Friday, November 07, 2008


"I think you can also escape suffering When you really love someone and they really love you, you have desire, but not in the sense of wanting things that you can't get or shouldn't want in the first place. It's not even that your desire has been satisfied. It's not satiety. You lie in that person's arms and you aren't thinking about what's next or what's wrong or what you want. You aren't trying to get someplace. Rather than doing or proving or striving for something, you just sort of are, as a lyric poem or work of art is supposed to be, or like a big boulder that's really just there. And again, it's not that you've gotten what you desire and so are satisfied; it's that there is no doingness or provingness or strivingness. To my mind, this sounds a little like nirvana and I'd say you are emptied of your self. The difference, maybe, is that in my scheme you aren't just emptied, you are also filled- but filled with one big thing that replaces all the ten million nettlesome, egotistical things that are inside you as a rule. And with that one thing comes a feeling of joy - not no feeling. You're like a big boulder that somehow has levitated six feet off the ground. Then there is one more thing, which is wanting to make the person you love happy, to give yourself to him or her, but this wanting is not a feeling external to love or the result of any incompleteness; it is one component of that big single thing. And serving the person you love isn't something you 'do'. It is entirely natural. It's guided by the same part of your brain, whatever it is, that controls your heartbeat and your-oh-kidney function or whatever. If you love someone, then you feel about them the way I've described, and if that person shares that feeling and you are together, then that is the highest state of being, and the happiest."

Holly Speedwell, Beginner's Greek

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