Love in a Flat Universe | Catherine Shainberg, Ph.D.

We are coming out of more than two years of isolation, largely hidden behind doors, separated by masks and computer screens. We learned to be glued to our screens but lost the experience – the habit – of smelling, tasting, touching, hearing, seeing our loved ones and colleagues in the flesh.

I was recently talking to a friend – facing her across a real table – when she made such a plain yet interesting observation. She was saying:

“You can’t fall in love in a flat universe. Love wants a body.”

Kabbalists say that God created the world by thinking. That feels a bit dry! Creativity involves desire, fire, yearning, reaching out, holding. There is no love without the imagination to feel the other being we love. In fact, the word in Hebrew that we erroneously translate as “thinking” is marshavah – which really means “weaving.”

It’s a completely different kind of thinking, an embodied thinking.

To love we must learn to weave, not just up and down, left and right, but also forward and back and with all of our senses. This is really difficult to do if we stay stuck behind the physical or emotional walls we’ve erected, the silence we’ve chosen or had to choose for the times we are now leaving, mercifully.

Our life behind our screens veils the falseness of our contacts. The expanded digital universe belies the narrow physical confines of our lives and our loves. We may be entering an inventive meta-verse of communication, but it is ghostly and devoid of the joys of being sensorially connected.

Wild at Heart 1, by Ken Kendrick

We must dare to re-create a flesh and blood world, reclaim the right to a love that we can yearn for, imagine in 3D detail, burn for, hug and hold close.

Love in a 3-D universe! Go out there to see, hear, smell, taste, touch the real world. It is our way back to true love.

Happy Valentine’s day!

Exercise – Cup the Cheek

Breathe out slowly three times, counting from 3 to 1. See the 1 as tall, clear and bright.

Stretch your arm out to reach and touch another’s cheek. Feel how your hand becomes receptive to the contour of the other’s cheek. What shifts in you emotionally?

Breathe out. Take your hand away.

Breathe out. If there was a problem stretch your arm out again to reach and touch the other’s cheek. This time, wait and ask for permission to touch. When you have received it, cup the other’s cheek. What is different?

Breathe out. Bring your hand back. What has changed?

Breathe out. Open your eyes.

by Catherine Shainberg