Adam Travers Watkins,
6 June 1967 - 6 November 2002.
In November 2002 the Co-Founder of EncourageMentors, my son and colleague Adam Travers Watkins disappeared without trace. A year later the tragedy we suspected was confirmed by the discovery of his body on a local mountain. He had climbed there lightly-clad, fallen and injured himself shortly before snow fell.
The most important of many vital lessons I learned from Adam is the power of focused energy: physical, emotional or intellectual. Reflecting on this led me to remember the text of a short talk given by Professor Adam Curle, then of Bradford University.
Professor Curle, now in his 80's, is a mediator of international conflicts and non-violent solutions, a hugely respected facilitator, author and speaker. I plan to have at least half the energy he has when I'm that age, by being less lost in the illusions he discusses.
In memory of and in tribute to Adam, Professor Curle's talk about the energy of love is reproduced here, with permission.
UNCLENCH THE FIST AROUND THE HEART
By Adam Curle, former Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University
I have been asked to talk about the energy of love for fifteen minutes. But that's what I am, and you and the whole world. Without that energy we simply would not be. That's what we are. We are the product of, the essence of, and we perpetuate love which is the finest form of energy. Compared with love, nuclear energy is nothing, null and inert. So what can I say about it in fifteen minutes?
I'll start by being practical. Although love is and everything that is not love is not but is illusory, we have to cope with that illusion. It is the source of suffering and what we call evil. The illusion that we are not love or love-worthy is a fist around the heart. It constricts the awareness that you and I are one like waves in the ocean, each seeming separate yet merely ripples in the same eternal sea.
This error fetters us within the tight little identity, the limited sub-self that has no consciousness of the indivisible Self which includes us all, within which we are joined without loss of individuality, a wonderful miracle of oneness in diversity.
Lost in this illusion we struggle to realise what is not real, lash out desperately like ghosts shadow-boxing in a hall of mirrors, bringing pain to ourselves and others. The energy is there, but we fail to use it, having forgotten that it exists - not outside us but within us, that the energy of love is what we are. Instead we become powered by false forces - greed, fear, hatred, envy, vanity, and guilt which tarnish and weaken, concealing our reality.
How to unclench the fist around the heart, to remove the blinkers that restrict our vision, to open understanding wide enough to be aware that the other is ourself, and ever wider to include the planet and the endless galaxies; to recognise that we partake in all this splendour, and its glory and the immeasurable energy which formed it, which it is and which nothing can diminish, least of all our piddling follies?
How then? Simply love. Take off the brakes, open the windows, unbolt the door, turn off the burglar alarm; love cannot be stolen, it has the power to disarm the strongest thief. This was well known to Jesus and to Gandhi, to the Buddha and Mother Teresa and to countless others - including you and me. We simply need to recognise this truth.
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