Friday, February 23, 2007

Where is the Love


It has been a looong time since I have posted. I will try to catch up on all that's gone on over the last several months and hope to be better about posting in future. My travel has been real heavy, but I know that's no excuse as I could easily write on the long plane rides (it's 14 hours to Asia). I have had a number of thoughts that I wanted to put down, but haven't gotten around to writing them.

I will put some of these posts together over the next few days and look forward to hearing from anyone who might be on the other end (Nesreen).

Today, I want to write about a sad phone call that I got over last weekend. The call came from a dear friend and it was clear right away the she was distraught. She told me that she had found her husband with another woman and that her marriage of the last 17 years was over. She said she hadn't shared the information with anyone else yet and asked that I be discrete (especially since her husband and I are both FreeMasons and meet regularly). We are having lunch tomorrow so that she can get some of her emotions and pain out and I am trying to decide how best to be a friend to her now when she needs one.

When I got off the call and over the shock of her news, I began to consider the situation (which seems all too common) that she was undergoing. I asked myself why we are compelled to hurt the people that are closest to us and why it is so rare for these relationships to hold. I haven't had a chance to hear her husband's story yet, but I'm sure he'll tell me that he was "empty" in his marriage and that he had fallen in love... I have shared some of his feelings and can't bring myself to condemn him for what has happened. I think he is making a big mistake and that he will regret it, but I am also sure that he has made a decision that can't be undone (even if she were to let him back, which won't happen).

People hurt each other for a lot of reasons, but hurting each other in love seems like one of the hardest cuts to bear. I think some are meant for a life together and many others are not. I am very much in this world and take the pain and the pleasure, but I find myself thinking more and more about why. The Gnostics (where this blog name comes from) believed that all aspects of this world were lies and seductions meant to keep us focussed on the material (rather than the spiritual). They believed that love and sex in particular gave us a glimpse of truth and beauty, but that this glimpse kept us from moving on to where this truth actually lay (and kept us coming back to this imperfect world). You can find similar beliefs amongst the Buddhists (who I also greatly respect). The deeper followers would be celibate and their primary aim was to ease the pain of others and prepare for the next world. I find this approach very noble and have great respect for these people (who were murdered for their beliefs by the King of France and the Catholic Church).

I guess I am not quite ready to become celibate for my beliefs, but I will do everything I can to ease suffering and pain wherever I find it. I hope that my wants and desires don't bring any more pain into this world and I look forward to leaving it when I am ready. As I get older, and the draw of love and sex wanes, I might swear off these things too. I might become strong enough to overcome the great temptations of this world and truly look to the next one. I only hope that those of us who share the spark of love and truth in our hearts do what we can for the other lost souls that share this world with us. There is far too much hate here and even in love, we can't help but hurt each other. Please be a friend to someone, we all need friends a lot more than lovers.

Best! Norm.