The Journey of Longing
If you've been in any of the classes I've ran the last few weeks, you'll know that I'm delving into the research for my "Longing" workshop and trying it all out on your innocent beings. The feedback has been truly enriching and also quite polarised. The very word "longing" brings up a lot of strong feelings for people, of all flavours it would seem. Which is precisely what I'm interested in; the intensity of life experience that our longings create for us. As someone who experiences the world quite intensely in a kinaesthetic & emotional way, I'm always interested to see if I can find words that summarise my lived experience.
I've re-encountered 2 words that interest me in my research for this work/workshop. The first is saudade, which is a term I first learned in Brazil. I found this definition of saudade
"Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places, or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings altogether, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling. Reference
But the best way to understand saudade is to feel it, listening to bossa nova music, like the Blues, turns the pain of what we are "missing" into such exquisite art, that it reminds us within the suffering of missing someone or something, lies a tremendous beauty and a pathway to something greater. It is THIS essence of longing that I'm curious about...what we THINK we are wanting/missing/desiring may very well be the gateway into an entirely new way of living, a deeper experience of life and ourselves. IF we decide to say YES, and take the journey towards our longing.
Next came the word agape, which I'd initially learned of from Agape International Spiritual Centre. Agape comes from a Greek word and is loosely defined in English as unconditional love. So what happens when we open ourselves to seeking a higher form of love, whether we think we are seeking self-love, loving another, or even a spiritual love, what happens when we turn towards our longing to experience something greater?
“There are two forms of Agape. One is isolation, life dedicated only to contemplation. The other is precisely the opposite: contact with other human beings, and enthusiasm, the sacred sense of work. Enthusiasm means trance, ecstasy, connecting with God. Enthusiasm is Agape directed at some idea, something.
When we love and believe in something from the bottom of our soul, we feel stronger than the world and we are imbued with a serenity that comes from the certainty that nothing can conquer our faith. This strange force makes us always make the right decisions at the right time, and we are surprised at our own capacity when we fulfill our objective.” Reference
So this is where we are headed in our exploration of longing, whether you want to call it Desire, Saudade, Agape, or Lust for Life, we are turning towards strange force dressed up in it's myriad of different costumes, calling us towards a greater experience of ourselves. We are acknowledging that that which we are seeking is seeking us, and we are stepping into the stream. Can't wait to dance this one with you!