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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters: the power of romantic passion (Dr. Ethel S. Person, c1989)

We are all too easily seduced away from the truth, the reality,of our own inward experience,which may often seem beyond communication and hence beyond respect or value.Too easily,in the name of the good,or the rational,or the moral,or the Christian,or the democratic,or even the merely socially acceptable,we blink away the actualities of our condition - the feelings, drive, dreams, and desires that express,with painful accuracy,the depths at which really live. Not where we think or imagine we should live, or where society advises us to live, but where our lives are fueled and our deepest satisfactions experienced - this is what we disregard. We allow ourselves too often to live lives that are secondhand and largely theoretical, devoted to goods we do not truly desire, to gods in whom we do not truly believe.

Many neurotic attachments are based on dependency needs or the fear of being alone.

Now for the first time, she saw her own extremity, saw that it was some failure in self-love that obliged her to snatch blindly at the love of others, hoping to love herself through them, borrowing their feelings, as the moon borrowed light. She herself was a dead planet.

... the real saints are those who have gone beyond exercises of the intellect and returned to the faith through feeling. Only feelings lead to truth; the body does not lie.

Love evokes in us something positive; at its best it gives us a sense of goodness, restoration, harmony, and mutuality. Because of the way in which each lover sees the other  as his best self, the worth of each, previously buried or unrealized, is allowed to surface. It is  this goodness towards which love strives. The lover feels expanded, conscious of new powers and a newfound goodness within himself. He attempts to be his best self, not in th sense of putting his best foot forward, as he might be in his courtship, but in the deeper sense of rising to the occasion, of feeling stretched by a new and profound experience. The beloved sees good in the lover, of which the lover was only dimly aware. Often what allows us to fall in love is the lovely picture of ourselves reflected in the lover's eyes. That picture enables us to love ourselves and hence to love another. We often become more lovable as a result of being loved. The new self is richer and fuller.

In the deepest sense, we  come to know very few people, and so may always treasure those few with whom we enacted those basic dramas that shaped our identities and our destinies.

Affectionate bonding is based on mutuality and warmth and, above all, on trust and loyalty. This kind of bond provides what Lasch called a "haven in a heartless world". Our picture of such relationships conjure up hearth and home, family pleasures, a leisurely pace, and homely comforts. In the best of such relationships, the lovers have constructed for themselves a context rich with meaning: they maintain a joint memory bank share long-standing jokes, constantly re-edit their family mythology, update the picture albums, and exchange tokens and tidbits. Their bond is that of shared ongoing values, habits and pleasures. In short, the lovers validate each other's lives and provide enough warmth not only for themselves but for those around them.

George Sand to her son Maurice:
   To marry without love is to serve a life-sentence in the galleys. I heard you say not so long ago that you thought yourself to be incapable of loving anybody always, and could give no guarantee that you would be faithful to your marraige vows. If you really mean that, then do not get married at all, because, if you do you will, in the long run, become a cuckold, and deservedly so. If you married in that state of mind, you would merely be sharing your life with a brutalized victim, a jealous fury, or a dupe for whom you could feel nothing but contempt.
   When one truly loves one is quite certain that one will be faithful. One may be wrong, but one believes it; the vows one makes are made in good faith, and one is happy for as long as one remains true to them. If an exclusive love cannot last a lifetime..., it does at least give many happy years as long as the belief that such a thing  is possible persists.....

One of the joys of real intimacy is the freedom it gives to shuck off all the layers of adulthood that may feel superimposed and much too heavy.

One must not forget that one of the greatest joys of love is release from the self, and one facet of release from self is the release from obligations, from seriousness, from the constraints  of maturity and the world of considered judgement.

... it is part of the trust and gift of love that in it we can enact fantasies that reflect part of us- the part that we reserve for soul mates, not for the everyday buzz.

Love is a creative synthesis. Because it is synthesized in the realm of the imagination, sometimes it cam, when necessary, survive and even thrive there.

The self's vulnerability is greatest precisely at that time when the potential for expansiveness and change is at its peak. But for the lover who assents to the opening up and letting go demanded by passionate love, the rewards may be as great as the risks.

Truth resides in the process of searching.

The danger of suffering in love is nothing compared to the danger of feeling that one has never lived, that one has never taken the risk of feeling wholly vulnerable and alive.... Suffering is less an agony than to live without affect. We are all ruled by a horror vacui, and as long as suffering is not beyond our powers of endurance or without hope of termination, it is a reminder that we are alive, while affectlessness is a reminder that we are failing to live. Our secret fear is that nothing can move us, and our ambition to be safe and secure is at odds with this other basic drive towards realization through feeling.

5th July 2005
kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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