BRDNSKY (Bird In Sky)

Our mission is to help those who  have lost faith in themselves rediscover the joy of living

The Survivalist Mindset

A friend and I were conversing through a social media site. She was commenting on how her life seemed to be difficult. She didn’t mean to make it so difficult. She just seemed to pick the wrong path. My response was she had not chosen the wrong path, but needed to pick those leading to happiness. Right now, she responded, I just want to find a job and then I’ll be happy.


   What is the difference between a path leading to happiness and finding a job to be happy? The answer is obvious. Assuming a job, or anything else, will lead to happiness is survivalist thinking. A job won’t make us happy or even lead us to happiness. If we are not happy to begin with, how will a job, a path, or someone else bring us happiness? Before getting into the philosophy of being happy, we must first look at the lifestyle of the survivalist.

   

   At one point, I was a survivalist. My concern was generating enough income to survive, which I did. Let me describe what surviving looked like. Life in general consisted of work, rest, and work again. Nothing novel about this, because anyone can chose to live this way. Just as anyone can live as a homeless person….well, maybe. In either case, life is experienced at a minimalist level. Some manage to fit in some recreation time, or what they claim is recreation. For each of us, it is different. I do not see recreation or having fun while being in an alcohol (or any other drug) induced stupor as relaxing or in any way stress relieving. For myself, this is escapism. For a while, I drew satisfaction from having enough money to pay bills and occasionally dine out. Most people are satisfied with this, just as the friend with whom I was conversing. Eventually, I grew tired of this. After years of surviving, I decided I wanted to do more than just survive.

The first step to initiating change is to recognize the need for change. The only way to recognize a need for change is to examine what is being done right now. If you are in survivalist mode, or if you don’t know if you are in survivalist mode, try asking yourself some questions.

Am I happy? If I don’t know if I’m happy, am I satisfied? I suspect a majority of the population does not know if they are happy or not. When I have asked, the responses I get are often non-committal. This brings us to the next question.


   What is happiness? As I said, most do not know if they are happy or even what happiness would be like. Happiness is not living a life filled with thrills. For the most part, happiness equates a life of optimism. For me, happiness is more about harmony. When experiencing challenges, I know they will pass. When experiencing joy, I know that will pass as well and I should savor both like a good meal. Most of life is relatively boring, because we often compare our lives to someone else’s. What we don’t realize is the amount of stress someone else endures because of the type of lifestyle they have chosen. We may see it as exciting because it’s not our own. If you can’t seem to put your finger on what happiness is for you, then consider what you enjoy doing. I enjoy reading, writing, and helping others succeed. This may sound like a cliché, but I make time for these activities. What activities do you set time aside for? If you don’t know, try asking if what you are doing is worth the time. For instance, a friend likes to relax over the weekend, as most do. Her idea of relaxation is stretched out on the couch complaining about nothing being on television worth watching. Despite there being nothing worth watching, a majority of the weekend is spent watching. For myself, this is not worth doing. Thus, I find something else to do when visiting.


   The next question is what would you like to do different? This question may entail making a list. Write down the things you would like to do and while you are at it, write down the things you would like to stop doing. You can make two columns: one for surviving and one for growing. This is one way to measure success. Measurements are important. Without them, we wouldn’t know if we are getting any value, much less is we are happy.


   If you have gotten this far, then you are probably not satisfied with the direction your life is going. Having generated a list, weed out the fantasies. You can do this by determining what you are willing to invest. Yes, you are going to have to invest time and possibly money into these projects. I didn’t say this would be easy, only more satisfying. Those activities you feel more satisfied in doing or would like to explore will reduce the amount of stress or at least transform it into useful energy.

You now have a point from which to begin seeking a lifestyle that is not only satisfying, but also unique to you. A person doesn’t have to be in survival mode to want to improve their overall satisfaction with life. They only have to have the desire. I didn’t make these suggestions to the friend. Past discussions indicated she wasn’t ready to move past survival mode. Perhaps surviving brought her satisfaction. Some are satisfied with surviving. However, some are not, and it is to them I speak.


   Happiness is not something tangible. Happiness is experienced. Happiness is a mindset and more.

Suffering may be a Choice


   Several years ago, I read Archie Bham’s The World’s Living Religions (1964). It was a time when I was becoming curious about spirituality and the religions laying claim to it. He encouraged me to explore. Eventually, we all become curious about the intricacies of life and the unexplained. We feel an overwhelming desire to find purpose. As I read about some of the Eastern religious philosophies, I came across something that made a profound impression. Human suffering is brought about through desire. Suffering is not caused from desire itself, but through the desire of what cannot be achieved. Thus, we create our suffering because we are not satisfied.

 

   Desire is not the culprit, because desire is what moves us in a direction. We desire new clothes. We do not suffer because of our clothes, and we can obtain clothes by purchasing them from a store, accepting someone else’s, or we can make new clothes. Desiring new clothes does not incur suffering because we can obtain them. What engages suffering is choice. If we were to choose between a $10 pair of pants, a $20, pair of pants, and a $100 pair of pants, most would choose the $20 or the $100 pair. Yet, because they only have $30 to spend, they become at odds with themselves. The first pair has a hole and the second pair has been worn, and the last pair has never been worn and was made by a prestigious company, let’s say Calvin Klein. We could purchase the $10 pair and be thankful. We could also purchase the $20 pair and be thankful. We could also purchase a combination of the two. Then again, we could by no pants and complain about not being able to afford any clothes. When our lamentations begin, so does our suffering. We suffer, not because we chose not to purchase a pair of pants, nor is it because we could not purchase the pair we desired. Our suffering begins because we choose to suffer.

Throughout the entire process, we have made a choice. Therefore, suffering is also a choice. Perhaps we do not need another pair. We desire another pair. We could choose to be satisfied with what we have. We could become satisfied and plan to obtain the pair we desire.

 

   People don’t plan to suffer, but they set goals. We experience suffering because we fail to plan for success.

 

   Becoming satisfied was something I set out to learn. I read this book in my 20s and am now in my 50s. Becoming satisfied is not accepting what comes along or accepting your place in life. Becoming satisfied is learning to be the person you are at any given time.

 

   Accepting who you are is not something a person can just do. Accepting who you are is something that occurs unbeknownst to you. We have been conditioned to become successful. We have even been given examples of what success should be. However, we have not been conditioned how to be successful, much less even satisfied. Some have realized this and have chosen a different outlook. By perceiving life differently, they have unknowingly accepted the person they have become.

 

   Becoming satisfied is about change. Changing our perception about situations, about circumstance, about people, even changing our perception about our desires can lead to becoming satisfied. We can be satisfied by doing nothing, or we can watch for opportunities and do something. We can even plan and create opportunities. Change does not have to be radical. In most instances, changes can be subtle. Sometimes just being somewhere affords us the tools to implement change. By seeking to become satisfied with ourselves, our possessions, our friends, our employment, etc. is the most powerful catalyst to becoming who we are meant to be.  

 

   We can choose to complain and do nothing, or we can choose to do something. If our plans go awry, we can learn to plan better by enlisting assistance. We can set a goal. If we fail to achieve our goal, we can re-evaluate the goal to make it more suitable.

Does Ignorance Promote Suffering?


   From the very first deep inhalation of air, we are conditioned to suffer. We could blame this on our parents for filling us with their unfulfilled dreams and missed opportunities.  We can blame our innate need to survive, or we can move forward to a point when those needs are satisfied and we fill ourselves with desires.  In any case, suffering is a natural part of the life experience and it is up to you and I as individuals to redirect this energy towards something more fruitful.


   From the very first time humans stood up and demanded to be recognized, they have experienced suffering. Those primal needs are continuous companions goading us, enticing us into a frenzy of activity. The basics are food, water, shelter, security, and the need to belong. Security has many brothers and sisters in the form of confidence, ability, perception, and all things of the self. Security can be as elusive another member of our primal companions, the need to belong, or the need to be loved. No matter where we chose to begin, these companions are close at hand, demanding to be fed. Sometimes we surrender to their will, other times we manage to resist, hoping for something better.



   Being aware of our needs is the first step in befriending them. Yes, befriend them.  To enter into combat with them becomes a never-ending struggle. If we seek to dominate them, the suffering we may be experiencing increases. Through cooperation, we can successfully satisfy the basic necessities required for survival or success.


    Knowledge begets wisdom and wisdom begets responsibility. The acts we commit ourselves to with every thought and movement carry us in a direction.  Moving along our path can be difficult, even more so if we do not know where we are. Only when accepting the fruits of our actions, beneficial or detrimental, can we recognize landmarks and orient ourselves in a more conducive direction.



   Some believe suffering is the result of having desires. I disagree.  Desires motivate us to help or to harm ourselves and others around us. Desire is one of those primeval companions keeping us company, goading us into action, and enticing us with false glories. Enticement tells us we need what others have. Desire tells us we may be lacking. Sometimes we act when we should not, and other times we wait when we should act. When we cling to the fruits of our actions (or inactions), we invite Suffering into our lives. We align ourselves with Ignorance. Ignorance shrouds the effects of our actions upon others by redirecting our attention back to ourselves. Blindly aligning ourselves with Desire creates the delusions, which appear to soothe our pain. These delusions often take the form of blaming others for our misfortunes, for our failures, and our place in life. Suffering guides us, shapes us into twisted beings of emotional despair because we lack the courage to reach past Suffering. The companions of Suffering are Ignorance and Impulsiveness. We encourage Suffering by enlisting these companions and their entourage.



   Impulsiveness travels with Greed, Envy, Jealousy, and those emotions associated with detrimental behavior.  They are always close by.  Destructive is an incorrect term because growth follows destruction and wrongdoing. Detrimental is a more appropriated descriptor, because detrimental behavior causes harm to those around us and ourselves. When Impulsiveness is paired with Discipline, our actions become tempered. Discipline shapes a person's habits, which is often a quality admired by others. Through discipline, correct actions become habit. Actions express our thoughts. Impulsive behavior expresses our lack of thought and our submission to emotions.



   Ignorance travels with companions we identify with.  We choose those whom we admire to befriend, and in the same fashion, we select the companions Ignorance. Thus, ignorance is a choice. When we desire something or another, we have a desire to become informed. We have a desire to know more about what we want. We also have a desire to act. Information allows us to choose actions beneficial to others and ourselves. We may choose to ignore what we know and covet what we desire. When we covet, we become obsessed. Sometimes a person will talk about the object of their desire incessantly while others may become more aggressive. They may resort to stalking people or theft as a means of possessing what is desired.

 

   To discourage Ignorance and its followers we must investigate the paths leading to what is desire. Planning is part of the choice ignorance offers. Ignorance is the choice between use and disuse of information and the tools offered. We begin all quests in ignorance because all quests begin with a choice. Being ignorant is the same as being blind. A blind person can remain where they stand, ignorant of their surroundings, or they can move about, exploring their environment. Exploration is risky because it is fraught with challenges. However, during our explorations, we may find tools to ease our passage through life. This is why ignorance is a choice. We may choose to explore or stand still.  When we become informed, the decision process may become more difficult, but it also becomes more beneficial. We can begin by asking questions. Do we truly want or need what we desire? Is it obtainable?  What preparations need to be made?  A goal provides us with a direction. A goal motivates.  A goal informs us of success.


    Observation has revealed the thought processes of many. What I have learned is not that people are lazy in this area, but are poorly trained. Laying plans as a means of obtaining a goal is a skill.  Proper planning requires a becoming informed and anticipatory. Unforeseen obstacles lay in wait, ambushing us with unexpected consequences forcing us to reevaluate motives and altering strategy. We must be flexible in thought and action in order to succeed. A mind rigid in purpose and pursuit is one traveling with ignorance, choosing to remain blind to themselves and to those around them. A flexible mind adapts, making the obstacle part of the plan.


    I once believed few of us actually pursued goals without a plan. I was wrong. Plans also fail if poorly executed, just as a properly executed plan can fail if poorly developed. In either case, flexibility ensures swift recovery, whereas a mind trapped in rigidity is doomed. A mind that refuses to release what they have latched onto is not ready to move on. Thus, suffering is the inability to release what is no longer required or desired.


   To escape the throes of suffering, we must gain knowledge about what is fueling the experience. Wisdom comes from the application of information gained through research and experience. As wisdom is gained and we find that we have invited Suffering to our dinner table – we know it is by choice and can readily ask Suffering to leave. We are responsible for how we experience what occurs in our lives, whether it is through ignorance, the consequences of our actions, or lack action. Often suffering can be alleviated by responding accordingly.  We discover suffering is a condition of the delusions we create. Both are part of the life experience of life.  However, they need not control what we experience or how we experience. We suffer because we lack control and the will to let go.

Are We Born to Fail, or is it Conditioning?

   We are born to fail. I know.  This sounds cold and harsh, but it’s true. We come into life with the power of a god. Our small bodies contain immense potential and abilities beyond our comprehension. This may sound like science fiction. Tomorrow, this could be a little known fact.

 

   Beliefs, ideas, and theories held dear may be riddled with tiny flaws or gaping holes. For many, they are what keep us sane. Hard to believe that what may be filled with contradictions can be so important. One could say we parallel life. The same flaw exists within the many interpretations of religious doctrine by way of contradiction. The current popular source of inconsistencies lies within the Bible. Why is that? Well, it could be because nobody took credit for its many stories. Oh, sure, the idea of it not being relevant at the time is probably true. The concept of the Bible as the word of God is at once a folly and profound. Just as the saying, I am Alpha and Omega, beginning, and end. In truth, this means simultaneous creation and destruction. The lives we lead reflect this axiom. We create in order to destroy and destroy in order to create. Hmm, sounds a bit like God.

 

   Bruce Lipton, in his Spontaneous Evolution (2009), writes that we began our lives by feeding on junk. He’s not talking about candy bars, potato chips, and soda pop. What he’s referring to are the biases fed to us while in the womb. The existence we have entered into took shape while moving about in the womb. The food we were given formed our mental and emotional being or states. 

 

   I heard a story about an 18-month-old baby’s discovery of sound under water. Immediately, I chuckled. He had remembered something most of us forgot. Life began in water, whether in the oceans or in the womb. This is the negative part of our lives. Negative being the time spent before birth. Birth is the starting point for life on this plane, on the Earth, or as a material being. More to the point, it is our birth date. At least, that is the legal definition despite the pro-life controversy. Thus, anytime before hand is negative time. Of course, if we were to celebrate the day of conception life would be confusing and straightforward.  

 

   Existence is not the paradox here.  The paradox is the existence we create. While in the womb, we are in negative time. Yet, our life-long education has begun. While floating about in the womb developing, we receive information through our mother’s emotions. Mothers communicate their joy, anger, indifference, etc. directly to us. The rest influence us indirectly. This is the beginning of our support system, and in this moment, our unconditional support system. Unconditional because we have not choice, we are sponges soaking up anything getting through our watery buffer. As we bathe in this physical form of consciousness, we garner their assistance. In the negative life, this is much easier to do than it is when we get out. I find this to be amusing because many of us spend a great deal of time trying to get back in, away from the pressures of life. While in our watery playground, we are completely dependent on someone else. Think about this. While in the womb, we are unable to impose our will upon others. Our mothers are unable to impose their will upon us. One exception, they have the option of supporting us for the duration of the pregnancy or aborting. Think about this. When was the last time you were dependent on another, and liked it?

 

   As soon as we voice our need, the relationship shifts. Our symbiotic relationship ends rather abruptly. We are still dependent on our mother, but now we are able to impose our will upon her and others. They may now actively choose when and how to serve us. From that first breath, unconditional love, support, or any other label you use, comes into play. As babes, we have a cry for hunger, a cry for cuddling, a cry for just about any need we have. We have little choice in the matter. Crying is how we communicate.  At birth, we have one thing on our mind, survival.  Feed us, hold us, serve us, and we will be nice. We unknowingly have instigated a relationship based on supply and demand. Others will either choose to serve or not. This is unconditional love. 

 

   The first time a parent complains about their child, a seed is planted. Just as a seed is planted the first time, a parent expresses love. Both seeds are planted and nurtured throughout the life of that child. Whichever one the child feeds from the most, determines their potential outcome. 

 

   As parents, we nurture the seed that determines a large part in the path awaiting our child. I have planted similar seeds myself. Parents play a role in the lives of their children for a long time. We also have opportunities to weed out those seeds our children do not need. I’m talking about expressing their greatness, abilities, and the joy of being a part of their growth. We need to weed out criticism, disappointment, and anything else that destroys their potential.

 

   When we become adults, we have the opportunity to strike out on our own and shape the remainder of our journey. Our priority should be, rediscovering our immense potential and hidden abilities. We need not stand alone and stake our claims. This should not be a Darwinian fallacy of survival of the strong. Together, we form a gestalt. Together we form the whole of the god within, something not found in religious doctrine. Together, we have the ability to snatch defeat from failure and position ourselves, and others to succeed. 

 

   Walking our paths alone, we are vulnerable to physical, mental, and emotional disease. Through alliances, groups, friendships, and more, we strengthen our mind, body, and emotional well-being. Together, we broaden the path, fill our journey with joy, and become positive influences upon those behind us. 

 

   We are born to fail if we separate ourselves from each other through bigotry, shame, and malcontent. With others, we succeed, encourage others, and express the true sense of humanity. Together, we fulfill humanity’s purpose.


Image from http://www.clipartkid.com/angry-parents-clipart-THGJh4-clipart/



Works Cited


Libton, B., & Bhaerman, S. (2009). Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a way to get there from here). New York: Hayhouse.


 


The Great Mundane


   One afternoon I took some time to examine what was going on in my life. There seemed to be a lack of pep or excitement in some areas. Perhaps I was bored. Then I realized how routine life actually is.

   Rituals and patterns are what are left when we strip away our delusions of how life should be. Oh, we boast about how exciting our lives are when gathered around civilized campfires. Though I wonder if any have ever defined what excitement is or even if the activity would be exciting enough to do again. A variety of mini-adventures exist to stir the angst within, to experience heightened anxiety that leaves us feeling invigorated and exhausted at the same time. Speeding down a small hill on a ten-speed in order to catapult oneself high into the air is phantasmic. Although I’m sure I won’t be do it again. Standing high atop telephone pole gazing down upon a carpet of dry leaves and distant tree top mountains is exhilarating. To squeeze one’s eyes shut lies somewhere between insanity and stupidity. No reasonable person would consider such actions. Yet, these side trips are part of the trip referred to as life. Recall, if you will, any of those daring actions in your past. Any will do, particularly if it’s from your days as a teen. The first time was exhilarating. The second time around, if you dared to do so, not so much and a third time out….well the adventure becomes so blasé.   

 

   If our lives were filled with such novel experiences, they would become routine, even boring. People would then be in search of encounters of us may strive to escape from.  Seth Goodin wrote, no one notices a cow. However, everyone notices a purple cow (Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, 2011). The question is if there were a herd of purple cows, would they still be novel? Probably not, they would just be cows. This is why embracing and ritualizing our daily lives is true living.

 

   No matter how we chose to live, all paths lead to mundane everyday events. The mundane is what sustains us. Peppery moments of unexpected adventure, though short lived, create lasting impressions and occasionally, havoc. We are emotionally and mentally unprepared. The novelty events bring emotional upheaval when they happen. Even their second occurrence brings value, but afterwards, they tend to fall into the tediousness of everyday life.

 

   Let’s face it. Life is routine and uneventful. No matter what we do, this is our life. When we seek to make changes, we are merely altering our daily practice. The purpose of these changes is to fine tune our experience, make it more pleasing or manageable. When we understand this, and stop struggling against our flow, we will create a more lasting happiness.

Perfection's Flaw


Naturally, we all want to be perfect. The problem is everyone prefers to use someone else’s version of perfection. Before we get too far into this, let’s take some time to think about what perfection means. 

 

Simply put, perfection is a lack of flaws.  However, in order to detect any imperfections, there must a comparison. The sample used must be perfect, or does it? When comparing product to a sample, a level of tolerance is provided. Tolerance is the limit of deviation an item can be and still be considered perfect. When it comes to living life, what do we compare it too?  

 

Years ago, I looked to my friends for the standard. They had cool stuff and I wanted cool stuff.  I couldn’t afford ‘cool stuff.’ It wasn’t that I was unworthy of cool stuff because I was cool. The jobs I worked, however, were not cool. They were minimum wage or just above, making my life humble or poverty stricken. Nothing seemed to go right. Everyone but me had the perfect life. They had what they wanted, while I was stuck with hand-me-downs, so cliché.

 

My best paying job started out at seven days a week making eight dollars an hour. Twenty-four hours of overtime and four hours of double time, made a healthy chunk of change. Finally, I could get that cool stuff. The problem was the person I was married to felt I was gone too much and started looking elsewhere. Cool stuff did not make a perfect life. Most of the people I knew were divorced or getting divorced. On top of that, they were experiencing financial problems. During the ensuing turmoil of my own divorce, I made an important discovery. Life is not meant to be perfect. Life is supposed to be a struggle.

 

Reading is a habit I developed during high school. Sometime between then and my late twenties, I began venturing out of science fiction-fantasy and into non-fiction, religion and spirituality. Archie Bahms’ World’s Living Religions caught my attention. Something he wrote in the Buddhist chapter was very profound. Man is never satisfied. Not only did it jot this down, I printed it out and hung it on the refrigerator. I began contemplating its meaning. After a good while, several years or more, the meaning of these words began to take shape. We are never satisfied because we spend most of our lives chasing goals. Before reaping the rewards of our achievement, we’d embark on the next goal. During my contemplation, I set about becoming satisfied. Somewhere in my late thirties, success had begun. I became satisfied. Experiencing satisfaction taught me not to worry about what others have, or how their lives appeared. 

 

I began measuring perfection through satisfaction. The root of dissatisfaction lies in dissatisfaction with you. Satisfaction has nothing to do with reaping benefits, reaching goals, or any other version of secular success. Satisfaction is learning to be satisfied with what we have before desiring something else.

 

I began observing those around me, wondering what was really happening. I wondered, are they happy with their lives, or are they living a façade? Ruminating through memories of years past as well as days past, I began wondering if I were happy or just living a façade. They are questions we should consider. Are you happy or are you pretending? If you are truly happy, then you should refrain from changing anything. If you are pretending, you should determine what is not useful in your life and get rid of it. We should endeavor to discover what we enjoy. We should change those habits not beneficial. Perhaps even sift through our possessions and pass along anything not providing us with a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment. Maybe even ponder the friends gathered about us. Do they encourage growth? Do they satisfy a need? Do they leave us drained or frustrated? When we discover satisfaction within our lives, we should consider its origin before moving on to the next goal.

 

Perfection is not about eliminating flaws. Perfection is about joy, about pleasure, and about becoming satisfied. Anything else is a distraction.


(Image from Wikimedia)

Love and the Sense of Belonging

Value is an important quality to consider in any endeavor. Most of us associate quality or value with monetary value – money. Cost is only one of many facets of value. I will briefly explore this mundane classification before moving on to a more esoteric approach, which is the true focus of life. Price is what we have been conditioned to associate value with due to our legal system – value equals money. I would prefer we consider the philosophical meaning – importance – to all that we do (not to be confused with purpose). Where monetary value fails us, philosophical value may sustain us.


Consider those things we are forced to attach price to for the sake of justice, which is a fallacy. When injured, we must consider lost earnings compared to past earnings, and then compensation for emotional and mental distress. This last part is another fallacy of which wormed its way into society. Can you estimate the monetary value of a child, a parent, a confidant, or lover? The correct answer would be no, until one is maimed or killed, and then for the sake of compensation, we must. Once we take this complaint to the judicial arena, a price tag must be associated with the role these people played in our lives. How do you place a dollar amount on one’s life? Unless that person was employed by you, you are placed in a quandary. The correct approach to this is to consider the person’s earning potential and extrapolate it into the future, but this has nothing to with the value of a person’s presence or their influence upon the lives of those around them, and those who have yet to encounter the person. Estimating one’s earning potential is an impossible feat because no allowance is given for improving or adding to one’s skill set, making them more valuable. No value can be assigned to experience. Yet, this is a common practice among lawyers and those serving the judicial system. Hence, the fallacy of the judicial system becomes evident. Though flawed, the system has value because it serves those who chose a less esoteric approach to life.


Our existence persists in only one point in time – the present. Until we learn to move through the quantum plane as we move through the common reality, our concerns should remain rooted in the present. This dramatically changes the meaning of value. Value is no longer able to hold a monetary attachment. Value becomes importance and purpose. The question of value in relation to a child, a parent, a confidant, or lover becomes much clearer. Now we can truly examine the role a person plays in our lives by comparing them to criteria relevant to ourselves. However, many will simply say, I love them, which raises a more difficult question avoided by most. What is love?


I have found that each person has his or her own definition of uniqueness, which is another fallacy. What allows us to be truly unique is our behavior, which amounts to action and reaction within a range of possibilities. Love often has a variety of degrees of devotion and self-sacrifice. This may be why science refuses to engage in the idiosyncrasies of love. They simply refer to love as affect, meaning love is an emotional response that defies definition. Affect is simply emotion or mood, which in turn can be associated with biological functions. When it comes to relationships, love is something everyone seeks, despite their inability to describe it. Therefore, I would like to offer my perspective.

Love has a very strong correlation with the need to belong. Forget about the concept of servitude, because it comes naturally when we belong to someone or a group. We belong to groups and organizations because we choose to do so. Why do we choose? Who knows? Only the person doing the choosing knows and often, they cannot find the words to describe their motivation. Suffice it to say, their participation satisfies a need. All relationships have this in common. Friendships, work, religious affiliation, etc. fulfill a need within us. I attend a group of metaphysically oriented people because I derive satisfaction – which is another sensation that defies definition - from the gathering. We share ideas, information, and camaraderie. In short, a sense of belonging, or love for one another.


When it comes to family, the dynamics can be quite bizarre, ranging from a group of supportive individuals to a group of codependent people. I say individuals because despite genetic and empathic connections, oft times members become estranged for one reason or another. Sometimes a person separates themselves from the family group because they choose to or the family group has isolated them. Regardless, it is the family, which teaches (conditions) a person in the criteria of what love is, or qualifies as belonging. Many of us seek out relationships that resemble the one we have/had with our family because it is familiar. Some have nursed a desire for a different type of relationship, or a relationship they believe is more beneficial than what they experienced.


Now we come to love and its possible meaning. Our culture has limited love to something shared between two people – preferably a woman and a man – as the highest form and then others to a lesser degree. Culture has turned love into a pyramid scheme with two people at the apex (or one), flowing downward into immediate family, extended family, close friends, friends, general associations, and those who are of little concern. For those of you who profess a religious tie, this is not what Jesus is reported to have said. If you were to follow the teachings of Jesus, you are at the apex of the pyramid; because he said, love others as you love yourself. This eliminates the apex. Whoops, what happened to the pyramid?


If we approach this from the idea of belonging, the pyramid idea loses its effect. We are all of equal standing. We belong to each other. Meaning there is no separation between you or I. When love is inserted into the idea of belonging, love becomes a preference. We love others because we prefer to be with them or in their presence as opposed to another’s. When we evaluate the relationship or what we expect from this preference, we are seeking certain qualities above other qualities. The degrees of love – like a brother/sister, like a friend, etc. are based on a desired order of qualities. When I say, I love my wife, I am really saying I prefer to be with her because of her self-confidence, desire to continue to enrich her life, her drive, and of course, her physical attributes. Her value to me is the satisfaction I feel when in her presence. I could go on, describing the satisfaction, which would deepen the value she provides for me, but you may not find that appealing.


When applying value to what we chose to embark upon, we are defining the level of satisfaction we expect to achieve or to receive. If a venture provides no value, whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic, we waste energy in its pursuit. Unless we are in the habit of waste, chances are we would turn our attentions to something more worthwhile. Imagine the heartache, stress, and negativity if you will, we could avoid. To do something because we are expected to would have no value. Of course, this may bring a host of new challenges, but our life would become more fulfilling. Those we chose to call spouse, significant other, or lover would deepen our lives and theirs. I can tell you that my life is more satisfying because it is filled with value.

Chakra Energy and the Law of Attraction

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Did You Know?

Dr. Wilder Penfield, through stimulating certain areas of the brain, the subjects would hear an authoritative voice that sounded like that of a man. This was from the right hemisphere .

Sources:

Hamilton, Mark; Alexander, Tracy; Savage, Eric & Wallace, Frank R. (2007). The Nouveau Tech Package of Inside Secrets. Neo-Tech Books

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