Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just to Reiterate: I Believe in Love

Not a surprise, but as with all things psychological, mythological, and anything that strikes my fancy and grabs my attention, I start down one road of thought and others reveal themselves. I have begun reading the "Red Book," slowly but with concentration and zeal. And issues... First off - I am somewhat apprehensive about actually touching it. Secondly, it's quite a handful. Third, I go slowly from one part of the English to look at Jung's hand in German and back. It's a task. It's one I've craved in my soul without knowing it.

Call it the fault of academia or never getting out of thesis mode or whatever you wish, but other long-ago thoughts come to mind when I read lately. The inquiry into one thing leads to another, and there you go. Lately I have had trouble concentrating when I read, so everything I love to study is a struggle; writing is arduous. It's vexing and erodes my established sense of self. However, perhaps that is exactly where I need to be right now, as I set sail on this soul journey with Dr. Jung. I wonder if this is a way to revive and re-establish the notion of personal and collective psyche? Hmm.

Anyhow, some of the old stuff from my days at Mills College have come to mind lately. Who knew I actually paid attention in college? I remember a few years ago, reading "The Body Artist" by DeLillo for Myth class at Pacifica, and being reminded of Adrienne Rich's poem "Diving Into The Wreck." I adored this poem, and hadn't thought of it until the themes of love, loss, and bridging a sort of understanding between two people came up years later. Of course, that day we had Marion Woodman guest lecture, so the only one remembering anything about my anemic presentation on the book is, well, me.

SO, here's what came to mind again last night, and has transformed the meaning of my day, from Rich's "On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978.":

'An honorable human relationship–that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love”–is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying for both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in so doing we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.'

I realize yet again how though I treasure introspective moments and the lush landscape of personal psyche, there is nothing like the aspects of self that are discovered, mined, created-- changing and flourishing-- when those we love really do walk that hard way with us. I only love as much as I find those who will love with me; I only inspire affection as deeply as those that inspire me.

Too much Aristotle (I'm sure) but I do believe happiness is an aim, a process, and an activity. The more I see of the world and experience treasured people in my life, I believe love is more than a stance, a decision, a lightning-strike. I wrote the words numinous and liminal earlier and I think love is so much nearer to these concepts, but still-- I can't get close enough. Love has its own avenues, landscapes, and languages. How exquisite to love another, and how my soul shines when I am loved in return; whether agape, storge, philia, or eros, I bask in the glow.

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