Yes, Rosi and I are still together. After dealing with Sarah, I have learned how to deal with emotional women. It’s actually a fair dynamic, the older man with the young woman. Many Asians feel that an older man offers emotional stability and care and comfort and wisdom to a relationship that a younger man can not. For myself, it took coming to Asia to really become a man – to take charge when taking charge is appropriate, to step back when arguing would be counter productive, and to give a steady full flow of love, even throughout trials. Rosi is seeing this in me, and is growing in appreciation and confidence. She was abused as a child, and now has some occasional emotional problems. But she is opening up and learning to take good care of me, as I take care of her. She doesn’t mind that I take on a role of managing her, or keeping her in line, sometimes, especially as she sees that I’m not domineering. Dominant, at times, but not domineering. She knows she loses it, sometimes, and respects that I demand respect from her, both by my kindness to her, and by gently but firmly not taking crap. Mostly she’s been fun company, but she does have an explosive temper. I don’t let her be abusive, and I don’t let her let her emotions carry her away to a bad place.

This may sound a strange thing to say, and perhaps it is better left unsaid, but I have an effect on the women that I date. Of course, it’s natural and normal that those we get closer to change our lives. I feel that I’m a good influence on people, and change people. Not necessarily from words said, but from the displayed respect for love. I have this notion that love can be a force, not just an emotion, but a real energetic force, and that strongly loving someone can somehow change them. I know that I need to give and receive love to feel healthy. There is an exchange that happens, and giving love builds the love giving muscles, and receiving sympathetic resonant care fills me and feeds me with life forces from another. I don’t think only in terms of the psychology of relationship, or even only in terms of touch releasing oxitocin and other hormones – I think that love can be an actual thing, a force, a real force in this world, like gravity is a force. I think that I love strongly now. It seems strange to put this idea in words, as it sounds like poppycock. But I don’t think so – I think that people communicate telepathically and energetically, and that how we do so affects those around us. Love is a force. There is a way to gaze at someone, a way to touch, that can go deep into a person. Being loved is a mutual prayer for what is good in being alive, and giving love is a mutual prayer for recognizing what is actually good in life. Prayer changes us, opens us to our being, the fact of our being, anywhere, at all, and it is good.

So, I think Rosi is changing, a bit. I suspect she is learning to respect and value love, even as much of her words and actions and life are a testament against love. A grandparent just loves, unreservedly because that is what grandparents can’t help but do, and just that alone changes the kids they love, makes them know that they are loveable, and that love is what is good. We don’t love because the kids are in some way special – just the fact that they are, at all, brings out love, because that’s what people do. I find it my business to understand all the workings of love. I find it my business to grow a fire in me such that my eyes alone can cook a person, ripen them, feed them and make them more alive. Perhaps that sounds arrogant or self important, to want to have a power of love such that it alone affects people. But I think this is possible; I think this happens in our lives. It isn’t an unreasonable aim to have Christ-like love in oneself. It isn’t reaching too high or expecting too much to expect to grow a living passion in one’s body. I have met people who changed me. And now I am 40, and I have something real to give – I am no longer only searching for wisdom from others, but now have something valuable that I can pour out. That I can’t help but pour out. I became a person with something to pour out on purpose, with my actions, through prayers and meditations and relationships and chi kung trainings and love making, and now every breath I take moves energies in my body, and I feel this life as something that can be shared. Love is a real force, like gravity.

I know it is asking too much change from basic human nature, and I understand that often a woman’s priorities will be financial prospects and good looks, but I like it that I am not looking handsome and have little money. This way, when women with prospects get serious about me I know that it means something. I know that love must have usurped other values to become top priority, and then I can trust that the woman knows the proper value of this prayer. For most of the women I’ve dated here in Asia, this mutual respect for the value of love has been strong. There have been many marriage proposals, but I need to be a bit careful about being quite that committed to someone, and will wait until I’m confident that the person is truly suitable for me.

About yourself putting yourself into the dating scene, ya, I understand that fear of rejection will lessen the inspiration to make that effort. For myself I most often get rejected, if at some nightclub or through some other social chance. But I’ve been reminded that it’s a numbers game. The more people you approach, the better the chance to find someone who will be interested. If I’m at an internet cafe and see a pretty girl in it, I’ll often make introductions. That’s how I met Rosi, and last week I also had a date with a woman called Sally who I met at the internet cafe. We had fun, and I like her, but she hasn’t followed up my last request to see her again, so, that’s just that – no problem – just keep looking and dating. I’m really not looking good lately – balding, and a bit out of shape, and not always well dressed, and if it is late at night I might also be a bit wasted. Whatever – I’m not the one forced to look at my aging face, so being ugly doesn’t really bother me. Nearly all of my girlfriends call me UGLY, and they aren’t joking. I usually find it a bit difficult to get my foot in the door, and more difficult still to seduce my way inside, but as I actually have something to offer, I’m able to seduce and maintain love connections. I have confidence that I have something good to give, that many have seen and felt this, and so from this practice at dating I just go ahead make introductions. Each rejection hurts less than the last, until it doesn’t really bother you anymore. It’s just part of the game. I know what I am, and I know that I’m ugly and poor. The more one dates the more one learns about how to be valuable in a person’s life. It is what I have to give that makes dating possible, even still. I’m sure you have much to give that a person will value, and so I’m sure you could also find companionship.

Rosi said she’d marry me if I wanted her, even though her fiance in Spain is more handsome and he is good to her and she loves him a bit and he has a nice job. Arie said she’d leave her handsome young husband for me if I wanted to marry her. Sarah still wants to marry me. (Of course many other women didn’t fall for me.) I can’t marry any of these women, but through them I do trust that the power of sincere affections is more fundamental and strong than the obstacles that the unattractive face. It is just a matter of making oneself into a person who can love sincerely and strongly and patiently, and is pleasant and beneficial to be around. The personal effort needn’t only be physical, and for me, the personal effort never ceases, and I daily learn how to love better. That is my job – my true profession; to be sincere and powerful in affection, and skillful in the joys of big and little daily communions; glances, shared food, conflict avoiding and resolution, touch, ecstacies, and silent moments. A person can be a presence that is simply good to be around. Ugly or not.

And people like loving ugly people. It gives them a sense of humor and feeling of meaningful connection to love someone that is ugly – not just despite that they are ugly, but love an ugly person. If a person is unattractive, but you find attraction to them, that feels good and real and meaty and intimate – it’s like family – we are just as bound to the ugly family member as the beautiful one, and it is the fact of our seeing and valuing this connection that makes us feel alive and respectful of love as a thing to value – we love our love, and this feels right.

It’s like me loving Sarah. The woman is nuts. But the fact that I do so anyway means that I respect the power and goodness of the fact of love. I choose to value it, not for what I get out giving it, but because in itself it is good. It isn’t money or exchange or barter, it is just being, being alive with respect for being. Attentive care. When a person is damaged, and you care for them, it highlights the fact that you value attentive care itself, and this extra highlight adds intentionality and brings out the flavor of the thing, the meaning of the whole thing. Knowing that love is chosen in the face of unattractive looks or behaviors makes it a conscious activity, and this simultaneously builds bonds and respect for those bonds. Loving someone who is perfect demands too little sacrifice and personal growth and effort; we like our sports to be challenging. We respect sportsmen for their endurance, dedication, mental and physical co-ordination, and training. A sportsman will chose the most arduous obstacles, as he sees that the biggest challenges force him to be at his best and make him feel the most alive. Rock climbing, adventures through polar regions, or even the sport of chess, we seek challenges to test ourselves against and we call this play, and through play we grow skills.

So if you feel unattractive, consider the silver linings. When you seduce a man with what you’ve got, he’ll likely be the sort who values your other good qualities, the sort who sees what is valuable. And we are lucky to be unatractive. We have to work a lot harder. This is good for us. Arie, for instance, is physically not quite my type. She has to work a lot harder to hold my attention than a woman who instantly generates lust in me. But she does. She is very attentive. She earns her points and credits in the ways that she can – she works extra hard. This makes her a better person. And working very hard to earn love is fun and pleasant. Cooking for someone else and offering nice food feels good, as does their appreciation for being served.

I’ve learned a lot about love from some of my Asian girlfriends. Some make their chores into devotions, offerings of care. Instead of giving me a loving massage, a mate may clean my house, paying attention to my environment. Each and every time such a gesture is made, I pay close attention to look her in the eye and praise her for taking such good care of me. I am genuinely touched, each time, and make absolutely certain to each and every time express this feeling of being touched with praise. And of course my labour is always mutual; I work to earn money for food and rent. There is no imbalance, and we each offer different gifts. It is these little gestures to each other that make chores into mutual pleasures, shared endeavors, even as we do our works with our own efforts. We cook FOR someone.

So this is how I know that you are not too old or fat to date. You worked in an old folks home. You took care of Oma. You made efforts for people because you value the very fact that you are making efforts for people, sometimes even when you didn’t much like them. You love love for the sake of it. You can care for people. You cook well. You keep an environment beautiful in the way only a talented woman can. You hands are warm and you give good hugs. You may have to work a little extra hard at giving what you can give, and make routine personal sacrifices by toning up discipline at expressing yourself without causing too much stress when you are inconvenienced or wronged, but being forced to do this is lucky for you. And when you find a guy who values your extra efforts, he will be valuing a real and good thing, and you will have earned it. Beautiful women can be a real pain, and many men have enough experience to realize that the less attractive ones who stay social have been forced to work harder for attention, and so are often better company.

A woman who feels deserving just because of her looks and finds no inspiration to offer much more is called shallow, and so conversely, if you feel undeserving because of looks, look a bit deeper and offer what else you have that makes you deserving. I know exactly what it feels like to feel that you look unattractive. I face this daily. Sometimes I really look like shit. Humorously fugly. And a broke man is like a woman with no breasts. But I can still do magic with my eyes, and my voice, and my touch. I’ve been dating very attractive women in their early twenties who could easily get richer and more handsome guys. I’ve had to put in a lot of effort to be a person who could compensate for my deficits. This kind of continued and sustained effort eventually just becomes part of you, and people see it in you – that you are the kind of guy who puts in continued and sustained effort at being a force of good for someone.

Let’s think of the human bodymind system as similar to a computer. On your computer there are many programs that you use. An email virus can gain access to your whole computer if just one of these programs has some security flaw. It’s the same with being a lover. All you need is just one thing that you do really well in order to break into someone and get full access to their system. It doesn’t have to be the most obvious thing; looks. People do this all the time.
Arie hacked my system with her attentive and generous love making, unprovoked attention to food and cleaning, and loaning me money if I needed it. She did things for me that I never asked for, and did them consistently. She opened her heart to me, and let me touch her deeply. She is physically not my type, and I can be quite picky about that, as I am mostly attracted to very petite, hyper-feminine girls. She subverted my visual system, hacked me, and gained access through her sincere feminine wiles. You gotta respect that, and men do respect that. Women too. Women respect a man who gets to them not in the obvious ways but with sincere masculine wiles. And a man or woman who can respect these other wiles is a better person anyway, this is what I mean when I say it is better to be ugly and poor, that way when you catch someone, you know it is for something a bit deeper than looks or money. You make yourself into a better person, and you are more likely to get a better person – or at least a person with some feeling for more than just the obvious things that grab out attention. There are men who want to love you out there, if you are willing to work for it. We like a woman who works at being attractive – physically yes, but also in all the other ways a woman can be attractive. There are many avenues of devotions, many ways into someone’s system.

And keeping someone once in them really demands a lot of personal effort and mindfulness! But I think that’s just the best thing, not to be complacent, never take people for granted, always be sharp and at your best for someone else. Comfortable, but attentive to them. It makes us better. Don’t we all love to sacrifice? People get such a feeling of meaning in their lives, sacrificing so much for their children. I get meaning in my life also by loving my mate. Its just the little sacrifices and offerings that do it. Offering to make a cup of tea. Or the bigger and harder sacrifices. Biting my tongue, holding down my rage, staying patient and loving and compassionate in the face of abuse or neglect or bitchy nastiness is quite an advanced mental feat. But it also should be expected of us at our age; a maturity that can see people and value them when they are at the worst, and that can put up strict boundaries against abuse, and that can know that love is always inside them, no matter what someone else is doing to you. Sacrifices like this don’t go un-noticed, especially when you take care to always praise anothers sacrifices, with words. Bonds are built on the scaffolding of these devotional sacrifices. Other bonds are built through being together, resonating together, sharing joys and times and slumbers. And in the merging and in the bonds a couple is formed, a shared entity as real as each individual.

Crazy bitchy unfaithful messed up Asian women have taught me a lot about love. It isn’t so much about how perfect the other person is. After all, we are also quite a nasty ball of goo ourselves. It is just the effort at it. That’s all. It’s just the effort at it that counts. Once that message sinks in and becomes part of a person – not to seek out perfection in the other, but to seek out patience and fun and generous giving in oneself, others can see and feel that, and will respond to that, and you can hack into systems that by all rights should be inaccessible. People want to feel properly loved.

On a related topic, I have very quickly subverted Rosi’s habits of losing control of her temper and being disrespectful. Only once did I have to raise my voice to her. They say that when training a dog, the master must be both calm and assertive; expect to be treated as the dominant pack leader. Don’t beg the dog to obey, but expect it and calmly and assertively tell it what to do, and lavish praise and attention. I don’t argue with Rosi. She argues a lot with her fiance. I don’t want arguments in my life – they are unnecessarily stressful, and communication can easily happen without argument. I’m too old for it. There are times when it is fair and good to be dominant, and both people are happier for it. I think this is also a kind of love. Keeping someone within civil bounds. She can’t respect herself if she disrespects me, and I won’t tolerate abuses. Sometimes she hates herself for these uncontrollable feelings of pure bitch that she has in her. I just stand back and see her as clearly as possible, give her a bit extra space, and don’t feed her back negative energy – even keep my humor inside, keep my love’s embers, show her a little twinkle in the eye here and there, show her by example that respectful fun good energy and attention is the way to go, be as non-confrontational as possible, and if she crosses a line, inform her. Perhaps quite firmly, perhaps quite softly – depending.

And sometimes I won’t tell her right away, but wait until she is in a receptive moment, and then tell her in a way that is not an assault against her. For instance I waited until we were at a pleasant dinner to mention that once she is with her fiance in Spain that she won’t be able to ever call anyone “stupid”, as that is not acceptable speech there. “Well, those are my real feelings! What can I call him then?” “Nothing, you will just have to bite your tongue”. This approach worked much better than after her calling me stupid to shout back at her to not call me stupid. It gives her her own time to properly process an internal change she is going to have to make, and invites her to do so, rather than causing her stress about it. I have no need for revenge at her for wrongdoings. I just don’t want to be called stupid. I don’t need to be dragged down into dirt by her dirty behaviors, and to raise her up takes little more than being firm with boundaries and constant in care. I don’t have to argue. There are a lot of yappy dogs in the world, with yappy masters, always shouting at their yappy dog to stop barking. The way to get a dog to stop barking is to not bark yourself, don’t feed its negative energy with more of the same, and be obviously the dominant master, commanding respect genuinely, not needing to repeat commands. The dog will be much happier to have its place within family, and to know the family limits it needs to respect. Like the dog trainer, a good horse rider also need give only the subtlest of cues to his mount. People are happier being kept within proper civil bounds, and the best ways to do so are also proper and civil. There is no need for a lot of rough back and forth; that just goes nowhere and perpetuates the struggle.

I learned this mostly from my friend and mentor John Weber. He would offer to me the most savage and biting criticisms in subtle, kind and caring ways, ways that I could process without feeling affronted. I have been forced to practice his art, here in Asia, as confronting a person about their inadequacies and wrongdoings in a way that causes them to lose face rarely brings positive results. I’ve had to hack the system, go through back doors and other routes. Criticize without causing a feeling of being criticized. It takes much more personal control and patience, in the beginning, but gets better results and maintains the positive atmosphere that is what is being sought.

The bit about training dogs is likely to come off sounding sexist and brutish and be unpalatable. Male dominance is unpalatable, and trying to train a mate is unpalatable. I still can’t get past this habit of mine of just saying whatever I mean. I have to learn to speak in a way that is palatable. Men and women both need to be calm and assertive and not yappy, and men especially find it on themselves to at times be more the center for patient emotional stability with fair boundaries – at least once a month. I’m trying to say with the animal training analogy that when men and women want a change of behavior in a spouse, it is often more effective to not debate, but just state ones position, not as a confrontation, but with the authority of the truth of it. When I deal with children I also often find that a gentle word often brings out the better response. For instance Jolie fights with Lucas, tells him more than once to do something. But if I tell him something, he knows I mean business, and I don’t need to give as much feedback to him. I’ll let him cross boundaries a little, and not nag him, a little more and it is a suggestion to try something else, or else divert his attention, and too much and he will get punished. I don’t threaten, though I may warn. Sarah used to always be shouting at her kids, sometimes waving a stick at them. After living with her and her kids off and on for the year, she changed her ways, and her kids became more obedient. She saw how soft I was with them, and yet how they listened. And I asked/entrietied/forbade her to not hurt my ears with yelling. If a kid seriously crossed a family line, there was punishment. The household environment was always kind and gentle, so that they felt like loved family, but if a boundary was crossed, gentle times of warning were crossed, and they were kept in line. Kept.

There was no need to yap at children for constant mis-behaving. All that does is re-enforce that way for a kid to get parental attention, and show the immaturity of the parent to notice that a kid is just a kid. Only very small cues really need be given; if someone is attentive to their family, their family will be attentive to them. Kids pick up on when you are being patient to them – they don’t miss a beat – their world spins much faster than ours. They internalize our best, so doing our best works. We are what they internalize. I would ask Rosven to do tiny little chores, to make him part of the group effort. Brought the kids to their first movie, took them to restaurants. Played with them. The first time Rosven stole money from the house to give to his cousin, I grounded him. The second time, I grounded him again, and when he snuck out to play on the street, I grabbed him and brought in the house, not one word spoken, and gave him one, very solid spank on his but. I was angry and he knew it. It was bounded within rights of proper displine. One. Spank. It must have hurt like hell. Then I just went upstairs, and let him cry. He never mis-behaved again, and it wasn’t spoken of again. I never nagged or harangued or threatened, but I made sure he knew who his immediate family was, and how to be a family member. This gave him social status, to have a nuclear family, as a lot of kids in the neighborhood are like street urchins. The boundaries of civility we impose give us our safe place from which to feel out into the world. We want to be kept. Kept properly. Bounded inside our good place in our good family. Freedom from bounds of family comes as we outgrow family. Step by step. We earn or steal that in time. Or transcend. A family man or woman imposes what rules a family should keep, with the authority of a dog trainer. Calm, and assertive, and lots of praise. And respects that a dog can jump a fence at any time.

I think that when someone is difficult to love, but we manage to do so anyway, it makes us better at loving. People do feel this, if we can have patience and love in the face of adversity, and this humanity is natural to drop into. Forgiveness is something worth training in – I think it’s undervalued in our society. I never forget or erase any wrong done me – each one lives forever. What I aim to do is to keep respect and love for another, another flawed person, flawed like myself. Just keep seeing them. See the bitch. See the loved one. See all of it, not what I want or need, but all of it, and contain it in the vision of my lust and compassion andidifference and ignorance and hate – just see. Seeing is prayer. After a shut down from a wound, I am able to re-set my system to be open and caring again. It’s normal day to day business. A wound is given to me, but healing is the guage of my health. When I’m abandoned, internal resources. Life can be ugly and confused, but at age of 40 I’m not compelled to follow. I’m able to reset faster as I see stronger. Pushing reality into my mould doesn’t work. Reality is too springy, and tends to resume it’s original shape. We know the prayer. God grant me the power to change what I can, see what I can’t change, and accept what I can’t change. May as well add a line. And love what is.

Love is a force. It changes what can not be changed. If we accept, no need or hope to change, and while we are accepting, we have time to do something, in the same time scale as acceptance, we have time to love. That is a force. It makes some difference. Maybe it doesn’t cure the junkie. Maybe it doesn’t fix the retard. But it makes them loved.

The healer is healed as she heals – this activity that we try to learn and embody is not foreign. It’s normal. It goes without saying.

That was a long and rambling email. The summary is:

– Love is a sympathetic resonance that we can feel and express as a force, and we can grow in our capacity to give and receive it through practice.

– Being ugly forces people to bring out other seductive capacities.

– One aspect of seduction is generous sacrifice, and its positive flipside of praise for the efforts of the other. Another is not causing stress, even when wounded, and its flipside of demanding to be treated with respect.

– Not reacting with vindictive reprisals for wrongs and irritations and being sublimely diplomatic is very difficult, but ultimately more practical in altering a mates bad behaviors.

– It’s through trials and challenges that we mature, and the mature have more to offer.

The way I write tends to sound pedantic, like I’m trying to write some life manual as if I know stuff others don’t, but that’s just a flaw in my writing style that I can’t seem to shake. Writing is the way I try to put things down to figure things out for myself. Some ideas fascinate me, and I want to share them. I don’t know if any of it is useful or not, and I know a lot of stuff I say seems pretty wacky.