It was love at first sight when my wife and I met some 20 years ago. To bring the point home, on our first date I promised I would write and dedicate a book to her that would describe the entirety of my singular love for her, my eternal soul-mate. She eagerly absorbed every word that I said, because the words were ours – it was about us. She chimed in with perfect pitch and we harmonized our feelings, our beliefs, our souls; it was magical. Our connection was kinetic our potential unlimited; and somehow we knew we had to make this dream a reality. There was one caveat about the book, however, in that I qualified my promise with the delivery thereof to be 20 years hence. I explained that it would take all of those 20 years to translate and to project into words all that had just transpired between us at the instant “Love” had christened us eternal soul-mates.
I cogitated upon the incomprehensible universe of countless thoughts, spiritual stirrings, and fantastic imaginings over a 20 year period so I could set them down in the written work. But first, I had to learn how to translate the language of the soul and transpose it with utter precision so as not to lose or deviate from the articulations pronounced by the soul. This process or quest, as it were, required nothing short of a protracted and on-going inner-dialogue within the soul of myself; an odyssey of epic discovery involving sufferings and torments that I was, in time, able to vividly describe. The result is my book “Don Quixote’s Impossible Dream”, which describes the manifestation of my unvitiated awareness, my expressed becoming, and ultimately my ability to reduce the language of my soul to writing.
In full appreciation of all my wife has had to endure through life, the full range of ups and downs, the myriad sacrifices, I recognized her sufferings that the veil of love can sometimes hide. However, along the course of my journey I came to fully appreciate her sacrifices and sufferings. This was the essence of her coming into being, into awareness; and because of my own conscious transcendental experience I was able to recognize her evolution through the same sort of process. The recognition of which was mutual and as visceral as the love we felt when we first met; and at that point of recognition is when our love became complete. It took all of 20 years; upon which, I presented her with the book I promised her on the day we met.
Imagine yourself attempting to describe or convey your love to the one you love in terms couched deep within the soul. My aim was to pierce the soul then delve deep into the richness that is love, with all manner of life’s joys and griefs in attendance; and, after 20 years of immersion into the soul, I emerged with my book in hand. My promised dedication celebrates the richness of true love from its incipience; and since then, has aged beautifully, like a rare liquor; taking on the color and flavor of our marriage.
In order to frame my work I searched the cannon of western literature and there was but one choice that would do, one inspiration that I could frame the universality of ideals that suited my purpose; namely, Miguel de Cervantes’ epic, “The Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”. Regardless of how over-whelming all the culminating sufferings of life, the arduous trials, and the hopes dashed; which when taken together, may seem to conspire against love. Not so, from the richness of suffering comes the ideals attending love are born and nurtured; surviving the suffering is the trick, but when love is ready to be harvested the sufferings cease. To accomplish the discovery and proof of this truth I reached further, quested harder, as I resolved to extrapolate, dare and conclude what it means to reach the unreachable star that resides sequestered in the soul; and let the hidden light shine through.
Forgive the presumption; but I offer inspiration born of love, I bridge truth with hope, I explore the infinite, I conquer myself so that I may become unconquerable. I bring the past and future into the present, I surrender in order to be, I challenge in order to know, and I know in order to be, I must surrender the challenge.
I kept my promise and delivered precisely as I described, with honor and truth as far as for my wife and no less for myself. Mine delving into the soul with high-powered resolution, of the most granular kind, reveals the essence of love, marriage, family and life. Fittingly, my wife in-turn re-gifted the book back to me as an expression of her love with the caveat that it be shared with others.
There has been much written on the subject of “destiny”. Here is what William Shakespeare had to say about destiny: “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” Whereas Ralph Waldo Emerson characterized destiny as: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” The imponderability of destiny; at least for me, can be disambiguated by a syzygy of the term “will”: as in the will will will its destiny.
We are all subject to the “Called to Destiny”; whether or not to be, to do, or to act; and for this to happen we must rely on our will; which inspires, directs, and fulfills our destiny. How do couples will their destiny successfully and continue to remain within the boundaries of compatibility, given the myriad contours of life that too often redirects one’s will; ergo, one’s destiny? How can relationships survive the hazards, the temptations, the pangs that play against one’s will, one’s destiny? The answer is that we must resolve to fortify our will, especially as the will is frail; and has been since the biblical “fall of man”.
Where can we find the strength to stay the course, and beat the odds such that we frail couples can remain compatible over time? How can couples sustain their love for each other, and still thrive as individuals while simultaneously abiding to their solemn and irrevocable commitments to each other? For some it is a matter of religious beliefs or constraints, for others it is a question of one’s moral compass or ethics, and for others it is a cost/benefit scenario, or any combination or degree thereof. In all events, it is the will to fulfill one’s destiny that ensures the success of any relationship. What is to be derived from that fulfillment? It is a sustainable level of love and happiness that fuels the will towards that destiny (a destiny steeped in true-love); which again, circles back to love and happiness. The cycle of will and destiny, love and happiness, becomes self-reinforcing―provided that each person in the relationship answer their personal “Call to Destiny”. However, after you have answered the “Call to Destiny” as by your inner-voice; remember that that same inner-voice, from which the answer emanated, must be translated within the context of regular and open communication with the one you love, because the “Call to Destiny” is continuous and flowing.
Answering the “Call to Destiny” is like jumping into a river, a feat in and of itself for every couple. If one of you remains put the river of life will pass that person by, and the other person will inevitably be carried along by life’s currents; and in-time you will lose sight of one another and the relationship dissolves. If you both remain put than life will pass both of you by, which is a destiny unfulfilled. Therefore it is important to recognize that the “Call to Destiny” must be answered with commensurate commitment equal to the flow of life; meaning, through the seasons of twists and turns, rapids and placidness, days and nights in order to build common experiences that act to bind both of you to one destiny indivisible and insoluble.
“Mindfully cognizant that to keep well the chaste heart
That I did win, I shalt not soon forget that she devised it so.”
In the words of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha: “My destiny calls and I go.”
Does “chivalric love” have relevance in today’s world regarding romantic relationships? Perhaps the best way to answer the question is to describe chivalric love by stating what it is not. Chivalric love is hardly consigned to the notion of a pre-Renaissance abstraction about brave knights fighting dragons, competing in tournaments, and reciting poetry to beautiful damsels in distress who await their champion to rescue them from evil-doers. It is not about a man’s blind servitude and obsequious obedience to a lady in-waiting; for fear that his failure in succumbing to her whims would destroy the aim of perpetuating a dangerous romance, complicated by the intrigues of courtly-love and its triangular implications.
I view chivalric love as if it were a lens having two sides in which to perceive “love”. Looking through one side has the power to focus on “amore” and the other on “caritas”; the former is associated with worldly manifestations of love; whereas the latter deals with the essence of spiritualized love. Amore trades in the materiality of success; measured by the accumulation of possessions, wealth, power, sex, and money that ignites the passions of men and women to align their interests to attain these ephemeral objects. Caritas on the other hand deals with the ethereality of significance; measured by one’s charity, purpose, consciousness, and awareness that work’s to inflame the souls of men and women in order to align themselves with God, mankind, and one’s self for the achievement of an everlasting spiritual legacy. A successful relationship between a man and a woman is predicated on a just proportion of amore and caritas; and when that occurs chivalric love comes into being.
Many men and women are incessantly encouraged to pursue the path of amore with every intention of pursuing the ideal self, by way of caritas, once material success is attained. However; without caritas, in other words without charity in the chivalric sense, a life can never be perfected because the frenetic pursuit of material success precludes a life from obtaining humanistic significance. Ask yourself, will your material legacy outlast even a generation; or by your chivalric charity, will the significance of your life have an everlasting spiritual legacy? Chivalric love leads with caritas and with it comes amore; and there is no greater opportunity to give expression to chivalric love than with the one you love, your chivalric soul-mate. The purpose of life is not to live it with the precept that when I am successful my life will be significant; rather, when I lead a significant life I will be successful.
In the words of Don Quixote, “Therein lied the virtue and the excellence of my enterprise, for a knight errant deserves neither glory nor thanks if he goes mad for a reason. The great achievement is to lose one’s reason for no reason, and to let my lady know that if I can do this without cause, what would I do if there were a cause?” — Cervantes