They say Love can hurt and can heal. They say that Love can make you weaker, and can make you stronger. They say that Love can pour blood in the tiniest hidden spot in your heart, and can shed blood in the wildest public place in the planet. Love can make us blind, and can open our eyes to see wonders that never thought would be seen. Love can make us the most wanted criminals for justice, and in some cases, just in some cases, it can make us heroes in the face of public… but certainly, if treated smartly, it will make us heroes in the eyes of our loved ones.
But how can you be smart in dealing with something that your heart shuts your brains off in? How can we be smart when we have to choose between either saving our love or fulfilling our dreams? How can we be smart when we have to either lead a love life or a glorious life? Do we resist and fail, or fail to resist and win??
In that regards, history told us countless stories in multiple cultures about those who could not resist their feelings, and eventually screwed up their lives, and the lives of others. In Thebes, Egypt, 1290 BC1, high priest Imhotep2 had a love affair with Anck-su-Namun, the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I. When the Pharaoh discovers the affair, Imhotep and Anck-su-Namun assassinated him. Imhotep fleed, while Anck-su-Namun killed herself, intending for Imhotep to resurrect her. Imhotep and his priests stole her corpse and traveled to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, to resurrect her. Once the ritual of resurrection started, the Medjai3 showed up and stopped the ritual. Imhotep's priests were all mummified alive, while Imhotep himself was sentenced to suffer the Hom Dai, the worst of Egyptian curses; he had his tongue cut out and is buried alive with flesh-eating scarab beetles4. Imhotep was sealed away in a sarcophagus at the feet of a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis and kept under strict surveillance by the Medjai.
Unlike our filthy bustard Imhotep, whose actions led to destroy him and his mistress only, the prince Paris of Troy’s actions destroyed his entire Land because of his affair and elopement with Helen the queen of Sparta. According to the Greek methology, the king and queen of Troy sent their son Paris to Sparta for a diplomatic mission. The king of Sparta, Meneleaus, was busy then burying his Uncle Kratos the God of war. Therefore, Paris was welcomed in the royal castle by Helen who was the most beautiful woman alive then. In a nutshell, Paris and Helen fell in love with each other and fled to troy where they got married. Upon his return, Menelaus and his ally, Odysseus, traveled to Troy, where they unsuccessfully sought to recover Helen by diplomatic means. Meneleaus considered this as a huge insult, and eventually, called a war against Troy. He gathered his army along with Achaean troops and besieged Troy. After a fruitless 10-year siege, Meneleaus army constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid an elit force of men inside. They pretended to sail away, and the Trojans
1 – Source : Wikipedia – The Mummy plot
2- A fictional character based on the historical figure Emhoteb, a significant polymath and counselor to the Pharaoah Djoser in the 27th centery BC.
3- The Medjay were an elite paramilitary police force, serving as desert scouts and protectors of areas of Pharaonic interest.
4- Scarabs are small, carnivorous insects that eat the flesh of whatever creature they could catch, particularly humans. (source : www.mummy.fandom.com )
pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Meneleus force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of their army, which had sailed back under cover of night. They entered and destroyed the city of Troy. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated all the temples. If Paris, and Helen managed to smartly control their feelings, Troy would not have been destroyed and would not have suffered a 10 years war.
Perhaps the only legend that had a positive aftermath despite the tragic ending is the story of Isli and Tislit, the so called: Amazigh Romeo and Julliet in the Moroccan culture – my culture. Tislit was a beautiful girl full of energy and enthusiasm, who belongs to Ait Brahim tribe. One day, while taking her family sheep outside, she met with a young shepherd called Isli. He was a stunning young man and extremely funny. They spoke and laughed the entire time, and eventually they fell in love with each other. Then, Tislit found out that Isli belongs to Ait Yazza tribe, which is the most brutal enemy of her own tribe. Although this was devastating, the couple continued to meet while taking their sheep out. Once day, they decided to tell their families that they want to get married to each other. Tislit spoke to her mom, who promised to tell the father, but told her that it will be impossible that the father accepts marrying his girl from Ait Yazza tribe. Isli on the other hand told his father his desire, but the father rejected this union as it might lead to war. On the other side, as Tislit’s mother guessed, her husband rejected that his daughter gets married to a person from the other tribe. Later, Tislit and Isli were going to meet secretly in a hill between the two villages. Tislit arrived before Isli and cried terribly. When Isli arrived, he saw Tislit crying and understood that her father did not allow the marriage as well. He sat on the other side of the hill and started crying as well. Their tears, is believed by the legend, created the two lakes in the sides of the hill. Heartbroken, the couple did not stop crying until they drowned themselves in the lakes. After this tragedy, both families were destroyed out of guilt. The two tribes’ elders –leaders- decided to end the disagreement with each other granting their youth the opportunity to marry whoever they want, from whatever tribe they want. They also decided to hold a marriage festival every year at the lakes in the memory of their fallen Tislit and Isli. Up to know, the festival is still organized in the hill between the two lakes Tislit and Isli in Imilchil every September by the Ait Hddidou tribe that gathers both Aith Yazza and Ait Brahim tribe.
Although these stories are myths, we can not deny that a good deal of reality was the base of them. If so, no one, besides Athiests and Ignostics, can deny the story of Harut and Marut5 which is mentioned in many religious books. This story is freaking unbelievable. It talks about the time the angels asked God why humans are disobeying his orders and committing awful crimes on earth. God told them that he knows what they don’t, and challenged them to choose two representatives to go to earth and live like humans. The angels chose Harut and Marut to represent them. God sent the two representatives to earth, and gave them two human desires: Love and Jealousy. During their stay on earth, they fell in love with a woman (in some sources, the women’s name is Zohra, and often identified as Venus). She told them she would become intimate with them if they joined her in idolatry. The angels refused and remained pious. Zohra came back to the angels another time with a
5 – The real name in Arabic is هاروت و ماروت – Source : Quran. The way I have written them are my own translation, which might be wrong. If there are any mistakes in the transcript of their names, this is to clarify that I wish no harm to any of the religions that mentions their real names.
boy. She told them this time that she would be intimate with them if they kill the boy. Harut and Marut refused and remained pious again. Later they met her again and the woman this time stated she would become intimate with them if they drank alcohol. The angels thought that alcohol could not cause great harm and therefore, they accepted the condition. After they were drunk, they became intimate with her and they killed the boy. They even committed sins that they were never thinking of doing. On the next day, Harut and Marut regretted their deeds but could not ascend to heaven anymore due to their sins, their link to the angels was broken. Thereupon, God asked them, to choose between being punished on earth or in the hereafter. They chose to be punished on earth and therefore were sent to Babel, teaching human’s magic but not without warning them that what they were teaching is a sin. The moral of the story is that Alcohol is worst then all other sins. However, I quoted it because of the love part. Angels made a terrible decision because they loved Zohra, and up until now, humanity is still suffering from the bad sides of magic that were taught then by the angels.
The bottom line is that love, if not treated smartly, can destroy whoever comes in their way. From Islit and Tislit, to prists and princes, and to angles –or in another words, from the Moroccan culture to the Egyptian and Greek one and beyond; from the Islamic and Jewish and Christian culture and beyond, love does not have jurisdictions. If not treated well, it becomes an Ebola, a virus, a chemical bombs that can and will destroy your life.