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We all would like to be surrounded by the most beautiful, delicate flowers. Yet surely, such exquisite beauty cannot thrive just anywhere. At any time, what we see is the kind of life which can survive where WE are -- in the emotional habitat we're offering. Surely, the refined life forms we want to see cannot possibly grow in the face of the forms of coarseness we use to protect ourselves. Only under the steady gaze of tender love will those most elegant blooms unfold their splendors.
We are pursuing love, that's our star. Each one of us felt, before joining this family, that we would grow in love faster if we had more social experience, and if we had a more consciously growth-supportive context. And there is no question that our growth has been accelerated in this cooperative setting.
However, when it comes to achieving the basic functionality required for harmonious intimacy, most of us still have a ways to go. Prior to coming here, most of us had lived more or less alone for years. Living in close association with others, we quickly discovered how poorly "socialized" we were. We certainly did not fully anticipate the emotional and spiritual challenges of living with others. For many reasons -- most of them reflecting the problems of ego more than the effects of solitude -- we were more or less dysfunctional in close relationships.
Whatever the reasons for it, our social difficulties proved FAR more entrenched than any of us imagined, and the achievement of relationship harmony more elusive. Our reactive tendencies, our anti-social inclinations, our aversion to social accountability -- all of these were deeply ingrained, and improved only slowly. With these tendencies, we did not, shall we say, bring out the best in one another. And, many of the compromises and adjustments necessary for cooperative living, even very small ones, proved insanely difficult for us to make -- especially at first.
Fortunately, practice makes perfect -- or at least makes progress. Over time, our social skills have improved, and our social difficulties diminished. While we are far from being masters of interpersonal love, we strive to become that.
We consider the achievement of functionality in personal love as much a spiritual achievement as a psychological one. Human and spiritual values perfectly join -- or are perfectly TESTED -- in social intimacy. For us, this kind of context -- living and working closely with other people -- provides an ideal exercise arena, one that encourages both emotional maturation and the living integration of spiritual values.
We heartily believe that for those who have sufficient desire, and a solid "spiritual work ethic," love's fulfillment -- on all levels -- is achievable. And within that, there IS hope for mated intimacy. But for us, matehood is by no means our only life goal, or even our primary one. And even when we engage it, as some of us have, mated intimacy is not just an end in itself, but a means to higher ends of spirit-realization. We are primarily concerned with developing a loving disposition towards ALL beings.
To love as God loves is our goal -- which obviously applies to relationships of all kinds. We feel confident that any individual who is fully dedicated WILL succeed in the realization of love as GOD would have it be. So we continue in pursuit of love -- noticing, from time to time, that love does a much BETTER job of pursuing US.