Hugo Chavez’ knowledge of life and history was gained through self-education and self-examination. Early in his journey he perceived how duality in human relationships functions. Basic duality – like hot and cold, light and darkness, true and false – is easy to observe; however, more subtle forms of duality, like love and need, are often missed.
From the moment a child is born we can see love and need alternating in musical rhythm, making our lives either joyful when harmonious or painful when dissonant. Balancing these two aspects in relationships is subtle. In fact, mastering this balance is a supreme art essential to all lovers, teachers, leaders, and public servants. No one can love and feel no need for loving. Loving implies a need to love and that need implies a desire to be loved.
A baby is born with a seed of love already naturally present at birth. This seed grows in the protection of the womb, provided its mother has a protected, happy, and peaceful pregnancy filled with the affection and care of her husband and family. In a baby, need is the first motive for communication. The baby cries because it needs help in this strange new world in which it finds itself. It cries because it is hungry or because it needs human contact.
As a child grows, its needs become balanced and blend with love. This is when it begins to enjoy playing and communicating, first with its mother, then later with an expanding circle. Noam Chomsky, a great friend of Hugo Chavez and a defender of justice, has shown that the faculty of language is pre-formed in the very structure of human beings. Language in poetry and song elevates the dance of life, while the need for giving gives rise to the arts, opening pathways of awareness and union.
Love and need are like breathing. At birth, the first breath is an inhalation. When we die, our last breath is an exhalation. A human expires or gives back its last connection to earthly life upon returning to the source from which he came. The final exhalation of a wise, just man like Hugo Chavez is a return to his source and the embrace of cosmic love.
Hugo Chavez understood the inseparable duality between love and need. He saw the need of his people and set out to work with love for them. For this reason he was trusted and loved by men and women of goodwill. For this same reason he was hated and feared by heartless deceivers. Chavez loved his people with an open heart and was clear about his own need for his people’s support so that together they could build a real civilization. The people loved Chavez and needed his teaching, leadership, and guidance to get out of the dark dungeon of oppression they had been confined in by the cold greed and selfishness of the rich.
Chavez agreed with Thomas Paine, one of the fathers of our dying republic, who wrote: “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” That’s why, when speaking to the UN General National Assembly he recommended Noam Chomsky’s “Hegemony or Survival” for all to read. That’s why he called George Bush the devil.
Christ was crucified by his enemies only to triumph in his enduring message of love. Like Christ, Chavez was murdered by his enemies and in death is becoming more powerful, elevated by the explosion of love, admiration, and the prayers of his people and by the light of hope he kindled and renewed in human hearts across the globe.
Indeed, Hugo Chavez continues to live in the ocean of love he generated.