It’s about six in the morning here. Still dark out at this time of year, though now it won’t be long before the light.
I’m listening to the water leak from my kitchen faucet, and wondering if there’s anything this morning that I can say about how we abuse love that is worth saying. That seems to me such a sad topic, but I didn’t pick it: It picked me. It stole into my awareness on cat’s feet while I was nominally thinking of something else.
I was thinking of Jiddu Krirshnamurti. Krishnamurti often wrote about love, and I was wondering if it was true — as I’ve heard — that his somewhat remarkable appeal to young people can be at least partly explained by that fact — the fact he wrote so much about love. Of course, the thought comes to me very quickly that it might be ironic, if that were the case, because when Krishnamurti talks about love, he is often talking about a kind of love that I suspect most of us don’t much care for.
That is, I suspect we don’t much care for that kind of love unless — at some time, by some improbable chance — we have had a taste of the kind of love Krishnamurti seems most concerned with. If that improbable misfortune has happened to us, then anything — really anything — is possible: We might even spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out what the strange fuck happened.
When in college, I knew a person who could not shake the impression that her slight and fleeting experience of “Krishnamurti’s love” was somehow the sum and center of her life. Within days of experiencing that kind of love, she said, everything else had become emotionally secondary to her. Nothing — not a thing — could retain its former importance.
Krishnamurti somewhere calls love a “breeze”. He says it is no more possible to make love happen — to force it to happen — than it is possible to make a breeze enter the windows of our house. We do not create the breeze, and we do not create that kind of love. However, perhaps we can invite that kind of love, he suggests, by “opening the windows of our house” — i.e. by opening our mind to the possibility of that kind of love without, however, coming to any conclusions or firm beliefs about it. Maybe if we “open our windows” the breeze will come in.
I have heard so very many people state that what Krishnamurti calls “love” is not “true love”. “True love”, they insist, is constant and enduring. It does not come and go like a breeze, but stays with us. Some even say their love lasts forever — although I don’t know how someone can say that who has not lived forever. Nevertheless, the more they hear about Krishnamurti, the more certain they are that his love is not true love. For the most part, with a few exceptions, it’s been my experience that only those people who have some experience of his love think it’s worth much. But those people can — and sometimes do — think it means everything.
I was thinking of these things this morning, while it was still dark out, when the thought occurred to me that we can abuse love. We can try to trap it, cage it, bend it, extend it, control it — all of which seems to be an abuse of it.
I’m not yet certain I like that idea — I’m not yet certain it is true that we can abuse love. The notion snuck into my thoughts this morning, and now I’m not sure what to do with it.
What do you make of it? Can love be abused?