Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Suffer what must be suffered to love what must be loved. That’s my best advice. To love what must be loved the way it must be loved. Not all love is loving. The loving thing is not always the thing we want to do in the name of love, in the cause of love. What love requires is not always what we want to give. What does love require? That’s the tough one. If we only knew! If we only wanted to know! Suffer what must be suffered in the cause of love. That’s my advice. It’s up to you to work out the details.

It’s all in the details. I don’t care what we think, or believe, or espouse, or profess, or proclaim. What’s in the details? What do we see when we look at the details of our lives? To what extent do the people around us benefit from our presence? In what ways are they better of for our being with them? Are we a self engaged in loving relationship with other selves? Are we required to “disappear” in order to maintain our relationship with other selves? If we suffer what must be suffered in the cause of love, does that mean we cease to exist as persons because the relationship cannot bear the truth of who we are? Is the loving thing to disappear, or is the loving thing to walk away? The details are hell.

In a perfect world, relationships would permit, no, require, the full inclusion of all persons, not just meaning that all persons would be welcome, but that all of each person would be welcome. In a perfect world, suffering what must be suffered in the cause of love would mean that all persons in relationship would respect and honor all the other persons in the relationship. Well. You all know how far from perfect this world is.

In this world, it is easy to find relationships which exist at the expense of someone and to the advantage of someone. “As long as I pay the bills, you’ll do it my way.” On whose terms does relationship exist? Upon what does relationship depend? We give up what to get what? Where are we simply welcomed as we are, with no strings attached and no conditions in place? How many relationships do we have where the focus is on the quality of the relationship, with all persons involved doing what needs to be done to tend the relationship, as opposed to working to get what they want from the others in the relationship? Suffering what must be suffered in the cause of love means one thing in relationships based on patronage and power, and another in relationships based on mutual commitment to the common good. Where do we go to find the right kind of relationships in an imperfect world?

The right kind of relationships imply the right kind of people. How many of the right kind of people do we know? My hunch is that we all could use more of the right kind of people in our lives. We’re back to the details here. It doesn’t matter what we think, believe, espouse, profess, proclaim. Are we the right kind of person? What do we need to be the right kind of person? In what ways are we consciously working to become the right kind of person? What is our vision of the right kind of person? Who are the people in our experience who stand out for us as the right kind of person? If you can’t think of an actual person, a fictional person will do. What are we doing to be like they are?

The work is as much to be the right kind of person as it is to find the right kind of people. Being the right kind of company is as important as finding, or falling into, the right kind of company. What constitutes the right kind of company? Who is to say? You are. You are to say. Make the list. Live toward compliance. That’s the spiritual task, path, journey, quest. And, it’s all in the details.

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