The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
– Victor Hugo
The organ that can connect with direct certainty to the present is the heart.
Without a subtle linkage to the heart as an organ of knowledge, the brain loses its navigational sense; it becomes disconnected from the truth and it searches for satisfaction in pursuits that cannot deliver satisfaction. It no longer trusts traditional benchmarks of ethical behavior and indicators of right conduct. It no longer finds itself choosing between good and evil but between hamburger and pizza, between vacuous pop culture and plastic.
Without the inner capacity for enjoyment linked to an open heart, the brain seeks outside manifestations of its own phantasms. Actually the heart connects us to reality because it is itself connected to It through the energy of love.
Sages of the past allowed us to guess that Self-realization is uniquely connected to a higher world of enjoyment, for it establishes a direct capacity to love oneself. Usually we are not very good at it. We lack self-esteem and self-confidence, and to make matters worse, we too often feel guilty.
The heart is the seat of desire and, ultimately, desire leads to action.
Let us search in our intimate memory. Have we not known moments of deep wellbeing, of serene joy and contentment when we can say that we experienced fulfillment, where life was worth being lived and everything was as it should be?
Love belongs to these moments. Love for the majesty of the sea; the silence on a mountain peaks; for friends; for a woman, a man or a child. Moreover, in traditions all over the world, the organ that feels, that gives and receives love, is the heart. Love is a huge, collective energy but in the aftermath of decades of personalist psychology, love is perceived only as an inter-personal emotion, not as a collective force. Even worse, the Freudian fraud has promoted an absurd impoverishment of love. Love is sex. The influence of Freud on the West has brought us to a stage of infantile understanding of our potential. It has created a regressive, under-developed emotional culture. As such, the heart of our collective body is frozen.
by Erik Kolstad
Electricity is an energy that is enormously useful and it can be put to so many uses, but if a child puts its fingers in an electric socket, it will discover the unpleasant side of electricity. Love is one of the absolute values recognized in all civilizations but its use can also be misguided and misdirected.
Language is often troubling, as can be seen in the literal meaning of common phrases: love is something you fall into, the tender trap; it is also something you make. In the West LOVE is sometimes described as a sort of flu of the heart but a flu that killed Tristan and Iseuld as weIl as Romeo and Juliet. Like flu, it is contagious. Teenagers, lovers, couples playing with each other’ s hearts can all experience the pain – just as with kids putting their fingers in the electric socket.
An extreme form of absurdity is to adopt the reductionist view that love is sex. The fact is that human love has many forms: affection, sex, tolerance, protection, companionship, fraternity, sisterhood, respect, compassion, admiration, dedication and worship. All of these attitudes generate positive interactions and are potentially huge sources of satisfaction. Many of them are crucial to maintaining cohesive groups and productive working environments.
Lasting satisfaction in interpersonal relationships is not to be confused with ephemeral gratification; it is a function of the degree of love invested in them. Our inability to give or receive love hampers the quality of these interactions and the collectivity suffers from the sum of these accumulated failures.
Consequent behavioral responses to this inability may be registered as aloofness, mistrust, frustration, sarcasm or outright hostility. None of them are helpful or positive.
But how to love? It seems an odd question and the answer isn’t something you can learn in a management course. If the emotion is construed or faked, it is no longer love. The energy is spontaneous, flowing from the heart, and no one knows where it comes from or why it is there. It is a great blessing to have loving parents and a loving family because ‘the opening of the heart ideally takes place in early childhood.
At the end of the Second Age, we need a fundamental adjustment of desire, thought and action. How did we to open a path to a more humanistic and spiritual way of life?
The fight for survival of an individual may express itself in any form of competition or even in violence. In contrast, sensitivity for our fellow human beings, a sense of compassion, generosity and caring are needed for the collective survival of a community.
These attitudes are expressions of the instinct for survival of a community as a whole. In the history of mankind, man is gradually learning to evolve and survive collectively, as apart of the whole. In a Darwinian sense, the fittest communities are those in which the heart, which cares for the whole, is alive to inspire the brain. This, by the way, was the authentic message of the great religious teachers. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” This is an eminently social message. The qualities of the heart keep the family, the tribe or the clan together more effectively and deeply than force or fear. Societies which could activate the primordial force of love are those that structure themselves to genuinely seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
Cultures that are destructive of good family conditions may well precipitate their societies on the road to decay. On the other hand, those that nurture love maintain the cohesion of human groups. This is equally time of corporate cultures in the business world. In any environment, a culture that promotes self-improvement will activate a deeper sense of togetherness.