Unloved – A Dark Unnatural Space …writes Rabbi Laibl Wolf

July 17, 2014 by Rabbi Laibl Wolf
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The problem is not the problem – the relationship is the problem. So states Steven Covey. So why are there wars over territory and messy divorce disputes?

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

Why are families torn apart by raging arguments over distributions from wills? Why the steep rise in substance abuse and emotional eating addictions? And why are there so many mass killing in school yards and shopping malls? Are all of these about relationships? Most definitely, yes.

The most potent quest in life is to love and be loved. Love is the cosmic glue that binds all of creation. Even the opposite poles of a magnet seek each other’s company as do electrons and protons. It is true that like forces repel, but even that is a natural correction to match up with an appropriately attractive mate.

Where love is lacking emerges a dark unnatural space. The unloved child will spew hate on the world for denying it the capacity to be a complete being. The inadequacy created by unlovingness becomes a breeding ground of brooding over the mounting sense of uncaring injustice. The deprived population of an unprivileged people will sublimate its state of deprivation into anti social behaviours and international anarchist and terrorist groupings of like-minded victims. The abused spouse will spend years mentalising the abuser’s slow death by a thousand cuts, corrupting any capacity for love and ruining the preparedness to be loved.

Somewhere in the software of creation lies the central motif: love is what it’s all about, Alfie. But not the love of money, or power, or food. These are not loved. These become corrupted mechanisms of filling a void of love. You don’t love money. You love what money brings – acknowledgment, power, respect. Except it’s just a shimera, delusion. It’s virtual love – a love that can’t really be touched or kissed or hugged. Power is not loved. It is sought. It is the artificial limb that simulates the heart because it draws people close to you – but through dependency, not true love or honor. Food is not loved. It provides momentary satisfaction, a false sense of completion, a ‘friend’ who doesn’t talk back or argue with you.

Even religion may not be a source of love as is so evident today in the world. If it spews hate, dissonance, and hitlerite prejudice, it is a sham, a pretense, evil’s quest for legitimacy – a charade of ‘spirituality’.

That which is most precious is often a two edged sword. Love is the most empowering and integral quality of the Creator, and its absence is marked by the most excruciating emotional pain. The pain is always unbearable, giving rise to fictions that act like band-aids to hide the pain. But the fictions present as our most major social ills.

And that is why I am so concerned about the state of the world. Love begins to be felt in the womb. In the first six years the sapling will be nurtured to grow into a majestic tree, but the slightest cut in the sapling’s trunk will magnify as a major deformity as the tree grows. The Torah, the Jewish way, compares man to the tree. Today we are witnessing many cuts on youthful trunks. Mixed parenting, no parenting, blended parenting, same-sex parenting, foster parenting – are we surprised that a generation arises confused about its identity and social role?

But more significantly are victims who are unloved – those who are an asterisk of irresponsible sex; those whose parents are too busy partying, playing or travelling; those whose parents spend late hours money-making for college fees forgetting the power of sharing a dinner table; and those whose parents were unloved as well and don’t even know how to love their children.

All geopolitical and interpersonal conflict is about the pain of not being loved, not being respected, not being acknowledged. As the love-gap widens, so does the space for anger, bitterness, and disappointment.

As the Talmud wisely states: “Where love is, no room is too small.”

Rabbi Laibl Wolf is the  Dean at Spiritgrow – The Josef Kryss Center, Australia

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