True Love vs Greater Good

Ella S.

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If you had to choose between a true love and the greater good, what would you choose?

Can the greater good ever be as meaningful as something as personal and intimate as romantic love?

Is it on us to shoulder the burdens of the entire world (or as much of it as we can), even if it means forsaking what matters most to us?

I realize that, as social creatures, it tends to be our close relationships that give us a sense of purpose in life. Could ideology or spirituality ever truly live up to or replace that?

Is it selfish to choose love, or is that fulfilling our role?

Does one turn away from God in marriage, or towards God?

These are some hard questions that have been on my mind recently. I never really considered any of this before, but some of the conversations on this forum have me wondering. I'm interested in all input on any of these questions or anything of the sort.
 

Unveiled artist

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I don't know what true love means and haven't had any concept of a "greater" good.

Can you explain them?

If you had to choose between a true love and the greater good, what would you choose?

Can the greater good ever be as meaningful as something as personal and intimate as romantic love?

Is it on us to shoulder the burdens of the entire world (or as much of it as we can), even if it means forsaking what matters most to us?

I realize that, as social creatures, it tends to be our close relationships that give us a sense of purpose in life. Could ideology or spirituality ever truly live up to or replace that?

Is it selfish to choose love, or is that fulfilling our role?

Does one turn away from God in marriage, or towards God?

These are some hard questions that have been on my mind recently. I never really considered any of this before, but some of the conversations on this forum have me wondering. I'm interested in all input on any of these questions or anything of the sort.
 
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HugoZyl

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Dear Friends and Children of God; may the Light of Truth shine in all hearts

It is wonderful to consider these difficult questions. May God grant us sincerity and insight.

In my humble view, most of these kinds of questions can be compared to cave-dwelling humanoids who have never been outside debating over which is the greatest light source: candles, open fires, torches, wildfire, etc. The answer is of course that the greatest light source is the sun, but the cave-dwellers have not seen the sun so they cannot really answer their question. In the same way we wonder about which kinds of actions or decisions will give the most joy to ourselves or others. But the greatest joy is the bliss of the soul. Because we have not experienced this bliss, we debate over whether being good is better, are relationships better, is helping others better, etc.

One taste of bliss and all questions become meaningless.

“Let what comes come. Let what goes go. Find out what remains.” (Ramana Maharshi)

May God have mercy on us all
 

Ella S.

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Dear Friends and Children of God; may the Light of Truth shine in all hearts

It is wonderful to consider these difficult questions. May God grant us sincerity and insight.

In my humble view, most of these kinds of questions can be compared to cave-dwelling humanoids who have never been outside debating over which is the greatest light source: candles, open fires, torches, wildfire, etc. The answer is of course that the greatest light source is the sun, but the cave-dwellers have not seen the sun so they cannot really answer their question. In the same way we wonder about which kinds of actions or decisions will give the most joy to ourselves or others. But the greatest joy is the bliss of the soul. Because we have not experienced this bliss, we debate over whether being good is better, are relationships better, is helping others better, etc.

One taste of bliss and all questions become meaningless.

“Let what comes come. Let what goes go. Find out what remains.” (Ramana Maharshi)

May God have mercy on us all

I think it's disgusting how you wrap a condescending diatribe comparing me to a neanderthal in such shallow pleasantries and I'm kind of done pretending that this is anything less than intentional aggression.

You remind me a lot of this guy on another forum I go to, IMtM. He's also pretty fond of making himself feel superior to others by pretending to be so humble, beating people over the head with fake humility so that he can accuse them of being egotistical if they take offense. It's transparently abusive.

I don't blame you for it, though. You probably get it from your guru. Gurus are known to be abusive scumbags. I wish I knew how to help you out of the damage they've done to you, but I'd probably just come across as intolerant and pedantic if I tried. Don't be so hard on yourself, though. Masochism isn't a virtue.
 

Cino

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If you had to choose between a true love and the greater good, what would you choose?

Hard to tell without a more specific situation to think about. Would the greater good also benefit my true love?

Can the greater good ever be as meaningful as something as personal and intimate as romantic love?

Possibly, though I think this depends on many personal factors of the individual in question.

Is it on us to shoulder the burdens of the entire world (or as much of it as we can), even if it means forsaking what matters most to us?

In my life, whenever I attempted to shoulder the weight of the world, it turned out afterwards that it was never expected I do so alone, or that I sacrifice myself or my values for it. Also, in hindsight, my motivations for doing so were not clear to me at the time, and had I known more, I would have chosen otherwise. YMMV, as they say, of course.

I realize that, as social creatures, it tends to be our close relationships that give us a sense of purpose in life. Could ideology or spirituality ever truly live up to or replace that?

Interesting question, though I would think ideologies and spiritual systems all address concepts of community and intimate relationships to a large degree, so it's hard to separate the two cleanly?

That being said, I don't see an either/or situation in my life here. My spiritual friends form a community, my political friends another one, and my intimate relationships overlap to some degree with these communities.

Is it selfish to choose love, or is that fulfilling our role?

Human relationships are complex, and fulfilling roles is part of the dance.

Selfishness in love, what would that look like? A manipulative relationship? An abusive one?

Does one turn away from God in marriage, or towards God?

I can't answer this. I turned away from a religious group I had been part of, before the decades of my intimate partnership, but I think that was due to other factors, my personal development mostly. My partner did not "destroy" my faith, if that is what you mean.

These are some hard questions that have been on my mind recently. I never really considered any of this before, but some of the conversations on this forum have me wondering. I'm interested in all input on any of these questions or anything of the sort.

I get the feeling that the questions explore a duality of "individual vs. collective", which, like all dualities, I don't see as clear-cut as they might seem.
 
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Unveiled artist

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Dear Friends and Children of God; may the Light of Truth shine in all hearts

It is wonderful to consider these difficult questions. May God grant us sincerity and insight.

In my humble view, most of these kinds of questions can be compared to cave-dwelling humanoids who have never been outside debating over which is the greatest light source: candles, open fires, torches, wildfire, etc. The answer is of course that the greatest light source is the sun, but the cave-dwellers have not seen the sun so they cannot really answer their question. In the same way we wonder about which kinds of actions or decisions will give the most joy to ourselves or others. But the greatest joy is the bliss of the soul. Because we have not experienced this bliss, we debate over whether being good is better, are relationships better, is helping others better, etc.

One taste of bliss and all questions become meaningless.

“Let what comes come. Let what goes go. Find out what remains.” (Ramana Maharshi)

May God have mercy on us all

Reminds me of the myth of the cave in Plato's Republic without the bluntness. Are you one cave dwellers?
 

stranger

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Going for the "greater good" is I am sure, very noble. I don't know what it takes to abandon "true love" for a noble cause. Whatever it is, I don't think that I have it. True love wins.

Yes... It's a war of attrition so to speak, though not really a war or a contest. True love simply outlasts everything else, the roots of it being buried in eternity. Temporality fades away, true love abides. (IMO)
 

Ella S.

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In my life, whenever I attempted to shoulder the weight of the world, it turned out afterwards that it was never expected I do so alone, or that I sacrifice myself or my values for it. Also, in hindsight, my motivations for doing so were not clear to me at the time, and had I known more, I would have chosen otherwise. YMMV, as they say, of course.

Interesting question, though I would think ideologies and spiritual systems all address concepts of community and intimate relationships to a large degree, so it's hard to separate the two cleanly?

That being said, I don't see an either/or situation in my life here. My spiritual friends form a community, my political friends another one, and my intimate relationships overlap to some degree with these communities.
I can't answer this. I turned away from a religious group I had been part of, before the decades of my intimate partnership, but I think that was due to other factors, my personal development mostly. My partner did not "destroy" my faith, if that is what you mean.

I get the feeling that the questions explore a duality of "individual vs. collective", which, like all dualities, I don't see as clear-cut as they might seem.

These excerpts were very helpful to me, thank you. They have given me a lot to think about.
 

HugoZyl

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Reminds me of the myth of the cave in Plato's Republic without the bluntness. Are you one cave dwellers?

Dear Unveiled artist; peace & love to you

We are all cave dwellers. A person who is not a cave dweller would not be found on a forum like this. They would simply be enjoying the bliss of Being without taking any part in the wider human society. That is also the reason why anyone who starts to talk about having ''direct contact with the Holy Spirit,'' ''Divine Eyes to see Reality,'' or something like that should always first be asked, ''so what are you doing here?'' Any such amazing spiritual capabilities would also come with amazing spiritual bliss which would make the person highly unlikely to talk to people so casually.

May faith and patience fill your heart

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...I don't blame you for it, though. You probably get it from your guru. Gurus are known to be abusive scumbags. I wish I knew how to help you out of the damage they've done to you, but I'd probably just come across as intolerant and pedantic if I tried. Don't be so hard on yourself, though. Masochism isn't a virtue.

Dear Ella S.; God's mercy be upon you

Highly accurate observations. I certainly agree that you, me and every other human being is nothing better than a neanderthal, and that it is disgusting. It is our nature to thinly veil our own shallowness and aggression. To look down on me for it, though, is counter-productive. It would be identical to me looking down on you for having questions over what is good, love, God VS marriage, etc. The same neanderthal-ness that made you unsure about those issues, is the neanderthal-ness that makes me hide my shallowness and aggression. It holds true on both sides.

Concerning ''Gurus are known to be abusive scumbags;'' that is definitely true. For me to say it is true of other Gurus but not mine would be pretentious and stupid. The difference though is karma. One person gets a scumbag who teaches them to go and be a suicide bomber; the other gets a scumbag that teaches them the Truth of Being. I can only humbly thank the merciful Lord that my scumbag fell into the latter category. Otherwise, you would have probably read about me years ago on the news. :)

May we continue to all grow in the Realization of Reality
 

Thomas

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We are all cave dwellers. A person who is not a cave dweller would not be found on a forum like this.
Ahem ... golden rule here ... Please do not judge others according to yourself.

They would simply be enjoying the bliss of Being without taking any part in the wider human society.
Why, if this world is where we are? Because they think themselves above the world? Better than their neighbour?

... you, me and every other human being is nothing better than a neanderthal, and that it is disgusting.
When a poor self-opinion parades itself as a virtue, someone has taken a wrong turn ...

It is our nature to thinly veil our own shallowness and aggression.
Or is it our doubts and fears make us blind to our own nature?
 

Ella S.

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Why, if this world is where we are? Because they think themselves above the world? Better than their neighbour?

Even monks live in monasteries. Even Bodhisattvas, Saints, and Avatars went out of their way to try to contribute to their society because of their spiritual attainment, not in spite of it.
 

seattlegal

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Even monks live in monasteries. Even Bodhisattvas, Saints, and Avatars went out of their way to try to contribute to their society because of their spiritual attainment, not in spite of it.
A Bodhisattva might not be what you think. Bodhisattvas have their wisdom in their unconscious mind, not in their conscious mind like an Arhat or a Buddha. So in this respect, they might be considered to be metaphorical "cave dwellers."

Here is a link to a thread where @Vajradhara posted a nice story about a Bodhisattva.
https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/13832/
 
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