Brian Wilcox 'Impatiens Blossoms'
Love, you might say, is the burning point of life, and since all life is sorrowful, so is love. And the stronger the love, the more that pain, but love bears all things. Love itself is a pain, you might say, but is the pain of being truly alive.
*Joseph Campbell. The Power of Myth.
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Howard Thurman, "Thou Shalt Love" -
How I must seek ever the maintenance of the kind of relatedness to others that will feed the springs of kindness and sympathy in me! I shall study how I may be tender without being soft; gracious without being ingratiating; kind without being sentimental; and understanding without being judgmental. Here in the quietness, I shall give myself in love to my neighbors.
*Meditations of the Heart.
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The Sage's talk was "Boundless Love." After the gathering, one of the group walked up to the Sage.
"Your talk saddened me, for I can never love like that."
"Very good," observed the Sage.
"Why is that good?" came the reply.
"Two reasons. First, that you're sad you can't love as you need to, that means you truly want to. Also, recognizing you can't, that's where you begin to learn what it's like to let Spirit love through you the way Spirit can. See, once you surrender even your claim to be able to love at all, you see love expressing through you and know it's not you loving anyone or anything. You know, then, the bliss of being a conduit of the ever-flowing River of Grace."
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In the movie "The Village," Covington is a small village that is nearly perfect, for woods said to be populated by deadly beasts surround it. As long as all villagers remain in the village, they will be safe.
The blind heroine, Ivy Walker, and the hero, Lucius Hunt, have declared their intent to marry. Everyone is happy for them except "the village idiot," Noah Percy. Percy visits Lucius in his home. As Lucius begins to explain about different kinds of love, Noah stabs him. Later, Ivy discovers Lucius nearly dead.
Ivy approaches her father and pleads for permission to help save Lucius. She declares, "I'm in love with him; he's in love with me. If he dies, all that is left to me would die with him." Ivy asks to do the unthinkable. Though blind, she requests to leave the security of the village and cross the forbidden woods. She is willing to travel through the beast-ridden forest to enter the towns beyond. There, Ivy would find the medicine to help save her beloved, Lucius. Her father grants her request.
Ivy sets out with two male companions, who both early abandon her. They hurry back to the refuge of the village. She continues alone and makes her way to the outskirts of the forest. There, in the towns, she finds the medicine and returns to the village.
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M. Night Shyamalan has given us a scene reminiscent of the teaching on Divine love (Greek, agape), as taught in the New Testament, I Corinthians 13.1ff.
If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a ringing brass gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all spiritual knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions [for the poor], and if I hand over my body in order that I will be burned [as a matyr], but do not have love, it benefits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous, does not boast, is not conceited, does not behave dishonorably, is not selfish, and does not become angry. Love is not resentful and does not revel in unrighteousness, but exults in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will pass away. If there are unknown tongues, they will cease. If there is spiritual knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but whenever the complete comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I set aside childish things.
For now we see through a glass indistinctly, but then directly. Now I know in part, but then I will know completely, as I have been fully known. And presently these three qualities continue: faith, hope, love. But the greatest among these is love.
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The Sage spoke wisely - we cannot love like this. Yet, love like this can happen, and it does happen, all the time. And, when it happens, there is no one there to say, "I did it."
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(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2020
"The Village" was produced by Sam Mercer, Scott Rudin, and M. Night Shyamalan, and was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan; Touchstone Pictures: 2004.