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Married with a cat

Q: Today’s youth are finding it increasingly hard to meet a life partner whom they can marry. Marriage does not seem like it used to be at the time of our parents, with the rates of divorce increasing. Please give us some advice on how to deal with this matter.

A: Marriages will survive longer if men and women understand why they should marry, not whom they should marry. Marriage is a way to expand your love. Before marriage, a young man thinks only about himself, and a young woman thinks only about herself. Before marriage, even if a girl stays next door and falls sick, the boy is not going to bother, because she is not related to him. After marriage, he starts to think, “How can I make her happy? How I can look after her better?” In this way, his love expands only from ‘I’ to ‘we’ even though it was within the family. When they have children, their love expands further to look after the welfare of the children. Before putting one morsel of food in his mouth or her mouth, the mother and father would think whether the children are comfortable, whether they are fed, and whether they are happy. This love teaches them to sacrifice, and through sacrifice alone can you become happy.

All the marriages, which are not based on sacrifice, will not survive long. True love is sacrifice, when you think of others first and yourself later. If husband and wife can think of each other more than themselves and are willing to make sacrifices for each other, then marriage will survive. All cannot take to the path of renunciation and start living for the entire world from day one. For them, the path is from the individual to the family, from the family to society, from society to the nation, and from the nation to the world. In Indian culture, life is divided into four parts: before marriage, you are just an aspirant, a person who is getting educated or learning; the second phase is married life, where you live with your wife and children and take care of them; the third stage is that of social service, where you stop thinking about your own family and start thinking about society; and the fourth phase is the spiritual state, where you only think of God and not even society.

Once you proceed step-by-step, it will happen. That is why I say, when people marry only based on attraction to outer looks, outer beauty, which disappears with time, the ‘love’ that you call love, but I call attachment, will also disappear with time. One who marries looking at inner being, goodness, kindness – that person will stay longer. Unfortunately, it is very rare to find people who are both beautiful outside and inside. That is where people make the wrong choice by considering only outer beauty and start making mistakes. Marriage is to help you learn sacrifice and help you adjust. Without that, one’s selfish nature can never carry on for long.

sathya sai
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Pic : from ‘Hysterica & The Wandering Womb’ , York Univ. Canada Cine Festival 2004

Hysteria : The word itself seems murky, more than a little misogynistic and all too indebted to the theorizing of the now-unfashionable Freud. More than one doctor has called it “the diagnosis that dare not speak its name.”

Nor has brain science paid the diagnosis much attention. For much of the 20th century, the search for a neurological basis for hysteria was ignored. The growth of the ability to capture images of the brain in action has begun to change that situation.

Hysteria actually predates Freud. The word itself derives from “hystera,” Greek for uterus, and ancient doctors attributed a number of female maladies to a starved or misplaced womb. Hippocrates built on the uterine theory; marriage was among his recommended treatments.

Then came the saints, the shamans and the demon-possessed. In the 17th century, hysteria was said to be the second most common disease, after fever. In the 19th century, the French neurologists Jean-Martin Charcot and Pierre Janet laid the groundwork for contemporary approaches to the disease. Then Charcot’s student, a young neurologist named Sigmund Freud, radically changed the landscape and, some argue, popularized hysteria.

Please read the complete article at this New York Times link. No one has so far been able to explain why women are more prone to this malady.

ps: now don’t ask me why I posted this on my blog !

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