|13 Mar 2006 @ 13:58|
This article is from a conversation I had with a friend.
The world is filled with "Pre-packaged" thinking. Simply, we are taught what to believe, and are bombarded with a countless stream of messages from the time we are born.
What is an 'Archetype'? Jung used the term to describe a type of "cosmic collective thinking". He used the term in a quasi-spiritual and metaphisical way.
I do not discount the existence of a spiritual world, but
I'm not Jung, and only buy into the fact that there is such a thing as "Group Think"
Archetypes are the strongest forms of pre-packaged thinking. Prejudice is an Archetype. Cultural superiority is generally a powerful Archetype. From the dawn of mankind, we've had one bully or another telling the world how they should hold a fork.
This does not discount there is a better way to hold a fork. But Archetypes are built on faulty arguments, not the truth, and so they must force themselves upon the unwilling. If someone has a truly superior way, then the way itself should speak for itself. And there should be no need for enforcing, "My way of holding a fork" upon another.
Archetypes are not benign. They often leave a trail of victims. In some sense, most Archetypes are strongholds over nations and cities and groups. They are so strong, it takes people of great will and determination to break them. In the United States, slavery ended long before the Archetype of White Supremacy. In fact, this Archetype was diminished, but never slain. It still exists in some places in a smaller form. Or it was replaced with another Archetype: Black Supremacy vs White Supremacy.
The world is filled with Archetypes. There are governmental archetypes and religious archetypes, and countless secular Archetypes.
In a sense, an Archetype is a set of arguments that become universally accepted by a group, to the point where people no longer think of the implications, or where these arguments came from or why they are true. And so, Archetpes and collective thinking take on a mind of their own.
Archetypes are not harmless. They enslave in the long run, which is why great societies wind up sliding into pits.
At any given time, you have a superiority complex demeaning some people group. Archetypes are bullies by nature.
Good things can become "Archetypes" and when they do, people become blinded.
There are many kinds of political systems in the world. And everyone believes one system or another will save the world. Socialists believe in Socialism. Much of the world believes in Democracy. Others believe in Anarchy.
For the world to grow, we have to be able to think freely, and establish priorities. And so, when we look at the world, we have to be able to glean. What are the merrits of a system, vs "What are its Archetypes?"
True love does not want to enslave, because it considers the benefits of others, preferring them. Love wants to know truth. Love wants to show mercy, and forgive. Love is not rude, and does not demand others hold the fork in the same manner.
Democracy or any system is only as good as its people. Some think Democracy or any social structure is a magic bullet solution. It isn't.
I'm not speaking against it, because Democracy has strong merrits as a system. Then again, when you peel back Archetypes from many systems, you will find some merrit. The problem is that when people consider the system, they have often bought into the Archetypes that go with them.
A "system" will not save mankind. The hope for mankind lies in freeing minds, not enslaving them. Only a superior way can impact attitudes, values, and priorities. Love is the superior way. It is the only way to bring the world back from madness.
Societies live and die on character issues, not system issues. Selfless people who believe in sharing can make the worst system work.
On the other hand, a hedonistic soiciety is an accident waiting to happen. "Me! Me! My!" thinking destroys, because it pulls people apart, and polarizes people in a negative way. None of us want to be bullied. It is not the system that bullies, but people within any system who demand their own way.
Democracy cannot stop a self-destructive people from self-destructing. People with evil intentions will look for ways to exploit the system, and make it over into their images. The answer is not in changing systems- though some might work better than others. The answer is in changing the hearts of people within the system.
The world has to be sold on the importance of Character Issues if we hope to survive.
The point of argument is, "What values, attitudes and priorities are superior? Who has a right to say"
Saying and believing nothing are mistakes. Yet, speaking as a bully is also a mistake, and when people think they have a superior way, they tend to grow arrogant, and believe they can enforce their views.
This is where our discussion becomes important.
If I have to railroad a point of view on another, I've already failed, because they don't believe in it. And then some system is imposed and there is friction, and failure. This is how the world has worked for thousands of years. The Greeks, Babylonians, Persians, all thought they had a better way, and enforced them upon the world with cruel barbaricies. The Romans took it a step further. Ideological Superiority was the Archetype that permitted them to butcher in the name of Mother Rome.
What is love? If teaching people to love is the answer,we need to discuss the parameters of love. What does love looks like? How does it act?
Love benefits the world. The goal is to sow seeds. When we demonstrate true love, the sacrificial kind that says, "You have value, and I want to see you blessed," the seeds sown grow naturaly. No one has to twist arms, get a court order, or force another to do something. Love speaks loud when spoken well.
I don't have to browbeat someone into believing in the superiority of love. It speaks for itself to something within us that rings true. If we see someone hurt another, we are conflicted. In most cases we are angered. If we see someone bless and benefit another who is conflicted, and who is angered? Love speaks universally.
It doesn't matter if you are secular/religious, pantheist/monotheist. Whatever our worldview, when we see acts of love, we are stirred in a positive way, "Yes, that's the way it should be!"
So, love is a Universal Language, and has to have adherants who are also willing to speak to this generation, whereever they are, on the superiority of love.
The world puts the cart before they horse. They assume the right economic package and the right government will make the perfect society. They believe, "If everyone has their fill, they will be happy," but the problem is that some people are never content with their fill. Where love is elevated and held in honor, the selfish are convicted of their selfishness, and so they should be.
Archetypical superiority is the basis of ideological warfare. When one Archetype can't change another, fear and frustration rule. You have two people claiming "We have superior mindsets!"
Nations, enslaved by Archetypes are fighting to become king of the hill. There can be only one king, and the means of acquiring and maintaining power is to be selfish and push down the inferior (in their thinking).
King of the hill, as you know, is a game where boys and girls wrestle to get to the top of a narrow hill. When I was a child we played in piles of dirt at excavation sites for a house foundation.
In a world of Archetypical Superiority, nations stand or fall by strength. The object is to get to the top and keep everyone else down. This is how Archetypes work, because thinking you are right, breeds a type of arrogance- "We have the superior way. Why should we let you climb to the top?"
Well, we have a foolish world where this is pretty much destroying nations. The king tries to hold on, knowing everyone wants to knock them off, but the next king is no less of a bully. They just think they are a more justified tyrant than the tyrant before them.
Tyranny is forcing views. Love doesn't need tyranny, because it is respect oriented. It doesn't see a difference of opinion as a sign of an inferior person. In fact, it may disagree with point of view, but never cease to value the person with the view.
People who love can make the most flawed system work, and people who do not love can screw up any system. Love looks for a way to elevate, and bring everyone up. It doesn't demand its own way. Those who would lead must have a mind that would serve. If one nation believes it is their duty to bless and benefit, not dominate- if only- there would be no striving. But the world is nightmare filled with border-wars.
The closest thing a flawed world can get to a perfect society is to have a people with strong character. And this is not based upon a system, but inner qualities of loyalty, strong work ethic, and more than anything- love and respect for others. I don't want to boss around someone I love. In fact, I'll serve them, help them, put their needs before my own. How can a system fail where people have this mindset?
If this motivation is removed, then no system can save a society. If a society is filled with evil minds (in theory) then why would majority vote benefit the world? It is presumed the majority will have character, and consider choices on others. What if the majority are selfish, and could care less about others?
So, societies benefit from those who believe in a superior way (love) in that it is not going counter to any human mindset? Why? It is within all of us to know love's voice when we hear it. And it challenges our cynicism to see love practiced. It convicts us of selfishness.
Love demonstrated is the only power that can change this world.
Photo and photo art by N Marion Hage.
Picture is from a hill in Lehman Pennsylvania More >
|12 Mar 2006 @ 19:19|
Love is not simply about individuals. As much as we might try to escape it, we are corporate creatures.
Our welfare consists in figuring out who we are, who we are in relationships, and who we are corporately within a group.
So, I need to love myself- not be self-destructive, realize my potential, and make choices that benefit me.
Second, I need to invest in others, and not only for satisfaction sake, but realizing that it is our highest potential to care about the needs and welfare of others.
Third, realize that we sink or swim as a society, and that is micro- the community, and macro- the nation and the world.
If we lose sight of the greater vision, and think that life is simply about me stuffing my face, I may make "me" happy in the short run, but be a part of why the world is sailing to hell in a hand-basket.
Sure, I believe love is divine, and the center of all purpose in the Universe; but I can't sell that to someone who believes everything is random. However, I have never met someone secular or religious who doesn't want love, and comprehend its value. It is that hard-wired into us that we cheer for love, and are disappointed when we see lack of compassion displayed.
All the same, we need to elevate the conversation of society to the point where it impacts the boardrooms and governments. Where people second guess their rash actions.
I want to convict presidents and governments, kings and princes, that love is the highest way. Every motivation other than love is inferior. Some might say in the hierarchy of motivations, faith, hope and love are greatest, and of these love is the greatest.
Well, then, all choices made in fear, anger, callous disregard must be questioned, and people need to ask, "What would love do?"
Would love poison water? Would love disregard the impact of an action on all life?
In terms of corporate thinking, if I ran a company poluting the stream, would I want my kids drinking from it? Well, somebodies kids are drinking from it.
Some think of love as trite, and that is absolutely horrid thinking. It is the most powerful motivator when grasped.
We can't suppose people wouldn't understand this, but we have to be sold on it to the point of being vocal. The world needs convictions. Some think a convictionless world would lead to less wars. Everyone could get along if no one believed in anything. Well, that won't work because we are hard-wired to search for meaning. No one is content just eating. We need touch, affection, and science proves this in many studies. Life begins to shrivel when nurture is withheld. Babies who are neglected, who have physical needs met but no touch, fail to thrive.
It is wrong thinking to assume no convictions is an answer. But again, we need to be careful about convictions. We need to start with the one conviction mankind can agree upon. Love is one of them.
Love derails every foolish argument. If people are religious or secular, they cannot get around this. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" would wipe out a lot of nonsense. People would offer mercy instead of judgment, wherever possible. We would look for reasons to help, not harm.
One definition of love is taking into account how our actions benefit others. So, faced with any decision, I ask, "What would love do?"
And this is not pie in the sky. I may fail, but at least I would know I failed and there is something to be strived for. More >
|8 Mar 2006 @ 13:42|
Love is something we intuit on the deepest level, because it is both a hunger and a homing device. We thirst for it, and desire it from the moment we break free from the womb. And also, there is a voice within that tells us this is not only a means, but an ends, and we want to find "Love".
We know it by its fruit, and yet, we live in a fallen world, where people are self-absorbed, wounded, often incapable of expressing love. And over time, that belief in love fades, and we wonder what true love looks like. The more used and abused and betrayed we are, the more likely we become skeptical. We wonder if love is obtainable; and yet, we have countless examples of those who lost themselves in love for others. "The Mother Theresas of the world." Still, we want to see proof for ourselves, to taste and touch love, and to come to that place where we can express it for others to taste and touch.
I once believed- disbelieved in love. It was not that I lost that compass telling me it was there somewhere. However, I didn't see it demonstrated. It seemed only there as an ideal, not a reality.
Jaded, I looked at the world and said, "People don't really love. They are too selfish. They simply mutually use and abuse each other so long as they get something out of the deal, sex, companionship, exchange of feigned compliments.
Yet that compass was still drawing me, telling me love is right, seek love, express love. But emotional starvation made me crave, and I did not know how to give it. I fell short, and wondered if the best I could do is offer selfish-seconds. I wanted it, but couldn't give it, and at the same time, knew love existed on some etherial island I couldn't get to.
I am no longer jaded, and believe in love, express love, and I am loved.
However, the next step is to define "what love" we aspire to give, and recieve- sacrificial other centered-love, or selfish, you-make-me-feel-good love? And there are shades of love in between. Most people are satisfied for a reciprical giving, in fact elated, and are not interested in giving a selfless love. Yet, within us, that homing device is saying, "It is there if you are but willing to pay the price. Come!"
I want that kind of love, to give it, get it, and bask in it. It hurts. It forgives. It overlooks offenses. Yet, it wants fellowship, to become more than friends, one with others, to know and be known.
Identifying that love exists and that we want the highest love is only the beginning of a journey. The next step is identifying not only what we want, but who we are, who this other person is? So, love becomes a quest, and not simply a definition of what to do and not to do. There are roadblocks, difficult people, and our own difficult attitudes and desires. We put up walls and run into walls, and know that walls have to come down to reach the highest love.
We, all of us, are like a spirit encased in a ton of barnacles. We exist beneath all sorts of junk that attaches itself to us throughout life. I am more than news, weather and sports, but what am I? Am I changing? Can someone love a moving target?
We should be moving targets, because if we are staying the same, we aren't growing, and growth is essential to finally becoming a human being, and not a wooden puppet.
I want to be a real boy. I want to be loved for who I am, and not the barnacles, not the trophies, not the looks-which fade with years. And so, the search for love is a pilgrimage of the soul to discover who we are at the core, and who everyone else is at their core, undefiled. And frankly, the end result is falling into each other, not sexually, but in the sense of drinking purely from another's spirit, and have them drink from ours, and we are refreshed there.
Nate More >
|1 Mar 2006 @ 19:14|
“Love me for who I am!” This sounds like a reasonable request. Love is grand, and don’t we all want to be loved for who we are. The question is “Who are we, really?”
I’m not trying to get all metaphysical here. In a very real sense, people don’t know who they are. We may think other people don’t understand us, when the bigger problem is that we don’t understand ourselves.
Surface love: We generally respond to people on a very surface level. If they smile at us, we smile back. If they say hello, we say ‘hello’. However, smiles and hellos can be false. A person can say “Hope you have a great day!” and inwardly be thinking, “I wish you would drop dead!” Still, when we like people it’s generally because of common interests, and things like point of view, and similar perspectives and shared experiences.
In truth people are deep wells, and what we see outwardly does not reveal the complexity of what is in their hearts.
There is a problem with making superficial judgments. If we liked someone because they were like us, chocolate ice cream lovers, what happens if their tastes change? Yesterday they loved our favorite flavor, but now they are sick of chocolate. Does this mean we don’t love them anymore?
Forget chocolate, if we presume to love another person only because of “shared experiences” we are falling in love with quicksand. People change tastes and preferences. One minute they like a musical preference, a favorite color, a similar political view, a shared religious view. What if they change their minds about things? Are they the same person? Do we really love them, or simply love similarity and shared views?
If I want someone to love me, I have to determine who and what I am. If I want to love another, I have to determine who and what they are. Otherwise, our love is really quite fragile, a vapor that appears and blows away in the stiff winds of life. I for one don’t like falling in and out of love. Therefore, I believe it is absolutely important to understand the basis of humanity, the potential within each person.
We are either stagnant or growing. If we are growing then we are changing, and if we are changing, at any given time, we might be uncomfortable with ourselves, and we might make others feel uncomfortable. “I don’t want to eat chocolate anymore…can’t we talk about vanilla today?” We want to expand and think and talk about different things.
This is threatening to those who are staying the same. “You never said you liked vanilla before…why don’t you eat chocolate like you used to?”
Stagnant is not a natural state. In general if someone is not growing, they are purposing to resist growth. Perhaps they fear growing, and sameness is a safe environment for them. However, intimacy is impossible with people who hate growth. They put up protective walls, “I’m Mr. Sports Nut. Unless you talk to me about jock things, I have nothing left to say…so come to me speaking sports trivia or leave me alone! Don’t talk to me about meaning of life things. I can’t stand heavy conversations.” That isn’t growth. This is how people put up walls to avoid thinking. I, for one, am not threatened by people that disagree with me. If they are thinking, I generally find something stimulating in interacting with them, even if they oppose my views. I feel most uncomfortable around people that refuse to think, refuse to feel, refuse to question or risk depth.
However, back to the issue, “Love me for who I am!” It is possible to love others, but generally what we love is their soul, their spirit, and the rest is kind of superficial. They may like one football team and then move jobs and fall in love with another team. If we love only on the basis of common interests, we limit who and how we love.
This doesn’t mean that we have to like all the junk we see on the surface, like others’ religious views, political views, or tastes in music. Rather we must see past the superficial to a person of potential, someone who has within them the capability to be a beautiful person if they recognize what is important.
“Who am I?” Honestly, I once was trapped into thinking, “This is just me; I can’t change!” This is futile thinking, and absolutely wrong. Within every human being is a part of them that is beautiful, and in fact, potentially a reflection of God.
However, when life happens to us, we may have no idea what that is, how it works, or how we become what we always had the potential to be.
(I will end here, and if enough people are interested- I will go further)
|1 Mar 2006 @ 17:24|
Generally, more people fall in lust than in love. In fact, true love is hard to fall out of because it is selfless. Immature love is possessive and self-centered.
Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Not really. This doesn't mean two people don't guess well and find they connect with someone immediately. However, their love has to get far beyond "first sight attraction" to last.
There is chemistry at first sight and this is proven by countless imaging techniques. The pleasurable connection to someone attractive can be stronger than any drug, and an addictive drug.
When you look at love as a feeling or emotion, let's face it, some people are eye candy. Some are ear-candy. If you and they happen to reciprocate those feelings, then it's candy heaven for a time.
Then they open their mouths and utter an opinion, and you hear, "Well, I wouldn't toss them out of bed for being a -winger- " (right or left- you choose) In other words, they had an attraction and just realized they weren't as spot-on in agreement about life as they first thought. "Did I really love them, or was I mistaken? Oh dear! They not only have political views, but religious views, and they don't like Seinfeld! How can this last?"
The point is that we can fall emotionally chemically for someone, but at some point our initial chemical reaction will wax, and what cements the relationship after that is based on how we view that person.
When someone says they fell out of love, generally they didn't fall out of love, but out of chemical attraction. When the chemical responce begins to subside, what is there? Common beliefs? Common anything?
By this time, people begin to see what a person values, their attitudes, their quirks and flaws. In order to build a lasting relationship, people need to move toward intimacy, which has to do with sharing and caring.
Chemical attraction is great while it lasts, but it won't hold two people together forever. It may initiate two people coming together and getting to know each other, and if they have common interests, they may have that feeling they were always in love. But it wasn't the initial gut reaction, it was the fortunate happenstance of being attracted to someone they could get along with.
Most others fall in love after the fact. The chemistry wears off, the other person changes, they change; and for a moment wonder, "What in the world did I get into?"
At this point it takes people wanting to build a relationship to make a relationship. A greater love is possible, but having that Chemistry made everything beautiful like being on some drug-induced high. Heck, on Versed (??? What is that stuff they give you for surgery? Well, you love every doctor and nurse in the hospital, even the cold nasty ones)
Don't get me wrong, I like feeling good (natural highs)
But for love to grow, my will has to enter the mix, my compassion, my ability to look past flaws and at the bigger picture. And when the will is in the right place, often feelings follow. More >
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True love is more than a feeling, it's an act of the will. Feelings can be fleeting, and should be the tail in our decision making process, and never the head. In other words, if I don't feel like loving today, I should not avoid doing what love requires on that basis. If someone needs me, I must look at our relationship, and make an informed choice to sometimes show love when I least feel like it.
We understand that parents must be there for children, even when they anger us, or disappoint us. This same principle is true for all relationships.
If I waited to do the right thing until I was "moved" to do the right thing, most times, the right thing wouldn't get done. For this reason, we need a hierarchy of values and principles. For me, love is the highest value. If I pass someone in need, I may not feel particularly loving on that day. In fact, helping them may be an inconvenience, or worse. It may cost me. It's not what we do that we 'feel like doing', that often defines us, but what we do when we don't feel much like doing it. I can hug someone who makes me feel squishy with delight. It's hugging those I don't feel like hugging, because in my will, I do care, that defines me. If I care, but my feelings are disconnected, this doesn't make me insincere. It makes me realize that sometimes my feelings lag behind what I know to be right. Often, I have reached out to people that I didn't really feel warm feelings for. In fact, some were difficult and cold. However, I often was rewarded by seeing the light of life sparked in their eyes. Sometimes we are like a match that kindles a warm flame in a cold fireplace. They have the fuel, but need someone to light it. I have never regreted the risks of love, but have often regreted not taking the risk. Love the unlovely. Love the seemingly unloveable. I don't mean you should risk putting yourself before hostility. In that case, you might want to get a second or third opinion. But in most cases, we pass cold and distant people, and they seem as walking dead. Sometimes its simply because of fear and inner loneliness, and they are beaten down and afraid to open up. The risks of love pale in comparrison to the rewards. |