The images of those whose lives were suddenly and unexpectedly altered in Boston are haunting. In The Bridge of San Luis Rey Thornton Wilder offers much wisdom. First this passage about how we squander our days:
She saw that the people of this world moved about in an armor of egotism, drunk with self-gazing, a thirst for compliments, hearing little of what was said to them, unmoved by the accidents that befell their closest friends, in dread of all appeals that might interrupt their long communion with their own desires.
And this is how the book closes:
But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
Love is the default setting in human beings—Love wants to extend itself and flow through us. This means if we are not feeling loving it is because we have actively overridden Love through our egoic thinking: “I hate the traffic.” “My spouse doesn’t do enough for me.” “Joe is a pain in the neck.”
Like many of you I just completed my taxes last week. I had one occasion to override my tax software’s entry. The tax software sternly warned me that I should be very careful since overriding the entry could cause problems.
Our ego’s thinking comes with a warning system too. That warning system are the bad feelings that our ego’s thinking generates. Yet, we choose to ignore the warnings that we are overriding Love.
Thornton Wilder had it right—Love is the only meaning. We can choose to not block Love today.