22 Oct 2008

The role of faith

In our modern life we tend to assume that everything happens according to certainty. We base our mundane world on certainty, and we only tend to do things which are based on some previous knowledge, scientific evidence, or experienced objective certainty. Yet there is more to life than this. Everything else is considered risky, foolish and belonging to the world of faith, that is, senseless myths.
In fact it is hard to imagine a life that is lived completely based certainty. Life is in fact full of moments when we take leaps of faith. We enter school not knowing if it will land us a job. We enter relationships not knowing how long they will last or if and when they will turn sour. Life is full of leaps of faith, and once we recognise this, the question is only whether we are able make use of this knowledge and be able to carefully choose between decisions we make based on certainty, and leaps of faith we take because we deem it to be the best strategy at that point.
The more we master the skill of relying on faith, the more we will be served well by it in moments when we have nothing else to rely on but faith.

Remembering the bad moments

In everyone's lives there are horrible moments. Everyone's. It might be extreme fear, aggression from others, a terrible accident, war, the loss of a loved one... The horrible moment can take many shapes and forms. Our western culture teaches us to hide and suppress these moments. It councels us to try and not think about them and concentrate on the beautiful and on the future instead.
This is a dangerous mistake.

On loyalty

The most important thing in a relationship is to know where your loyalties lie. Loyalty is a strange word to use, but not a bad one. It refers to the fact that you have chosen to invest your loyalty in a single person, your partner, above and before everyone else. Literally everyone else. Before your friends, before your boss, before those of the opposite sex that might want you, before those that you would want, even before your parents and your siblings.
It means that you have to be reassuring, reliable, available, secure, trustworthy, and true to the one you love. This is very difficult to achieve.After a while your relationship is not so thrilling any more. It inevitably becomes somewhat routine like, even if you continue to preserve its special chracteristics. You meet new and interesting people, sexy ones, intelligent ones, interesting ones, people who thrill you, people who have power and money, charisma.
The reason you must maintain your loyalty is quite simple. A very small loss of loyalty can shake and damage a relationship considerably. You do not even have to be unfaithful in a physical, emotional or intellectual sense. Just put your loved one behind someone else just once, and the air is already poisoned. People in a relationship rely on each other for emotional support to a mucn larger degree than on other people. Single people have a lot of friends to rely on. Couples tend to close in, since they cannot tell everything to their friends...this would also be a betrayal of loyalty. Hence the imperative to maintain loyalty before everything else. There is only so much atmosphere of trust to ruin. Not all that much at all. And then you are off, having to look for the next relationship. And the next one.