Welcome to my Blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happiness is based on Fear, Love Just Is

Dear A. B.

Thanks for elaborating. In a way I'm more confused, but that's o.k. I like reading your teachings and trying to absorb them! Eventually, a light bulb usually comes on!

I get it that love is not a feeling. Could it be that love is also a constellation of choices/actions made in another's best interest? When we love a person, the planet, or a house we take care of it, nurture it, tend to it with concern.

When you tell us to pursue a course of action because of a love of something, rather than be moved by a fear of something, are you saying that the "love" we have for gardening, writing, studying, is really rooted in another sort of fear...primal fear, rather than repressed fear?

Also, did the Buddha perhaps experience *joy & contentment* vs. *happiness?* Is happiness an ephemeral state while joy can be integrated more fully into our being, given the absence of repressed fear? G__________




Dear G___________

First of all, according to ancient wisdom, we cannot know truth as an object. We can BE the truth but we cannot know it as something separate from ourselves. Another thing is that "the word is not the thing." We approximate what we are referring to by using words to communicate what we are talking about FUNCTIONALLY, rather than describing any particular truth ARCHITECTURALLY.

Love is a word that we use to functionally describe many things, so, yes, it is confusing. We have to communicate our meaning almost like the Chinese do with their symbols, the meaning is found not in the separate symbol itself but is deduced from the other symbols with which it appears. So when we try to explain what love is, the word cannot really stand by itself without the context in which we are referring to it.

For instance you asked

When you tell us to pursue a course of action because of a love of something, rather than be moved by a fear of something, are you saying that the "love" we have for gardening, writing, studying, is really rooted in another sort of fear...primal fear, rather than repressed fear?

In a way this is true. Fear is the prime motivator of the human being. It is what gets us moving. Just as one-celled creatures have cilia to move them from one place to another, the human being has primal fear, our survival instinct, to move us into action. But again, in the context of the two opposites, fear and love, both functional terms which have general accepted meaning to human existence, we are better to make our decisions out of love of something rather than out of fear of something. Primal fear is always with us as long as we are identified with a human body. However we can eliminate much of our repressed fear which causes us to live our lives based too much on past reactions which we wrongly re-apply to present circumstances.

Happiness is a poor substitute for love, which is why most marriages now fail. Love is our very being, often clouded and covered over by the shadow of our repressed fear. Happiness, as opposed to joy or love or bliss, isn't really ever integrated into our being, even given the lessening of repressed fear. With the lessening of repressed fear, we are able to more appropriately respond to present reality and have the opportunity to achieve a state of grace, a kind of cosmic re-connection or re-recognition, often known as love or joy or bliss.

What people generally refer to as happiness is short-lived because it is the fulfillment of a perceived lack. When the lack is fulfilled, happiness with what one has achieved soon fades, and other perceived lacks occur which, must in turn be fulfilled. Actually, now that I think of it, this is what we have turned marriage into--a cycle of perceived lacks.

Happiness is kind of a vicious circle which ancient wisdom tells us we can avoid by avoiding "desire" and substituting for desire the focus on our action rather than the anticipated result of that action. In other words, focus on dancing rather than winning the dance prize. For me, I focus all my attention on writing my book, attempting to avoid any preconceived anticipation of how commercially successful it is going to be.

I suddenly remembered a statement by a friend who said "I expect to get absolutely nothing out of my marriage." He has a most loving relationship with his wife and family.

In that regard, I remember a quote which I don't think I have posted yet on my blog. Typewritten on a small slip of paper, the quote sits in my center desk drawer all the time. I see it whenever I open the drawer. It's also posted on my bulletin board. It is by Richard Cecil, "Duties are ours, events are God's. This removes an infinite burden from the shoulders of a miserable, tempted, dying creature. On this consideration only can he securely lay down his head and close his eyes."

Hope this helps. A. B. Curtiss

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Thank you. Yes, this helps.

Wish you'd write a book in which you delve further into spiritual, moral, cultural issues. That would be another great book from A.B. Curtiss, and one the world sorely needs today.