The Necessity of Right Relationship

Relationship is necessary in life. We are all related, to the deliveryman, the cook, the workers who produce our commodities. We are related to our family, lovers, misters and mistresses, friends, strangers, and the celebrities we see on screen. We are related through comments and likes, through online meetings, live streamings. In our relationship, we transact, exchange, take and give. And this seems to be the only kind of relationship we have: give and take. Everything seems to be an exchange of money, properties, ideas, support, psychological comfort. We can exchange anything. We can exchange digital coins and assets, spiritual comfort by forming a community, or pleasure by having sex. This form of relationship goes right through our life, and we rarely question, whether this is the only possibility for a relationship.

When there is an exchange, there is inevitably a conflict of interests. One must observe that life is in constant flux, and so are our desires and wishes. Because of the amount and speed of information in our peculiar age, we might observe ourselves changing quite rapidly, like softwares and applications being updated endlessly, cycles after cycles. So, we are always changing, and our relationships will inevitably run into conflicts, because what we now want is different from what we used to want, and the same is true for the other in the relationship. From all this conflict arises the psychological experts, the life coaches, the spiritual teachers who offer some solace, some method to avoid this conflict. One could analyze oneself with a therapist, and find causes for the many conflicts in life, and try to resolve them by adjusting oneself. This is what we call “well-adjusted”. And, it is the same pattern for any other methods, either spiritual or medical. We are constantly adjusting ourselves to what is going on, to the world, to the market. In this tireless movement, of course there isn't any solace, any leisure, any peace. Of course, we find it hard to fall asleep at night, because we are so occupied by this business of adjustment. Life has become so complex, with so many moving parts, and such a tremendous burden. There is the family, the children, the marriage, the public opinion, the likes and dislikes of our colleagues and friends, the news, the disasters that come from nowhere, the threat of war, the misinformation, the pollution, the danger of chemicals and poisons in our food, the endless crises that we must face on a daily basis.

Is adjustment necessary? Or has adjustment been our conditioned response to life? Which also means, we regard life as a problem to be solved. There is always a sense of discontent, and to liquidate that discontent, we go around seeking, finding, hoping for something to fulfill us. So, our relationship is also in this pattern: the constant seeking of satisfaction. This is the essence of an exchange, of a relationship built upon collaboration. We collaborate because we can both get something. You offer me, and in return, I offer you. Is that the pattern of our life? Is our life totally commodified? Are we pieces of properties which we offer to others, so that we can also receive them as properties? And, what does love mean in all this?

It might be a shocking fact, but our life is totally commodified. Our life is a commodity. When we go online, and find things to watch or listen to, isn't this the same movement as going shopping? We go from window to window, section to section, hoping to find something satisfactory. Isn't this the same in dating? We switch each other around, compare each other endlessly. Who is better, more mannered, more handsome or beautiful, better suited for my lifestyle, my desires, my demands. And then, we record each other, put each other on a screen, on a wall, in a hard drive or an album. Why do we live this way? Is there any sense of humanity in the way we commodify the entire world? Is everything up for sale? Not only for sale in forms of money, but also in forms of, you give me comfort and I give you sexual favors. I give you support and you give me support in the time of crisis or war. So, our relationship, as a fact, is only exchange and the seeking of satisfaction. And, in this very process, we hurt each other. When we do not get what we want, we become jealous, hateful, frustrated, angry, and words come out, fists are formed, violence either domestic or public, verbal or physical becomes necessary. And, being on the receiving end of all this trauma and pain, what do we do? Do we hold on to our vengeance? So we unleash our anger to the world. We shout and oppress, mark territories, possess properties, all for what purpose? And in all this business, where is love?

But, is this the only possibility for relationships? Relationship is absolutely necessary, because we are related to everything, every human being, and when that relationship is violent, then our life is violent. When that relationship is exchange, then our life is a commodity. When that relationship is demanding, then our life is pressure and burden. Our relationship is extraordinarily important to us, because that is all we have. We are our relationships. Therefore, it is necessary to inquire into this question, that whether there is another possibility for relationship, whether relationship can be totally devoid of any sense of exchange and satisfaction.

And this might be a strange question, because for most of us, relationships have been only satisfaction. So, it is impossible to imagine what a relationship without satisfaction might look like. We only know collaboration and competition, and we have no idea what a relationship without a purpose might be like. After all, a relationship without satisfaction is one without purpose. There isn't a seeking of satisfaction anymore, so there isn't any purpose to this relationship. And, upon hearing this, we might think, what is the point of a relationship without purpose? What is the point of a relationship that cannot give me anything? There is no point. That is the scary part. We are so immersed in our satisfactions that we are afraid to go beyond satisfaction. When a relationship has no point, no purpose, it becomes unrecognizable to the market, to the trade and exchange, to a mind conditioned to commodify life. Yet, only in a relationship without a point can there be a sense of real communication. A point is always confining the relationship to a certain area, a certain direction. If I cannot get money from you, then our relationship has no meaning to me. Or, if I cannot get emotional support, advice, or comfort from you, you should not talk to me. This is our habit. We are demanding. And in turn, we are demanded and pressured to do so many things, to satisfy so many people and ideas and ideologies, and politics and moral principles. A relationship without a purpose is a free relationship. Then, in that relationship, there is spontaneous communication. That relationship isn't confined by a purpose, a direction. There isn't the usual condition, the habitual pressure and satisfaction for that relationship.

And, isn't that love? Isn't love the cessation of pressure and satisfaction? In other words, does love demand of each other? Or is love completely accepting to anything and anyone? Isn't love a communication without any judgment and censorship? Isn't love the honesty which flows from being free of any purpose? When there is a purpose, a point, a direction, then we deceive, calculate, become hypocritical. Then we have ulterior motives, plan in advance, and learn from our past experience to perform better in the future. All this takes effort and strife, because we are so determined to go somewhere. But, does love go anywhere? Is love interested in fulfilling and seeking? Is love interested in what happened in the past, or what will happen in the future? Love isn't interested in a single thing, because it is interested in everything. Love has no direction, because it pervades all directions. Only hatred can go somewhere. Only pressure can have a direction. Only jealousy can target and plan. When there is love in relationship, which is a relationship without any sense of purpose, then we have no problems. There is no problem to be solved. Satisfaction is what creates problems. Direction is what makes conflicts and wars. Purpose can be appropriate and well-adjusted. There is no love in adjusting to hatred. There is no love in adjusting to a society based on exchange and values. Will we live this way? Will we live without a purpose? Will we stop collaborating and competing, and rather begin to simply listen and watch and communicate without a point, without determination, therefore without cruelty and pressure? That is living freedom.


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Cover photo by Aman Upadhyay on Unsplash