Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Practice of Loving

What is Loving?

In the wonderful book A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis writes how the practice of Loving is radically different from the state of "being in love".

Loving is limbically distinct from in love. Loving is mutuality; loving is synchronous attunement and modulation. As such, adult love depends critically upon knowing the other. In love demands only the brief acquaintance necessary to establish an emotional genre but does not demand that the book of the beloved's should be perused from preface to epilogue. Loving derives from intimacy, the prolonged and detailed surveillance of a foreign soul.

As the old expression goes "love is blind". Or perhaps, more truthfully, we are blind until we are in love. Life can blind us to the natural state of Love in our souls, and in our hearts. This brings to mind a famous quote by Marcel Proust.

Like everybody who is not in love, he thought one chose the person to be loved after endless deliberations and on the basis of particular qualities or advantages.

So why fall in Love? Why have this experience? Some would say that everything happens for a reason. In the case of Love I believe they would be correct. Being in love can fade away, but Loving does not need to. Deepak Chopra writes along these lines in The Path to Love.

Romance is a temporary state of the sacred. Relationship makes it permanent.

In this way, being in love is really just an overview, a summary, or a melody that guides us later through the practice of Loving. We all know what being in love is. It is all over movies, magazines, talk shows, etc.. What we are seeing dominate our culture today is really just this initial summary of love. Who reads the full novel?? We hear the initial melody, but skip the song. I think that it is definitely worth taking the time to hear the entire song. An excellent example of this is by listening to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Mozart.

If you just saw the Mozart video on YouTube, do you remember about the first 30 seconds of that from a happy childhood bedtime memory? Was that enough Love for you? Or did you want to experience the whole song??

The dominant culture tells us that "in love" is sexy, and that Loving isn't. It is now our wonderful task as Amorists (whether you are a monoamorist or a polyamorist) to make Loving sexy. Sacred relationships happen when everyday Loving is transformed into the "once in a lifetime" experience feel of being "in love". How do we "sexify" love everyday of our lives?!

There is more than one way to "sexify" one's daily love life, and I would love to hear how you sexify yours! Beautiful love stories often happen when unconditional love is made real. A fine example of this is Ram Dass's meeting with maharaj-ji (his "guru to-be"). I like how Ram Das comes to realize peace within himself when he understands that he is loved unconditionally. What a truly powerful and transformative Loving story this is!

* Above photo is of Maharaj-ji.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Naked You

Nude archer

Who is the Naked You?

How do you transform yourself? Undress yourself? Lighten your psychological load? Lighten the toxic load on the planet? Swallow the red pill? It is truly wonderful to make the transformation from an inhibited sense of self to a Naked sense of self, even if it is simply experienced in your own bedroom, as Joanna Goddard writes here.

There are many ways to lighten ourselves, transform ourselves, and awaken to the Light and Energy within us! One of the most important ways for us at this time is to lighten our toxic load on the planet. If you know deeply and are so acutely aware that life on this planet will continue and be healthy for your children, and your children's children, and so on, isn't that an incredible weight lifted? What a sense of levity you feel! Floating above the earth in Joy and Abundance at the divine sense of connection with all life! How is this achieved?

Derrick Jensen writes that to be truly naked our industrial self must first die.

The socially constructed you died.
The civilized you died.
The manufactured, fabricated,
stamped, molded you died.
The victim died.
And who is left when that you dies?
You are left.
Animal you. Naked you.
Vulnerable (and invulnerable) you.
Mortal you. Survivor you.

"You are left." What is "you"? What is the Naked You? I think that he means the naked you that will defend her own life on this planet. Who will defend the environment, the ecology, and the humanity that we all need. How do we cherish the land? Cherish ourselves? Cherish each other and other living beings? I think that we have a lot to learn, and a long way to go.

I think what Derrick makes most clear with his words is that industrial life on this planet is over. Our industrial self can and should die. Our Naked Self is waiting to be born!

Here are some Derrick Jensen quotes set to music and photos in this video about the Naked You. I look forward to meeting the Naked You!

*Photo credit David Levine