"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence." - H.L. Mencken
I found this posted on facebook today, it was one of my friend's fortune cookies. It struck me as incredibly profound and wonderfully true, and very important. I've been thinking lately about what I learned from reading Herman Hesse's Siddhartha. What I took away from that book was that Buddha found enlightenment in the river. Which, aside from the Taoist thoughts I have about that particular detail, means that he found enlightenment in the middle path. He left both hedonism and asceticism to find his balance - in nature. I have interpreted this to mean, that there is a way to live life in harmony - in the middle path. What does this mean? What does this have to do with love?
Love is like food, sex, intoxicants, magic, relationships, etc. We glorify and define it along societal standards that tell us what love is, where we will find it and whom it will be with. All of these expectations are attachments to the constructed idea of love. And the post-modern American love at that. Remember, this is not Chinese love or medieval Gothic love or even Greek heroic love. It is NOT love at all, but rather an idea of what we think it should be. This is our imagination taking over reality and supplanting the truth with hurtful fantasies that we are addicted to. This is our imagination triumphing over our mind and reason. It is another sick generation of the monkey brain.
Does this mean we can't have love without also suffering? I don't think so. I think the issue is real love - compassion and caring for another human being while also being in full knowledge of them, especially their perceived flaws. As long as we truly see the people in our lives for who they are, as long as we don't expect them to live up to some Hollywood standard, we can have healthy productive relationships. But when we project those desires and demands for imaginary perfection onto another person, we hurt them. We hurt ourselves. They rebel, (and wouldn't we all) and then we get hurt and angry and lash out at them for failing to fulfill our expectations. True love is unconditional, without demands. It just is.
To attain a stable relationship, to have peace in love, we must be willing to work for the truth. We must see our loved ones as they truly are, and accept them for that. If we cannot do it - then we don't really love them. We just think we do.