Territory Of Love

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You say that there is a need for opening a “Course on Love” in today’s world and not to rely on occasional outbursts of love. How should we begin this study?

Answer: First of all, it will be necessary to gather a group of five to ten couples and teach them the fundamentals of human nature. It is up to us to explain to them what our ego is and how it develops, what kind of family there was in the past and how it developed in antiquity, in the Middle Ages, in the new era, and in the post-modern period.

In fact, what motivates this process is our egoistic desire for pleasure. This changes and causes the appearance of new forms of familial relationships.

In the past, they didn’t expect any particular manifestations of emotion from these relationships, for the ego was small and didn’t demand fulfillment at the height of love. A simple partnership was sufficient for this. It was satisfied with a recognized way of life, according to which a man took a woman from his tribe or from the village of his birth, or fulfilled the desire of his parents, and no one saw any problem with this.

In contrast to this, today, factors like modern culture and the media have become involved with this, and young people have become more developed than ever before. They feel the entire world with all their senses and cannot be satisfied with random coincidence or chance meetings with a partner. Many works of art, the Internet, and television present so many examples of searching for partners and relationships, betrayals and disappointments, and conflicts and competition in this area that a shared life has become very complex.

Our ego has grown to such a degree that it confuses us and turns us around at will. We no longer know how to contend with it, and, therefore, we simply need to control it, to rein it in without minimizing it which, in principle, is something impossible. Rather, it must be provided for in such a form that it will not control us, and instead, we will control it.

In order to do this, everyone must rise above his nature, become his own psychologist, and understand his partner also, who in turn must act in the same manner, and then we communicate with it on two levels:

  • From thought to thought (intellect) at the height of the person
  • From heart to heart, on the level of the ego. After all, the “heart” is the reservoir of all our desires and yearnings.

We understand that we have intellect and emotion, systems that must be balanced in every person in such a form that the brain dominates over the heart. Then, everyone will know how to cooperate and be integrated with others through mutual understanding and bringing desires together.

If we relate to this idea precisely this way, we become a mature pair of researchers. This is not talking about age or about experience, but rather about the approach itself that contributes to a balanced conception of things, even for high school students. This is a real matriculation examination.

At the same time, today, there are couples of the age of forty and fifty who behave like children and come with unrealistic, “childish” complaints about each other, like children who only know how to demand that their mother entertain them.

No, we need to know the boundaries, the limitations of each other, to recognize a person’s inner system. Then, I will understand how close I can be with my partner, where it is necessary to stop and keep my distance, and where to be included with him, or truly adhere to him. In general, we learn this from the various problems in life, from the bitter experience of mistakes that show us what is better for one not to say to the other, about what is possible to compromise, and in what way we are truly together.

We can divide our common field into three parts, three different kinds of relationships. I try to rise above my ego and relate to the nature of my partner in three ways:

  • Where not to come into contact with him
  • Where to find points of contact
  • Where to reach heartfelt adherence

However, then, a question may be asked: How do we relate to this field of ours? How do we integrate these three parts within me and within him? How can we constantly be concerned about meaningful closeness and connection in a more conscious way? How do we develop a “planned” love, which is to say, think about the interests of each of us? You see, love is our shared “child” whom we raise by means of mutual concessions.

The answers to these questions we find together.

Question: What do the partners in this shared field feel in their common “territory”?

Answer: First, we leave the private territory that is found behind each of us alone, the deepest most intimate things, whether it is people who are closest to us from childhood or memories etched into the soul. We don’t touch each other in this area.

Second, our common territory, which we can discuss, is a place of choice that for the meantime is neutral and must be improved all the time.

Third, in the territory of love, we are included in each other. We are connected by a common emotion.

Regarding the common territory, we want to continue to come closer so we can combine it with the “territory” of love. In spite of this, from the start, we need to be aware that each of the partners is an absolute egoist who doesn’t want to give anything to the other and wants to get one hundred percent of pleasure from him. From the start, each one “belongs” to the other, as simple as it sounds, and after that, these two areas, these two circles of our interests, gradually begin to intersect.

I repeat that intimacy is based upon mutual concessions that we try to make in the intensity that grows from time to time. We check ourselves through calculating with constant consideration the degree to which we can continue to approach each other. If emotion exists, that is very good, and if it disappears, the mind continues to follow what is happening. This is a mechanism that is working incessantly. This is a “computer” inside of me and inside my partner, and both of us know that we are going toward greater closeness and integration, until we adhere to each other. We do this more and more, all the time, as much as possible.

These are our programs. All that we do in life, all of our states, we accept not as coincidence, but as a chance, as an opportunity for gradual unification.

In this circumstance, our mind develops the emotion in us. I feel how important my partner is, how unique he is, and that is how he also relates to me. Together, we can sum up our relationship. We are connected and faithful to each other. My partner is a special person, different from all the rest. I am found in a system of a relationship with him that I don’t have with anyone else. Such a mutuality dwells between us that we become one entity.

From here comes the help, support, mutual understanding, and constant effort to show my partner how pleasant it is for me to surrender, to concede to him, to leave more room for him. That is how we advance.

This requires constant work on our ego, but each receives support from the partner. We have something to talk about. There is something to learn from each other.

The main thing here is to act judiciously under the control of the mind. We must practice this. After all, people generally are embarrassed about activating the mind and at the same time are embarrassed about expressing love. They are afraid to open their soul so that you won’t spit at it, so you won’t ridicule their feelings.

So, we need to know the person well, who he is and what he is. Only then will our relationship be natural and we will stop being embarrassed about our nature. On the contrary, we try to work with it with understanding and maturity so that there won’t be misunderstandings, evasiveness between us, and the ridiculous, childish poses that characterize young couples who often are caught in the trap of pride and arrogance. On the contrary, even a young partner will be “ripe” with his grasp and approach to life.

Due to the fact that we are not taught how to love, we lose a lot. We don’t know how to build systems of relationships and so we pass the same erroneous patterns on to our children. Without a doubt, if we show them the right way, then at least the younger generation will receive a gift worth more than fine gold, providing them with a happy life.

Question: You called one of the parts of the field of our system of relationships a territory of love. What does that mean?

Answer: Here, there is an agreement between us. We have already worked together each on his own and with the partner. We become partners in the full sense of the word to such a degree that the differences between us disappear. Usually, people feel something similar with respect to common property, grandchildren, and children, from something that comes from both of them where they already have become one.

For example, we conceived the children together. This relates to both of us and in principle, is no longer something that can be divided. In general, even philosophically, it is interesting that the continuation of love is one from two that includes both of them. However, anyway, the children are our common area of interest and accordingly, of a common emotion. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what happens. We can renew our connection, begin discussions again, and begin to cultivate those blossoms that we share together.

Here is an example of a shared territory: The love that I have in my heart is also in the partner. Our child is like a third factor through which we can develop our love together.

Besides this, we don’t limit ourselves to these three factors. Rather, we allocate a place in our hearts for each other. Just as I feel her in my heart, so she also feels me in her heart. There, in that common territory, we already have some kind of shared feeling, understanding, and agreement. We already have a covenant between us there, a contract for the future. I cannot take her out of this territory, and she cannot take me out. We are rooted there together strongly, deep within the ground, and these roots will no longer disappear.

We need to reach this feeling. It is called absolute love or a covenant, and sometimes when we talk we must focus on the reality of this mutual love.
From a Talk about New Life 7/30/12

Related Material:
Love: A Brief Flash Or A Fire That Never Goes Out?
The Extraordinary Lightness Of Being
The Family Relations Adaptor

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