The past few days my brother and I have been helping out my Mom and Dad at the cottage, clearing some stuff up, raking, lawn mowing, that sort of thing. We didn't get done as much as we'd hoped, due to the cool temperature and rain... at least we helped out a bit, and have tomorrow to relax!
Now, on to the frustration! There are some people, among my friends, who think I am bad at debating. I know, quite shocking! Perhaps many of you feel the same way... but I have been told a number of times I'm a very good debater. In part, it likely depends on the subject and what I know about it. I'd accept their comments if we'd been debating about concepts of which I have no knowledge... but here's the kicker, they think they've had debates with me when in my mind, we have never debated! I admit, I do say some things that seem counter-intuitive... but to decide they are completely illogical and that I am a bad debater due to disagreeing with my initial position without hearing the arguments behind it, is at the very least a little silly and, I find, quite... frustrating. How can you judge if I'm a poor debater when you've never actually been in a debate with me? Just because something sounds ridiculous doesn't make it necessarily untrue! I'm increasingly becoming frustrated with hypocrisy... perhaps I am guilty of this too, and just don't realize it. But it is sad and yet somehow amusing, when you have people complaining about others' personality flaws, when it seems as though they have those same flaws in question. It's very tempting to tell people to try not to take out the speck from their friend's eye, when there's a great plank in their own. I apologize if it seems I am ranting... I wish people would judge my words and thoughts for their merit(or perhaps lack thereof), rather than dismissing them out of hand.
Love and Understanding
So, here is the main point of today's post! A friend of mine, whatsarobot, posted something that got me thinking of this... quite a few months ago. Hopefully I'm not copying the idea exactly, if I am I apologize... at the very least, that post has helped me solidify a few thoughts I have about love.
First of all, I'd understood for a while that without understanding, you can't have love. If you don't understand someone, don't know who they are... then you can't love what they are, merely a warped picture that you have of them in your head. With that being said, that doesn't mean you constantly have to talk to other people about all the little mundane details of your life for you to have a deeper understanding, and thus a deeper love possible. Since I believe in souls, I'm inclined to say your souls recognize each other... but this isn't necessary, you have to at least have some deep understanding for there to be love.
Now what is love? It is the bond between two things. This bond is dependent on understanding (deep understanding, not necessarily sharing the information of where you went to breakfast that morning). Furthermore, I claim that if you truly understand something, you will love it, if you can see it at a deep enough level. Bonds between people are stronger than other bonds, because people are capable of mutual understanding at deeper levels. Hate is a failure of understanding, as is anger. Hate is a false understanding, a superficial understanding, and thus is not an actual bond.
So where does this leave that special bond between two people who love each other? In conversations throughout the years I've had with people, the question arises... what's the difference between loving a spouse, compared to a great friend for example. Having recently thought about the consciousness problem (see one or two posts ago), I am now prepared to answer this question. It is linked to creation. You can love many, many people... love the whole world. However, (in addition to stuff like sexual attraction), we choose to create something new with a particular person. It is this act of creation that is beyond the bond of understanding that is so special between two people... they decide to build a relationship, tie their lives together and create something that didn't exist before. This is the essence behind the difference of love of friends, and love of a spouse... it is in what you create together. Yes, you can create things with your friendships, but theoretically you are not tying your lives together in the same way... in many cases to bring about that ultimate creation, and bring a new life in to the world.
So while understanding is love is the bond among people... This other kind of love is an act of creation, and it is this that differentiates it from universal love.
One last footnote... for the Bible study that my church had for a number of weeks, John Morris said something that bothered me. It was that for some questions he had, he'd go to science... and for other questions he'd go to religion. This isn't a bad view, it's certainly more feasible than many others... but I don't see such a difference in the goals of religion and science. Humanity's obsession with science is at the heart the same as its obsession with religion... the goal of understanding, of logos, of love. These are all at the heart, the same... science and religion spring from the same yearning and growing of the human spirit.
Goodnight to all of you; may you gain wisdom, and discover understanding.