Marriages: Made in Heaven and Consummated on Earth
“Marriages are made in heaven,” said the grandmother. By this, she meant to convey to her sophisticated granddaughter the humbling yet reassuring lesson that the Lord who had given her life would also provide her with a mate.
The young woman smiled. She considered that finding a mate was the end of an active quest. She remembered the more practical wisdom imparted by one of her friends, “You have to go out to get your man.” Inevitably, she reflected on her next date, “What gown shall I wear? What cosmetics shall I use? How shall I wear my hair?”
She did get her man but not the one with whom she had had that date. It was a man she met at the florist, when both were buying flowers for their mothers on Mothers’ Day.
In a mood of self-assessment in which couples in love occasionally indulge, her man once said to her, “You know, dear, there is something about you for which my deepest self has hungered all through the years. I thank the Lord who made you as you are.”
The young woman mused a while, and said, “It is only because you are as you are that I could appeal so satisfyingly to your deepest self. I thank the Lord who made you as you are.” However, developing the heart of loving-kindness is not about over refinement, not about gritting your teeth and, though seething with anger, in some manner covering it over with an irrefutable persuasion.
“We were meant for each other,” both exclaimed enthusiastically at the same time. One way to do this is through a societal process of collective memory.
Then a smile crossed the young woman’s face. She suddenly remembered what her grandmother had told her.
When we desire not to converge on what is missing from our lives but are appreciative for the large quantity that’s present–love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and individual pursuits that bring us gratification –the wilderness of illusion falls away and we come into contact with heaven on earth.
Marriages: You Must Get Your Surviving by Loving
The failure of catharsis parses to assuage the condition. With mindfulness, we can be aware of what we are seeing, hearing, smelling, and touching. Its grandness, for the most part, lies in its all-important reduction of problems too complex in their old forms of statement to be solved.
This shows the air to be flexible; but it also shows, that this elasticity is very different from the elasticity of a pearl ball, or a coiled watch-spring, or any such substance, to which the air has been sometimes compared. So how do we balance and unwind our minds? There are a number of things that can facilitate our minds. The Lebanese-American scholar, statistician, and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in Fooled by Randomness,
“Having control over randomness can be expressed in the manner in which one acts in the small and the large. Recall that epic heroes were judged by their actions, not by the results. No matter how sophisticated our choices, how good we are at dominating the odds, randomness will have the last word…There is nothing wrong and undignified with emotions—we are cut to have them. What is wrong is not following the heroic or, at least, the dignified path. That is what stoicism truly means. It is the attempt by man to get even with probability…stoicism has rather little to do with the stiff-upper-lip notion that we believe it means…The stoic is a person who combines the qualities of wisdom, upright dealing, and courage. The stoic will thus be immune from life’s gyrations as he will be superior to the wounds from some of life’s dirty tricks.
On a very basic level, all beings think that they should be happy. When life becomes unmanageable or painful, we feel that something has gone wrong. This would not be a big trouble except for the fact that when we feel something has gone wrong, we are willing to do anything to feel OK again. Even start a fight. Health consists in a good digestion of the food, and a free circulation of the bloodline. As for suffering, that also evidences itself constantly, without stopping for sleep or rest. Nevertheless, this similitude, we must consider the air as a very different kind of fluid from water, oils, mercury, or such substances, which are called particularly liquids. Actual life is, to most men, a long second best, an unending compromise between the paragon and the potential; but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no hard-nosed limitations, and no roadblock to the originative activity.