Horizon at Sandy Point

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Universal principle

My 80-something year old psychologist friend has embarked on a study of love and how our need for "love" affects development through different ages - infancy to old age. I tell her that "love" is one of the concepts that is running through my mind for as long as I can remember.

It's been fed from early childhood through teen age on the popular songs of the day. Every cliched chorus* sank like another pebble in my unconscious until meaning became an impossible task. (*From Pat Boone, Elvis Presley through the Beatles, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Lord Caresser "It's love, love alone that caused Kind Edward to leave the throne..." the single most important theme of popular music is love.)

At college, I tried to dissect this invisible phenomenon with a short course study on "sex education in high schools." Huh, sex education in backwoods schools in Roanoke Virginia in the seventies? I think my two-page paper basically said "not happening here." But I already knew that sex and love may cross paths or run together sometimes but are essentially different tracks. And I do think about love in all its forms: filial love (the child for the parent); of parents for children; sexual attractions and those instant chemical responses; in marriage and in the family; friendship; love for animals and creatures in one's care; and love that extends to others known or unknown. It's revealed in stories everywhere, in the newspapers, books, movies, life - love or its lack.

Let me tell you a million ways how I love you (and don't ever discount the importance of those three - I love you - or million words spoken or written by artists, poets, songwriters since forever) but the only way love is sustainable is through thought and deed and action. And that is a duty we have to every other human being, every other being. Even those that your gut tells you that you don't want to, or can't love. Just remember the Indian greeting "Namaste (or Namaskar)!" I greet the god (life force) in you.

For today, I remember my high school principal and one of her/ my favourite passages from Paul's Letter to the Corinthians:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful..." (1 Corinthians 13 1-13)

She might be surprised that I even remember this, or that it is a guiding principle. Call it the universal principle, the matrix, the life force, the power of attraction. Call it love. Anywhere you see or share the tiniest iota, it's good.


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