Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's our imagination that is responsible for Love - Proust

This TED Talk is for anyone who has ever loved.
It speaks about how monogamy used to be one person for life, but today, monogamy actually is one person at a time.

We have this romantic ideal:
- one day we'll find that one person that will fulfill the endless list of our needs: to be our greatest lover, our best friend, the best parent, our trusted confidant, our emotional companion and intellectually equal. And of course, we will be their chosen one! Unique, Indispensable, Irreplaceable, The Special One...  but then suddenly, infidelity, whatever the kind (thought, neglect, forgetfulness, indifference, physical) tells us that we are not that special after all. It is usually the ultimate betrayal, "infidelity shatters the grand ambition of love".

No doubt that affairs are an act of betrayal, but they are also an expression of longing and loss.

Affairs are way less about sex and a lot more about desire: desire for attention, desire to feel special, desire to feel important.

In relationships, in Life, we forget how essential it is to do things that bring us back that sense of self-worth we had as children, we forget how we need to surround ourselves in love, with friends and activities that give us back Joy, Meaning and the sense of Identity. We need Purpose, we need to Believe in something greater, fair, true. We need to feel we have our hidden secret spot, where we can close our eyes and finally breathe out our fears... so nice when that special place is your lover's arms.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Because "the more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand" find compassion and happiness in yourself, and when you become a wealthy person, in a world where the biggest wealth is the one that comes from the Heart, share that abundance, please...

Mindfulness prepares ourselves to be compassionate.
If we're in a rush, we have no time to be compassionate.
To listen, to look and touch another.
... and our default wiring is to help/be with others!
That's when we feel connected, intertwined.

Thich Nhat Hanh said "If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform."

Let's expand! With no shame or reservations. Let's show to the children in the World that parents Love each other and are happy. Let's show Love happening and being shared. Let Love inebriate your senses, let the Heart speak it's own truth and lets all become rich.

"If our parents didn’t love and understand each other, how are we to know what love looks like? … The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own happiness. Our parents may be able to leave us money, houses, and land, but they may not be happy people. If we have happy parents, we have received the richest inheritance of all."
Thich Nhat Hanh

It's true that Love hurts, but it hurts when we cling, when we don't know ourselves and pursue in the other what we wish to see in ourselves, “to love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.”

... Life can be a a grey and unhopeful wasteland or a beautiful warm felted ocean of grace.

The Farmer and the Clown (Book)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hope feeds Love...

... and Love is what keeps us alive.

We come from Love
and we go back by being reminded of how much Love we shared in our Life.

Love involves a great risk.

When we lose it,
we should not lose it's lesson.

But let it be in the Past what belongs to the Past.

Hope to be struck again by that wonderful luck,
of Loving and being Loved.

Share when you have it in you, but be gentle.
Let it be free, let it take you to places you've never been before.

Let it exceed any need!

Monday, April 11, 2016

On Philanthropy, the Love of Human Kind…

Based on the writings of Dr. Sherwin Nuland, in his book "How We Live" and his TED Talk below:

Hope is an abstract phenomenon, an expectation of something good that is due to happen.
But it can also be, not the expectation of things going right, but that they make sense…

Hope does not consist of the expectation that things will come out exactly right, but the expectation that they will make sense, regardless of how they come out"
Sherwin Nuland

The world will not be saved by the internet, technology, but by the Human Spirit (not in a divine sense). By this ability we have to be better, to achieve things that we never thought to be capable of, all from the elements of the human spirit.

A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Moral imagination.
A person to be greatly good must imagine clearly, must see itself and the world from the eyes of another and many others.  Must ask: what is expected of me/us?

We must be the World’s healers. Every unfairness and poverty (physical or emotional) must become our "patient". This is the same as the concept of Compassion, but goes beyond that. 
... To own a moral imagination and identify each person as they are, each tree for its own existence instead of just looking to an abstract Forest.

"When you recognize that pain — and response to pain — is a universal thing, it helps explain so many things about others, just as it explains so much about yourself. It teaches you forbearance. It teaches you a moderation in your responses to other people’s behavior. It teaches you a sort of understanding. It essentially tells you what everybody needs. You know what everybody needs? You want to put it in a single word?

Everybody needs to be understood. And out of that comes every form of love.
Sherwin Nuland

Quoted from more than twenty four hundred years ago, Hippocrates said “Where there is love for mankind, there is love for the art of healing (…) The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well. (…) As to diseases, make a habit of two things — to help, or at least, to do no harm.

We must find Hope, we must find Sense

We talk about spiritual changes, but if reality suddenly took all its clothes out and appeared in front of us, naked, unveiled, we would believe ourselves to have become mad, we would open our eyes and scream in panic, in despair, because such change in what we know would be unbearable. We don’t have that imagination.

"Men go forth to wonder at the heights of mountains,
the huge waves of the sea,
the broad flow of the rivers,
the vast compass of the ocean,
the courses of the stars,
and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Saint Augustine

Friday, April 8, 2016

"Society must assume that it is stable, but the artist must know, and he must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven. (...) The artist is distinguished from all other responsible actors in society—the politicians, legislators, educators, and scientists—by the fact that he is his own test tube.

(...) anyone who has ever been compelled to think about it—anyone, for example, who has ever been in love, knows that the one face that one can never see is one’s own face.

We do the things we do and feel what we feel essentially because we must---we are responsible for our actions, but we rarely understand them. It goes without saying, I believe, that if we understood ourselves better, we would damage ourselves less.

The human effort is to bring these two realities into a relationship resembling reconciliation. The human beings whom we respect the most, after all - and sometimes fear the most - are those who are most deeply involved in this delicate and strenuous effort, for they have the unshakable authority that comes only from having looked on and endured and survived the worst."
James Baldwin
on the Creative Process  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

"Mrs. Forbes at school said that when Mother died she had gone to heaven. That was because Mrs. Forbes is very old and she believes in heaven. And she wears tracksuit trousers because she says that they are more comfortable than normal trousers. And one of her legs is very slightly shorter than the other one because of an accident on a motorbike. But when Mother died she didn't go to heaven because heaven doesn't exist. 

Mrs. Peters's husband is a vicar called the Reverend Peters, and he comes to our school sometimes to talk to us, and I asked him where heaven was and he said, "It's not in our universe. It's another kind of place altogether." The Reverend Peters makes a funny ticking noise with his tongue sometimes when he is thinking. And he smokes cigarettes and you can smell them on his breath and I don't like this. I said that there wasn't anything outside the universe and there wasn't another kind of place altogether. Except that there might be if you went through a black hole, but a black hole is what is called a singularity, which means it is impossible to find out what is on the other side because the gravity of a black hole is so big that even electromagnetic waves like light can't get out of it, and electromagnetic waves are how we get information about things which are far away. And if heaven was on the other side of a black hole, dead people would have to be fired into space on rockets to get there, and they aren't or people would notice. 

I think people believe in heaven because they don't like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don't like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish. The Reverend Peters said, "Well, when I say that heaven is outside the universe it's really just a manner of speaking. I suppose what it really means is that they are with God." And I replied, "But where is God?" And the Reverend Peters said that we should talk about this on another day when he had more time. 

What actually happens when you die is that your brain stops working and your body rots, like Rabbit did when he died and we buried him in the earth at the bottom of the garden. And all his molecules were broken down into other molecules and they went into the earth and were eaten by worms and went into the plants and if we go and dig in the same place in 10 years there will be nothing except his skeleton left. And in 1,000 years even his skeleton will be gone. But that is all right because he is a part of the flowers and the apple tree and the hawthorn bush now. 

When people die they are sometimes put into coffins, which means that they don't mix with the earth for a very long time until the wood of the coffin rots. But Mother was cremated. This means that she was put into a coffin and burned and ground up and turned into ash and smoke. I do not know what happens to the ash and I couldn't ask at the crematorium because I didn't go to the funeral. But the smoke goes out of the chimney and into the air and sometimes I look up into the sky and I think that there are molecules of Mother up there, or in clouds over Africa or the Antarctic, or coming down as rain in the rain forests in Brazil, or in snow somewhere. "
Mark Haddon

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Dream.

To know more, one must feel less, and vice versa… Nature, the soul, love, and God, one recognises through the heart, and not through the reason. Were we spirits, we could dwell in that region of ideas over which our souls hover, seeking the solution. But we are earth-born beings, and can only guess at the Idea — not grasp it by all sides at once. The guide for our intelligences through the temporary illusion into the innermost centre of the soul is called Reason. Now, Reason is a material capacity, while the soul or spirit lives on the thoughts which are whispered by the heart. Thought is born in the soul. Reason is a tool, a machine, which is driven by the spiritual fire. When human reason … penetrates into the domain of knowledge, it works independently of the feeling, and consequently of the heart.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

We were all Children. We grew by recognizing the things that made us happy and through building strength to expand our own limitations. As Children we needed to trust in Adults and we did that by realizing how they lived together and shared their knowledge/appreciation for Life. We saw how much Love would make couples laugh and adults do silly things. We saw how Love would make adults play and look happy. There were also responsibilities! Like washing your hands before coming to the table because of all the little creatures that like to creep up and make a party inside our bellies and then, there are so loud we can't sleep; or before crossing any street always looking sideways, because even though we're actually super strong and magical healers, there's this thing called "hurt-pain" that is as unpleasant as the smell of a fat dog fart, or vinegar up our nose! Avoid hurt as much as possible...

We were taught to play, share, learn and stay curious, but also to be gentle and kind, so if someone was crying we would hug them or just sit by their side, or if an animal had no home or food we would try to build a shelter or bring food, or if mom/dad were "tired" we should let them rest for a bit and just go outside and look at the many different shapes clouds can have.

We were taught to be human. Not be fearful, closed or sceptic.
We were taught to be responsible for our own feelings and actions.
We were taught that we could choose, that was our responsibility.
We were taught we could heal, and anything could be healed, if not here, in the beautiful hospital there is up in the Sky.

Your intuition and your intellect should be working together… making love
Madeleine L’Engle

But if Society condemns the public display of affection or even just an open conversation on our sexual/love nature, then unfortunately this relationship betweens feelings and reason can too easily become corrupted.

“The kind of thinking that makes a distinction between thought and feeling is just one of those forms of demagogy that causes lots of trouble for people.” 

Dostoevsky wrote in such a beautiful way about this very love-hate, happiness-sadness, ugly-beautiful, good-evil relationships. How inseparable they are, so it is always a matter of choice. Which do you choose...?

"All are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways. It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that men could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth. I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men… I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever. I saw her in such consummate perfection that I cannot possibly believe that she was not among men. How can I then go astray? … The living image of what I saw will be with me always, and will correct and guide me always. Oh, I am strong and fresh, I can go on, go on, even for a thousand years.
And it is so simple… The one thing is — love thy neighbors as thyself — that is the one thing. That is all, nothing else is needed. You will instantly find how to live.

Lets aspire to be lovers again, lets aspire to be good, kind, open, goofy... let's meditate together, hold hands, dance, sing without any bad criticism, but with openness, empathy, joy. Forget who you're supposed to be. Be. Be the tree, the ocean, the air, wind or rain. Practice gratitude, even in the worst apparent time in your Life. Make your self travel when pain is too much to bear, when you want to quit. Listen to music, smoke weed, dive in the cold ocean... just don't succumb to pain.

Jack Kerouac wrote it like this to an ex-girlfriend...

"I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect.
We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born."

He ends the letter with one of his free-flowing, uninhibited poems:

"The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks don't see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
making pancakes.
Jack Kerouac