Alone and Together

Being alone does not imply aloneness – being with someone does not guarantee togetherness.

Todd Beal

One can be physically separated from others yet never experience the feeling of loneliness. One can be physically with others but not feel anything but lonely. One can be physically together with his or her spouse, even intimately, yet experience no togetherness, no sharing of one another, but not feel lonely. Loneliness comes when a person strongly desires the fellowship of at least one other person but life denies it. The reason could be separation by physical distance, mental or physical illness, depression, or inhibitions within the personality. Whatever the case, loneliness does not come from being alone, but from denied – yet desired – fellowship with others. The feeling of togetherness comes when a person feels important, accepted, and related to, while in the company of someone with whom he or she desires fellowship. But the feeling of fellowship will not happen if there exists an unresolved personality conflict, no personal chemistry, or sufficient distraction. One cannot experience the feelings of loneliness and togetherness at the same time. It is possible, however, to never experience togetherness and not feel lonely, yet impossible to feel lonely without first desiring fellowship and denied the privilege.

We owe to each other the fellowship we each desire. We owe to each other the freedom to be a unique individual without interference. One person’s fellowship is another person’s loneliness and loss of freedom, and one person’s feeling of freedom is but denied fellowship for the other. We will only gain freedom and fellowship when we make it our business to understand first, the unique design of our fellow man and our self.

Advertisements

About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
This entry was posted in By Title [A], Relating, Solitude and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Alone and Together

  1. Madison Woods says:

    Todd, what you’ve written explains a lot. Now I have a greater understanding of some of the ‘why’s in my life. Thanks!

    Like

  2. Todd,

    Thank you for agreeing with me on Madison’s blog. I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about life and the relationships between everything. I believe that in everything there has to be a balance. If we look at the physical plane it shows us this. Hot and cold, positive and negative, good and bad, man and woman, love and hate, life and death. All of these things cannot exist without the other. But in some, there is what I feel the natural state. An example, is dark and light. Darkness is the natural state of light and dark. Not the other way around. It takes energy to produce light but darkness exists without any input, and when there is light it will eventually return to darkness. The same thing goes for life and death. Where there is life it will eventually return to the natural state of death. Some people call this a cycle and it may well be. But I believe that neither one can exist without the other. Light cannot exist without darkness. Life cannot exist without death. So in some ways there is a symbiotic relationship.

    Like you I believe that we were not meant to be alone. But sometimes we give up so much of ourselves to try to feel companionship that we lose who we are. I recently divorced after 30 years of marriage. I poured my heart and soul, time and money, and gave up all my dreams to try and make it work only to find out that nothing I did would make it work. Fortunately I have found someone, and after the divorce I had all but given up on finding anyone or even had the desire to be with anyone. It all happened by happenstance, and every day I feel more and more that it was meant to be. We are creatures of our senses, sight, smell, hearing, touching, and smelling. These subtule inputs drive our emotions and sometimes our actions. Chemical agents that we disburse cause reactions in our minds and body that we don’t always know happened. We are here for such a short time and life is such a precious thing it seems a waste not to share it with someone else. But if we give too much of ourselves we lose who we are. That’s what happened to me. I had to rediscover who I was, and now I know. I have always held true to the belief of the statement I made on Madison’s blog. That we are born alone, we live alone, and we will die alone. We are each individuals first but the balance I spoke of causes us to search for someone, or something, that fills that gap we know as loneliness. Studies done by NASA showed that a single person without companionship could not endure for a very long. I thought that I could be happy living by myself and that’s what I plan to do after my divorce. I don’t believe in destiny or fate. I believe we control our own destiny. But I do know that I’m here for a reason. So in that sense there must be something else providing input to where I’m going and what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not a religious person but I do believe there are higher powers. I believe it’s all about choices. Every choice we make on the road of life changes where we will end up. And as our real knowledge grows and we journey closer to our final path we choose only what we can and must do. It’s the journey as they say, and not the destination. I believe that.

    Thank you for your time I enjoyed reading your blog have a great day.

    Robert

    Like

    • Todd Beal says:

      Robert,

      First, I enjoyed your comment on Madison’s post, “What kind of investment are you?” It is well thought out and very meaningful. It is most rare to find a post of that quality, and at the same time, a visitor comment that qualitatively fits hand in glove with that post. That was a rare treat.

      With that said, I am anxious to pass along some of my discoveries regarding your comment on this post, the one to which I am now replying.

      | If we look at the physical plane it shows us this. Hot and cold, positive and negative, good and bad, man and woman, love and hate, life and death. All of these things cannot exist without the other. |

      It is certainly true that in the physical plane, hot and cold, positive and negative, and man and woman cannot exist, one without the other. However, regarding good and bad, and love and hate, a closer look reveals the opposite. Let’s say, for instance, that I love the woman to whom I am married. Must I, to achieve balance, simultaneously hate her with the same intensity as that with which I love her? Or, on the other hand, let’s say that I hate the woman to whom I am married. Must I, to achieve balance, love her with the same intensity as that with which I hate her?

      Where there is love there is no hate, and where there is hate there is no love. Of course, love and hate are directly tied to good and bad; see “Balancing Good and Bad” and “Apart from Love”. Regarding these relational pairings – love and hate, and good and bad – no balance exists between them, and never has, nor can it. Good (love) is the source, sustenance, and transformation of life; bad is the attempted destruction of that life. Suffice to say then, good needs nothing other than itself for existence, but bad depends on the very existence of good just to remain in existence.

      | Life cannot exist without death. |

      This falls in the same categories as good and bad, and love and hate. Life exists for the sake of itself, to beget more and increasingly more life. Death exists only to extinguish life. Life existed before death and therefore does not need death to balance its own existence.

      In a strange sort of way, one could say that life contains both life and death, in that, the more life abounds the more death it destroys. On the other hand, death contains no life, only death, and the more life it takes, the more deadly it becomes. Life begets life, but death begets death only by taking more life. The Truth Behind Reality post, “Become Fully Human”, thoroughly addresses this life and death issue.

      I dove into all this because I sense that like me, you are searching for answers, not the same recycled rhetoric passed down for generations.

      | Like you I believe that we were not meant to be alone. But sometimes we give up so much of ourselves to try to feel companionship that we lose who we are. |

      The post, “All Things to All People”, goes hand in hand with your statement here. I believe you will find it beneficial.

      Robert, even in my disagreement with that very small portion of your comment here, I enjoyed reading your content and writing style; you write both authoritatively and fluidly. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to your return visit.

      Todd Beal

      Like

  3. Todd,

    First of all thank you. You have a rare perspective of things. It’s refreshing to find someone else who’s not afraid to express their views. So often we as people and more as individuals are so heavily influenced by society and how they view us. Freethinking is the basis for all new discoveries. I would like to reply to some things that you so beautifully pointed out. Your view on good and bad and love and hate are good ones. My views are based on ideals I have gleaned throughout my life. When I say good cannot exist without bad or love without hate I quantify that by comparing love and hate first. When I say love cannot exist without hate I simply mean that they show the two extremes of each other. They can exist together you can love someone and hate them at the same time. Love and hate are the baselines of two extremes. It’s the same with good and bad we base our view of good by the observation of bad. If we did not know what “bad” was how could we know what good is. But the one thing that really stands out in your reply to me is the relationship between life and death.

    You stated that death exists only to extinguish life. I disagree. I challenge you to show me one instance where life can exist without death. Life by its very nature feeds off death. Your existence is fueled by the death of living things. Even the very stars in our universe feet off the death of other stars and matter. In order for there to be life, something must die to sustain it. Death does contain life in that it sustains life. One cannot exist without the other. Life by its very nature consumes to exist. Without death life would consume itself and finally balance with death.

    And yes, I have searched for answers all my life. While some people choose to ignore the very world and universe around them I choose to learn as much as I can. I value knowledge and truth as some people value gold. I really enjoyed reading your reply and I think I have found someone else who I would love to talk with about these things. Your views mean a lot to me and I value your opinion. I have added your blog to my favorites and will continue to visit your site making posts when I have time. Since you seem to have a wide view of things in perspective I pose the following question to you. Where does the universe end? And how can it.

    Thank you for your reply I look forward to talking with you in the future. I’m working on writing my first book. Madison has inspired me to pick writing back up again. I started a book long ago but never finished it. Have a great day and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

    Robert

    Like

    • Todd Beal says:

      | When I say love cannot exist without hate I simply mean that they show the two extremes of each other. They can exist together you can love someone and hate them at the same time. |

      Love and hate together form a contradiction, as in “I went to the store but at the same I stayed home.” Love and hate cannot occupy the same space at the same time. You can love your mate at the same time as hating her actions or behavior toward you, but you cannot love her at the same time as hating her person. Love and hate are not two sides of a coin, and neither are they extremes of each other. Either you love your mate, or you hate her, but never both. Why, because love shares its space with nothing else, just as hate shares its space with nothing else. When one moves in, the other moves out.

      However, some things do exist in necessary oppositional partnership, as in alkaline and acidic. Each serves to neutralize the other, thus providing our physical PH balance; without one or the other we would die. Love and hate on the other hand cannot neutralize each other; either hate replaces love or love replaces hate and never the twain shall meet.

      | If we did not know what “bad” was how could we know what good is. |

      Knowledge of bad is not requisite to knowing that good is good. However, knowledge of good is requisite to knowing that bad is bad. Only when confronted with choosing between the two does it become necessary to identify good and bad as uniquely separate for comparison. Good (the offspring of truth) always enlightens, always informs, and always facilitates our study of it. It illuminates everything, itself and bad. Bad, on the other hand, always champions itself as good to disguise its destructive nature. “I hate you but am justified in doing so.” “Sure I swindled those people out of their money, but they had it coming; they were rich and greedy.” Bad is never good, and regardless how much good it uses to justify its masquerade, bad is never justified despite the end result.

      Robert, the real issue here is not good or bad, life or death, or love or hate. The underlying issue that you present here is identity (it is what it is) versus relativity (it is what it is in terms of its comparison to something else). The Truth Behind Reality post “Achieving Objectivity” takes a fairly good look at this issue.

      You have the rare ability to see the relationship that exists between things (dissimilar or otherwise). I will go as far as saying that you can probably see the relationship between things that most people cannot. This is so important to you that you have made finding the universal relationship between all things your ultimate life goal (whatever the arena).

      If indeed this is your natural talent, then I recommend the following to achieve your goal.

      • First, practice identifying things (literally anything) in terms of what it is, resisting the natural urge to relate it to something else. In other words research it, study it, learn of it separately from all others. What is its source (where does it come from); to what category(s) does it belong; what is its history; what are its characteristics; what are its strengths and weaknesses? What does it depend upon; what depends upon it?
      • Second, identify its function. What does it do; what purpose does it serve: why?
      • Third, now and only now, search for its relationship to something else. The reason for this step occurring last is that you now have the necessary understanding to use that something as your focal point of reference. You now have something to relate other things to, instead of putting it in terms of something else. Following these steps from here on out will go a long way toward achieving your goal.

      This process will train your mind and senses to accurately separate identity from the relationship between identities, as they are two interdependent sides of the same coin. Each of us is naturally bent toward one or the other at the expense of the other. The problem arises when we try to learn of the opposite through our naturally gifted side. In your and my case, we naturally try to identify things through their relationship to other things. For every great ability there also exists an opposing handicap. In your case, this handicap is the inability to identify something for what it is apart from its relationship to something else. Ironically, the only way to find the crucial relationship between any two things is to first identify each for what it truly is, separately from the others. This includes roles within marriage, individuality versus relationships, love and hate, good and evil, black and white, a supernova versus a solar flare, men versus women, even a hat versus a glass of water, the list goes on.

      | You stated that death exists only to extinguish life. I disagree. I challenge you to show me one instance where life can exist without death. Life by its very nature feeds off death. Your existence is fueled by the death of living things. |

      My body itself is not life; it is a container for life. It is a dying physical organism that existentially depends on life released by other dying organisms. Physical death is none other than the loss of something’s capability to contain life, resulting in its release of that life. Life itself is indestructible; otherwise life would die simultaneously along with an organism’s physical death. For all things there exists a source, with all sources converging back unto one source, life. If then, life is the source of all things then it contains no death and is therefore self-sustaining apart from death.  This renders death secondary to life, and life, primary to all.

      A loosely related Truth Behind Reality post, “Approval Not Required”, presents my formal argument for this issue (consider the comments as part of the post).

      | Have a great day and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. |

      I wish you the same, Robert; Merry Christmas and may God richly bless you!

      Like

    • Todd Beal says:

      | Where does the universe end? And how can it. |

      Robert, I just noticed that I inadvertently overlooked your question.  I want you to know that I have worked out a proof for this “bounds of the universe” conundrum but will post my argument at a later date; possibly sooner than later.

      Like

    • Lance Ponder says:

      //You stated that death exists only to extinguish life. I disagree. I challenge you to show me one instance where life can exist without death. //

      Robert, I know you asked Todd, not me, but I can’t help but toss in my two cents. I hope you don’t mind. Jesus rose from the dead to live eternally at the right hand of the Father. Still death involved, you say? Okay, what about 1 Th 4:17 – some will never taste death. Jn 8:51 says that anyone who “keeps my word” will never die (Jesus speaking). Perhaps you were only speaking of the physical realm involving only the mortal body. You might have meant that, but that’s not what you said. In the physical universe we have that pesky second law of thermodynamics (entropy) that does bring everything down to equilibrium (death) eventually.

      //Where does the universe end? And how can it.//

      It must. God is eternal. God created the heavens and the earth. There was a finite starting point. We can debate how far back it was, but it was and there’s no getting around it. Einstein’s relativity confirms what scripture reveals – the universe expanded (Gen 1:6) from some finite starting point (Gen 1:2). If it was finite at the start, then stretched (and is still stretching as far as we can tell), then no matter how vast it may be it is still finite.

      I speak not in confrontation, but to offer illumination. Or at least to create an entry point for dialog.

      Like

  4. Lance Ponder says:

    Opposites tend not to coexist. In reading through some of the previous comments I find I have a different notion of what constitutes an opposite among some of the pairings of supposed opposites discussed. Specifically, the idea that love and hate are opposites is popular, but fundamentally erroneous. If both are passionate emotions then I suppose you would see them as opposite ends of the same scale. You can’t be at both ends of the same scale at the same time. Right? But I don’t think that’s a very good way of looking at love. There is the type of love that is an emotion, but that’s just because the English language lacks the depth to differentiate types of love. To try and put that into English… love isn’t merely a feeling, though there are plenty of warm and fuzzy feelings we associate with love. Those feelings are what is generally thought of when we say love and hate are opposites. Warm and cold are at opposites ends of the same scale and warm feelings associated with love are at the opposite end from the coldness of hate. In that respect one is fire and the other ice. But that only addresses the feelings, not the thing itself. Love itself is not an emotion. Emotion is a noun. Love is a verb. Love acts. The kinds of acts that are love are acts which are born from a selfless “other-centered” view. Love puts others ahead of self. Paul writes that love is patient, kind, compassionate, and so on. Those words all describe the way one addresses (verb) another. If I am patient with you, it means I set aside my pace to operate at your pace. If I’m kind or compassionate it means I care (verb) about you. That puts focus on others instead of self. That’s love. Hate is also about the other. Hate brings out negative action, but it still looks outward. In my humble opinion, the better word to use as an opposite to love is selfishness. One who is selfish puts self ahead of others. Love puts others ahead of self. Let’s consider what the bible says about this for clarification.

    God is love (1 Jn 4:8). God also hates (Ps 11:5). How can both of these words describe God if they are truly opposites? God so loved the world that He sacrificed Christ to save us. The act is the love. Hatred is an emotional response, but God’s love is proactive apart from emotion. Since they are not true opposites, they certainly can and do coexist, albeit uncomfortably. God hates the wicked (Ps 11:5), yet loves us enough to sacrifice Jesus while we were yet wicked (Ro 5:8). How can such a thing be? There is a strong passionate emotional response to sin (hatred), yet the action (love), which reflects God’s character, takes the selfless step to atone for the wicked so that it becomes possible to reconcile the wicked to the just.

    Like

    • Todd Beal says:

      Lance,

      | Hatred is an emotional response, but God’s love is proactive apart from emotion. Since they are not true opposites, they certainly can and do coexist, albeit uncomfortably.

      So then, for the sake of argument, is it possible for humans to both simultaneously love and hate another person?  Additionally, how would you distinguish God’s hate from our human hate?

      Like

      • Lance Ponder says:

        The following is an excerpt adapted from a comment I made elsewhere, however I think it embodies my answer to the present question:

        Sometimes you’ll see something that tells you one thing but research elsewhere will tell you something that seems to be the opposite. Do you conclude there’s a contradiction so one (or both) passages are wrong and the bible is flawed? If you go down that road you may as well quit altogether. No, but you might have to get help – from the Spirit and perhaps from other experts. Conditions matter and context matters. For example, God hates the wicked (Ps 11:5), yet God loves us so much He sent Jesus to die for us while we were yet sinners (Ro 5:8). Which is it? Either God hates sinners or He loves sinners. Isn’t that a problem? No. The problem isn’t some imagined conflict between David and Paul. The problem is our understanding of what the words love and hate really mean. There’s also a different application. God does hate sin and He does hate those who are wicked. God really does hate those who commit homosexual acts and who kill babies. God hates all sin and all who commit sin. We are ALL under wrath and we deserve destruction, every single one of us. Since God also loves us and is patient with the sinner in hopes of conversion, then love must not be the true opposite of hate. And when you realize this it explains what appears to be a very troubling paradox.

        Love is about being other-centered. Hate is about rejection. Love makes mercy and grace possible, not as the opposite of hate (love does not mean to embrace), but because love is the active element which heals what is rejected and restores what is broken. Love covers a multitude of sin because it chooses to fix the source, not embrace the result. [to the original comment I am adding the following:] It is a conscious choice made by the divine mind (divine logos). Since we are made in God’s image, each of us individually has the choice to love. Have you ever wondered how Jesus could tell us to love our enemies? He didn’t say “don’t hate your enemy” because that’s not what he meant. He meant to love your enemy – make the choice to heal in spite of your hate. The hate will go away when the healing is complete, assuming the love is accepted. The active effort to heal is still love and your love is no more or less because it was accepted or rejected, no matter how you feel about it emotionally. One more fine point to this: love takes the initiative, but hate is reactionary. Reactionary love isn’t agape love at all, but an warm private emotion. Agape love sees what it hates and takes the initiative to try and heal, to restore, to forgive, whether it is accepted or not. If you want proof I would refer you to Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

        Like

  5. This is a great conversation. Thanks Todd for inviting me to participate.

    Going back to your original post and the discussion of togetherness and loneliness: I live in an area where a near-majority of people are of the same religious denomination. A congregation of about 400 members generally resides in an area less than 4 suburban blocks square. These congregations are called “wards”. Each of these neighborhood units has its own leadership, men’s, women’s, youth and children’s organizations, and all active members have a “calling” or assignment to teach, lead, plan, or minister to other families. As in any neighborhood, people move in and out regularly. It’s always amazing to me to see the differences in attitude that new people can have toward our ward within a few weeks after moving in. I’ll visit one family and they will be enthusiastic about how friendly and helpful the ward members are. They are excited and ready to make as many new friends as possible. Another young couple might be less thrilled. They might have come from a place where they felt welcome and part of the community. Now, they feel like outsiders and doubt the sincerity of their new neighbors. They doubt the bishop’s inspiraton regarding their new callings and assignments, and they feel they “just don’t fit in.” Both families got the same greeting and welcome, and in both cases both families received the same integrations efforts in their new neighborhood.

    I learned shortly after I moved into the neighborhood that how “connected” I feel depends entirely on my willingness to connect. Only after I jumped in, volunteered for service and more completely fulfilled my assignment as a family teacher did I start to feel a part of the community. In otherwords, I was “alone” until I reached out. Too many people wait around for others to reach out to them, and are soon disappointed. This disappointment, if not followed with communication, can soon fester into alienation, cynicism, and further withdrawal. We see this in the Church as people become offended by some offhand comment and cease church activity altogether. They were already disconnected, and were just looking for an excuse to sever any remaining ties. Thus they maintain their pride, but suffer the terrible loss of the fellowship of the saints.

    As far as the conversation between you and Lance about love and hate toward one person co-existing, I can’t imagine it. We can’t serve two masters (Luke 16:13), and I take that to include meaning two overriding emotional outlooks. Both hate and love can apply to people and things. Despite how the Old Testament can sometimes read, I don’t believe God hates any of his children. However, he detests some of our behaviors and sometimes has no choice but to destroy us physically to keep us from destroying ourselves spiritually. If I had a wayard adult son who got addicted to hard drugs, I could respond by throwing him out of my house, telling him I never want to see him again and he is no longer my son. The more godlike approach would be to tell him that I will not tolerate drugs or drug users in my home, and that he will need to remove himself until those things cease. However, it would be made clear to him that in the very moment that he makes a commitment to sobriety and repentance, he will be welcomed home with open arms (Luke 15).

    Their are such things as “righteous anger” and “vengeful wrath”, and Jesus did not sin in his violent cleansing of the temple or his denunciations of the scribes and pharisees. Did he both love and hate at these times? I believe he loved the people but hated the sins. With his actions he hoped to awaken them to a sense of their own guilt, which would hopefully lead to repentance.

    I agree with Lance that selfishness is the opposite of love, because love is composed almost entirely of selflessness when directed toward other people. In my experience, people who “hate” generally hate themselves more than anyone else, and their ill feelings directed toward others are motivated by envy more than anything else. It is possible to reach a point where you are “past feeling”, and incapable of love.

    Like

    • Todd Beal says:

      | I learned shortly after I moved into the neighborhood that how “connected” I feel depends entirely on my willingness to connect. |

      Michael, that makes a lot of sense. We can go through the motions of connecting to others (conversation, physical embrace, etc), but without the willingness to become internally open to that connection, the feeling of connectedness remains elusive. I may have numerous ‘friends’, but if I am not open to receiving or participating in their friendship, I cannot experience the joy of companionship.

      | As far as the conversation between you and Lance about love and hate toward one person co-existing, I can’t imagine it. We can’t serve two masters (Luke 16:13), and I take that to include meaning two overriding emotional outlooks. |

      Like you, Michael, this doesn’t naturally sit well with me. However, after reading Lance Ponder’s full explanation of ‘Love versus Hate’, something tells me that we are looking through the lens of human personality, thus overlooking the meaning as it applies to God’s character/nature. I presume it will be some time before I am completely settled on this alternate explanation. I must say, Lance provides a compelling argument that raises some disturbing questions, questions for which I need answers. I am anxious to begin my own research. It has been a long time since I have worked on something of this magnitude.

      | I agree with Lance that selfishness is the opposite of love, because love is composed almost entirely of selflessness when directed toward other people. |

      Yes, I’m right there with you. What a true statement!

      Like

  6. Madison Woods says:

    What an interesting conversation you guys have going on here. I’d like to comment on the issue of love/hate. The rest of the conversation is interesting too, but with the limited time I have right now, I think I’ll just try to stay on subject with this one aspect.

    To me, Love seems to be a natural state. It takes effort to Hate and much work to sustain. I’m not talking about the various species of love, but only unconditional Love. It is not specific to humanitarian love, so it can’t be called ‘brotherly love’ unless we refer to all of creation as our brothers. To love in this way is not a reaction, it’s not an emotion, and it’s not conditional. Hate is always dependent on those things.

    With that frame of reference, it is possible to hate while also loving, but it is not truly flip sides of the same coin because the two states are not the same. If we say we hate a person, it is not truly that we hate the person, but what they have done to us, how they have made us feel. It is a response to an action (or non-action as the case may be). If we are able to differentiate this, then we can hate while loving. Sometimes a person becomes so consumed with hating that they are unable to remember how to love. The ability is always there, even if it becomes latent. Its like forgetting how to breathe normally and only breathing in choppy short breaths because we are constantly in a hurry or angry or otherwise stressed. It takes effort to remember how to breathe properly, but it can be done.

    In an act of self love, it sometimes becomes necessary to remove ourselves from situations or company that contributes to our own declining health (whether this is mental, physical, or spiritual). To do this, we don’t have to cease loving the person we remove ourselves from. This sort of act is in the higher interest of ourselves and the other, even if it hurts because it causes emotional pain.

    There’s so much more that can be said on this topic. I’m interested in reading the responses and thoughts from others as they come in. Thanks for enabling a dialogue with differences in opinion and belief systems that still speaks to the heart of Truth, Todd.

    Like

    • Todd Beal says:

      | It takes effort to Hate and much work to sustain. I’m not talking about the various species of love, but only unconditional Love. It is not specific to humanitarian love, so it can’t be called ‘brotherly love’ unless we refer to all of creation as our brothers. To love in this way is not a reaction, it’s not an emotion, and it’s not conditional. Hate is always dependent on those things. |

      Absolutely, hate is a bottomless sink hole that sucks the life out of us, quite literally. I particularly enjoy your reasoning for the difference between hate and unconditional love. I have not thought of it this way but will from now on.

      | With that frame of reference, it is possible to hate while also loving, but it is not truly flip sides of the same coin because the two states are not the same. |

      Madison, I really appreciate your explanation of this very difficult and potentially controversial subject. As I stated in my reply to Michael Knudsen’s excellent comment, there is more to this issue than what initially seems apparent. Your comment here is very much in line with Lance Ponder’s compelling argument. If at some point time allows you to further elaborate, I would surely welcome it.

      Like

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Madison, you have made some very interesting points. Your approach is a little different, but you’ve some some very thoughtful things. I will cherish what I’ve learned as it deepens my own understanding. I think one of the most striking things you mentioned was “higher interest.” That is truly a vital aspect of love. Love trumps because love has a higher interest. Again, that’s something higher than self. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  7. pbus1 says:

    Hello Todd,
    I read this post, a while ago. The conversation has evolved quite a bit, since that time. During this conversation, as well as many others on your blog, the comments definitely become an integral part of your original post. Your blog is a safe haven, where the participants are able to agree to disagree, and not become disagreeable! You moderate the conversations with such grace and ease. I applaud you for that. Great post!

    Paulette

    Like

    • Todd Beal says:

      Paulette, I really appreciate your feedback, including your reference to this blog as a safe haven. My constant goal for Truth Behind Reality is to build the bridge of understanding, to provide an environment conducive to constructive dialog.

      The following philosophy underlies my approach to building this blog. It is crucial for a person to fight for what he or she believes – as it builds the mental faculties through logic and reason – but at the same time, it is also crucial for a person to remember that we are not the source of truth; we are merely the facilitation. The moment we forget this is the moment we put ourselves ahead of truth, essentially telling the world “I am truth, and I expect everyone to accept my words as gospel with no rebuttal.” Building our dialog around these principles allows us to affectively critique – as well as positively agree with – each other’s thoughts without championing destructive pride or ego.

      Paulette, I also want you to know that your genuine compliments mean a lot to me. It is one thing for me to attempt a right course of action; it is quite another to hear you say that that attempt is working well to the benefit of others. Thank you very much.

      Like

Comments are closed.