the lost man chronicles
book two: the art of love
the end is not the end
The end of a relationship is not as bad as it seems nor as tragic as our society purports it to be. It is primarily because we deem it to be that it becomes heavier than it really is. The end of anything is always the beginning of something else. Sometimes, it is the unknown, sometimes it means we have grown beyond the realm of another or that our vines have spread apart.
Initially, the intertwining is divine, but then we find ourselves thirsting, pining for space, and we start to miss the taste of freedom. Ultimately, we begin to face the reality that we are squeezing life out of one another. Thus, although given the druthers, we usually choose to continue suffocating, because we are taught suffering is part of the deal. We are sold a set of beliefs that justify the grief of monogamy and (un)dying commitment by deeming them as natural as breathing, and that intimacy and love and desire are as everlasting as life itself.
But just as life meets death, the makeshift bliss of contrived human relations dies too.
Once we have begun the institutionalized path of the relationship it is almost impossible for it not to become the same old thing, the same hard road to nowhere where upon all the signs read "dead end."
Most of us see this sign and resign ourselves, as if we had signed a contract with a no compete clause, the breech thereof that would end absolutely everything—till death do us part.
Thus, we sigh, cry, anger, become utterly despondent and sulk, never realizing that the answer lies in our innate inclination to run away, to turn in another direction, if only to move on, elsewhere alone.
You see, there are essentially two realities we live in. There is a personal reality that all of us are capable of manifesting, but which most of us do not realize. And then, there is the social reality that the vast majority blindly follow by heeding to contemporary values, constructs of thinking, and the institutions that support them.
Thus, to live a happy life it is incumbent upon the individual to realize what is the absolute truth within one self. Personally, I know that the great things in life, whether they be interactions with others or the awe of the morning, are all fleeting. Perfection is possible, but it is ephemeral.
Therefore, It is wholly natural to say goodbye, for everything must come to an end. And when we realize and accept this inescapable principle of being, we allow ourselves to turn our strife from a bumpy road to hell into the joyride of our lives.
It is true that nothing lasts forever, including "love," and yet as foolish humans we still strangely perceive, conceive and cohort as if we are capable of manifesting otherwise. And despite the wise lessons of time, we find ourselves falling in love over and over again anyway.
The late and great mythologist Joseph Campbell stated that he believed the romantic form of love as we know it today in Western civilization began with the troubadours of the Middle Ages. Therefore, everlasting or "true" romance is not something that has existed throughout the history of mankind. And not only has it not always been universal, it is also not necessarily an innate need that can only be fulfilled by "the one."
In fact, the notion of the "soul mate" has been alien to much of the world for most of the time we have existed as intelligent sapient beings. It is oddly as elusive as all those things which are invisible and divine, yet somehow we find ourselves inclined to hopelessly believing that such ideals can be manifested in a single person anyway.
The hard truth is that romance is a commercial enterprise that we actively partake in and which artificially realizes this swell of sentiment within us, one that does not entirely stem naturally from within. Or if it does, it is expressed with trite expressions of amorous emotions. Valentine's Day is a perfect example of this, for it honors something that should be celebrated creatively everyday, and one which buying a card or candy or a bouquet is only okay if you are too lazy to make an effort.
Overall, we accept so many things that we are told wholesale to believe in, simply because it is easiest to sail through life that way. If we had to try and figure out which way to go with every step, we would immediately get weary and wary of the journey.
In sum, surely love is a many splendored thing, but it is not meant to be everlasting. And once one has learned to accept this, she will be all the more happier, and likely happier than most.
JC: Goethe says "all things are metaphors" —everything that is transitory is but a metaphorical reference. That's what we all are.
BM: But how does one worship a metaphor, love a metaphor, die for a metaphor?
JC: Well, that's what people are doing all over the place! Dying for metaphors. And when you really realize the sound om the sound of the mystery of the word everywhere—then you don't have to go out and die for anything because its right there all around, and just sit still and see it, and experience and know it.
~ The Power of the Myth, Love and the Goddess, Bill Moyers Interviews Joseph Campbell
the art of living the art of love