It's taken a while for me to have one on a subject that was substantial and all parties left feel like they'd not only learned a different perspective, but learned that it was possible to debate aggressively and dialectically and come aware feeling great about everyone there.
Bridget: Sometimes it seems the only road to freedom is through the firing squad of our fears. We are already in God, in freedom, in harmony,, which makes the bullets harmless.
Ben: I sometimes feel like being on the road to freedom is the problem.
Freedom for me seems either individualistic (freedom of expression) or involves the emancipation of a particular group of people (freedom of oppression for blacks), which means that a barrier is automatically created between themselves and everyone else who is not concerned with them achieving their freedom. I never hear anyone say things like Freedom for the World, because it sounds like a contradiction. One man's freedom is another man's shackles.
More and more it seems like the only road that everyone should be travelling down is the road to harmony, as harmony is the perfect synthesis of everything and everyone.
Bridget: We cannot truly experience harmony unless we're free from all our shackles, our fears. I'm on my way to the plantation.
Ben: I don't think we can all be free in practical terms because someone or something has to be in control, and in many ways I think the feeling of freedom is actually being enslaved to something which is good and nourishing for the soul.
Bridget: Divine Love set us free. God is not the jerk we think he is.
Hermian: Harmony depends on another group or person reciprocating. I can only control my feelings, goals etc. so I am focused on what I can bring to the table of life without attachments to what others bring.
Ben: I think harmony depends upon people and groups having the same goal. They don't necessarily have to reciprocate or reflect back what the other gives on a personal level. Obviously, it would be amazing if they did, but it's about working together perfectly towards the same desired goal. I can work harmoniously with someone I don't even respect simply because we both recognise that our goal or the place where we need to get to is more important than how either of us feel about each other. I think when we put aside the personal for the sake of a higher goal, then a mutual respect can then develop and harmony in its fullest sense can be achieved.
Hermian: Great discussion Ben. My point being that while harmony is an honorary goal, I don't have control over the other party's intent or actions. So I choose to not make it the dominant factor or goal. It's an important one, but justice, and equality, and pure unadulterated love, and kindness all rank higher for me. I respect your perspective
Ben: Yeah, I'm loving this conversation. I think I'll have to take a timeout at this point though because I don't have as solid a conception of things like justice and equality. I always seem to run into examples that problematize everything I thought I knew about them when I feel like I'm just on the verge of understanding.
Love, I also would rank above of harmony, because I think love can make harmony very likely. Harmony doesn't necessarily give rise to love at all, especially in the case of my example above. Having said that, people do kill for love, and will actually try to kill love itself if they feel that the object of their love has too much control over them and they need to be free from it. And so the need for freedom returns once again! :)
Hermian: Killing for love is not love. That's power, domination, obsession and possession. When I love, I understand that the person's right to determine their own destiny and path to enlightenment/alignment overrides my desire to be in their life. Love is freeing - not stifling. At least my version of love.
Bridget: Working out my own salvation is a full time job. All the work to be done is on the inside and whatever progress is made is reflected in the outside. My understanding of Love is reflected in loving. My understanding of us as one is reflected in harmony. The more I understand the higher I reflect, or demonstrate. I can't demonstrate on your understanding of art, only on mine. Understanding starts on the inside. A true understanding of Love is demonstrated in harmony. Not the human kind of love, but Divine Love. My contribution.
Hermian: I guess the point I'm making is that harmony is the outcome of people having the same goals and working towards that. Love on your end does not automatically lead to harmony because it depends on someone else working towards the same goal.
Bridget: Harmony is my individual contribution to whatever is happening around me. We can all be at the same workplace. Working together. I am working toward going on a vacation, you're working towards paying for college, Ben is working towards paying his rent, different goals, but no one is a jerk, we respect each other and work in harmony. Then again we can all be working towards the same goal. But because I have less to gain from that goal I could decide I want to be a jerk about it or not. Harmony is my individual consciousness contribution to whatever situation I find myself in.
Ben: I think that people can and do kill for love. One example would be if an axeman was at my front door trying to break it down because he was trying to kill my son. If I had no other option and that was my last resort, I would probably kill the axeman because I love my son so much. I think it's possible to kill and also sacrifice yourself for love.
I've been learning music theory recently and I'm amazed by how many parallels there are between music and war and peace. For example there is a chapter called "Using conflict and resolution to create harmonies". I almost imagined my music theory book as a manual for making the world a better place!
Bridget: Are you killing for love or for fear. At that moment your stronger emotion is not love but probably fear and anger. A stranger could have done the same thing in that situation knowing that some was in danger. Then again someone knowing the power that love hold over us could stop the whole situation talking the ax man out of it. It has happened.
Ben: I agree with you that at that moment i probably am consumed with fear and it is fear or anger that would enable me to kill the axeman. However, I still hold that I would be killing FOR love. Not with love in me. With fear in me. But in order to protect something I love. It would be for my son, who I love. He is my love. He could be my only source of love.
Bridget: What if your son was the axeman going in to kill your brother whom you also love. Would you still kill for love, or love will find another way?
Ben: I think there are limits to what love can accomplish in the moment. I think love works best over time. But, If I'm trapped in a situation where I have two people that I love equally, but one is trying to killing the other, then on a realistic level I would try to immobilise whoever it was that had the axe and try to prevent a death from happening.
Bridget: Which means that at that moment you're not going to put a limit on the power of love. So we chose when to put a limit on the power of Love. Fear causes us to chose when to put a limit on the power of Love. But in reality if God is love then love has no limits.
Bridget: If God is love then the power of Love has no limits.
Ben: I would love to believe that love had no limits but I don't think it's something you can just choose to believe. It's more like it chooses you to believe.
Bridget: Maybe its more than belief, its understanding. To understand God is to understand love and to understand love is to understand God. He wants us all to understand
Ben: Maybe. I'm in no rush to find out. If it happens then so be it.
Hermian: Best conversation I've ever had on FB!!! Much love! Only love!