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Journey of Love, page three
Love's Initiations (an excerpt)
Thomas Moore

We sometimes talk about love lightly, not acknowledging how powerful and lasting it can be.  We always expect love to be healing and whole, and then are astonished to find that it can create hollow gaps and empty failures.  Going through a divorce is often a long and painful process that never truly ends.  Often we never know completely if we've done the right thing, and even if we enjoy some peace of mind about the decision, memory and attachment continue to persist, if only in dreams.  People are also tortured emotionally about love that was never expressed.  A woman cries whenever she thinks of her father going into surgery the last time she saw him.  She felt a strong urge within herself to tell him that she loved him, even though their relationship had been strained all her life, but she held back, and then it was too late.  Her remorse is bitter and persistent.  In his Symposium, his great book on the nature of love, Plato called love the child of fullness and emptiness.  Each of these aspects somehow accompanies the other.

Our love of love and our high expectations that it will somehow make life complete seem to be an integral part of the experience.  Love seems to promise that life's gaping wounds will close up and heal.  It makes little difference that in the past love has shown itself to be painful and disturbing.  There is something self-renewing in love.  Like the goddesses of Greece, it is able to renew its virginity in a bath of forgetfulness.

I suppose we do learn some things about love each time we experience it.  In the failure of a relationship we resolve never to make the same mistakes again.  We get toughened to some extent and perhaps become a little wiser.  But love itself is eternally young and always manifests some of the folly of youth.  So, maybe it is better not to become too jaded by love's sufferings and dead ends, but rather to appreciate that emptiness is part of love's heritage and therefore its very nature.  It isn't necessary to make strong efforts to avoid past mistakes or to learn how to be clever about love.  The advance we make after we have been devastated by love may be to be able to enter it freely once again, in spite of our suspicions, to draw ever closer to the darkness and hollowness that are mysteriously necessary in love.

It may be useful to consider love less as an aspect of relationship and more as an event of the soul.  This is the point of view taken in ancient handbooks.  There is no talk about making relationships work, although there is celebration of friendship and intimacy.  The emphasis is on what love does for the soul.  does it bring broader vision?  Does it initiate the soul in some way?  Does it carry the lover away from earth to an awareness of divine things?

Taken from:

Care of the Soul. Thomas Moore
We try to take care of our minds and our bodies, but if we believe we have a soul, shouldn't we nurture it and help it grow? Why do we harm it? A bit heavy at times, but well worth the effort, especially if we're willing to admit that we do have a soul, and that it does deserve to be cared for.

Love all God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. 
Love every leaf, every ray of God's light.  Love the animals, love
the plants, love everything.  If you love everything, you will perceive
the divine mystery in things.  Once you perceive it, you will begin to
comprehend it better every day.  And you will come at last to love
the whole world with an all-embracing love.

Feodor Dostoevsky


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