Ever seen a sea when it is calm? The vast sky above it, countless lives inside it, and throbbing entities around it. Sometimes it has populated beaches around it, sometimes it has a pulsating city; sometimes it has nothing but sand to go to; sometimes it washes the feet of a quaint settlement. Yet, ever seen the calm sea being bothered by anything but itself?
Surrounded, surrounded by everything that one can possibly think of, does a sea ever have a sense of insecurity? Of being subdued? Of living under the shadows of the clouds? Or living at the mercy of the colonies inside it? Never. It always is what it is and what it makes itself to be. A calm sea is never angered by a stone thrown at it, neither it is irked by sailing ships that seeks its refuge while they wish. It lived on and on and will go on forever. It meets the sky where no one can touch them. Try as we might, we’ll never be able to be where it is with they sky.
Men may do anything they might, they’ve never been able to conquer a calm sea. They never will. All the barricades and armies; all the rule-books and blueprints; all the walls and bridges will never be able to take a calm sea head on and win. Conquerors will always lose. They may wish to win, but will always see the losing side. A calm sea is at no one’s mercy, is never full of pride, is not what men have built that can be owned. You can’t own a calm sea. You have to let it be.
It is what it has always been, and what will always be. It is understanding and all-encompassing. A calm sea is liberating. It does not own anything but itself, and it does not wish to be anything that anyone else wants it to be.
A calm sea is unconditional.
Love is a calm sea.
A happy 3rd blogoversary to my blog! 😀
Love is like handling a glass of ice water to someone in hell. So is this post.
Honestly Sameen. There is nothing called unconditional love.
In fact there is nothing called unconditional anything. Everything is cause and effect. Almost everything conforms to a gaussian distribution (the bell shaped curve or the inverted bell shaped curve). And everything is indeed conditional.
The conditionality of everything is a basic motivational factor behind evolutionary, biological, neurological, physical and indeed emotional & psychological evolution.
I realize that this post was meant to be poetic and romantic and intended to be naively sweet – as a more sophisticated version of Mills & Boons, replete with poignant metaphors and beautiful reflections. And it does succeed in that regard. And you do write well! 🙂
However, if you were serious about the content and message of the post, then I disagree.
I appreciate the sentiment behind the analysis that you have done. I also have 2 things to say:
1) I believe such a love is possible. It’s the highest form of surrender.
2) Yes, I was hoping to hit a mark called good writing; so some of it comes from there as well. 😉
Such a highest form of surrender does not exist. And it should not exist.
If love (and other things) were unconditional, then how would you explain the revulsion a wife feels when her husband comes home and beats her? Or the shame and disgust a father feels when his son has misbehaved or fought in public. Or anything else for that matter.
Lets take your own case (or mine). If you think unconditional love exists, then what separates Rajiv Iyer from Christopher Hitchens from Salman Khan? To Sameen, all three of them should appear equally enticing (or equally repulsive). The fact that you perceive those three separately indicates that each one of us has certain preconceived notions and acquired prejudices and it is through this periscope that we view and filter the world.
And it is this filter which we apply to friendships and relationships – to the decisions of forming new relationships, shedding old ones, breaking up, continuing on and so on.
Conditionality exists in everything. It must. Without it, humans wouldn’t have the motivation to improve themselves. If a wife does a “highest form of surrender” to her husband and loves him unconditionally, there won’t be any moral or logical or evolutionary or psychological motivation for the husband to keep being kind and empathetic or to stop him from being an arrogant abuser.
I agree with you when you look at it so rationally. However, what I am saying comes from an awareness that such a thing is possible. I am just not saying one should impose it on the world. I don’t see why we can’t reach a level that we are capable of. We are. Mothers are capable of such love then why not everyone else?
There comes a point in time when we need to rise above ourselves. That is what this post is talking about.
There is a subtle but perceptible difference between notions which are comforting (and which perhaps ought to be) and notions which exist in reality (which by all means tend to be far from ideal and perhaps not what ought to be).
Unconditional love in the larger scheme of things ought NOT to be (context: abusive husbands, manipulative wives, cheating boyfriends, gold-digging girlfriends, psychopaths, etc). However, when viewed through the periscope of a normal, kindred spirit, it is perhaps what ought to be but what is NOT.
For example, is it deeply comforting to imagine that despite my flaws and my failings as a human being, despite my insecurities and my frailties, are there people who have the capacity to forgo all that and love me without any preconditions or expectations? Especially a person who is not tied to you by virtue of blood relations but by a sense of magnetic attraction, deep admiration and amazing chemistry? Especially if that person is someone who wishes to enjoy a lengthy association with you in adulthood, parenthood and old-age (remember, despite your weaknesses and trappings) …. Yes sir. It is absolutely comforting and indeed deeply gratifying to believe that …. But is that how reality works? Nope. (And I am sure you have discovered this irrefutable fact through your own set of empirical observations – acceptance, rejection, humiliation, etc)
If it were true (the lack of pre-conditions or expectations for love to exist and thrive), then there would be several profound consequences:
(1) Salman Khan = Salman Rushdie = Jesus Christ = Christopher Hitchens = etc
(2) Every Tom, Dick and Harry should be able to satisfy Sameen’s conception of the man she wants in her life.
(3) No opportunities to undergo emotional agony and therefore moments of self realization and epiphany and catharsis.
(4) No motivation to seek to improve ourselves – as a consequence of which no further psychological and indeed neurological or sociological evolution
(5) A bunch of other things which I don’t have the patience to write (its 4:30am!! :P)
The same can be said about issues like the subject of God or the Afterlife. Are these comforting notions? You bet it is …. However, is there any rational or moral basis for concluding these things to exist with any acceptable sense of empirical observation or apriori intuition grounded in meaningful insight or both? Nope there is not.
What ought to be is sadly not what is. We must learn to deal with that.
Apologies for perpetuating this discussion and apologies if I offended you again. Awaiting your response. Thanks for reading and being patient.
As an appendix point,
Every Tom Dick and Harry would be able to satisfy your conception of the man whom you wish to be with. And strangely, if unconditional love is true, this would be because Sameen has NO conception of an ideal spouse.
Secondly, I think its safe to admit that what we are all wishing here rather consciously is to be accepted unconditionally without being asked to change or improve or alter ourselves.
While subconsciously (without consciously controlling the impulse) of imposing restraints and expectations on others a condition for us to keep loving them.
This is not at all new to human beings. Its called having a short memory. The Greeks termed it “hypocrisy”. Although to be fair, most of the times, we are not aware of our double standards! 😉
You just made my day!