I appreciate the willingness to discuss the world that I see at the Daily Bell - an investment news site that is willing to look at the world at least somewhat from a willingness to observe the ideas and trends moving in our world rather then merely propagate them in obedience or carelessness. This article was more personal in nature - looking at ethics and life and friendship...
(Not speaking personally to you Wendy in all this so much as to the reader in the shared theme you have raised).
'Most friendship is feigning - most loving mere folly' - William Shakespeare.
Contractual relations employ contract to limit - and can be used to disallow a true intimacy. Which is simply a living presence in shared purpose - ( I'm not inferring sexual communion here - nor of course excluding that as a facet of communication).
Conditional love says "I will love you if and as you meet my conditions". And so love turns to hate or disillusion in the wink of an eye. But what is love as traded and contracted, but the mutually agreed upon behaviours that have in a sense redefined love in our own image?
I see we - humanly - are generally caught up in our own image - our own definitions and presumptions as to what is and is not love, or what is or is not genuine communication and tangibly intimate as a synchronicity with no 'middleman' operating as if outside the moment in order to to fulfil a private gratification or appetite.
I also see that uncovering such strategy as operating in oneself is a discomforting and perhaps humiliating honesty that many perhaps feel they cannot afford.... though the consequence unfolds anyway.
The capacity to observe and embrace oneself - albeit through difficult 'lessons' - is the willingness to extend compassion to others as - in their own particular patterning - in the same boat. I don't see this as a struggle between the light and the fear so much as a confusion of identity within both - so I don't now seek to meet in sympathy that defines others negatively - but in willingness to recognize the light in its unique expression. This is in a sense what may be called an honouring of the presence of Life in another as oneself. The term love is sticky with 'getting' associations and strategies of self-deceit (and therefore false to others). It's easy to 'love' when we are getting fulfilled. But actually even that doesn't abide and becomes passing show and rendered hollow and divisive if it is not a truly shared fulfilment. I might add that the mind is ingenious at perpetuating dissociating stratagems to avoid exposure to intolerable dilemma. That's what called it into service as one's persona.
So gratifying appetites in a sort of mutual agreement to free for all market politics operates as a way of simply using others and being used. At that level, are many who would defend it as their life. But the game of powers becomes ever more complexly entangling in its own conflicting self defeat - though the very few may be the last to recognize this because they still believe they can 'win' within a framework that demands enemy, that demands the back door of justified dissatisfaction to avoid relationship or communication.
Another Shakespeare quotes comes up here:
This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow,
as night follows day,
that he canst be false to no man.
One of the conflicted territories all of us meet in some sense and some of us pass through, is whether to hold to the 'warmth and security' of the partnership, group or culture of one's social identifications, or abide in the truth of one's own being. Often associated with isolation, aloneness and sacrifice in the mind OF the herd. There isn't an inherent conflict between the two - but our conditioning operates a reversal that tends to subsume the individual rather than extend it.
This can come through any number of ways of unfolding but when through choice or apparent misfortune one stands outside the preferred reality of one's friends... they may prefer to not be friends, and in their own behaviours they may not be who one now chooses or is capable of sharing with.
There is a sort of energetic or chemistry at work as to what CAN communicate. I often simplify it to "it takes one to know one".
But there is in one who has made true friend of his/her self - that they no longer are driven to seek outside themself for completion or indeed vengeance! - and can bring a wholeness TO their relationships rather than approach in a getting mode.
A real relating is an allowing of an undefended presence to know and be known. I'd add that I feel this is simply our core Nature - regardless the complexity of the mask and its personal or indeed millennial history.
A relation-ship can easily be a placeholder noun that substitutes in mutual acceptance for actual action-verb: relat-ING.
I don't mean to imply hierarchy in any of this, for I feel life is to be embraced in its unfolding and not sacrificed to some future that never never comes - yet is somehow kept up as a conditioning until the carrot is no longer more than an empty ritual and the stick is become one's consciousness personified.
Despite any or all evidence to the contrary, I hold that you - as everyone, IS a love - albeit obscured by mutual definitions that mask and in some sense usurp that creative freedom to be. Maybe even love is not the word where no words belong.
"Reinventing the wheel" is the usurping mind's attempt to have a controlled version of life. But a world made in our own image has none of the unique expression that reflects and shares our true nature. I feel that that is almost reached the 'Midas point' for most of us now. There's no Life in it.
The prodigal moment is the recognition of a greater belonging within which one can serve - rather than coerce and exploit and lay to waste. In that willingness our original nature is restored. Give only as you would in love receive.
There are synchronicities in one's life that reflect, align and support us in the themes we choose to explore and experience. Perhaps we find no belonging in the world - and seek SOME comfort in the cold. But I still say the really missing piece of the world - for anyone - is our full presence. In the matter of how this manifests, I recommend a real relationship and not a struggle to become a something that actually cant be faked or coerced into existence.
All our stuff (fear and guilt) comes up in the context of a living relationship - that otherwise dictates our mind as a 'hidden power' just as is reflected in our mutually agreed definitions of 'world'.
I did my best with what I had in the moment at hand. If I could have done better, I would have.
Freedom, identity, relationship are a Holy Unity. A two legged stool cannot serve as a worthy foundation.
The idea of serving 'others' is not to become servile and self-sacrificing, but to re-cognize Brothers - and Sisters of the Same Life that then reflect your true nature to You. The rehearsal mind only takes the IDEA without either the living context or the fruit of practice.
So our mind can spin off and forget the heart in apparent betrayal and violation. Instead of exploring that IDEA some more to see what can be squeezed out of such a stone - one can bring the mind back in alignment with the heart. Every morning, put both feet in one willingness - and at any time we notice we drifted off (or are helped to notice by the friending of our life in every kind of way), then we do whatever we have to do to come to the willingness to pause and rest and feel and know we can take a good step forward in a sense of connected peace - even if the external situation is anything but.
One could call this spiritual practice - but it is simply living out from a sense of worth that extends rather than defends.
If you don't love yourself, why would anyone else's be allowed in? If you do - why would you censor and inhibit its extension?