Home Friendship

Few things in this world are more rewarding than to meet a soul whose ideas and expectations are alike your own. It is from this point that a relationship develops, like two plants realizing that they may benefit from sharing water and thereby nurturing eachother, creating a holy bond between two fragments - two unique combinations - that form a solid friendship.

People in all ages throughout history have sought to find this connection to another living being and gain notions of trust, respect, reward, love, conflict and shared ideas. Some have found their love to an animal, a dog or a cat, whose language of primitivism yet profoundness and innocence have been surpassed by its willingness to sacrifice itself for its owner. Others have found pleasure in connecting with a fellow human being, being able to tell and share secrets, creating something special opposed to the often-platonic way of communicating with ordinary people.

For is this not what we all find happiness in doing; creating an isolated world with a few chosen ideas or people, letting time become irrelevant, and only focus on that which brings fulfillness, happiness and trust into our lives? Is it not that which stands out from the, oh so common life, that we like to dwell into and sacralize by asserting its unique state of honesty and beauty? Like a long walk through a forest that just have melted away the cold covers of snow, a meeting with the best of friends is like smelling the early odours of a flower and embracing that state as a one-and-only, here-and-now, situation.

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher in the Antique ages, claimed that there existed three basic forms of friendship, like symbols with a number inside a hierarchy. These were the state of advantage (1), pleasure (2) and goodness (3). The first state, advantage, is two individuals who use eachother for their own selfish advantage, with the only motivation to keep oneself happy. The second state, pleasure, is more or less the same as the first, with the only difference that both individuals need eachother in order to take advantage of eachother and thus establishing a more "balanced" friendship. The third state, goodness, is found within noble friendships, where one friend is "using" another for the sake of the other friend, in other words, where self-sacrifice and unselfishness is the mutual basis for the relationship.

The state of advantage is common among temporary relationships with people whom you need to use in order to achieve something at the moment out of reach. One of the fallacies with this state is that the friends between eachother are untrustworthy and that the relationship thereby may end at any given time. The state of pleasure is most commonly found within modern friendships, where two lonely souls meet to find temporary peace with eachother (functioning as distraction from the actual problem). Many times these two friends grow dependant on eachother, which surprisingly makes this relationship a terribly lasting one, considering the quality and basis for it. The noble friendship of goodness is an archetype of Indo-European heroism. One person sacrifice his or her time to help another person, and vice versa, so that they together may create something beautiful and lasting together. All healthy relationships are based on the state of goodness; however, very few relationships today manage to maintain this quality.

The state, that Aristotle saw, as being the highest form of friendship between two people, is interesting when put in other contexts. Similar to a discussion between individuals specialized within different areas, an exchange of ideas give raise to a conclusion and thereby a will to achieve a collective goal. As a carpenter perhaps may point out what kind of wood one will need, and a craftsman will discuss the different advantages and disadvantages of replacing steel with aluminium, and a leader will collect and organize the ideas and the progress of the project - a house may finally become built.

Thus, when different people with varied experiences and abilities meet up to create, every part is needed to fulfil the work. This stresses the importance of uniqueness meeting to form something that all individuals can relate to and have usage for. There will be no "I can do all this by myself" as that will result in worthless egomania and often mediocre results at best. Without a carpenter, wrong type of wood will be used and the house will fall apart after a raging storm. Without a craftsman with knowledge about different types of metal, the bulks keeping the roof and walls intact may break down due to poor technique and material used in building. And, of course, without a leader, the work will become unorganized and easily unfocused on what the main task is all about - and thus the chance of each individual creating "his own house" will increase - thus the project will relapse into total failure.

The modern notion of "friendship" belongs to Aristotle's first category of friendships, as people today fail to step out of their ego and into another person's thoughts and ideas. People today are inclined to only care for themselves and their own personal comfort, hence why most relationships - friendships as well as serious relationships like marriages - often result in a harsh split-up where the two individuals involved have used eachother for their own selfish motives. Their souls are lonely and out of focus on something that gives them meaning in life, and so they go out on a hunt for someone alike - and they find plenty.

They socialize about computer games, movies, massmedia, pop music and other forms of modern "entertainment", which is a bad excuse for not actively engaging in the real life. Their shared experiences will consist out of visits to clubs and discos, parties with equally broken individuals hiding behind a fake smile and a bottle of imported Vodka, and other meeting places for the lost souls to dwell and "have fun".

However, sooner or later, these "friendships" - as with anything else in this world - will come to a point where they become self-reflective. Perhaps a lie told will be publicly known, maybe the last glass of alcohol will push either of them over the line and force truth to become explicit - or during an event where their shared trust will put on a line, their actual motives become apparent and both run separate ways to save their own image.

This is why the most hollow people often seem to have an overwhelmingly large circle of friends - they collect them like glass toys and use them to hide the fact that their insecurities and failures are obvious when their character and trustworthiness are put to test. This is also why people in the modern time never before have had so many people to socialize with; it is a lifestyle and without it they are nothing. Like hiding a ticking bomb among piles of pineapple in a fruit store, they have something to hide and they want to make sure that the image of having quantitative "mates" will impress the same image that can be created inside of you.

People of a higher nobility realizes, that the actual reason to form a friendship, is not because we as separate individuals are weak, but because we as individuals working together are stronger. In other words, if you seek to accompany another human being due to your own insecurity and lacking of self-confidence, you have not understood what a friendship is all about and what it might give you. Whenever you form a relationship, whether it be a friendship with a man or a marriage with a woman, you ought to feel in balance with your inner self. You ought to be confident in what you can do, what you might give and how you can help another person - and yourself - to achieve something beyond the state you now are positioned in.

However, there is also a Romanticist side to a friendship, as it inspires one to experience feelings not available when living in loneliness. The creative drive to take a hike out in the forest, to row a boat out on a lake and look for fish, to discuss ideas and make them happen by working together, to send a gift and a day after receive one back - is to understand the more hidden parts of something that otherwise can become utilitarian or simply shallow and boring, as seen with most people and their ways of "being friends". A Romanticist realizes that this is an activity for the lost masses, and instead aims at transcending that by always working on oneself to have something more to offer and contribute with. This is one of the truly beautiful things in being born into this world as a lonely soul, meeting someone of attractive character and ability, only to at last be lying in the coffin under the song of ravens chanter and shed a tear of crystal melancholy - for the last stop in this world is that too, a lonely one.

As with anything else in life, there are disappointments and illusions lying ahead on the road of future, ready to lure us into their possession. Firstly, you will learn to differ true friends from false friends. An example of a false friend, is one who will at first baffle you by his or her ideas and awakening in a world where most people have gone to sleep in order to forget the beauty and wonder that await them outside the window of their closed minds. This friend will eagerly engage you and make you believe that you've found the last person on Earth who sees the modern world as an insane place to live in. However, the more serious time you'll spend with this person, the more will he or she disappoint you. As with all studied lies, it will not become apparent immediately, but will gradually sink down to the actual level it is living on. Many false friends hide under ideas consisted out of common image, and are at second thought no different from the rest of the unsuspecting morons that inhabit this Earth.

"Long is the round to a false friend leading,
even if he dwell on the way:
but though far off fared, to a faithful friend
straight are the roads and short."
- Hávamál (The Elder Edda)

True friends, however, will often impress you in a different way. They will at first seem very normal, not uninteresting, but nothing special either. Their kindness and willingness to help will make you spend more time with them as it fits you. And the more time that will be spent, the more you will feel that this person is someone to trust. See it as a masterpiece in music; the best music never grabs your soul at first listen, but slowly and steadily work itself into your mind, until you after several times listening may exclaim with wonder: "This work I am now holding in my bare hand, is the absolute top of noble music. Yes, I celebrate this for being the best piece of art I have ever listened to". Such is often the development of a true friendship; a slowly growing flower that at last reveals its colours of red, blue and green.

When you have attained someone who you feel are an important part of your life, then your responsibility shifts from creating to nurturing and developing it. Again, like a flower, a friendship between two individuals will decay and wilt, if both parts involved don't give it enough water and nourishment for it to survive. Many times a simple gift is appreciated highly by a friend; something only another friend will know is appreciated. This points out a special interest, a secret, which only a friend would find to be valuable to another friend. However, never overdo the exchange of gifts, as that easily leads to materialism and thereby the friendship may stagnate and instead become an excuse for not engaging in anything more giving and meaningful. Another important part of nurturing a friendship is to see eachother often, but not too often either ("enough is as good as a feast"). If two friends rarely meet, they quickly gain new experiences and new friends, which will interfere with the old and cause both confusion and sometimes irritation when these two meet after a long time.

Same thing goes for the opposite; many people make the mistake of seeing their friends too often, which sooner or later will take the magic out of the friendship itself and turn it into something ordinary and predictable. It can also create frustration and irritation on one part, as having a friend over too often can feel intrusive and strenuous. These things shift depending on character, which makes it useless to generalize the course of any given friendship. It can therefore be easier to inform about what one ought not to do as a good friend. Never take anything or anyone for granted. Similar to the pessimism expressed by thinkers such as Nietzsche, always keep in mind of the bad things that may happen, so that you are aware of them if they might happen. This way, you will save yourself a lot of pain and disappointment when the time comes for a friend you thought were honest, to reveal the true colours you never thought existed. Same goes with false friendship; it is never worth it, even if it means that you will have to remain lonely. False friends will sooner or later be put to the test, and if done so during a critical moment, the result may end in a total disaster.

"Fiercer than fire among ill friends
for five days love will burn;
bun anon 'tis quenched, when the sixth day comes,
and all friendship soon is spoiled."
- Hávamál (The Elder Edda)

The only way to weed out the actual trustworthy and healthy individuals from the parasitic and failed, is to spend quality time, put them to the different tests found throughout life, and never lower your standard of what a nurturing and enjoyable friendship is to you. Don't give in to subtle ways of "having fun" and "meeting cool people", as that in itself is a distraction by the losers who would love to see another moron joining their fan club in worshipping their own pathetic state of passiveness and loneliness. Your aim is to transpire towards the great, your method is to analyze and choose that which meets your demands, and your weapon is your strength, confidence and belief in yourself. Because ultimately, this is what a friendship of honesty and nobility really needs; belief in eachother as individuals and a will to look beyond the scarcities of each individual, in order to work together and share the experience of life. Two connected souls who value their respective variation in ability - strength and weakness - to create something lasting and beautiful for them and the rest of the world to behold.

April 22, 2006

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