase Saigo, the Tao loves me and others equally, therefore, if we would follow the Tao, we should love everyone equally, as ourselves. But of course that is hard to do, or we would all be saints. It is much easier to love people we find beautiful, charming or deserving in our eyes. But in doing this we are a facet of the Tao, looking at another facet of itself.
I am not familiar with that course. I think I developed the idea from reading ‘The Way to Love’ by Anthony De Mello. I will be writing about him soon.

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond