To Love and Be Loved

nkc

Vanessa’s mother Sue always wanted the above and before Vanessa and I had any feelings for each other this is what she said many times at our spiritual group.

So much of spiritual teaching is about detachment, self-acceptance and self-love and being complete within ourselves. Then we have yin and yang, symbiosis, male and female. The ancient Greeks have six different kinds of love. Eros, sexual passion; Philia, deep friendship; Ludus, playful love; Agape, selfless, forever love; Pragma, long standing love, and lastly Philautia, love of self.

I am not someone who wants to spend this life on my own. I had some very lonely teenage years when I found it impossible to believe any girl/woman would be remotely interested in me. Then this was a legacy of my adoption, it is not something I believe today. Having spent 36 years with Anne I had no interest in being attractive to the opposite sex. I couldn’t flirt if my life depended on it and “sexy” is a media creation. Unwanted attention, which did seem to come my way, makes me feel exceedingly uncomfortable.

Isn’t the expression a “one woman man?”

Forty-four years with three different partners is a long time. God knows how long I’ve got left, some conscious divining with my pendulum suggests ten years. Just before Vanessa passed I would have been happy with three years if she wasn’t in my life. There was a time I used to ask all my psychotherapy clients how long they wanted to live. Using the NLP tool of timelines I convinced almost all of them that extending their timelines would improve the quality of their lives in the moment. Taking my example, unless I go out like a light switch, it is probable if I buy into passing at 77 the last few years will be a steady physical and mental deterioration. If I do go at 77, yet believing I’m going to go at 87, I suggest my last few years will be healthy ones. Ain’t life wonderful?

A good friend of mine is (still?) single at 54. By any standards he is an attractive man. He keeps himself fit, he is active and has a fulfilling career. He has been divorced for a number of years and has a son of whom he is very proud of and loves completely. Like every “eligible” person he has his faults and his shadow side. Unlike every eligible person he is aware of them. In relationships he has exceptionally high standards (yes I know this could be a problem) and will always be true to himself. There is a difference between compromise, give-and-take in a relationship and selling ourselves out. However I know and have known a number of people (including Vanessa) who have not and will not be in a relationship, in terms of living together, merely for sex and/or avoidance of loneliness. Include me in that.

As I’m sure by now you are probably tired of hearing that I have had two exceptional long-term (if four years meets this criterion) relationships and one disastrous one. As sure as night follows day I could not commit myself formally (I’m not sure if there is any formal commitment other than marriage?) again. I can see myself having a meaningful relationship, but if my new partner contracted a terminal illness this time I would definitely be waiting for her on the “other side”.

When prenuptial contracts emerged, no doubt like millions of others, I reflected on the whole idea of these arrangements. I can’t be bothered arguing for or against but if I say that trust, integrity and fidelity are essential to any lasting relationship then I have shown my hand.

Since moving to Malvern I have been fortunate to have cultivated some deep and meaningful male friendships. Vanessa was big on friendships. She has some truly wonderful friends. Philia.

David Icke has gone public in placing friendship above all forms of relationship. If you have followed him as I have it is obvious his family are incredibly supportive. Having supportive children is no doubt an incredible blessing. Ask Vanessa. During my pendulum dowsing session it was revealed that David Icke who is a few months older than me, would pass around 2027/2028. Again God knows. I doubt if David will pay any attention to this! Maybe it is telling that a hugely significant year for the Cabal, the Illuminati or the Sabbatian Frankists (take your pick) is 2030. I am no gossip or observer of people’s personal lives but for someone who is as driven as David Icke to have a close, meaningful and long-standing intimate relationship would be almost impossible. Agape, Eros, Ludus and Pragma.

So many things can happen in one’s life that brings us face-to-face with our own mortality. I have some savings. Should I budget to spend them all in 10 years or 20? Should I “go for broke” and embark on a hedonistic binge? I just need enough to live in a comfortable, safe and appealing environment. To eat well, to travel, to keep myself healthy and to be able to clothe myself and be presentable. To be able to maintain electrical and mechanical items (car, motorbike and domestic appliances) and replace anything that wears out. Each one of these costs attracts tax in all its forms.

Should we “rage against the dying of the light” or “merely” live in the moment? Eckhart Tolle maintains that all we have is this moment. This moment is life. To resist or reject this moment is to resist or reject life. No matter what else we may or may not have in terms of material possessions and meaningful relationships, in his world, in the world, all we have is this moment.

For those of you who have lost partners, husbands or wives do you create a shrine for that person? Do you furnish your house, or these days something more significant, your phone, with endless pictures of your dearly departed? Have you collected and hoarded a hundred things that remind you of them? Are you being “disloyal” and insensitive if you were to let most of these things go? What happens if you find someone else, would they too pay homage to your shrine? How do you negotiate the transition between grieving and embracing a new life?

Who should we love? Ourselves, all sentient beings and God? Apart from Philautia, and Agape, Eros, Ludus and Pragma if we have an intimate relationship, how do we love our “neighbours”? Our enemies? Almost all of us know that it is difficult for others to love us if we do not love them. It is impossible to have a lasting, satisfying relationship if we do not love ourselves. Loving another effectively means we give ourselves to them. If we do not love ourselves then what are we giving? As we are all sparks of the Divine, some may say we are all Gods, perhaps Philautia is how we should love God.

We can decide who and how to love. Those of you over a certain age will no doubt recall the pain and anguish of unrequited love. God loves us all, but part of the earthly experience is a sensory one and for my part I’m not sure how I would deal with a God of Eros, Ludus and Pragma. I did get three quarters the way through writing a book called God’s My Best Mate so maybe Philia was my goal…

Love is the only truth, everything else is an illusion. Love heals, love is who we are, and love is the very fabric of the universe.

What is intimacy? The appalling popular cultural brainwashing tells us it is all about sex. Bollocks. Déjà vu beckons. Intimacy can be sitting with someone, sharing an activity, watching a good film or TV show, being held, tuning in to each other’s thoughts, listening to music, working on a project, appreciating a son, daughter, child or companion animal, cooking a meal, walking in nature, looking up at the stars, planning a journey, visiting friends. Or sitting on a swing seat late at night on a hotel roof in Athens in 2016,

Yes I can recall many intimate moments with male and female friends and work colleagues. But the deepest, most enduring and memorable are those I have shared with Anne and Vanessa. Putting it bluntly I would gladly sacrifice sexual intimacy for a selection from the above.

So let us celebrate “engaged detachment” and seek to be complete within ourselves, and to make Philautia our goal, but reject its shadow, narcissism. We come into this world alone and go out alone. How true is this? Is not the love of God, friends and family sufficient to welcome us home? Do you  miss your spiritual family? Is this, here on earth our home or is it Nosso Lar? (Nosso Lar, in case you haven’t read any of my previous posts is Portuguese for our home).

I have lived in England all my life. I have lived in around 12 different homes, with my parents and three partners. My true home, the place that makes my heart sing, is Greece. Despite having been to Corfu in 1972, it wasn’t until landing in Crete 15 years later that I realised this.

A very good friend reminded me this morning that in the book In The Stillness Everything Happens (pub. 2014) the following appears on page 210:

“Anne and Jack follow in the footsteps of their hero Harry Edwards by teaching healing in Athens. They also work with “spiritual activists” when in Athens who are helping transform Greece through the power of love… They intend to live in Greece in the near future.”

Again as you know by now a year later Anne moved “upstairs.” Vanessa was coming round to the idea of spending a few months every year in Greece. So now it is up to me. How long have I got? Can I ever know? Life has to go on or there is no point. Anne helped me find my angel Vanessa. I have no idea as this is written what Vanessa is cooking up. But she was a very good matchmaker. I’ve had conversations with her since August 23rd, , but she has yet to “come through” in a meaningful way. One thing is for certain, it will be for my highest good because everything she did whilst she was incarnated was for my highest good.

What a wonderful world. Blessings to you all. Everything is possible, but not in each lifetime.

Jack Stewart, giving you a rest for a week, September 15, 2019.

P.S. Why the picture of Nat King Cole? Listen to the song Nature Boy, played at Vanessa’s funeral.

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