Falco Tarassaco left the Damanhurians speechless once by saying “If you can’t love someone, then just pretend”.
But how come an enlightened teacher was inviting us to pretend and not to be authentic? Furthermore, did he invite us to this behaviour, after all the talk about the community, about growing together, about friendship and love?
After confronting each other in the various community groups, the Damanhurians began to intuit other and more profound meanings of the surprising affirmation of their spiritual guide, until eventually, the founder of Damanhur explained his provocation.

Our body, our mind, and our emotions collaborate actively in giving life to our behavior.

In general, we are used considering an action is the consequence of a thought which in turn is the consequence of an emotion but in reality, the relationship between these elements is circular, not straight. One influences the other, without there being a rigid hierarchy. Making a kind gesture can be, and normally is, the consequence of a gentle movement of the soul but the opposite situation is also true. For example, giving a courtesy to a person at a time when we are in a bad mood, can help us overcome irritation and return to a more serene state of mind.

Do you smile because you are well or are you well because you smile?

The first affirmation is naturally right and present in everyone’s experience but so is the second one. If when we are sick, when we are sad and bitter, we put ourselves in front of the mirror and try to smile to ourselves, we see that little by little the smile invites the next smile, and our mood brightens.

Another example is with Inner Harmonization, a Damanhurian discipline of meditation and energetic rebalancing. Some positions are practiced where the physical body “invites” the rest of our being to implement certain functions. With the “thinker” position, as with the “listening” position, it is as if the abilities to reflect with particular intensity and to listen are activated in us even beyond the words, to grasp meanings that otherwise we would not know how to reach. The body therefore stimulates behaviors of the mind and heart, and not only the opposite.

We can educate the heart and the mind

Let’s go back to that statement by Falco: “Pretend to love each other”. The message is clearer now: behave as if you love yourself, even if it is difficult for you, and this will help educate your heart and your mind to develop the love that is not yet there.

With respect to those we love it is easy to be welcoming, kind, and generous. For those who are indifferent to us or even those who are not so kind to us, it is not easy at all. But if we strive to be so, behaving “as if”, we will realize that little by little our feelings may actually change and we can develop a different sensitivity also towards the people who we feel most distant. Love must be educated, emotion must be educated, these are not feelings that are there or are not there, without us being able to do something about them.

Falco with his theory of “pretending” teaches us that no matter if we have love for a person, we can begin to behave with empathy, and love will develop.
Loving a person does not mean not seeing his or her limits, or finding them pleasant and smart all the time, it means looking for the signs of the nobility of the human soul, even when these signs seem to be well hidden! We need to do what is in our power for that person to express their true potential.
Each of us may meet people with whom we have a more difficult relationship every day and we can try to open new spaces, which will be good for both of us.

Think about it, with whom can you learn to behave in a loving way, even if love is not there at the moment? And will you notice, if someone behaves like this with you?