Actually, I didn’t intend to write something about “love” today. It’s Valentine Day… and it seemed redundant to write something about it. Well, I think it’s one of the most written subject in the world. In one point or more in our lives we have felt and experienced it. Thus, we all know what “love” is and meant. However, tonight my friend Avi told me about this song ~ titled “Penuh Dengan Cinta” (Full of Love) ~ by Cozy Street Corner, an indie band from Indonesia and prompted me to write a little about this thing called “love” or its variety…
Please tell me whether you like it or not. I like it because of its rhythm, beat, lyric, and most of all because it’s a great music accompaniment of any occasion. Don’t you agree?
- It reminds me of a time long ago, beneath a star-studded night by a fire with a bunch of friends, serenenaded the night away.
- It reminds me of cheerful laughs around family’s table during a feast.
- It reminds me of a big warm hug by that significant other.
- It reminds me of love as familiar aroma and feeling I have around me.
Thomas Moore in his book Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship has written of the things I have had in my mind beautifully, as follows:
The heart has its own reasons. When we try to understand why relationships come into being and fall apart, why some families are nurturing and others devastating, why some friendships endure long absences and bitter arguments while others fade, we come face to face with the unknown core of the human heart. Of course, we spend a great deal of time coming up with all kinds of explanations for unexpected turns in emotion and feeling, but these “reasons” are more rationalizations and simplifications than understanding. We are left with Plato’s solution, that relationship is based on a form of madness, erotic madness. Rather than finding solutions for understanding and controlling this heart, we may have no recourse but to honour its mysteries.
The heart is a mystery ~ not a puzzle that can’t be solved, but a mystery in the religious sense: unfathomable, beyond manipulation, showing traces of the finger of God at work. Like the resurrection of Jesus or the mission of Moses, the angelic visitation to Mohammed or the enlightenment of the Buddha, the heart has its own mysteries every bit as profound as the mysteries we encounter in the religions of the world. Everything associated with the heart ~ relationship, emotion, passion ~ can only be grasped and appreciated with the tools of religion and poetry…
When we focus our attention on the soul of relationship, instead of its interpersonal mechanics, a different set of values comes to the foreground. We are now interested in fantasy and imagination. We begin to see relationship as the place where soul works out its destiny. We are not so concerned with how to make relationship “work,” because the soul point of view isn’t ambitious in that way. It doesn’t make love a life project. Instead, it recognizes the truth in a line from John Donne, that great poet of soul and relationship: “Love’s mysteries in soules doe grow.”
With our focus on the soul, we won’t feel the impossible burden of “doing” relationship right, as though we had full control over the intimacies that develop between people, and so we need not become so discouraged as we make our way through our emotional dilemmas. Instead, we may live through the mystery of endings, crises, and turning points in love, marriage, friendship, and family, and submit to the life that is always germinating in them.
In the modern world we also tend to see everything as if it were a machine, including our most precious relationships. Notice how quickly the metaphors of computer language have infiltrated everyday speech, how nonchalantly people say they are “programmed” to act the way they do. As a result of this kind of mechanization in our thinking, we’ve lost an appreciation for the mysterious factors that bring people together and force them apart. When our focus is on the surfaces of life, we seek out mechanical causes and solutions to problems, but if our attention were on the soul, we would explore instead its dreams and fantasies, its own unpredictable intentions.
Jung pointed out that even though we experience the soul intimately, still it has an objective quality. We can look at soul without identifying with it. If I ask, “What is wrong with me that I can’t have a long-lasting relationship?” the question borders on narcissism ~ the focus is on “me.” To get to the soul, we might direct our questions more outward: “What does fate want in its demands on me? What is the meaning of this continuing failure to find love? What am I made of that my heart moves in directions different from my intentions?” This shift from self-reflexive, narcissistic questions to a more open, objective point of view is in itself a fundamental move toward soul.
The soul is a wide, spacious area in which fate plays a great role, and in which family, society, and history ~ personal and cultural ~ are major influences. Much of this material is beyond an individual’s power either to invent or to control. As the Greek mystical philosopher Heraclitus taught, “The soul is its own source of unfolding.” It has its own reasons, which may be only dimly apparent to consciousness. If we want to see the soul in a relationship, we have to look beyond our intentions and expectations.
When we look at the soul of relationship, we may find positive value in failures, endings, complexities, doubts, distancing, the desire for separation and freedom, and other troubling aspects. We can see these as initiatory opportunities rather than simply as threats. Soul often hides in the darkest corners, in the very places we would rather avoid, and in the very problems thet tempt us into disillusionment; and so, we have to be intrepid when we look for it in our lives.
The ways of the soul are filled with paradox. One day we are sad about losing a job, and a year later we see that this loss was the best thing that ever happened to us. We wish we could feel more at ease in a marriage, but years later we realize that this discomfort was urging us to move on to something much more deeply satisfying.
A soul mate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communicating and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace. This kind of relationship is so important to the soul that many have said there is nothing more precious in life. We may find a soul partner in many different forms of relationship ~ in friendship, marriage, work, play, and family. It is a rare form of intimacy, but is not limited to one person or to one form.
In his many writings, Jung talked about about “sacred marriage,” which is a union at a far deeper or higher level than personalities and lives. Jung lists some of the pairs that come together in the “soul wedding”:
cold / warm
upper / lower
spirit / body
heaven / earth
fire / water
bright / dark
active / passive
gaseous / solid
precious / cheap
good / evil
open / hidden
East / West
living / dead
masculine / feminine
Sol / Luna
In a sense, every marriage evokes and participates in the “marriage” of all dualities. Th
e marriage two individuals enter upon may be seen as a ritual and a common life in which over time these other “mystical” elements are successfully wedded. It is entirely appropriate that at weddings and at renewal of vows couples celebrate the union of their lives and the qualities of their souls with traditional prayers, poetry, wine, and ritual actions. Marriage is holy not only because it is a precious and revered way of forming human lives, but also because it is a form of religion in itself, a special way in which spirituality pours into life.
Marriage is by nature miraculous and magical. We do not understand it and cannot know where it is headed. To care for its soul, it is more important to honour its mystery than to try to outwit its intentions for what we, with our small minds, may think is a better outcome.
OK, then… are you feeling kind of dreamy? I am. Maybe because right now my soul is floating to seek its own unpredictable intentions. *smile*
I think I don’t have to guide you to equate love with soul or soul with love. You can do the connection yourself after you read the above. *smile*
A vague sound of “Penuh Dengan Cinta” was barely heard:
….sudah lama kau ada dimana,
rindu aku, rindu aku,
kini tiba saat kita jumpa,
biarkanlah lepas segala rindu yang ada,
tentunya kita ‘kan senang,
mengumbar tawa dan riang,
penuh dengan cinta,
penuh dengan cinta,
penuh dengan cinta,
la la la la la la la la….
It might sound corny, but I said it anyway ~ “Happy Valentine Day” (probably my soul guided me to say it).