Friday, March 15, 2013

Learning to Love: Reality Check

Gloria Ornelas
Today I went out for a drink with university colleagues and while talking about ‘qualitative research’ for an educational protocol we’re doing, the term “context” struck a note.
“Context determines what happens”, they were saying….
I suddenly realized, how unattached I was from my external ‘context’…as I focus solely on my subjective internal experiencing.
(This is how uneventful stirrings catalyze reflexive thinking.)
‘Context’- defined as the external reality; the conditions  that determine existence, is for me, as follows: the external ‘context’ of experience, is the ‘glass’, the container; while the internal ‘meaning’ of the experience, is the ‘liquid’. The context gives shape to the meaning with which we signify our experience. The gist is trying to live both and align external reality with inner Truth. This is particularly difficult when changes in the external context have a different timing to those of internal experiencing. In linear causality, meaning before the experience, is called ‘intention’; whereas the meaning given after the experience, is ‘justification’…all within the same context.
Lovers are contextual. They determine the external conditions for the experience of loving. However, love, before the actual loving, may be defined as the intention or desire, a priori. Love, after the actual loving, is the justification we give to the experience of loving, a posteriori . It sounds bizarre but as fragmented as it sounds, my experience in the Monastery gave my understanding of love a subjective quality, loving blindly, through prayers. The intention behind our loving then, was to send good vibes in wishful prayers, and the justification was believing they were actually helping someone. However, the ‘one being loved’ in the external context, was  unknown, being un-accessible to us in the cloister. Thus, the loved one was an abstract; unreal to the senses; and the loving, merely subjective.
Perhaps, for love to become real, there must be a lover…or as the metaphor of the “one who yells in the woods”, goes:  “you must have someone hear you, to actually acknowledge you exist”. So I must have someone feel my love, for me to exist as a lover, myself.  Amo ergo sum.
All this pseudo-intellectual gibberish boils down to..having to ‘touch base’ and make a ‘reality check’ in love. First, we have to make sure we have a lover, and funny as it may seem that’s where I’m at…wondering if I can actually love, when the only contextual contact is a long-distance phone call….

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