Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seneca: On Love and Nature

(An excerpt of my rapid impulse to write spontaneously this morning, the complete and more polished work will be sent to the person whom I address this piece for.)

 On Love and Nature

No, I'm not feeling fine, I still carry the heavy pains of disappointment and fear. You know how I hate talking about feelings, primarily because I consider containing emotions, in the form of words and explication, as a futile exercise of the heart. 

But for now, out of necessity, I guess I have to elaborate what I feel (which is not my usual practice) -- because, as you claim, we do not read each other's thoughts and do not step on each other's shoes, hence we need to voice out all that we think. 

The Cycle of Flaws (and things better left unsaid)

So what happens when you found the slightest strength to raise your concern towards a disappointing behavior and yet the other person is as forceful as you are to continue denying the existence of his flaws? What do you do? At first you insist, then he argues, and you just let things pass. You sleep with disappointment for a long time and wait until the day comes when the entire situation again recurs. As a result, your annoyance resurfaces, and your disappointment increases as you contemplate that you should have distanced and even shielded yourself, even before, from someone's intentional or unintentional lapses.

I do not kid you when I said that there are things ought not to be explained -- especially by chatty reasoning and argumentations because, at the end of the day, nobody wins and we go back to our solitary selves pushing for our "rightness" on things. Sorry, but I will ask you that I may be allowed to be a bit philosophical in my explanation. I know I always fail at making my thoughts comprehensible, but I would appreciate if you will spend time on re-reading and reflecting on things I seldom talk to you about. 

You see, many people fail at understanding because they do not use their inner sensitivity to gauge the concealed meaning in words. Sometimes, they also do not enjoy walking in the shoes of the writer and thus lose interest to think harder, beyond words, for the sake of clarity and understanding. So here goes my attempt to be talkative.

Connection Beyond Words (and the metaphor of "soul")

I believe that people, if they are meant to form any kind of relationship, must share "connection" that is devoid of words and physical gestures. That shared connectedness must emanate from the fact that, by nature, they are destined to share each other's being. That is true for people you consider as friends, lovers, and others you held deeply within. Most of all, it is true for the person you are considering to be your "life partner". 

In our lifetime, I believe that it is merely by luck that we find these people who "share our soul" so to speak. I used the word "soul" as a metaphor because the understanding between two people transcends beyond our own humanity. Some years back, I remembered how I wrote about fate and love as something that "which, if at all, we rarely find in our lifetime". In that sense, I am lucky to find, for now, that one instance where I met a fateful "soul" who crossed inside and wholly understood my being.    

That fortunate "sharing of the soul" I only once experienced with a long time friend. Things might have been very different right now, but what makes me cling to the friendship is that until now, whenever I look back at my past, I never fail to say, "those were the best years of my life". Those were great times because even without words, someone could finish my thoughts and share my sorrow. Talking was not a requirement to know that the other person feels awfully ill inside and that it only requires the meeting of eyes before we burst into laughter. I have to truthfully say that, I have yet to feel an experience that would surpass the feeling of ultimate familiarity with other people's inner being. In those days, sharing of the soul was not about the exchange of words but of sharing experiences, pain, and incomprehensible laughter.   

Attaining the Ideal (and us)

I do not know if it's right to say that I also expect that level of "soul sharing" to also be present between us and demand that it becomes more profound in an intimate, loving relationships like ours. Thing is, I do not think we have quite achieved that higher level of connectedness. I always look for that when we're together, but it seems futile to hope that one day, you will be able to completely understand my inner being without so much words to waste. There are too many distractions we need to address day by day -- whether we're together or far away. 

But in all fairness to us too, I do not think we have spent much more time completely alone together and share ourselves wholly. Yet if we finally do, could I expect to achieve this meeting of the soul, this higher level of understanding between us? And what if we can't attain the ideal? What do I do? Runaway, just like I always do, from people who do not share my understanding of things? Or should I wait for the grace of time and expend my energy, to discover the art of learning more about someone in the metaphysical sense?

On All things Effortless (and the concept of "wavelength")

We can laugh about this, but my insistence on the unnatural idea of "effort" kicks into this conversation. My view that -- "things that are deemed to be natural should require the least amount of effort (or better yet, effortless)" -- is ultimately reflected at how we look at nature. In the natural course of things, a leaf falls into the ground not only because of the frailty of the twig that holds it, but also because it completely surrenders to gravity, nature, or love. One need not exert effort in shaking its branches to let it fall. It is part of the natural scheme of things that a leaf shall fall because it has to let go of itself, naturally. 

Now, translating this natural occurrence into human relationship is comparable to two human beings who have the "same wavelength", so to speak. Indeed, the term wavelength is a natural idea in physics, being "the distance between two points in the same phase in consecutive cycles of a wave". We can compare the idea of wavelength to human relationships where it is possible that two people, who may be separated by distance, to have mutual understanding about each other's being. Still, in all fairness to both of us, our similarities on how we perceive a good and proper life is mutually shared. But I daresay, that is not entire picture of a relationship. 

Sharing the same "wavelength of the soul" requires better understanding of each other -- without constant reprimand, without constant reminder, and without endless talks on how to actually feel the emotions of another person. In fact, this is reflective sometimes, on my annoyance whenever people say "I'm sorry to hear about what happened" towards another person. I feel that the phrase could mean separating yourself from what the other person feels and, in a way, you subconsciously feel better about your own situation. Instead of saying how sorry you are about one's condition, wouldn't it be more reassuring if you just sit by silently beside the person, without a single word spoken, and share his misery? I think this is the opposite essence of the mantra, "misery loves company" -- in that way at least, you are able to place yourself on how the other person actually feels. 

Losing Meaning in Words

How I long for people to just feel each other's presence! I long to witness that moment when one actually reaches for the same wavelength -- without saying anything because words, in itself, do not have pure intentions, in the same way that raw thoughts and inner feelings have. The moment you convert feelings into words, it loses its natural form -- that is why we have poets who, with all their might, try to capture emotions in its purest form through poetry, but still couldn't quite make sense of an experience. This process makes writing more powerful than speaking because of internal communication and because of the time spent thinking about words closest to the thought. Composing words, as they are, is an attempt to physically manifest thoughts, but it is not the actual and pure thought you held deeply. Meanings are concealed in words and it is only through sensitivity that we can unlock its true intention and significance.

Now, going back to the nature of "wavelengths", it may seem that I am only painting an ideal picture of what relationships should be. But why should I not when lifetime companionship is what is at stake here. You see, I only want to experience being with someone who holds a complete understanding of myself, in the same way as I hold a complete understanding about who he is. This understanding, I demand, should be devoid of words and lengthy explanation and thus require utmost sensitivity of feelings towards one another. It does not take constant reprimand and reminder to fully understand what the other person is feeling. One can gain complete understanding through sensitive observation and careful examination of our differences and similarities, as it is already given that both of us have different cultural orientation and life experiences that molded us to who we are now.
(Some very personal paragraphs are deleted.)

Letting Myself Fall (like a leaf)

You know, there is greater wisdom for people who insist that they are right but just keep to themselves and wait for their rightness to manifest in the future... there's greater wisdom in that, than those who argue in high pitch sounds about their correctness. You should care about what other people think because it means you are sensitive and you care how they might feel. (I caution you to separate this from voicing opinions on politics and social issues. These ideas are solely about thinking before you blurt out your words in whatever forms -- be it may in the form of jokes, serious opinion, or burst of anger.)

All of these can be attained by inner reflection and sensitivity, which someday, I hope we will both attain and eventually share. I know you might insist on its impossibility but experience, as well as important insights on nature, tells me that it's possible. I only insist on the natural meeting of both our soul and being -- because I believe that it is ONLY when I feel us sharing and meeting at the same wavelength that I can completely let myself go, like a leaf surrendering to the a bigger force of nature or love. If not, then I expect you to, one day, go back to these meaningless rants -- and understand beyond words -- why, in the long run, I did not let myself fall. 
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