How to manage your love for becoming soul-mates forever (Part One:1)
I have decided to stop writing recipes for a while because it is close to an important day for anyone who is in love. Of course I am referring to Valentine's Day. I believe you must have experienced "love" of some kind. You must have felt ecstatic, infatuated and joyous even if it was just with your secret "crush". You must have been overwhelmingly happy with the chance of being in the proximity of someone you love. And you must have grieved in unrequited love, having encountered, fallen in love and suffered heartbreaks and separation.
Love is within the law of nature. It, therefore, cannot escape the three characteristics of nature, namely:
In other words, it arises, exists, subsides and then vanishes into extinction. Such is the nature of all things.
For me, I have seen the dark side of love. However, it is still such a magic feeling that other emotions cannot replace. Because I learned a lot when look back to those times and it has made me much stronger than ever. Moreover, I know how to manage and prepare for my next relationship. I think management is necessary for everything in people's lives and I found a book that has provided me with direction and guidance. I can now manage my space and possessions to the right degree so that me and my future partner are blessed with the chance of becoming soul-mates forever. I want to share my learning with you and I hope it will help you to become a wiser person of in pursuit of your love and happiness.
The name of this book is "Love Management", which is one of W. Vajiramedhi's charming renditions of Buddhist teachings. This book helps us to understand the truth and nature of love. It helps us to know how to deal with love and how to "weave" love in order for it to last the for the longest time and to be as secure as possible. The contents of the book cover love at its outset, the decision to marry and starting life as couple. It covers the mutual understanding of differences in views and the development of love to be a greater and more encompassing cause. After reading this article, some of you may learn to see love from a different and, indeed a much more beautiful perspective.
Love at the Outset
The Nature of Love :
They say that love is pink in colour, which, reading between the line, implies freshness, jollity, happiness, aestheticism, hope and moral support. Are these attributes indeed the true nature of love? Of the nature of love, King Ramam VI wrote in Mananabadha:
" Love's like sickness, that makes men's eyes misty,
Neither knowing nor seeing obstacles
Love's like a lusty bull which, if confined,
Leaps from the pen and will not be kept in,
And e'en when tied, world strongly strain its bond:
Violent in restraint, it fears no hurt."
Of the nature of love, Kahlil Gibran, the great lebanese poet, wrote in " The Prophet" which has been rendered into Thai by Rawee Pavilai.
When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and careses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from ifself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
Of the nature of love, the Buddha, who was filled with a profound love for humankind, was quoted as saying:
"Wherever there is love, there are pain and suffering."
While King Rama VI and one of the world's prophetic poets, Kahlil Gibran, commonly agreed on the idea that love consists of a mixed combination of happiness and suffering, the Buddha declares, definitively, that the nature of love is suffering. Lay people or poets see love in a half-light, while the Enlightened One sees it wholly and stark nakedly. Love in the Buddhist view then is embedded in pain and suffering. Some may argue: What pain? What suffering? It is in fact indescribable joy. This view is only a half-truth, as happiness itself will undoubtedly be transformed into pain and suffering. But when the happiness turns to pain, one is usually either unaware or oblivious. Hence, the stubborn dispute with the Buddha who say: "Where there is love, there is happiness."
Nevertheless, even though the Buddhist view is that love is suffering, this does not mean that the Buddha forbade people to love or intended to censure love. On the contrary, he wanted us to learn how to love with maturity. When we love with maturity, we will be aware of the illusion of love and be able to find happiness in suffering. And when the happiness turns into pain, we will be able to deal with it accordingly.
Buddhism sees love as eventual suffering but it teaches us to treat love in happiness and teaches us how to "find happiness in suffering." This is the essence of the Buddhist philosophy. Whoever begins to love or have a lover should never overlook the teachings of dhamma because love without an awreness of dhamma usually leads to a tragic and dire outcome!
Understanding Your Lover's Temperament :
"Them perament" is here taken to mean habits, inclinations or personality traits. One of the major reasons that each couple should take some time to learn about each other before deciding to conjoin their lives is to " study" each other so they know the other's true "temperament". Once understood, they can adjust themselves to each other more readily. However, studying your lover without instructions or guidelines from a manual may put you at risk of deception or the ill luck of meeting someone of an incomplatible temperament. Instead of becoming lovers, couples like this may, ill-advisedly, become adversaries.
" The Six Temperaments, the Art of Mind-reading" (extracted from the Visuddhimarga book of Buddhist scripture) is a bestseller by Anussorn chandaphan and Boonchai Kosolthanakul summarising people's six temeraments that form character traits, inclinations, weaknesses and strengths to act as a guideline in judging people, as follows:
- Good personality, fine bearing
- Gentle, soft-speaking, well-mannered
- Attached to beauty, looks, fragrance, beautiful sounds and good taste
- Not intellectually inclined but imaginative and prone to daydreaming
- Delicate, sensitive and refined
- Observant, good at data collection
- having admirable looks and offering a favourable presence to onlookers
- Sweet-talking, affable to all
- Good at coordinating, public relations and personality-oriented jobs
- Having a short span of focus, reluctant to work on a large scale
- Having no goal in life
- Possessing no leadership
- Lacking in principles
- Self-indulgent of the five senses: sight, taste, smell, sound and touch
- Sweet-talking but may be insincere
- Passionate, jealous, inclined to fabricate
How to improve
- To contemplate on the harmfulness of an unfocused mind
- To strengthen the mind by meditating
- To find definite goals in life
- To contemplate physical defilements and thereby to detach oneself from the domination of the senses: sight, taste, smell, sound and toch
- Irritable, irascible
- Expecting the world to be what one thinks it should be
- Judgmental, fastidious, strict on rules and regulations
- Neatly-dressed, well-groomed
- Fast-walking with an upright gait
- Dedicated to work
- Highly disciplined, punctual
- Analytical, objective
- True to one's word
- Sincere to others, dependable
- Not overwhelmingly greedy
- Irritable, agitated
- Lacking in amiability, without presence
- Verbally abusive
- Prone to illness
How to improve:
- To be constantly self-observant
- To generate goodwill and loving-kindness frequently
- To think before speaking and speak one word at a time; to listen to one thing at a time
- Not to take the world so seriously
- To accept new ideas with an open mind
- To contemplate the harm of anger on one's physical health
- Sleeply, lethargic, bored, tired
- Sad eyes
- Soft-spoken, gentle
- Readily smiling, hardly ever ill-tempered, hardly ever angry
- Unsociable, preferring to stay out of th elime light
- Loitering, walking aimlessly without resolution
- Having concentration, understanding things easily and clearly
- Intuitive and making the right decision based on intuition
- Good at work, especially desk jobs
- Hardly ever suffers from stress
- A pleasant, affable person who means no harm to others
- Lacking in confidence, self-underestimating, always self-blaming
- Self- absorbed, uninterested in others
- Mentally disorganised, seemingly uninformed
- Lacking leadership, disliking the limelight
- Having a flighty and short span of focus, easily bored
- Sensitive, easily hurt
How to improve:
- To set a clear goal in life
- To strengthen mental powers by meditating
- To remove the mind from emotion through physicalmotion, by engaging in sports
- To seek knowledge and organise one's mental framework
- To introduce novelty into life and avoid repetition
- A chatterbox
- Scatter-brained, unrealistic
- pessimistic, paranoid, fearful of being taken advantage of or having one's leg pulled
- Sour-faced, hardly ever smiling
- Domineering, having a strong ego, overconfident
- Curious and prying
- A great thinker who sees things through
- Apersuasive speaker, a leader in many fields
- Prudent, cautious and meticulous
- Spot slight mistakes others do not see
- Petty, seeing small things, forgetting the big picture
- Constantly changing one's mind, not keeping promises
- Only thinking, having no feeling, no judgment, hesitant always making the wrong decision
- Querulous, always taking advantage and hurting others
- Always in destress, seeing only problems without solutions
How to improve:
- To choose to think without letting thoughts drag you on
- To practise breathing meditation to calm down
- To stop malicious thoughts and avoid distraction
- To adopt disciplines and build time frames
- To see the big picture, think all around
- To try to be optimistic
- To develop the right side of the brain
- Believing firmly in individuals, principles or ideologies
- Emphatic in what one believes in
- Seeing onself as better, more admirable and nobler than others
- Serious, speaking with principles
- Having a strong and powerful mind
- Ready to sacrifice for others
- Wanting to change oneself and make society better
- Possessing enormous drive
- Having leadership
- Credulous, gullible, possessing faith beyond reason
- The greater the faith, the less the intellect
- Narrow- minded, not accepting differing opinions
- Capable of doing anything, however violent, to achieve a goal
How to improve:
- To observe Kalama Sutta, using reason over faith
- To use wisdom as a beacon and faith as a drive
- To embrace new ideas with an open mind
- To downsize the " I and Mine" complex
- To reduce the attachment to individuals or ideologies
- Rationally thinking
- Ready to accept differing ideas from one's own
- Seeing things as they are, without embellishing them
- Having loving-kindness, not taking advantage of others
- Glowing face, glittering eyes, without suffering
- Seeing reasons clearly, knowing how to solve problems correctly
- Low ego, open-minded
- Mind dwelling in the present, not wallowing in the past and not anticipating the future
- Always self-bettering and self-improving
- A true friend
- Inert, having no desire for spiritual development
- Always having an easy life, may be unable to servive if faced with negative forces
- No leadership; mind not powerful enough to attract and persuade people
How to improve:
- To ask oneself whether one is contented with the current situation
- To strengthen mindfulness, concentration and mental drive
- To increase loving-kindness and do more good for society
Choosing your partner in life is like building a house. If the design in misconstrued it will be unsatisfactorily rendered. To tear it down is a waste of money; not to, is a waste of heart. Most importantly, if it is a matrimonial home, the chances of readjusting taste and compatibility like house deconstruction are less likely.
Hence, when you have time, you should ask your loved one to sit and "study his/her temperament' so as to see which elements are not compatible with yours so you can find the means to adjust yourselves at your earliest convenience.
" Know them, know us, win a hundred victories out of a hundred battles," says Sun Tzu. This wisdom is not only applicable to warfare but is also relevant to choosing life partnership.
Looking through the " Selves" of The One
People have multidimensional or multifaceted selves. In psychology, it is accepted that people can have multiple personalities, not only dual personalities in those that are dubbed "two-faced" but also triple or quadruple personalities in one person. They are one thing to one person and anoter in the social circle. At home, alone, they are one person but amidst family they turn tehmselves into another.
Human dimensions or the complicated natures of each individual are thus as numerous as the fleeting thoughts that pop into our heads daily.
Whatever one thinks, one shows oneself as such. One's "self" is the shadow or manifestation of one's own thinking.
Have you ever asked yourself what your true self is?
What your loved one's true self is?
If you cannot answer these two questions, living together happily may become a problem. It may be a small problem for some couples but a major one for others, so much so that it may become a " severed love" or a "broken bed" or a "river split into single tributaries" such as in the prominent cases of several super-star couples.
Before marrying or before choosing your life partner, you should study each other so well, delve thoroughly into the core of your children's future parents in order to know what your darling's unexpressed true self is.
In my opinion, human identity is divisible into 7 selves, as follows:
1. The congenital self that has been since childhood to adulthood, which is deeply ingrained so as to become the inherent nature of character. This self remains whatever it has always been, no matter how many days, how many years have lapsed.
2. The social self, which is adopted when socialising or hanging out with friends. It is the self according to place and time so as to be well-dressed when going out to a social function but shirtless or in pyjamas at home; it is easy-going, not using phones, etc.
3. The circumstantial self, which is adopted for role-playing at any given time, such as being one person as a singer on stage and in front of the press but another person after the work is done. Or it may be one person in uniform but out of uniform, it may be gay or overtly "artistic"
4. The ad hoe self, which is adopted when needing to overcome someone or to rise to the occasion in getting attention or adding value to attract someone else. This is also known as the pre-sale "illusory" self or " promotional" self. Everything is set to look on top form so as to catch the attention of the target. It can also be called the "catered self"
5. The aroused self, which is adopted under the influence of a stimulant, be it alcohol or narcotics. For example, a person may usually be taciturn, quiet and reticent but under the influence he/she becomes talkative and chatterbox, querulous, extravagant, boisterous and unbridled, harmful or incessantly talks about the past, or whatever other traits may emerge under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
6. The aspirational self, reurrently emerging in flashes, such as with a beautiful singer wanting to reach international fame showing off how she is "special" compared to others, so as to use this " special self" for the future use of the " aspirational self"
7. The fulfulled self, adopted with mental training to become a mindful person who has thorough self-awareness, proper behaviour and uses self-expression wisely without falling prey to the fantasy selves.
When you are attracted by or fall in love with anyone, don't be rash in your decision to choose him/her, as " what really counts is invisible to the eye." Whoever marries because of simply believing in what is seen with out learning to do some analytical research into "the true self" of chosen faces the high probability of ending up with " a broken bed", losing face, having marred credentials and wanting to stay away forever from married life.
Therefore, before choosing anyone as your life partner, take care to do the field research thoroughly and devote enough time to studying each other fully, The more care you take, the more profoundly you will know each other and the more you will discover the true self of the one you love-how he/she is , his/her hidden agenda, strengths, weaknesses, selling points and vulnerabilities.
Better choose well now so that when your love becomes your life partner, he/she will be your soul mate, the one you've dreamed of your whole life.
W.Vajiramedhi, Love Management, Amarin Publishing, Bangkok, first published 2007, 2nd editon 2010.