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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  July 20, 2011

Hierarchy of Love

Tolerance of confusion makes language bloated and lazy, and soon words no longer communicate. To talk about love, we must first discard the word "love" -- it has come to mean everything and nothing, spanning from the trivial to the precious and subtle.

In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, each ascending level of existence is premised upon satisfying the needs of the previous. The essentiality of the prerequisites can be questioned as assumptions of Maslow's era, as Western nations have done away with job security, sexual intimacy, achievement, and other previous standards, largely replacing them with ad hoc temporality and self-medication through drugs, newspapers, and television.

The safety of a material life is nearly effortless: here's a house, food, and washing machine. That's enough to win a bride, but it's not love or even a relationship. Some still believe enough in what could be to aspire for something greater, not necessarily Tristan und Isolde, but for a lasting match of unity with another in nature's eternal dance.

The narrative is waiting to write itself upon the ready: society is a sleeping irresolute housecat, exhausted, sickly, dull, and overfed with bon bons and cheetos. But the world remains rich, wild, inviting, desirous, and fulfilling. "Do you taste this? If so, let's go!" -- these are more appropriate wedding vows than rescindable promises of fidelity.

We are not mere travelers who arrive in great places, flirt on the edges, check them off a bucket list, but never get inside. We are explorers who seek and find uncharted secrets, discovering what most locals have never seen, sensing every breathe and pulse, feeling quiet rhythms and undercurrents, the universal in its regional variants, and exceptions that also prosper in its soil.

Do you too desire to see and live the total truth of what is here? To dare for what is possible instead of the easy and customary? To taste the entirety of their flavors? Some are unusual surely, but honest, and part of a larger mosaic.

Material love is pedestrian and unsatisfying once you have experienced beyond it, and there is no way back to docility and drunken whoring. You can only find companionship with others who have gotten this far and are uncompromising in their insistence to live fully.

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