A dialogue with oneself

– What is friendship? Should we try to inquire into this most important aspect of human living? We form relationships and live amidst them everyday. They give us a great deal of pain, and perhaps, also pleasure. Can we understand what friendship is in the truest, most authentic, deepest sense of that word?

– Friendship is the action of love. Just as beauty is the action, the  expression of truth. So, to understand friendship, we must first understand what love is.

Is it love when I make food for you, or when I support you in your difficult times? Is it love that I get you what you want, that I make you feel happy? Perhaps we are free to give any label to anything we like. But could it be that love is something of a totally different dimension?

When you and I sit together, we look into each other’s eyes, and we don’t escape from what is – what happens? There is a great sense of unity. Like two magnets drawn to each other. Like two droplets of water which, if you have observed them carefully, come together and become one droplet when brought close to each other. Imagine I have a drop of water on one finger and another drop on another finger. When I bring the fingers so close that the drops touch each other, they will become one.

The same thing is true for human beings. In them is something that pulls them, impels them towards unity. That state, that intimacy and closeness, which is not a physical intimacy at all, is love. One is not speaking of physical intimacy. One can be very intimate with a person physically and yet feel very divided from her. Here we are speaking of intimacy on the psychological level. A total, full, encompassing intimacy.

In that closeness there are no boundaries, there are no borders, all divisions are shattered. And that state is love. It has nothing to do with wanting to make the other person feel good, and all that comes from that. Affection, warmth, care may arise from such a state, but they may also not.

Most of us confuse love with some kind of psychological or physical action, where desire makes us do something that will change what the other and therefore, we ourselves, are feeling. And then we use words like care and affection to denote such action. Let us say it again, love has absolutely nothing to do with all this. Love is not an action at all, but a state of total union with the other.

– What then, about friendship?

– Yes, we may come to that now. Friendship is the action that arises out of love. When you and I can sit here and not feel the need to get away from what is – happy, sad, anxious, boring – then, there is an action that arises by itself from the silence of our communion. It is not an action that you or I decide to do. It arises by itself. It has no goal, no intention behind it.

The silence in which we can commune without escaping from what is, is not an emptiness. It is a fullness. From it can arise immense feelings and actions. Such feelings and actions – we don’t know if they are in me or in you. We are in them together. Not that we lose the practical sense of being separate bodies. But on a psychological level, separation does not exist.

Then, what is shared on the level of feelings and actions, is friendship.

– What could be shared in such a relationship?

– That is like asking what could be beauty or what could be truth. This is not something one can prescribe and then ask others to look for it. We can say what such a relationship will not be like. It will not be the mindless chatter that characterises so many of our relationships. It will not be a relationship where you need smoke, drugs, alcohol, food, films or other forms of excitement for you to be able to have a good time. It will not be all the jokes, recollections, statements we make in order to escape the silence and awkwardness that prevail when we don’t do all this.

Have you ever sung together with one other person? Have you sung something that both of you deeply felt and were moved by? That is an experience of true friendship. A true friendship is one in which not just in a song, but in every moment, in every action and every act of speech there is that togetherness and that moving together which one may have experienced when one became one with another through a piece of music.

With a friend we can talk honestly about something we truly, deeply care for. Something we are willing to give our lives to. Because such care and passion are universal, they are not ‘mine’ or ‘yours’, the other will also feel these and the two of us will be comrades, together in that passion.

With a friend we can also talk frankly, without veils, about ourselves – about our struggles and problems, or about what we like. Because in a real friendship we are the same, we are in one psychological field, the one hearing us will feel that it is he who is being talked about. With us, he will experience the joys and sorrows that form the fabric of our lives.

– How does one come to true friendship, then? It feels that most of the time we are doing something else.

– Precisely. And when we can see that we are doing something else – running away from what is in us, when we see that fully, we also see that we stop doing it. Like anything beautiful in life – and we are using that word beautiful very, very carefully – one cannot decide to make a friendship. What one can decide to do is to stop doing all the things one does. The ‘I’ cannot make anything beautiful. But it can stop making ugliness and let itself be overwhelmed by the other. Then, relationships become true friendships.

Can you see this happening in you right now as we talk? Else it is just an idea, a theory to play around with. Can you actually see that in our relationship, as we have this dialogue, exchange our truest perceptions, and voice what we most deeply, strongly feel, there is a benumbing of the sense of ‘you’ and ‘me’? If you can, you know what true friendship is.

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~ by tdcatss on January 2, 2016.

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