Discovering Love
a social science and religious fiction novel by Rolf A. F. Witzsche
Volume 1of the 12-volume series, The Lodging for the Rose

Page 147
Chapter 15 - A Gardener in Love with a Rose?

      I leaned back into my chair and thought about what I had just said. "I do feel that we have to change ourselves first, before we can change the world," I continued. "We have to learn to be in Love, and this more honestly, and universally. Did you realize that a similar embrace of Love once ended 80 years of war?" I asked her.

      She said that this happened in 1648. "It changed the world. It created a platform for peace, a kind of platform that had never been built before."

     "Maybe we should start this kind of revolution again," I said to her. "How many people does it really take to start such a revolution? Shouldn't two be enough?"

      "Are you saying that we can begin the transformation right now, right here between us while we are sitting in this cafe?" she asked.

      I nodded. I couldn't hide a grin coming up. "We need to unleash a revolution in loving," I replied. "I think this can unfold wherever two or three people meet with honest hearts. It begins when we enrich one-another with higher ideals, with daring new ideas, with a focus to open up new forms of freedom such as the freedom to be in Love with everyone, even the freedom to embrace universal Love."

       "Hasn't this process already begun?" asked Ushi. "It's happening now, right here. It really is."

       I paused searching for words. "When I cross the border and return to the West," I said quietly, "I know that I will do so as a richer person, simply because we have met. I don't think we have harmed anyone by allowing ourselves to be open to the wonderful world that we have been able to share? We have talked about loving with a daring to be honest about it. That's revolutionary. At least to me it is. So what do you think? I didn't hurt you, did I? I didn't offend you when I said that I'm in Love with you, did I?"

      She reached her hand across the table for a handshake. Perhaps the gesture meant to say thank you. She smiled and said that she wasn't hurt. She said that she was bewildered perhaps, but not hurt. She nodded when she voiced those thoughts. "But what do you mean when you say to me, I am in Love with you?"

      "How is a gardener in Love with a rose?" I asked. "I think the gardener finds in the rose a reflection of the beauty that he holds deeply in his heart. He becomes enriched by that reflection of himself. That's why he nourishes the rose and protects it, and honors it, and why he is grateful for its existence. He cannot do otherwise without denying himself. I think that is how I am in Love with you. I am grateful that you exist. I am grateful that I find in you an echo of myself, an echo of what I deeply value, and honor, and am compelled to protect and nourish in any way I can. Maybe that is what being in Love is. It is gratitude for one-another that we exist."

      She reached her hands across the table with tears in her eyes.

      "As a scientist I would say that gratitude is the total opposite to entropy," I continued. "In the entropic world everything diminishes to nothing, like the energy becomes diminished that is stored in the spring of a wind-up toy, when the toy is let go. I think, gratitude has the opposite effect. It doesn't diminish anything. I think that the gratitude that I feel for the privilege of seeing you across the table, or wherever I can see you, enriches the flow of Love in our hearts for our humanity that I hold. I find this rich flow, imaged in you, and in other people, and in the world around us. I think this process can light a fire in us that enriches us more and more, which makes Love the brightest star in the Universe. Shouldn't we all be grateful for one-another that we exist, and for the great miracle that human existence is?"

      She squeezed my hands gently as our hands met. "This would revolutionize the world and end wars," she said quietly, as if with great caution so as not to break the spell of the moment.

      "If that's what being in Love is, what is universal Love, the kind that ends wars?" I continued.

      She shook her head. "To me, universal Love is still an abstraction that I can't get my arms around.

      "I think there is only one kind of Love," I said quietly. "It is that, which unfolds to become universal loving."

      "Maybe, in order to find an answer, we must first learn to be in Love with ourselves and be grateful for the loving that we have in our heart?"

      "Like the gardener does, Ushi?"

      She shook her head again. "Maybe we need to do this more directly. Maybe we should do this in the same way as the gardener does who is in Love with the rose, except that we do it without the rose as a gardener does in winter. We should be the rose ourselves?"

      "How would this be possible?" I interjected. "It is possible only by acknowledging that the beauty that we see, is in us, and not in the object."

      She pointed at the flowers on our table as if she could find an answer in them. "I don't have an answer to that, Peter," she said a few moments later. "You appear to be right. The question never occurred to me; how does one fall in Love with oneself? Maybe one does so as the gardener does in the depth of the winter, who is loving the rose even then as a familiar idea that the object signifies. The loving then comes strictly out of the riches of ones Soul. Maybe it is in that loving that we find our own reflection. However, being in Love is rarely seen that way, Peter. Maybe that is where the problem begins. Most people who are ungrateful about the beauty of Life, live a poor and barren existence, regardless of how wealthy they may be financially."

      "But is this kind of gratitude for ones existence and for the riches of our humanity, still just a reflection of Love?" I countered her. "Or is it something greater, for which we have no word as yet, since the term, Love, has been so sadly abused? People spout out a great profusion of fancy words and sing of love, and bring you presents, and say I love you, but what are they talking about? Words are easily spoken. I think loving becomes an abstraction unless something rich and substantial stands behind it. A grateful heart a garden is, someone told me not long ago. She told me that in this garden there is always room for the wonderful quality of grace that we have as human beings, to come to perfect bloom. That's developing our being in Love with humanity, isn't it? Is this how we are in Love, with each other?"

      "That's how it should be," said Ushi with a beautiful bright smile on her face, but that smile suddenly vanished. "Too many games are played under the guise of loving. I have seen far too many of those games, and the dreadful results," she said cautiously. "First it starts with coercion, then seduction, followed by demands for marriage. The song is always changing. Next the lyrics are: 'to have and to hold!' But those who sing this song think in terms of domination, abuse, and even violence. Two of my friends went that way. One of my friends lived like a virtual slave for ten years. She was abused and put down. This went on and on, until she lost all self-confidence and suffered a nervous breakdown. It took her six years to get her life back. Believe me, I know what you mean. But you talk about the freedom to be in Love. You talk about gratitude and enriching one-another with nothing more than just being oneself. You talk about enriching one-another with the riches of our humanity, building one-another up. You talk about loving oneself as an invariable expression of being in Love. Maybe if people could really be in Love with themselves that way, and find gratitude for it, then just maybe those terrible games might end. Steve sometimes talks the way you do. He is totally committed to the idea of the freedom to be in Love with one-another, simply for the sake of loving. Except, he never speaks about it in terms of loving oneself and thereby one-another."

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