Thoughts on life

M Scott Peck says, “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”

This is the best definition of love I know.

When I was in undergrad I believed that love was something I fell into, something that magically made my life better, and so I wondered when relationships didn’t work out.

I was drawn to existentialism, the arts, and beer drinking. In my 20’s I read “A Road Less Traveled”, The “Sermon on the Mount” by Emmet Fox, “Mans Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl, did “A Course in Miracles” and read and reread a bunch of different pieces.

I wrote hundreds of letters while in the Peace Corps in Guatemala on a range of topics to dozens of people. In grad school at Columbia I wrote about treatment, AA, The Steps, process addiction and motivation. I underwent analysis for three years. None of the writing was published, but the thinking in analysis helped me understand who I am better, and the writing continued to help me to clarify my ideas about things happening around me.

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Thoughts on Genius

Mozart said, “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

I didn’t understand this when I first read it years ago, but I’ve come to see people who really commit to something or someone the “geniuses” of this world.

Freud hypothesized that two drives, Eros and Thanatos, govern our lives. One is pleasure (or “with whom” we pleasure or relax), the second is struggle and aggression (or to what purpose we are called to “fight)”. One idea is that if we don’t love what we are fighting for, it’s hard to excel in it.

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