A Proud Generation
I can see how easy it is for some of us at some point or another to turn away from God, holding on tight to our modern principles which are based on a deep feeling of justice, equality between all men, and the desire to transform oneself into a better being. It is very normal to feel good about modern-day intellectual, philosophical and ethical achievements. It’s so brilliant and reassuring to see what humanity has achieved in our time; from development and advancement to a noble bearing, the sense of justice and the desire to spread goodness!
However, it is extremely hard to deceive ourselves by thinking that what we are all seeking or striving to reach in our modern day society is freely available and easily accessible outside the domain of spiritual philosophies and religions. It is also equally hard to claim that what we are seeking could be easily replaced or ignored.
In spite of all the social, political and economic achievements, what best describes our lives today is the feeling of tremendous solitude, emptiness and detachment that is constantly increasing, and which influence is spreading swiftly everywhere. And while it is true that our legitimate, secular thinking is transforming us on a daily basis into more civilised and intelligent individuals, it is also true that this way of thinking does not focus on feelings, intentions and the hidden truth behind our actions. Our secularism is obsessed with building up relationships based on the principle of hiding our own true self from view. It is developing the skill to build and play as many ‘virtual personas’ as possible to suit all situations and all kind of people. Therefore, we are expected daily not to project what is within to the outside world. Likewise, each day it is becoming harder for us to accept other’s internal truth. And while I am NOT criticising this system which controls the social web of relationships in order to suggest the direct opposite, I would like to draw attention to the fact that it is still not perfect despite its complexity and relative sophistication. This system is lacking something which secularism in the broad sense (1) cannot provide. What is missing here, and what is creating a very frightening emptiness in relationships and individuals themselves, is simply the lack of ability to feel true love.
To deceive ourselves with the idea that love is equal to sympathy and charitable giving is not convincing enough.
Relationships built on mutual respect and social and economic co-operation are truly high-quality relationships, therefore it would be folly to reverse the process. However, it is fair to say that the current social system is still primitive compared to our true inner potential because it is void of true love. It is usually the emptiness in relationships that cause individuals to repel from each other, and it confines each one of us to his/her own small space. For example, nowadays it is far easier, particularly for young people, to build a relationship with a stranger online than ‘to strike up a friendship with the next door neighbour’. This is so because online chat rooms are anonymous platforms where you can still afford to show the real YOU. On the other hand, resisting the repelling forces and daring to establish real relationships with the world often leaves us broken. When the only motivating factor for seeking to establish real, traditional relationships is to avoid social stigma or because of boredom, then hypocrisy and falsehood quickly creep in. It is no wonder that most modern relationships are prone to crisis, and will experience an irreparable break down at one point or another.
The deterioration in individual relationships is a projection of the horrendous emptiness felt by everyone, within or outside those relationships themselves. The truth is; we stop being ‘a fan’ of each other as soon as we discover the ‘REAL’ friend/buddy/lover/etc behind the ‘glossy’ appearance. Despite this, we can’t truly feel happy without them either.
Each day, millions of people stumble their way inside the dark tunnel of depression, addiction and promiscuity, looking for a rope to pull them out of the vicious sliding slope, to no avail. Finally, when all time and effort have been exhausted, searching for a way out, maybe just then we ‘get the wake-up call’ that our tragedy is greater than we ever believed it to be. When we finally realise that there is no special person on earth who is capable to ignite the spark of love within our hearts forever, that no sexual relationship can ever satisfy our craving for intimacy once and for all, and that no substance in the world can ever keep our spirits high up continuously, only then we may discover the door to the light; the way out. The nagging feeling we experience from within while we’re still in the dark tunnel could be impossible to satisfy, and it is able to drive us to self-destruction if we choose any other path, apart from the path of wisdom and enlightenment. The emotional hunger within is good evidence that humanity can’t “live by bread alone”. Thus the most honest expression I can find to describe this truth is that there is more to life than meets the eyes. This also means that a good life requires more than ‘self-gratification’.
So, what modern people of this secular age need most is to experience living out a strong deep love that links them with the surrounding, yet rises beyond mundane reality, helping them to overlook each other’s flaws and offences. But the main question here is; how can we become able to love in the exact same way we want to be loved without giving in to selfishness or hypocrisy? How can we ever manage to love this imperfect world with all its flaws and ugliness so deeply that we immerse into everything and become filled and self-sufficient?
The answer is so simple; we can’t. We are selfish and judgmental by nature. We want to take more than we can give and ask for far more than we can ever offer. We can’t experience the love that our ‘inner selves’ are craving for, because our minds and emotions refuse to allow us this. We can’t find the love which our souls are yearning for, simply by relying on our own efforts. Yet this love exists abundantly around us and can be easily accessed by us.
This is a fact I know because I saw love entering wretched lives, restoring their hopelessly broken relationships and healing them from the inside out. I saw it turning demon-like creatures into peaceful angels. I also saw this love in some people’s glowing energy and tender facial expressions when they go about their usual business, just being themselves amid complete strangers. I finally witnessed the evidence of this love when it was consumed, taken advantage of and generally challenged. I saw love and I was awed by it, but I could not claim it for myself because I was not able to find the doorway that could lead up to it. As it turned out, love wasn’t a free public possession. I couldn’t just fall in love when I wanted to. Actually, I found that the more I tried, the more love became aloof. The nicer I tried to be, the rougher I became. The more compassionate I tried to be, the more critical I sounded. Eventually, I came to establish three fundamental truths.
1-The first is that love isn’t from this world, even if we are physically wired to love. There is nothing in the purely physical realm that can empower us with this feeling/energy the same way electricity can empower our gadgets or food fuels our bodies. I conclude therefore that love is from beyond this physical reality.
2-The second truth is that you can’t necessarily feel love or have people love you as and when you want to. This fact leads to the realisation that love isn’t ours to claim. Therefore, I conclude that it belongs to a higher power.
3-The third truth is that love exists around us and is being enjoyed freely by certain people. With this, I conclude that love can only be given as a gift, bestowed upon some who fits certain criteria. So what is the doorway to love?