On Love in difficult Times

When the world seems to be coming apart at the seams there is only one recourse that protects us from all tribulations: Love. If we give ourselves over to the inner realm of love, pain becomes joy, fear becomes assurance, and uncertainty becomes calm. Unfortunately, many have forgotten that love is not something to be consumed, but the spirit’s noblest pursuit that flows through the heart. This article proclaims the searching and finding of love and how it can be brought back to life even when it seems to have already died. For, as Heinrich Pestalozzi said, “God is near when people show Love for one another.”

Something important seemed to be bothering the 12-year-old boy. After persistent questioning, he revealed his deep concern, one that didn’t really seem to fit into a twelve-year old’s world: “Mom, how will I find the right woman for me? And how will I know that she’s the right one? And what if I never meet her, the “one”?”

Good questions, aren’t they? Isn’t it pure magic that people sometimes meet the chosen one—the one that gives them the feeling that they have found the long-yearned-for “right one”? A little while ago an adorable couple from Melbourne visited us. They had recently been married in Greece and were still deeply in love after their honeymoon in Europe. They had both been born in the northern Australian town of Darwin, the only outpost of civilization between the sea and thousands of kilometers of “Outback”. Both had parents of Greek origin. And as it turns out, they were made for each other. But the young man moved to the southern part of the continent, to Melbourne, which, by the way, has the largest Greek population outside Greece. Years later, his wife-to-be also moved there, where their paths eventually crossed and they realized that their parents were well acquainted in Darwin. The nearness of their birth and the friendship of their parents ensured that they would meet each other at the right time. But then the young man took off to a far-away city. And so Fate had to make sure that the young woman also moved there, albeit for completely different reasons, so that she wouldn’t miss her “divine Plan” for this life and possibly marry the wrong partner.

The 12-year-old can take comfort: if it is meant to be that he should marry in this lifetime—and his desire for that was so great that it most likely was part of his fate—then a wife had already been ordained for him. And the reigning powers of Fate would set everything in motion to make sure that he would also meet her at the right moment in time.

When this miracle takes place—that two life-streams inescapably merge to join together for a whole long life—then the heart simply knows. Sometimes right away from the first moment, sometimes only after weeks, months, or even years. And when the heart doesn’t one day drunkenly transmit the understanding of this “knowledge”—“that’s him/her!”—then it isn’t the right one. And then you should forget about wedding rings! Because, otherwise, you would enter into a marriage that wasn’t “made in Heaven” and thereby spoil your own life plan, as well as that of the “wrong” partner, their right partner and your own right partner. And so on. The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christquotes Jesus at the Marriage of Canaan (70,3) with the following clear words: “There is no tie more sacred than the marriage tie. The chain that binds two souls in love is made in heaven, and man can never sever it in twain. The lower passions of the twain may cause a union of the twain, a union as when oil and water meet. And then a priest may forge a chain, and bind the twain. This is not marriage genuine; it is a counterfeit. The twain are guilty of adultery; the priest is party to the crime.”

So a marriage is “made in heaven” when it belongs to the plan for our life that we committed to before we took on a new incarnation—but not when it is entered into only for passion or money’s sake. And we always agreed to this plan, even when it is a difficult one. After all, we’re here to learn and grow and not just to have a little fun.

Friendship is the Best Fruit of Love

Never before have so many relationships and marriages ended in divorce or separation as today: the divorce rate in the German-speaking realm lies between 45 and 50 percent, whereas in 1970, every 7th marriage, at most, ended in divorce. Why is that? Maybe because people today think of marriage as a consumer item that is supposed to give them sizzling eroticism, romantic evenings and soaring feelings? “We’re still a couple, we’re just not married anymore,” a prominent German actress revealed in November 2008. She separated from her husband after seven years of marriage; they both still plan on being around for their daughter. What’s the difference between a couple and a married couple? Maybe the same thing that so many couples give as the reason for separation today: namely, that at some point infatuation turned into friendship?

The saddest thing about that is that that is actually the best thing that can happen to a marriage: from initial intoxication to a deep friendship, where each partner is home and refuge to the other, where the comforting warmth of a fireplace has taken the place of the firework’s flash of the first months or years, and loving understanding replaces the high that one’s “reflection in the other” once evoked. That, my friends, is the course of love. And there are only a few, uncomfortable circumstances in which a love can maintain that same fire and passion, romantic-dramatic feeling: for example, when one partner has to go away to war and the other doesn’t know if he will come home on his own legs, in a wheelchair or even in a coffin. Or when one partner is married and the other one is the “affair” and never knows what’s going on and if the next weekend is his/hers or the family’s. Not really desirable, is it?

But something seems to make people today believe that as soon as love has cooled to room temperature, it’s about to go out. Maybe it’s a kind of addiction that our emotional, mental or etheric bodies have succumbed to? Emotion-addiction, when we’ve already had so many one-night stands that everything else seems bland in comparison? Have we read so many dime-store novels and seen so many love films that we now think true love has to be like that? Or do we bring exciting memories with us in our etheric bodies from previous lives where our beloved went to battle or the crusades and our lives were so ruled by the ups and downs of angry Fate that a calm ocean now seems to us like a soul’s graveyard?

“When people marry because they think they’re going to find happiness, then they begin their life together with the biggest impediment to romantic love. We should never marry someone with the thought that anyone else can make us happy, but rather with the thought: what can we do to make them happy,” said the wise American, Lao Russell. In this way, the roses of trans-personal love grow out of the seeds of personal love. Which is made easier for us inasmuch as the first fruits of love are our children, who aren’t too difficult to love—at least when they’re babies! But then both parents, instead of being appalled that romanticism gets lost between the diaper-pail and the baby cereal, should grow from wanting to receive, to wanting to give. If they can do that, then their marriage has a good chance of surviving. Because someone who can give, receives so much inner joy in return that s/he doesn’t need to mourn any lost romantic feelings. S/he becomes a self-sufficient partner who radiates love, instead sucking it out of whoever is closest like some kind of vampire. It seems like more and more people are missing out on this. Maybe because they lead an unattached, egocentric life prior to getting married, which plants the seed of a hedonistic lifestyle in them. A lifestyle that later demands its impatient tribute: always, only wanting—and instant gratification.

And if the romantic and erotic gas station should turn out to be broken or empty, they start looking out for the next prospect—usually without any lasting success, as the statistics verify. Second marriages are 10 percent more likely to end in divorce than first marriages, which shows that you can escape a situation, but not yourself. And at the same time, it would be so much healthier to experience a happy marriage! An unhappy marriage increases the likelihood of illness by 35 percent and shortens life expectancy by about four years. Happily married people have stronger immune systems than unhappily married people. And children from an unhappy marriage or divorce are much more likely to have behavioral issues or do worse in school than children from a happy family.

Whether or not our own marriage will be happy depends on whether or not we have married the right partner and then on whether or not we see marriage as a happiness-machine or as a love-supported “School of Life.” Even when an evening in front of the TV tells a different story, life is not just a comfy sofa to relax into and watch life go by. Life challenges us to be actors, not observers.

No Love Without Virtue!

“Social scientists tell us the average life span of this “in love” phenomenon is two years. Then we come down off the emotional high, all the euphoria evaporates, and we discover that we are not in fact lovers. We are two self-centered people who have made promises to each other that we are incapable of keeping. Euphoria is replaced with hurt, anger, disappointment, and fear,” writes well-known American couples therapist and author, Gary Chapman, in his newest work, Love as a Way of Life: Seven Keys to Transforming Every Aspect of your Life.

He continues: “Understanding the truth about love is the only thing that will open the doorway to a lifelong loving relationship. Love is an attitude that leads to a change in behavior. Love seeks the well-being of another and finds meaningful ways to express it. These expressions of love stimulate warm emotional feelings inside the other person. When our spouse reciprocates, we also feel warmly toward her or him. The emotions are the result of love; they are not love itself.”

Gary Chapman, who has himself been happily married for 45 years and has two grown children, has tried for many years to answer the question: What is the difference between loving people and people who seldom worry about or care for others? He found that a Love that doesn’t express itself in virtuous, selfless action doesn’t deserve the name. And here again: Love is not swimming in a feeling that simply being in the presence of the other brings out—that feeling is, at best, the drug of intoxication that brings people together, but that also, when true love doesn’t follow, brings them apart as soon as its effect fades away. You have to choose love, and you have to use this wonderful feeling to want to change yourself into a better person. Chapman found seven qualities that are characteristic of truly loving people: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.

“These seven qualities are not vague feelings or good intentions. They are habits that you can acquire when you decide to become a loving person. They are basic, practical characteristics that you can implement in everyday life. Once you have made these traits a habit, you will see an amazing result,” Chapman promises, namely: a “satisfactory marriage”. This is the way to make sure that a union doesn’t follow this all too well-known path: At first, he talks and she listens. After the marriage, she talks and he listens. After a few years, they both talk and the neighbors listen…

Chapman continues: “Love has many aspects. It is like a diamond with its many facets that result in a single beauty. Similarly, the seven seed qualities of love join together to create a loving person. Each characteristic is present. If one is missing, something important is lacking. I believe that these qualities are not only the key to successful relationships but also to a successful life. That's because you will only find true peace in life when you love your fellow man.”

Take note: he uses active words, not passive. When you love. Not, when you are loved!