Relationship - Part 1

I received a question from Nur on relationships and love (on the Goals post). But what if the goal is to be in a relationship, to get married or find love? What then? How do we make love or marriage happen?

Can one make love happen? Or is it something that is there, regardless of what we do to it? Is it something we have some control over, or is making love happen the same as making breathing happen?

What about marriage? Getting married is easy. Staying married poses some difficulty, according to statistics, but I think you are asking a different question. I believe you are asking about finding the person one might spend the remainder of their life with. (Hopefully, I didn't mis-read what you asked.)

I got married on July, 7th, 2006. Even though I am married to Akiko, there is no difference between how I relate to her and how I relate to the rest of the world. How can there be a difference?

I can hear cries of protest already. "How can you say your relationship with your wife is no different from any other relationship?" Very simply, relationship does not change. Relationship is relationship. If you think differently, that relationship differs from person to person, then what you describe is not relationship but your own prejudice and preference based on memory.

If my relationship with a person is different from my relationship with the rest of the world, then which one is false?

We are not talking about how well you know someone. That is altogether different. Relationship is not based on the action of memory. You might think that you can only have a relationship with someone you know, otherwise how can there be a relationship? But if that is how you perceive things, it is quite possible that you have never had a relationship with anything.

Let me be clear. The way one normally thinks of relationship involves interaction between people that are known; how you communicate, if you like them, if they like you, if there is, or is not, sex involved, etc. "I have a good relationship with my father. I have a bad relationship with my brother. I am in a relationship with a new man/woman." And so on. That is NOT what I am talking about.

It might seem like a mere semantic difference, such as, "Instead of using the word 'relationship,' I use XXX," or whatever. But I have seen the action of what other people call "relationship," and I question if there is anything there at all. Why? Because human beings do not relate to one another. Look at the world and see what is there.

I love my daughter, but I'll be damned if she is going to marry an Arab!

My son is in a relationship with a great girl. Thank god she is white / black / catholic / republican.

Americans should have the jobs in America. I'm not racist, but I hate Mexicans. (I actually heard someone say that.)

None of this is relationship. It is all based on prejudice and belief. Nothing is there at all, other than one's thought about how things should be.

Is relationship the result of memory?

You know many people, I am sure. But is it that you "know" them, or rather, you have memories of knowing them? There is a difference here. If you know someone, then they are static and unchanging. They are forever doomed to be the image you have of them. The knowledge you store does not change. It is not living or dynamic. It is just there. 2 + 2 always equals 4.

In the same way, if you meet someone that hurts you, aren't they always "the person that hurt me"? It gives them no room to change. They are always a jerk in your mind, even though they might have changed in one hundred ways since you last encountered them. Your version of the person freezes out any chance of reality. You can only see your image, or memory, of the person, and never the real thing.

If someone flatters you tremendously, or does all kinds of things for you, don't they become that kind of person in your mind? Just because one memory is more pleasurable than the other, you still freeze out reality. When you build up an image based on your experiences, can you ever see the person for what they are? Or do you only see the structure that passes for the living human?

If you drive around with someone and they are reckless, is it that they ARE reckless? Or would it be more accurate to say, they have been reckless? Perhaps they were reckless in that moment, but how can we possible know that they ARE reckless? It is an impossibility. As soon as you say they ARE, that freezes out the possibility that they can be anything else other than reckless.

If you say your boss is an asshole, is that true? Is there any possibility of it being true? You would have to stay with your boss everyday until he or she died to know if it is true. Don't think that this is a mere mental exercise in positive thinking, because it isn't. Quite literally, the brain believes everything you think. If you say something IS so, with conviction, then that is it. Your boss is doomed to be an asshole for all eternity.

(I know I am taking the long way around your question, Nur, but I am getting there!)

Part 2 can be found here: Relationship - Part 2