In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone; they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality, in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual.
Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced – they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.
Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.
“When I began Faces I was bugged about marriage. I’ve always been against the institution of marriage. Not my marriage. Gena and I have always disagreed out in the open, we never hold back. But I was bugged about the millions of middle-class marriages in the United States that just sort of glide along. Couples married ten, fifteen years, husbands and wives who seem to have everything - big house, two cars, maid, teenage kids - but all these creature comforts have made them passive. Underneath, there’s this feeling of desperateness because they can’t connect. I would see married couples who had nothing to do with one another in their lives. If their tastes coincided they felt that they were quite remarkable in their marriage. And people would say, ‘Oh they’re so wonderful together’. But they come home, they just look at each other and say, ‘How are you?’ How was the day? What happened?’ and they have no love. The picture was a plea for returning to some kind of real communication. Most couples aren’t even aware that they can’t communicate. The whole point of Faces is to show how few people really talk to each other. These days, everybody is supposed to be so intelligent: ‘Isn’t it terrible about Nixon getting elected?’ Did you hear about the earthquake in Peru?’ And you’re supposed to have all the answers. But when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, like, ‘What is bugging you, mister? Why can’t you make it with your wife? Why do you lie awake all night staring at the ceiling? Why, why, why do you refuse to to recognize your problems and deal with them?’ The answer is the people have forgotten how to relate or respond. In this day of mass communications and instant communications, there is no communication between people. Instead it’s long-winded stories or hostile bits, or laughter. But nobody’s really laughing. It’s more a hysterical, joyless kind of sound. Translation: ‘I am here and I don’t know why.’”—John Cassavetes (via nattym29)
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?
Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.
“I love science, and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awed by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it.”—Robert M. Sapolsky (via incogneko)
“Enlightenment is not becoming a different person; it’s becoming the person you already are without any hesitation or any reservation — having the insight, and the courage, and the openness — to be the person you already are, and to trust the wisdom that’s already within.”—Reggie Ray (via thegoldeneternity)
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”—Frederick Douglass (via ehosk)
“Some architects think architecture is the stuff that matters. It is not; I do not want to talk about architecture. What matters more is the time that we find ourselves living in. That’s the only place architecture ever really lives.”—Le Corbusier (via socratic-thinker)
You can enjoy something without having to comprehend it. You can appreciate a melody without knowing what notes it consists of. You don’t need to “get” me or what I do. I’m not here to be understood, I’m here to be experienced. I’m not here to impress you. I’m here to party with you…
What’s all the rest of this madness for otherwise? What are all our ceaseless efforts for if not to earn us moments of pure euphoria and elation? Are we not meant to be in a state of energized enthusiasm about our own existence? Isn’t that an evolutionary survival technique anyway — so that we want to stay alive and press on — because we have joy to look forward to? I’m pretty sure that the end result of all our work, all our battling, and all our pain and suffering isn’t to see how serious and grim we can be. The darker the world, the more we must increase our efforts to stay in the light — and to defend that light from the encroaching shadow. If there is such a thing as evil, it wants nothing more than to have us believe that feeling joy is wrong.
We must be brave enough to wholeheartedly deny all the forces working to crush our spirit. We must not let devastation and death remove the joy from life. Existence is confusing and challenging enough as it is. Taking it too seriously and removing the few opportunities for unadulterated cheerfulness does not alleviate us of this burden — it weighs us down further and saps our strength until all we can do is plod along towards the void without any relief. The more appropriate response to life is to remain at play and in awe, not to mock the severity of our collective plight, but to truly stay engaged in the bewildering and ferocious grandeur of this adventure we’re on together. Whether we like it or not, we were all invited to this party and we must work to have the best time we can while we’re all here.
Having the strength to smile, to stay close to joy, and to stay close to each other will see us through our darkest and most challenging ordeals. It’s not as easy as being glum and cold, but it’s worth the extra effort. Believing that joy is wrong is the most violent disrespect to our inherent nature as loving, pleasure seeking creatures. Let us elevate ourselves and embrace our highest and mightiest capacity for happiness. This life is our chance to unleash as much joy onto the world as we can. Let us make that joy together. Let us cheer each other up and cheer each other on. Let us party and party as hard as we can. After all, we can’t save the world in a bad mood.
Musician and all-around great dude Andrew W.K. answering a reader’s criticism that his belief in partying makes it difficult to take him seriously.
The whole response is beautiful. This is particularly poignant this week:
The darker the world, the more we must increase our efforts to stay in the light — and to defend that light from the encroaching shadow.
Never think you’re insignificant, my friends. You’re all invited to party with me.
1. Most people hide their suffering better than you think, you pass dozens of people a day on the street without any idea how well they’re wearing their tragedies.
2. People’s names are the sweetest sounds they hear. You should make a point of being good at learning and using them.
3. People love to spread their misery around, but not as much as they enjoy being lifted out of it.
4. Being young is not in and of itself an achievement. Neither is being beautiful. But people often treat you as if they are.
5. For a lot of people, music is a reflection of who they are and their relationship to life. Remember that before insulting someone’s favorite band.
6. The Golden Age never existed. People are always trying to get back to a time when things were simpler and better. The world was a far more dangerous place fifty years ago, especially if you were black or a woman or gay or diagnosed with cancer.
7. Most people, whatever their choice of profession, feel like complete novices that are about to be found out as frauds and fakers.
8. Most people love quite helplessly, despite what they would have you believe.
9. Show me the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’ll show you a man who’s bored with taking her to bed. Show me the most devoted husband, and I’ll show you a woman who feels that he’s just not doing enough. A lot of people are never satisfied because…
10. Most people have no idea what they want out of life, let alone how to get it. Most others are still waiting for someone to give them permission.
11. Whatever it is about yourself that you’re trying to hide, it’s usually the first thing someone else notices about you.
12. You should call your mother and tell her you love her. Like most women who decide to marry and have children or help take care of a dying parent, she probably sacrificed a lot of her dreams to be there for you, and she wishes that you appreciated her more for it. Susan Boyle represented this demographic powerfully, but for every one of her, was a woman like your mother who will never get that standing ovation.
13. If you tell a man about your problems, he assumes you want some sort of help or advice. If you tell a woman about your problems, she assumes you simply want a shoulder to cry on. Women rarely want to be told what to do about a problem, and men rarely want to be coddled through a hard time.
14. Creative people thrive on feedback. You can never give them enough of it, and you will endear yourselves to them mightily if you do it frequently, thoughtfully, and honestly. They understand far better than most think, the value of time.
15. For most people religion is a social commitment more than a spiritual one.
16. A lot of people who consider themselves intelligent can’t properly label all the states on a map, or all the countries in Europe, let alone Africa or the Middle East. Most couldn’t list off the ten commandments, five pillars, or the amendments of the Constitution, and feel that politics are too complicated to bother with understanding, let alone talking about.
17. A lot of Christians have never, and will never, read the Bible. Most of them will conduct their lives exactly as they would if they’d never attended a single church service. It is nearly impossible to tell a Christian from an atheist by their actions alone. Both Christians and atheists will probably find the previous statement offensive.
18. For nearly every crazy idea, you can find a fully credentialed scientist who will back it up.
19. People are more frequently kind and compassionate than they are fooled by our manipulations or lies.
20. Life often works in reverse. People treat strangers more politely than their family or friends. People will ask a friend’s band to play their party for free, will call their best girlfriend to come over and cut their hair without a thought to payment, but would never dream of calling a mechanic they found in the phonebook and asking them to donate their time and labor to fix a broken down car.
21. Everyone has done something they would be desperately embarrassed for anyone else to know about.
22. Never joke with a man about his sexual performance, and never joke with a woman about her appearance. No matter how much they make fun of these things in themselves, never, never do it for them. They may laugh along with you, but you’ve just driven a tiny needle into their brain.
23. Most women get married because they want to have a wedding, most men get married because they are ready to settle down with a woman for the rest of their lives. Women, statistically speaking are more likely to suffer clinical depression if married, and initiate upwards of 80% of all divorces citing irreconcilable differences. People expect a significant other to change their lives and make them happy without any conception of how this change will take place. Sort of like assuming a college degree is going to guarantee you security in life without ever thinking of how this can be practically possible. I call this the “If you build it, they will come” approach to romance and one out of every two times it ends in divorce.
24. Most people are worried they’re not having as much fun as they should be. This usually makes men cheat and women nag.
25. When you insult or offend someone, always admit it and apologize promptly, even if it wasn’t your intention or you had no idea. It is always better to be a penitent villain than to appear so socially inept as to not recognize when you’ve hurt the people around you. An evil genius is someone to bring to your side, a blundering fool is someone to keep as far away from you as possible.