1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

What men really love about women March 9, 2010

Since years I have been interviewing men who seemed to be in happy relationships about the secret of their choice. “Why that woman? What does she give you?”… And you know there is a pretty common answer which I keep receiving from  males of various cultural and social backgrounds.

There is one word which they all mean: inspiration. “She inspires me: She awakens my desire to live, to create, to move, to achieve….”

We are the INSPIRATION….amazing, isn’t it? Just think that this is probably the core of Femininity…

Here is what a saint says about Inspiration: (more…)

 

Men’s day: a tribute to my father February 23, 2010

Today they celebrate the so-called “Men’s day” in Russia. Officially, as the name Defender of the Fatherland Day suggests, the holiday celebrates people who are serving or were serving the Russian Armed Forces (both men and women), but unofficially, nationally it has also more recently come to include the celebration of men as a whole, and to act as a counterpart of International Women’s Day on March 8.

I feel it’s a good occasion to say a few warm words about my father who is an amazing person. A father’s role in a girl’s upbringing is often underestimated. In reality a father is crucial, for he serves a model of male virtues and behaviour, motivates and fascinates… I have always been a “dad’s daughter”, I took after him not only in my appearance but also a lot in my character, attitude to life and values.

I had a great luck with a father who gave me high standards of human values such as idealism, honesty, intelligence, balance, trust to people, positivity, responsibility, discipline and honour. My father was born 1949 and belonged to the generation that dreamt of becoming cosmonauts (space men) and candidly believed in the glory of Communism. He became a paratrooper, man of airborne troops and served till the rank of colonel. He was a true officer at heart, dedicated and noble in an old-fashioned manner. He served 2 years in Afghanistan war at 80-s and later on graduated from the Frunze Military Academy (for post-graduates military) in Moscow with a degree in Military Analytics and Strategy. Well, he made a good career and has had an interesting life. (more…)

 

Today is Forgiveness Sunday February 13, 2010

This special day is my favorite in the Christian tradition. Having an atheistic background, I have been always deeply touched by the candid Christian Orthodox celebration of “Forgiveness Sunday”.

The last Sunday before Great Lent, is the day when Orthodox Christians remember the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. “Forgiveness Sunday” received this name from the pious custom at Vespers of asking each other’s forgiveness for discourtesy and disrespect. People do so, since in the forthcoming fast they will approach the sacrament of Penance and ask the Lord to forgive their sins, which forgiveness will be granted us only if people themselves forgive each other. “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6.14, 15)”

Since the 90-s when religion slowly started getting its position back with the peoples of Russia, the tradition of Forgiveness Sunday came back. According to it, you can ask forgiveness of every person you meet this day, but especially people whom you might have really done some harm, or just your relatives and friends (we never know if by chance we could have hurt anyone!). (more…)

 

How to handle the tremendous power of romantic love? February 12, 2010

As many of you have learned from my earlier posts on the awesome book of Robert A. Johnson “Understanding the psychology of Romantic Love” (here and here), romantic love however attractive and delightful it may occur, brings more destruction than happiness.  Romantic love being the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche, is a tremendous power that attracts. If we can learn how to use it in a constructive, not a destructive way… may be the make up of the modern Western society can change for the better!

Let’s see the Johnson’s implications on the channeling of romantic love, please enjoy the way the author is unfolding it, so beautifully and truly:

 Romantic love is a spiritual power

Romantic love is one of these truly overwhelming psychological phenomena that have appeared in Western history. It has overwhelmed our collective psyche and permanently altered our view of the world. As a society, we have not yet learned to handle the tremendous power of romantic love. We turn it into tragedy and alienation more often than into enduring human relationships. But, I believe, if men and women will understand the psychological dynamics behind romantic love and learn to handle them consciously, they will find a  new possibility of relationship, both to themselves and to others.

When we “fall in love” we feel completed, as though a missing part of ourselves has been returened to us; we feel uplifted, as though we were suddenly raised above the level of the ordinary world. Life has an intensity, a glory, an ecstasy and transcendence.

We seek in romantic love to be possessed by our love, to soar to the heights, to find ultimate meaning and fulfillment in our beloved. We seek the feeling of wholeness.

If we ask where else we have looked for these things, there is an answer: (more…)

 

The play of Male and Female February 10, 2010

This is an incredibly beautiful and profound poem from the Hindu Tradition of Advaita (non-dualism), by Jnanadev (1275 – 1296). I love the way it shows the play between the male and female elements in the Universe…

I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.

They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.

How sweet is their union!
The whole world is too small to contain them,
Yet they live happily in the smallest particle.

These two are the only ones
Who dwell in this home called the universe.
When the Master of the house sleeps,
The Mistress stays awake,
And performs the functions of both.

When He awakes, the whole house disappears,
And nothing at all is left.

Two lutes: one note.
Two flowers: one fragrance.
Two lamps: one light.

Two lips: one word.
Two eyes: one sight.
These two: one universe. (more…)

 

Romantic love vs. True love and why happy marriages are rare in the West February 4, 2010

This post follows Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read  and  quotes Robert A. Johnson’s bestseller “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love”  . I arranged it the way that it gives the essence of author’s investigations on the topic, but please do read the book, it’s so insightful!

Below you will find the brilliant differentiation between the so called romantic love and true love. After reading this post, be prepared for the next in which you will lean about the amazing potential of romantic love.  In the meanwhile, let’s meditate on the truthful lines below.

What is romantic love?

Romantic love is the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche. In our culture it has supplanted religion as the arena in which men and women seek meaning, transcendence, wholeness, and ecstasy…We are so accustomed to living with the beliefs and assumptions of romantic love that we think it is the only form of “love” on which marriage or love relationships can be based. We think it is the only “true love”. But there is much that we can learn from the East about this. In Eastern countries, like those of India and Japan, we find that married couples love each other with great warmth, often with a stability and devotion that puts us to shame. But their love is not “romantic love” as we know it. They don’t impose the same ideals on their relationships, nor do they impose such impossible demands and expectations on each other as we do.

Romantic love has existed throughout history in many cultures. We find it in the literature of ancient Greece, the Roman empire, ancient Persia, and feudal Japan. But our modern Western society is the only culture in history that has experienced romantic love as a mass phenomenon. We are the only society that makes romance the basis of our marriages and love relationships and the cultural ideal of “true love”.

One of the greatest paradoxes in romantic love is that it never produces human relationships as long as it stays romantic. It produces drama, daring adventures, wondrous, intense love scenes, jealousies, and betrayal; but people never seem to settle into relationship with each other as flesh-and-blood human beings until they are out of the romantic love stage, until they love each other instead of “being in love”.

Romance, in its purest form, seeks only one thing – passion. It is willing to sacrifice everything else – every duty, obligation, relationship, or commitment  – in order to have passion.

Difference between romantic love and true love

People become so wearied of the cycles and dead ends of romance that they begin to wonder if there is such a thing as “love”. There is. (more…)

 

Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read January 30, 2010

This book is a true revelation, an insight into the depth of a Romantic Love phenomenon. I would strongly recommend this book to every Westerner, but especially to men. For it makes one understand the nature of the so-called love life and how to deal with the obsessive search for love, so common for the Western mindset. The book gives brilliant answer on why relationships in our cultures are in a state of epidemic crisis.

The book is called “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love” and is written by Robert A. Johnson, a world-renowned Jungian analyst and one of 20th century’s most popular depth psychology scholars. The uniqueness of Johnson’s approach is backed up with his long-term visits of India and Japan, profound study of the Eastern philosophy and lifestyle. In his bestsellers Johnson delivers comparative analysis of Western and Eastern approaches which is still a rare take among scholars. Needless to say I am fascinated by him, for his works mirror my own views.

I’d love to share with you here the main idea of the book, but please keep in mind that by no means will my quotation replace the reading of it!

Catharism, the pure love

Psychologically our modern era began in the 12th century. At that time one of he most powerful of the early religions was the Manichean movement, in Europe called “Catharism” (the pure). One of their basic beliefs was that “true love” was not the ordinary human love between husband and wife but rather the worship of a feminine saviour, a mediator between God and man, who waited in the sky to welcome the “pure”  with a holy kiss and lead him or her into the Realm of Light. By contrast with this “pure” love, ordinary human sexuality and marriage were bestial and unspiritual. Many Christians at that time saw Catharism as a reform movement, a reaction against the corruption and politics within the religious hierarchy. The pope declared Catharism heresy, but like every powerful idea, the teachings of Catharism suddenly reappeared in the cult of courtly love (a worship of a lady fair by a knight), in the songs and poems of troubadours and in the “romances”. Some cultural historians belive that ladies and knights who first practiced courtly love were Cathars continuing their religious practice under the guise of a secular cult of love.

 

Courtly love

Thus the ideal of courtly love swept through the feudal courts of Europe and began a revolution in our attitudes towards the feminine values of love, relationship, devotion, spiritual experience and the pursuit of beauty. That revolution finally matured into what we call romanticism. The Western men began to look on woman as the embodiment of all what is pure, sacred and whole, woman became the symbol of a anima, “My Lady Soul”. (more…)

 

Traditional Hindu families – compare to the Western family makeup! January 26, 2010

I’ve just finished an awesome book on LOVE: “We: understanding the psychology of romantic love” by Robert A. Johnson. I tell you, it’s a bomb. And a must for any Westerner!

The things the author (himself an American, lived in India and Japan) reveals about the nature of the so called romantic love and where it leads us are terrific! I am preparing the post on the book and its highlights. And in the meanwhile please check Johnson’s insight into the nature of traditional Hindu families  – I guess it is pretty much same today, although the book was written in 1983:

“One of the most striking and surprising things I observed among traditional Hindus was how bright, happy, and psychologically healthy their children are. Children in Hindu families are not neurotic; they are not torn within themselves as so many Western children are. They are bathed constantly in human affection, and they sense a peaceful flow of affection between their mother and father. (more…)

 

A truly modern person January 13, 2010

 and

“Dr. Jung once said that medieval man lived by either-or, but that modern person cannot go off to a convent or the Himalayas exclusively to search for spirituality;

nor can she /he pour herself/himself exclusively into the family, profession or practicality.

It is a true task of a truly modern mind to endure both the spiritual and practical as the framework for the life.”

Robert A.Johnson, a Jungian analyst

When I’ve read this quote I thought, oh, that’s just about me 🙂 And I was humble enough to use my own recent picture as an illustration!

LOVE, axinia

 

Romantic Love = Greater Long term Happiness December 2, 2009

Contrary to popular opinion, it appears that romance doesn’t have to die a natural death in a long-term relationship. In a meta-analysis review of 25 studies with 6,070 individuals in short- and long-term relationships published last week, researchers set out to find out whether romantic love is associated with greater relationship satisfaction.

The findings?

The researchers found that those who reported greater romantic love were more satisfied in both the short- and long-term relationships.

“Many believe that romantic love is the same as passionate love,” said lead researcher Bianca P. Acevedo, Ph.D, then at Stony Brook University (currently at University of California, Santa Barbara).“It isn’t. Romantic love has the intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry that passionate love has, minus the obsessive component. Passionate or obsessive love includes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. This kind of love helps drive the shorter relationships but not the longer ones.”

These findings appear in the March issue of Review of General Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association

Perhaps not surprising, those who reported greater passionate love in their relationships were more satisfied in the short term compared to the long term. Companion-like love, on the other hand, was only moderately associated with satisfaction in both short- and long-term relationships.

The researchers looked at 17 short-term relationship studies, which included 18- to 23-year-old college students who were single, dating or married, with the average relationship lasting less than four years.

They also looked at 10 long-term relationship studies comprising middle-aged couples who were typically married 10 years or more. Two of the studies included both long- and short-term relationships in which it was possible to distinguish the two samples.

What’s the secret?

“These people are often very relationship focused,” Acevedo told LiveScience. (more…)

 

 
%d bloggers like this: