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.

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