Some Reflections on Relationship
by Reza Ganjavi
I can't talk about it on the phone and I can't write about it. I don't want to make it complicated. I don't want to be demanding. It's never the other's problem. If I have a problem it's my problem. The Golden Insight helps: the modern-day human brain is used to having problems - so, in most likelihood I am the creator of my problems. One-way communication is horrible - when you send and not receive - it's an emotional challenge. The good old game analogy: when the ball's in your court you can rest and take your time. Really have to learn to be nothing - to have no emotional demands. Any demands on another for love is a violation of their freedom. I vow not to complicate a relationship by thinking about it. What is, is. What is, is love.
Updates added at the end
"On Relationship, etc.”
It is very cold in Switzerland: winter is here early. One of my best friends is Roman, 5-year-old son of the family who manages this building where I use the computer in Church square. The only times I regret not speaking a foreign language is when it comes to communicating with children. He is so cute, plays drums of every sort loudly and with great rhythm, thus ruling the quiet church square like a king. We kick the ball sometimes. The other day he said "shoot" (let's play ball), but there was no ball around, so he picked up a triangular wooden door-stopper and insisted on "shooting" it. So we did it!
I have been writing every day now for 20 years. I only type a minute fraction of it which is infrequently shared with people on my e-mail list (presently 89) since it's free. Postage in Switzerland, like many other things is extremely expensive, plus, these articles are not important anyway. They are just a means of communicating. It would be nice to hear your views. If you don't want this sort of e-mail, please let me know; I know how extremely busy people can be. What I say in these articles is original in the sense that I only talk about what I experience on a day-to-day basis. I cannot deny that my being is influenced by life's experiences but I am not (or trying my best not to) merely repeat another, else I'd be a second-hand person (see Acknowledgements).
There is magic in life. The important thing is to have an intention to have clear relationships. The rest, life will take care of. But one has to have a clear intention that loose ends in relationship are to be tied up. Communication is essential for an orderly, healthy, clear relationship - as is being in the present which means not being stuck in the past. Life's magic can only operate in the present because life is presence. To meet someone today that you had a problem with yesterday, and totally meet them anew and totally act in the present, can completely change the relationship. This obviously does not suggest not fully facing and discussing a problem. The total action is not based on knowledge: you do not know what it will be like and what you will do and say, you do not even know if you will meet this person, but to live in the present means you are only counting on intelligence to act appropriately as a situation arises. But the key is to be fully aware of the movement of thinking which is based on the past and constitutes images, and therefore, be free from the movement of memory as images. This awareness extends to all aspects of one's psychological and physiological structure - to be aware of fears, insecurities, and body's bio-chemical state. Only then intelligence can fully function. But awareness requires energy, and if we do not have enough energy we need to inquire into our life style, our diet, our psyche, our relationships, etc… as was discussed in a previous article. Staying in the present which means having a quiet mind is important. Order is essential for peace.
Went to the Supertramp concert - 4 young guys helped the 4 old guys to get through the night. The old songs were great. It was the first big concert I attended in Switzerland, and I was amazed at the orderliness of the crowd without a security guard in every corner like in the American concerts. Their old civilization and relative good quality of their education show themselves everywhere. Needless to say I was getting suffocated by the damn cigarette smoke. Why don't people have the energy and determination to say "this is making me suffer, I want to end it" - and do it?!
I am finding it ever more important to be flexible swimming in the river of life.
Gotta watch out very carefully about tendency to make problems. Rang MB just as she was about to phone me. They had called this morning to invite me for church service... She slept from 4 to 8. When I care for someone I want to have a long-term friendship. Thought kicked in - do she and P have something going? There is certainly love-of-friendship. Beyond that, do I care? Jealousy crept in for a second but its birth was its death. Jealousy is craving, is insufficiency, is violence, is possessiveness. But it died not due to these judgments, but because of awareness, like awareness of a deadly poisonous snake. Any investment with a desire for return in this field is a waste - all longings for returns in a relationship are unintelligent. I am not glorifying her by talking about her, I am not counting on her, nor am mad for her, but I like her - and there's love-of-friendship. Any attempt for anything more is futile. Any demand, any asking, from a woman, is an endless road. Any sharing happens naturally, mutually. There are all sorts of conditionings in play in such a challenging relationship: man/woman. Woman wants to protect herself against hit-and-run. Man thinks short term, etc., etc... But I am not after anything, except friendship - and that you cannot call "being after" - additional contact is natural if it is mutual, but most people are too complicated and such deeper contact is either superficial without depth, or results in attachments and wanting to cling-onto the other for more, or a self-glorifying experience, or, ideally, simple, deep, beautiful, in the moment, with no residue of thought - therefore in freedom.
It's about power. Some people want to have power. If a girl is pretty enough to attract men, having men after her gives her power. It's a self-glorifying thing.
Girls evaluate you: “Will he be a good boyfriend? Is he just interested in "hit-and-run?" This is a deep-rooted behavior they share with many animals - they want to make sure the father of the baby will be around, because every baby should have a father around if possible.
Baby back ribs? Do you know how much cruelty goes behind the scenes to put that plate of baby back ribs on the table. Sorry, I cannot keep quiet. We're a community here. "Death" is around the corner. I am here today, maybe gone tomorrow. We are in relationship. I learn about myself in these relationships - about my weaknesses - I grow from such observation. The challenge in every relationship is not to have an image. I do not want to live and relate to X, "thinking", X is such and such. I want to relate to X afresh - with no picture, image, memory - therefore give him a chance to change. I do not know X. Whatever conclusions I may have of X are limited as knowledge is limited. Seeing its own limitation, the brain quiets itself. Then the relationship is genuine. You can only see a sunset fully if you are inwardly quiet. I learn to be careful, to have care in relating, but learning is not making conclusions. Conclusions, unless in technical fields, are stupid. Is being crazy a technical matter? How do I relate to a crazy man? Well, knowledge being limited I do not even know if someone is crazy for sure - but I guess it all boils down to care - to be careful - full of caring. And affection rules the universe. How's this guitar related? Well, I am holding my guitar with a new set of low-tension strings to try.
Dear M: nice talking with you. One thing I forgot to mention in addition to the general warnings against marriage: don't get married unless you have a real good reason to......... obviously this is just a friendly suggestion. Generally speaking the desire to get married might be tainted by the desire for security and possessiveness which are the same thing. The only good reason I see for marriage is to have children. In many modern countries even that requirement is lifted - as couples who agree to live together are entitled to many of the privileges of married couples. Agreement is the key. In older societies - such as the Islamic rules the essence of marriage is mutual consent. Economics is another reason some couples marry - to have a tax break. I am dreadfully alarmed against marriage because the legal framework is too binding. Surely we must be responsible in all our relationships. I also view much of the marriages as weakness.
The real challenge is relating - to live in the present - to not carry images of the other, etc., and many marriages fail because "the art of relating" is often not there.
We have to also be aware of the strong conditioning of our brains through centuries that dictates marriage. The whole institution of marriage has become so corrupted - I know this sounds radical, but this is what I've seen. Don't get me wrong. I am not against marriage. I am not against loving, relating, infatuation, being crazy about another, making babies, etc., all I am saying is that marriage by itself is meaningless if the relationship is not healthy. Now, what I mean by a healthy relationship is, as I said earlier, one in which there is no image - where 2 people live with facts, with "what-is", a relationship in which there is learning, learning about yourself and the other. Relationship is like a mirror - from seeing what you are growth naturally comes. A relationship in which there is no craving.
What I sense in you is that she lived there for 5 months, now she's gone, you feel you've been "cheated out". You love her so much that you're willing to die for her, marriage is the least you'd do for her! But you wanted her to go, out of love, to continue her education, to have a life of her own, independent from you. That's beautiful. Now you're perhaps longing. Missing someone who lived there for 5 months, had the keys to your house and answered your phone, like no other woman before, is natural - especially for a sensitive person as you are. But are you suffering? I hope not - if you are, stay with it, and see its roots - you can always learn about yourself.
For now, last but not least, be very careful about thought. You're thinking ahead 2 years after she finished school what we'll do? Thought is time - you're thinking ahead into future. Thought's activity was limited by its past experience. Being limited it divides. Having divided it seeks security. The whole realm is finished in a glance when it sees its own activity. So the key is a quiet brain. So, don't think about your relationship with her in 2 years or 2 months. Thought was not meant to think about relationship. It was meant for technical things: what kind of bread to buy? How to fly a rocket to the moon? How to do open heart surgery?.... when it is not unnecessarily active, when it is quiet, life takes a different dimension. The dimension that's there when there's music - when there's love - in the present - not the past or future......