The Art of Love
Veeresh on Love
If I love you, I have to look at you. I have to understand what your needs are and what my needs are - I have to understand myself, too.
When you can learn respect, concern and understanding within a therapy group situation, you can start to apply it in daily life.
A therapy group is a very special place to practise.
When I think back about what love meant for me, I remember my father going away on a ship. He would come back every three months.
When he walked through the door, I'd run down the hallway and he would lift me up, put me down and then I would look through his bags right away because I wanted a present. He always brought me a present.
That's what I remember about love in terms of my father.
When I was small my mother loved to hear me sing because I couldn't sing; it would be off key and she loved that.
I had to stand up in front of the family and sing. The whole family would laugh and that was her way of showing, "This is my son, he is cute".
I remember the worst thing that I could do was to dishonor my father. I realize that till I was about twenty-seven all I did was exactly that.
I was a drug addict, I was in jail, I was in mental hospitals, I was running in the streets selling dope and it was exactly the opposite of what he wanted. He wanted a proud, Philipino son, so that he could say, "This is my son".
When I was in prison, he and my mother would come and visit me. There would be something between us, and he would cry and not say anything. My mother would be talking, talking, and then they got up and went away. I didn't understand it then.
I was so angry, because I wanted things my way. It wasn't going my way.
I acted out, all the time.
I discovered another form of love when at the age of twenty-seven I went into a hospital.
I was there on my seventh cure, my pajamas were ironed, everything was all together, and my bed was perfectly made. I could smoke cigarettes, throw them on the floor and watch the people sweep them up.
Then they told me "We are opening a new program in the City New York and if you join, your police record, your history will be thrown out and you can become an addiction specialist. You get a salary and you work for New York City."
On an island they opened up the first Therapeutic Community: Phoenix House. Most of what I discovered there, I had never experienced before.
My whole life had been to hold on to myself and to have one or two friends.
In Phoenix House they were saying that I had to relate to everybody and I had never experienced that before. In the hospital I had my little gang, but you don't make friends with everybody, it's not possible. They demanded that from me.
Then they started saying things like, "When your brother is off, it is your responsibility to do something about it and you have to tell somebody about it."
In the streets you don't do that, you don't snitch. You don't go and say, "This one forgot to make his bed".
It's like going to the police and saying, "Hey, this guy is dealing dope." It didn't make any sense to me and that's when I wanted to walk out. I said, "No, I won't tell off my friends." Then they said, "Are you stupid, if you love them, and they make a mistake you have to uplift them and stop worrying about yourself". It was a foreign concept. There had always been me, my dope, survival and they wanted me to be responsible for someone else.
One day, one of the guys left the community, took an overdose and died. He was sent back to the island because half of the island was a public burial place. People who die and don't have money, are put in coffins seven high and they use bulldozers to bury them.
With the whole community we were standing around this coffin and that was a reality.
The Director was there, he was crying, everybody was crying. The Director said, "If you had been aware, we could have stopped this." It was true.
Everybody had given up on this guy. Nobody wanted to do anything with him anymore - they gave up.
Now we were all crying and we saw the fact: a dead person. He had died because we didn't give a shit about him and then I understood about loving another and being careful about your friends and the commune you live in.
I have a son, Champak, and his birth was another experience of love that was new for me.
Watching a birth happen in a hospital and feeling connected and feeling, "Wow, I am part of this, I have created this".
It was such an amazing experience of love. It was like, "This is me and therefore I have the responsibility and the need and the love to make sure that this human being grows up as happy as possible and I am willing to put my life there with no hesitation whatsoever" That kind of feelings, fatherly feelings.
I remember my father died. I went to New York to see my family.
I had no idea what was happening with my father. I asked, "How is my father? My mother said, "You have to speak to your uncle." Then I already knew that something was off.
I called my uncle and he told me he was in a hospital. My family knew that I used to shoot dope, they were afraid to tell me my father was dead. That's how much they love me.
They were trying to protect me, because they figured if I knew, I was going to shoot dope.
At the funeral I saw him lying there dead, and then for the first time in my life I started to thank him for everything that I could remember.
Instead of, "You wasn't there when I was small" and, "Why did you leave my mother"? , I thanked him. "Thank you for having me, and thank you for being so proud of me, thank you..." I went on and on, until I was crying.
My mother got worried, she started to hold me, my uncle started to hold me, they thought I would get hysterical, but I had to talk.
When I was through, I felt like, "Now I am a man.
It's no longer my father - he is dead.
Now I have to grow up." When my father died, I became a man.
I met Osho.
With him I can be a kid and chuckle and he is my big daddy, or I can come to him straight and say, "Hey, listen Osho, I need to know this".
Then He looks at me and He starts, "Blah, blah, blah". He gives me all that, all of it. Friendship, he smacks me on the head; he summarizes everything.
For a long time I thought, I want to be like Osho; I figured he was the best role model I could find.
I have to do it my way. That's what I try to teach you guys. You guys have to love your way.
Erich Fromm wrote a book about the art of love.
He is saying you need certain ingredients, like for a soup, in order for love to happen between two people.
He says one of the ingredients is awareness. You have to be aware.
There is another person and the other person is not you. The other person has a different taste; he doesn't drink coffee but tea. You have to be aware, you have to see the other person: that's awareness.
Another ingredient is respect.
In a lot of relationships the word respect doesn't exist.
Respect means you have a right to be who you are. I might not like it, but I have to respect your space in this earth, I have to respect that you choose to be who you are at this moment, doing your trip.
It might not be fulfilling my trip, but I have to respect that it's your trip.
Another ingredient is understanding.
Sometimes you see that your partner is in a certain space, and you see that you have to put yourself aside, and go more then half way to reach the other person, because he is in need. It's not a price to pay; it's because you want to love the other person.
Another ingredient is care.
You go out of your way to turn on your partner and it turns you on when you see your partner getting turned on, when you are not there. You leave a flower and the thought is "Yeah", when he comes home, he has to say "Yippee". That's care.
If I love you, I have to look at you and I have to understand what your needs are and what my needs are.
I have to understand myself too.
If you start to have respect, concern and understanding within a group, you can have it in daily life, too.
A group is a very special place to practice.
Deep down you don't believe that you are lovable, so it's better to hug other persons and turn them on. After a while they keep smiling back at you, you must believe that you must be doing something right, so you must be lovable too.
You are all lovable!
You will all be beaming with light from your eyes!
Posted: 8:10:08 AM
link to this article: http://www.marinasmasters.com/2006/categories/articles/2006/10/31.html#a162