I Define Love Like This…

I define love thus: The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.

One of the major distinguishing features between acts of love and non-love seemed to be the conscious or unconscious purpose in the mind of the lover or non-lover.

Love is a strangely circular process. For the process of extending one’s self is an evolutionary process. When one has successfully extended one’s limits, one has ten grown into a larger state of being. Thus the act of loving is an act of self-evolution even when the purpose of the act is someone else’s growth. It is through reaching toward evolution that we evolve.

  • Third, this unitary definition of love includes self-love with love for the pother. Since I am human and you are human, to love humans means to love myself as well as you. To be dedicated to human spiritual development is to be dedicated to the race of which are a part, and this therefore means dedication to our own development as well as “theirs”… It is actually impossible to forsake our own spiritual development in favor of someone else’s…
  • Fourth, the act of extending one’s limits implies effort. One extends one’s limits only by exceeding them, and exceeding limits requires effort. When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion—through the fact that for that someone (or for yourself) we take an extra step or walk an extra mile. Love is not effortless…
  • Finally, by use of the word “will” I have attempted to transcend the distinction between desire and action… Will is desire of sufficient intensity that it is translated into action… Love is an act of will—namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. No matter how much we may think we are loving, if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen not to love and therefore do not love despite our good intentions…
  • One’s limits are one’s ego boundaries. When we extend our limits through love, we do so by reaching out, so to speak, toward the beloved, whose growth we wish to nurture. For us to be able to do this, the beloved object must first become beloved to us; in other words, we must be attracted toward, invested in and committed to an object outside of ourselves, beyond the boundaries of self… Despite the fact the object of love exists outside him, through his catharsis it has also come to exist within him. His knowledge for it and the meaning it has for him are part of him, part of his identity, part of his history, part of his wisdom. By loving and catheterizing his garden he has in quite a real way incorporated the garden within him, and by this incorporation his self has become enlarged and his ego boundaries extended.
  • What transpires then in the course of many years of loving, of extending our limits for our catheters, is a gradual but progressive enlargement of the self, an incorporation within of the world without, and a growth, a stretching and a thinning of our ego boundaries. In this way the more and longer we extend ourselves, the more we love, the more blurred becomes the distinction between the self and the world. We become identified with the world. And as our ego boundaries become blurred and thinned, we begin more and more to experience the same sort of feeling of ecstasy that we have when our ego boundaries partially collapse and we “fall in love.” Only instead of having merged temporarily and unrealistically with a single beloved object, we have merged realistically and more permanently with much of the world.

Mysticism is essentially a belief that reality is oneness. The most literal of mystics believe that our common perception of the universe as containing multitudes of discrete objects—stars, planets, birds, trees, houses, ourselves—all separated from one another by boundaries is a misconception an illusion… mystics hold that true reality can be known only by experiencing the oneness through a giving up of ego boundaries. It is impossible to really see the unity of the universe as long as one continues to see oneself as a discrete object, separate and distinguishable from the rest of the universe in any way, shape or form…

The Nice Guys That Finish Last

This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys who always finished last. The guy who is destined to never become more than friend, to endure hours of whining and complaining about what dimwits guys are, while disproving at precisely the right point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on, but restrict themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who have open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores. This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the right time, because they know most girls need this litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl every facet, from her personal life to her theology to her clothing style.

This is for the guys who escort their drunk, disorientated female friends back from the parties and never take advantage when they are on her door, for the guys accompanying girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the eerie male population, for the guys, who know that a girl fishing for compliments, but give them anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules of a game where the rules favor the cheaters, for those guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow did not end up being boyfriends for all the nice guys who are overlooked, under-valued and appreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.

This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your mobile phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even if you thought her boyfriend was a Chump and a jerk, you assured her, it was all ok, and she should not worry about it. This is for then she cut off the best you ever had arranged the killing spree in GTAV to rant about a rumor that linked to her and the guy she thinks are the most disgusting person in the world. And even if you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you pause the game for two hours and helped her concoct a Counter rumor to spread around on the floor. This is also for the time, she did not have a date, so after countless promises, there was nothing “serious” between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew no one, the beer was terrible, and she flirted shamelessly with you justify every fit of reckless banter by announcing to all: “Oh, but we are just friends!” And even if you were invited only as a token hot body for her ego, you went anyway. Because you’re nice like that.

The nice guys get credit where credit is due, not often. And perhaps more worrying, the nice guys don’t seem to get laid as often as they should. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I’ve learned from talking with friends at other schools and in the workplace is the only conclusion that I can form that many girls are just illogical, manipulative females. Many of them claim that they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a model, says the irrational, confusing things like “Oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good girlfriend but he is not for me” or “he already sets with so much from me, I could maybe ask him out!”, or the most frustrating of all : “No, it would ruin our friendship.” But they continue to lament the lack of good men in the world, and they expect their too-good-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men who are jerks. Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to understand. I can not figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they are doing (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, says that nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon will not last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of trains of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding these girls, and even more tricky to find those who are single.

So, until these girls are, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re tired of hearing yourself described as ubiquitous nice. But the truth of the matter is that the world needs your patience in the Department store, your holding open doors, your party escorting services, your inclination to be a sucker for a beautiful smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things tolerate you, for all the situations where you faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my appreciation and my gratitude goes out to you. You have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is on the way.