There are times when the psycho-babble falls silent, and there is nothing to explain the breathless experience of another human being as a perfect reflection and complement to ourselves. When something seemingly lost to us returns - or maybe finds us for the first time -- in a single moment of blinding clarity, we may find ourselves gifted with the essence of an authentic, egoless love, and then all the talk of archetypes and motifs, complexes, core conflicts and neurotic interdependencies become somehow inadequate.
Romantic love is a bunch of hooey. It is an antiquated and artificial notion dreamt up by Victorian poets and frustrated ladies-in-waiting to console them their desolate hearts and empty bedchambers. Yet, it is a notion so imbued in our culture that it is the very essence of our premise for relationship. That simple fact may also be part of why half of our relationships fail.
I got to thinking about this the other night when a very dear friend of mine said to me that, in her mind, passion - true passion - is not about crazy love or hot monkey sex, but about the subtle intimacies that two people share - the words unspoken, the needs understood, the delicate understandings...the silence.
This got me to thinking about the nature of love. Not romantic love or crazy love or even hot monkey sex love - although I have to admit to having dwelled upon the hot monkey sex love for a time - but, rather, true love.
True love is the conscious choice to put someone else before ourselves in every way. A little further exploration of this idea led me to the notion that true love is actually about the choice to put another person before our "self" -- setting aside the needs of the ego for the sake of another.
True love might be thought of as a reflection of the essence of the bodhisattva vow - to forgo our own ultimate enlightenment and remain on the Wheel of Life until all other beings have attained their own state of enlightenment. There is no romance or artifice here - only commitment and responsibility.
With that in mind, there are two kinds of love to consider - Ego Love, which is all about "Me", and Soulmate Love, which is all about "Not-Me". Ego Love is about the self - the small self -- while Soulmate Love is a love that is "self"-less.
Ego Love is a reflection of the needs, wants, and desires of the lover, not the loved. It rests upon the mistaken premise that our fulfillment can be found in another, and places the demand on that other that s/he be all the things that we need her to be. It asks her to be something that s/he cannot possibly be - that is, what we want her to be, rather than what or who s/he actually is. This tack can only lead to disillusionment, disappointment and, ultimately, resentment; the sentiments that, in the end, are the genesis for all those things that will break a relationship.
Soulmate Love, on the other hand, takes ego out of play. There are no demands placed on the other, because there are no demands. There are no demands because there are no expectations. There are no expectations because the initial over-arching expectation and demand that this other be someone or something that s/he is not -- and cannot possibly be -- is never part of the equation.
In addition, the ego is not only taken out of play -- it is never actually in play. That is because that moment of blinding clarity is actually a moment akin to satori or samadhi - it is the moment that we recognize that we are in all things and that all things are in us. It is the moment that we see ourselves reflected in the eyes and heart and soul of another. It is the moment that we recognize our soulmate.
Sounds a lot like that romantic hooey, doesn't it? But, think about it. Romantic love - Ego Love -- is about pain, suffering, lack, loss, chaos, conflict, histrionics and all those things that our poverty mentality holds so dear. Now, think about Soulmate Love; a pure connection, unadulterated by history, neurosis, baggage, blockage or regret - certain, joyful, unfettered, knowing. Two souls, dancing together inside the quiet rhythms of the universe.
How cool is that?
© 2009 Michael J. Formica, All Rights Reserved
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