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Juma replied, “it is the most touted and misunderstood word in the dictionary!”
Ji Won smiled and agreed. He was in the entertainment business, where ‘love’ was frequently used and abused. They even had a heart sign in Korea, which all the celebrities freely used to show appreciation to their fans. He had indulged in that behavior too, not because he wanted to, but because it was part of a marketing strategy that was given to him. Though in recent times, he had pushed back on it. Ji Won took a sip of his wine and asked, “why do you think that is?”
Juma said, “because people do not know themselves.”
That seemed a strange answer to Ji Won. He thought she would say something about how people do not understand the true meaning of love or people do not understand the different types of love that we feel, but instead of speaking about love or another person, she was indicating that people misused the word- love, because they did not understand themselves!
“Please explain,” he said.
“I feel it inside of me.” Ji Won replied.
“Exactly! Now let us take this line of thought a bit further. Now, take the time to truly evaluate and sense what exactly you are feeling within as you drink this wine and then express what you feel. Given your analytical bent and amazing English vocabulary, I am sure you will do a great job.” Juma said with a smile.
Ji Won took a sip from his wine glass. He closed his eyes and really sensed the wine in his mouth. He noticed how it felt as he swallowed it. He sat still with his eyes closed and a calm peaceful expression on his face.
Finally, after a few moments he opened his eyes and said, “I had read that there are many fine nerves in our mouth that can provide phenomenal sensations, the closest I had ever felt that was during a passionate kiss, but what I just experienced was even more amazing. It was like the experience of wine just exploded into a million amazing sensations. I know I speak English very well, but I don’t think I can describe what I just felt. In fact, I don’t think I can explain this feeling even in Korean.” Ji Won replied, still stunned by the sensations he had just experienced.
Juma said, “people rush thru life. If we are to take the time and experience life with complete attention and depth, then we will see that each simple act becomes astounding and phenomenal. What you experience is an amazing sensation, beyond words and description. You cannot define it. You cannot express it. And at the same time, you cannot deny its existence or its profound impact on your psyche, your very being-ness. What you are feeling is ‘love’. It cannot be described, but if we need to describe it, then that would be the closest way to put it.”
Ji Won always thought of love as with respect to someone or something. He could not believe that taking a sip of wine had anything to do with love. But at the same time, he could not explain the sensation he had felt- not just in his mouth but in his entire body. It still tingled and blood rushed through his veins even at the thought of what he had just experienced. He was confused. He asked Juma, “So you mean to say that love is not something we feel for someone or something but that it is a sensation that we feel within ourselves? Is that right?”
“Yes.” Juma replied.
“Does it have anything to do with wine, what I mean is, does it have anything to do with wine being an alcoholic drink- or can we feel it with anything?” Ji Won asked.
“Love is what you experience as a state of being, of awareness. When you are in that state, then you could be eating a piece of bread, just walking down the beach, or idly looking at the sky, you will still feel that amazing ‘indescribable’ sensation. It is who you are, your state of existence.” Juma explained.
“Sorry. I still don’t get it. I always thought that love involved someone or something else. The object of my attention, a person or a thing that I sought, I craved. Isn’t that correct?” Ji Won asked.
“Unfortunately, that is how most people think of it, because when they are seeking someone or craving something, it is the only time they give maximum attention and because of it are able to experience a little portion of what can be experienced as love” Juma said.
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