Duff: Love is understood, received at the deepest levels of our souls (column)
If you hold my hand, then I will hold my breath and cast my fate in the direction of my heart. I will put on hold my lessor dreams and reach for the love that is truly mine.
These are the words written in our hearts as we begin to fall in love with another. Love is a feminine force, not just in women but in men as well, created out of doing and being; being loved, being appreciated, being honored, being wanted, being respected and being received and understood at the deepest levels of our souls.
Intimate love is the spiritual training for everything in life. It is not meant to be an exclusive sanctuary from the pain of the world, but rather an inclusive balm for the sorrows of the world. In learning to show up more fully for one person, we learn to show up more fully for life. For can we really be passionate and creative in one area while we suppress our passions and creativity somewhere else?
A loving spirit should stand in awe of what the poor have to carry instead of standing in judgment of how they carry it. To show compassion for an individual without showing concern for the structures of society that make them an object of compassion, is to be sentimental rather than loving. Just listening to another and caring for their welfare can be such a comforting experience that the magic aureole of love descends upon us when no one is looking.
Loving our fellow man will help us discover our transcendent function, our individuality will then rise up out of our soul as water rises out, of the depths of the earth. When we recognize the importance of love to our souls, our ordinary human lives are ennobled beyond measure. It is love that measures our stature; the more we love, the bigger we are.
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Man was born solely to love, to know and serve, and in that knowing and loving and serving alone he can begin to transcend his nature, and become more than man. For, it is faithless and loveless men, who have created wretchedness and wars and poverty and hunger and grief and have taken the roofs from mankind.
No tyrant, no madman, no aggressive government can stamp out love from the hearts of man, and the desire for the living waters, for it is born into the hearts of humanity. Only love will change the heart of man, for in the end justice and mercy will flow from changed hearts. We must go beyond charity however, for charity is a matter of personal attributes, while justice is a matter of public policy.
Our own experience has given us no adequate understanding or preparation, because it has been steeped in perpetual war and occupation and in peace without hope, in beauty without joy, in tranquil and brutal resignation without exultancy, as we nightly retire to our homes and the comforts of our indifference.
This holiday season, let us not forget to fill all the stockings. Especially the stocking for the child born in that feedbox in a manger, who was to be the bread of life for human beings, who grew to become a community dissident and activist. After all, it is his birthday we are celebrating. Let’s not forget that. Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most, and then let each of us put in our share of loving kindness, warm hearts and the out-stretched hand of tolerance and love, all the shining gifts that make peace on Earth.
Tim Duff is a resident of Vail and Tonka Bay, Minnesota.