1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Do we also need such a tradition in the West? August 29, 2010

Filed under: thoughts — axinia @ 8:14 pm
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On the occasion of the recent Raksha-bandan celebration in India I want to repost here my earlier post from another blog telling about an amazing tradition of brother-sister relationship which seem to be missing a lot in the West. I wonder what my beloved readership will tell about this highly interesting topic?

 

Does male-female friendship exist?

That is one of the questions that preoccupied the pretty heads of the western society in the last centuries: can men and women be simply good friends, or is there always some potential “love story”, or trivial sexual interest behind? The opinion seems to be rather clear: such friendship does not exist! –  desperate women moan , magazines cry  and hypnotizing TV whispers to us . It seems they have no idea that the majority of the world population, i.e. the entire Asia and Arab countries know and respect this phenomenon as „brother-sister relationship”.

Eternal bound

In the eastern part of the world the role of the woman has always been somewhat larger and more meaningful than in the West: the beauty and the importance of a “sister” is one of the society’s building elements. From times immemorial there is a special tradition of the Raksha-Bandan ceremony in India: the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her in this life.

It is not necessary that the rakhi can be given only to a brother by birth; any male can be “adopted” as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, whether they are cousins or good friends. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves.  Since the rakhi-realtionship symbolizes purity, it excludes a love-affair or romantic feelings of erotic kind. Modern women in India often use it as indications, if they want to keep up a friendship, but want to avoid any romance. But what do the men gain out of it? Why should they want to exclude such a chance for a love-affair or flirting? The more Rakhi sisters a man has, the stronger he is, because the sisters support him thereby with their Shakti powers.

It is not about getting as many as possible girls for the “bed collection”, but about getting the nourishing love from sisters/Shaktis.

In India men are very proud of having Rakhi-sisters, and love to mention them now and then. If you are giving a rakhi to somebody in India, immediately dozens of strangers fall over you asking for one as well! They know for sure what it power it has…  (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…)

 

It is so great to be born as a woman! March 8, 2009

.

The greatest thing about being a woman is that a woman can express her love

much easier

and in a more understandable and acceptable way than a man.

A motherly or a sisterly love is accepted easier than a brotherly love

which may at first appear as some other kind of interest.

 

And to be able to express love… what can be more fulfilling?

HAPPY 8th of March, the Intenational Women’s Day!!

LOVE, axinia

 

What is the difference between “falling in love” and “love”? November 15, 2008

Waterfall or the ocean?

I like the English expression “falling in love” because it very well explains what happens  – people do “fall” in love (just the opposite of growing into). Love, when we fall into it seem to be more intense, powerful, sparkling and also painful – the great play of hormones that make us druggy… oh, how people love it! Surely this kind of fireworks of feelings is a rich material for arts and discussions, that is why it has been cultivated throughout centuries, especially in the Western world.

And yet I would claim that this is not love.

Love is the something that grows into infinity, something so deep and steady, so alive and majestic, so flowing and playful…

I would compare falling in love with the waterfall, which is exiting and fascinating, but you jump into it and  -most probably -get injured or die. Or land into a quiet waters which bores you. 

I would compare the true LOVE with the ocean, so vast and powerful, so dignified and all-perwading. You can swim or ride the waves, you can dive or lay down on it – you are always inside the ocean, that is nourishing and caring unconditionally… (more…)

 

Russian alternative to Valentine`s day – 8 Juli July 8, 2008

image: mail.ru

Russia is undertaking another wise step in revival its former values by establishing a new annual celebraiton – THE DAY OF LOVE, FAMILY AND FAITHFULNESS on 8 July. It sounds like a beautiful alternative to the famous Valentine`s Day to me. A celebration of a happy marriage filled with love and faithulness looks much more attractive than the one of the romantic “falling in love” (which mostly ends up unfortunate).

The idea of establishing the Day of Love on 8 July was born in Murom, a rich on traditions old Russian town where the Holy Spouses Prince Pyotr and Princess Fevronia has been celebrated since the Tsar times . The wife of the Russian President, Svetlana Medvedevahas now taken the patronage over the celebration. Upon her initiative, the symbol of the new annual Day of Love will be a daisy flower. The next year the celebration may get a status of an official Russian holiday.

I believe that a sound family is crucial for any society. Was it Lenin who said ” A family is a cell of society” ( I wonder if this phrase is known in the West)? It is quite obvious from what I see around that the people from broken homes have more difficulties with creating a happy family life themselves. Not only that – I see so many young and not any more that young people in Europe who are generally afraid of any long-time relationships (there is a special word for that in German “Bindungsangst”).  I find it very sad. People are looking for love, but they are afraid of that! They want the warmth of a close relationship, but they don`t know how to give this love and how to enjoy it 😦 The single-life is being propagated as the coolest life style (!). (more…)

 

Your Heart: is it weak or strong? April 21, 2008

 photo by axinia

It is not merely romantic nonsense to say that the heart is the seat of your love and compassion. It is a fact. We open our heart to those that are closest to us both in a physical way (by demonstration of affection and generous action) and in a subtle way though the feeling of tenderness and overwhelming concern we have for them.

We say someone is closed hearted when they seem uncaring and selfish, and we call them open hearted when they give to all without a question. These are real examples of power of the heart to help or hinder our enjoyment of life.

A weak heart chakra can show up in may different ways, for example through mean spirited actions, or though deep insecurities which drive us to be selfish through fear. We can find evidence of a weak heart centre in those who are overly neurotic or frail, or in those who question everyone`s motives. Even overly ascetic people can be victims of this problem. (more…)

 

 
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