A distinctive kind of relation
is at the center of visionary, elemental society. There is no word for
it, but it exists, or at least it has the possibility of existence.
Faith in ultimate resolution requires it. The absence of such a relation
is the ultimate in sterility.
a new relation
Great hidden entities are passing by. We are inexplicably connected
to each other, through curiosity, longing, hope, and desire. Can we
know each other? Can we love each other? Or are we doomed to be separate?
True relation is not just a feeling, which comes and goes, or an idea,
which aims for something that does not exist. It is not loving or being
loved, which are the experiences of beings that are essential separate.
The actual connection is the truth of the relation.
Do you find happiness in the context of a person? Or do you actually
sense and hold the eternal quality of the relationship, and is this
primary? There is a fundamental and irrevocable choice: between superficiality
and depth, narrowness and eternity. In silent recognition of mutual
truth, a new relation arises. We perceive the truth of the other: what
weakens them and what makes them thrive. And we join in reciprocal action
to reformulate society on this basis.
There is a standard of the truth, quality, depth, meaning, and reality
of the relation, and we have access to this standard. We want to cultivate
this rare, wonderful faculty for perceiving relation. We all have this
little understood and underdeveloped capacity, and we all catch glimpses
of true relation. It is a component of the whole self, a precondition
of becoming fully human.
In the fateful day when a relationship fails the ever-present hidden
truth is finally revealed. The whole structure suddenly collapses; but
it is just the original flaw that has produced its effect by finally
working its way throughout. What is revealed in the present must have
existed from the beginning: a great pretense of a sacred trust.
It is one more blow to the spirit. The spirit shudders, and its power
contracts. It can’t survive many such setbacks.
The flawed relations of everyday life are unavoidable. No matter how
pleasant or passionate, the truth comes out. The underlying division
of frustrated and separate selves cannot be overcome. Perpetual striving,
collision of interests, festering of complexes: nothing permanent can
be achieved by the wounded self. The truces, contracts, and bonds of
frustrated souls cannot produce true love. Moments of engagement are
fleeting. Betrayal, bitterness, disinterest, or just forgetfulness are
perennial blemishes of the human condition.
A low quality of connection explains world fragmentation, too: injustice,
inequality, and oppression. The wealthy executive or businessman, with
lavish tastes, and the suffering sweatshop worker or poor farmer, are
connected by their disconnection. The underlying problem is not in political,
social or economic systems. These are just symptoms of a broken bond,
which can be and should be inviolable.
reformulation of self
Our participation in the world is relation, and the nature of each relation
is determined by the autonomous agents which comprise it. True relation
is not just the mutual interaction. There is a formulation of the mind
that makes true relation possible, and this is what determines the nature
of the ensuing relationship.
The purification of the self is the precursor of true relation. It is
the unwounded self – simple, vital, and capable of an exquisite
The best way to shatter triviality is to arrive with a pure heart that
is given equally to stranger or friend. Asking for nothing and desiring
nothing, pure and unfathomably deep, it is the most beautiful gift possible.
It's a perfect counter-action to the superficial.
It is the way we interact with strangers that most clearly defines our
identity and our capacity for relation. A stranger is a representation
of all humanity. If our first reaction is desire or aversion, our whole
original impulse is tainted. We want to use a person to get what we
seek, or we view him as an obstacle. Not only our relationship with
that person, but our fundamental and original attitude toward human
beings in general is corrupted.
It’s your inclination at the first moment of contact with a stranger
that reveals everything: the person that you are, your secret truth,
your capacity for love. True love means that at the point of relation
you bring to bear purity, depth, commitment and understanding.
You look at a stranger and smile; you look deeply into their eyes, without
thinking anything, without wanting or expecting anything. When I am
sulking and oppressed, full of myself and my own unmet needs, coming
across such an expression strikes me like a celestial event. It is not
the sensation of loving or being loved, but silent exchange of being,
and access to truth and eternity.
When flawed relations cease, authentic connection happens. The self
is not annihilated, but at the moment of connection the isolated and
deformed self is transformed.
It’s a rare phenomena, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s
the difference between a marriage contract, and soul mates who see straight
into each other’s heart. It’s the difference between embarking
on peace, and a thunderous peace which can never be questioned or shattered.
It’s the difference between momentary contact, which culminates
in separation, and the resilience of a vision and commitment that is
infused with eternity.
When you go as a human being, you will find a human being. By purifying
your identity, by perceiving the truth in each other, and by true binding
of fates, deep connection becomes possible. It can be the source of
action in this world: in daily life, in society itself.