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Sunday, March 25 2018

         This is the first installment of a story about cosmic LOVE and human love.  Like many mystical or mythical stories, its truth is found not so much in the precision of factual matters – though many facts support this story – but more in how it touches our hearts and guides our lives. 


A LOVE Story: The Prologue


         Once upon a time, in the very beginning before there was time, there was NO-THING, a sacred silence, a profound-intelligent-creative emptiness, a fertile void.  Physicists refer to a singularity.  Religions speak of GOD or the TAO.


         From this fertile emptiness, there flared forth a great blossoming.  NO-THING exploded into LOVE, a hot dance of birth and death and re-birth.  LOVE, gradually cooling at precisely the right rate, unfolded and expanded into all that is this universe - everything we see and everything we don’t see.


         In this story, LOVE is the energy of everything and the essence of everything.  Each galaxy, star, and planet, each rock, each tree, each animal, and each human is an expression of LOVE. 


         LOVE and all its manifestations are imbued with three essential principles or qualities of being: UNIQUENESS, ONENESS, and RELATIONSHIP.  Each everything is totally unique, absolutely one and inescapably in relationship.


         One day, these cosmic qualities decided to reveal their nature.


         UNIQUENESS said, “I am ONENESS in RELATIONSHIP with itself.”


         ONENESS said, “I am the deepest expression of UNIQUENESS in RELATIONSHIP.”


         RELATIONSHIP said, “I am the eternal dance of UNIQUENESS and ONENESS.”


         They defined themselves in terms of each other, as if they were intertwined, as if none existed separately from the others.


         In graduate school, I was taught to mistrust circular definitions.  While my mind gets lost in the circle and struggles to comprehend, at another level it all makes sense to me, since everything in the universe is one big circle anyway. 


         As a psychologist, marital therapist and lifelong student of interpersonal living, I am most interested in the cosmic principle or quality of being called RELATIONSHIP.  RELATIONSHIP is quite the mystery – this never-ending dance of UNIQUENESS and ONENESS. 


         ONENESS says: “You and he/she are one.”  UNIQUENESS says: “You and he/she are two.”  And both of them are telling the truth.


         Since RELATIONSHIP at the cosmic level of being is so mysterious and paradoxical, it’s no surprise that we humans find the doing of relationship so baffling and so challenging.


         Human relationships mirror cosmic RELATIONSHIP.  It’s our attempt to translate being into doing.  We are trying to remember, realize and actualize who we are.  We are RELATIONSHIP, and so we try to the best of our ability to do relationship.  We are LOVE, and so we seek to express love, to do love, to make love.


         Inevitably, we bumble and stumble in our attempts to love well.  As we form our deepest relationships, we are dancing, not only with the cosmic mysteries of UNIQUENESS and ONENESS, but also with the polarities and contradictions of the human heart.  We hunger for the magical experience of ecstatic union, where boundaries and barriers are transcended.  At the same time, we yearn for the freedom and autonomy to develop and celebrate the unique, one-of-a-kind self each of us is.


         Predictably, in this dance, we get out of balance.  In our hunger for oneness, we may forget about uniqueness and push for a merging of identities, confusing sameness for oneness.  Or we can focus in an exaggerated way on uniqueness and individuality, becoming so single-minded in building, protecting and enhancing personal identity that we create isolation and separation.  Of course, we struggle.


         The desire for close connection is built into the fabric of who we are.  Life beckons us to the dance floor of relationship. We yearn to master the dance steps – to find skillful and balanced ways to move with life’s music.  We search…



         Stay tuned for the next installment: A Love Story: The Dance.





Posted by: AT 08:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 19 2018

         I just arrived home in the wee hours this morning from a wonderfully uplifting trip:  a week in Nepal, a week in Bhutan – populated by some of the gentlest and most gracious people on the planet - followed by an amazing and transformational week of retreat in Southern California, led by Master Chunyi Lin, originator of Spring Forest QiGong.


         We talked briefly during the retreat about an inspiring letter, written by Albert Einstein to his daughter on the subject of love. As I researched a bit more, I discovered that Einstein likely did not author this piece.  Darn.


         However, I still find it beautiful and want to share it with you – one more installment in a series of writings on love.



“Einstein” on Love


         “...There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us.


        This universal force is LOVE.


         When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force.


         Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it.


         Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.


         Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness.


         Love unfolds and reveals.  For love we live and die.  Love is God and God is Love.


         This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.


         To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation.  If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.


         After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…


         If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.


         Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.


         However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.


         When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.”



         As I let these words digest within me, I’m struck, once again, by the paradoxical nature of love - its incredible power and its exquisite gentleness.  All genuine power is rooted in love.




Posted by: AT 01:01 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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