Not that I’m any sort of expert on the subject, but I figure that it’s better for you to hear my point of view, than to hear that of the cynical and jaded widow, or better yet, that of a smoked up hippie, who’s likely high off their ass, and whose idea of love constitutes spreading her legs in a divine gesture and never once thinking that she’d be betrayed. Who am I? I am just Zak, you’re not so average, but everyday high school student who manages to see past all the random societal bull that gets thrown in our faces, either by the media, or worse yet, our very own familial hierarchy.
Love has many definitions, most of which fail to capture it in its essence. Perhaps it is one of those words that should be left without definition, and wholly open to human experience and interpretation. I told you I was a not so average high school student, didn’t I? The definitions for this word, range from intense sexual attraction, to some lofty notion of an eternal connection. Love is both all of those things, and none simultaneously. In love, we find man’s greatest potential to heal, but it we also find man’s other great potential; destruction of the species from within.
If you’ve ever been in love, then it’s likely that you know of the sweaty palms, and random butterflies; I like to think of it as a kind of nervous excitement, much like the kind I’d experience on Christmas Eve as I awaited to find that particularly perfect present that I desired all year long. That is what it’s like to be in love, a kind of anxious excitement, as though the heavens themselves have chosen you and your beloved as the perfect representation of all that is good within the concept of divine providence. It feels as if there could be no other, as if the universe herself had aligned all the stars just so the two of you would meet. It is indeed an amazing feeling, the physical sensations only get better as well. From nervous excitement, we graduate to a feeling of almost superhumanity. That feeling that we could kick Superman’s ass any day, and be no worse for wear. A lot of great things have been done in the name of love, companies and charities founded, the greatest poetry man has ever laid eyes on, the best ballads ever, that seemed to capture its essence with an artistic perfection that could only be composed by a master. This is the essence of romantic love. But is that all there is? Is it all good?
As much as I, the quintessential hopeless romantic would like it to be true, sadly it is not. There is a darker side to love of the romantic sort. It’s like a broadsword that can cut with either edge; one moment you could be feeling on top of the world, and the other, you feel as though a nuclear explosion has destroyed the world that is your life, and there is nothing left to live for, except the notion of sheer survival and hope, that one day, it might happen all over again. I would be lying if I told you I’d never been in love, and I would be lying still, if I told you I were not now. But the problem with romantic love isn’t that it doesn’t feel good, or that it’s not worth having. The problem is, that it, like everything else is transient and impermanent. It’s not “true love.” For the dark side of romantic love is a lot like watching the most beautiful man or woman you could imagine dancing in front of you, and they creep ever closer, seductively dancing, and staring at you with a piercing gaze that leaves you helpless and vulnerable. And just when they’re close enough, you notice that they’re brandishing a sharp dagger, and before you know it, thay dagger has pierced your heart, and has been twisted every which way, causing you excruciating pain. So, if romantic love is capable of such extremes, then what is the answer?
Agape. Look it up, it’s a beautiful notion. It’s basically the concept of universal love and respect for all humanity. Quite possibly all things, I don’t really know. What I do know, is that all of the most brilliant spiritual teachers, both of our past and our present, have been trying to teach this this very notion. I simply ask that you all take this into account. I’ll talk more on this at a later date, have an amazing day!