That's a great example, Doc. I'm glad you shared it.
There is a trust there, a trust that is hard to explain, it can not be defined as point a, point b, and point c.
Do you believe it somehow cheapens the trust to break down and examine its mechanics? Why would you think that?
Human relationships, emotions, thoughts, the mechanics of interaction self with self and self with other, the mechanics of interaction component to component, are real. They have structure, flow, form, degree. Coming to understand more about them empowers you. Through understanding, you can examine, evaluate. You can find where there is room for correction and chisel away at the flaws, reshape the sculpture. You can find where there is strength and find the means to build upon it, to extend it.
There is a wisdom in not overanalyzing things, in the sense that it is foolish to lose sight of the forest for the trees. You cannot understand the whole forest by examining a few trees. Yet if you sit and say, "I will deal only with the forest, the forest is hard to explain and cannot be defined as a collection of trees and their relationships one to all" then you are simply being stubborn in your ignorance.
Does knowledge breed contempt? Does understanding destroy love? Can you love only from ignorance? There IS an understanding there to be had. And you are missing it. You are missing the entire point of my explanation. I did not say that trust was point A, point B, and point C. I said that trust lies in the power between, behind, and beyond these points. It is from the relationship of these points -- hope, expectancy, reliance -- that trust emerges. It is on the relationship of these points -- input from body, heart, mind, and soul -- that a foundation sturdy enough upon which to rely can be found. You're right, it is not point A, point B, and point C. I said that from the outset, trust is a synergy, a relationship, that is greater than the sum of its components. Just as you describe with your car analogy: one at the gas, one at the breaks, or otherwise in partnership creating something together that neither could create alone. The power lies between, behind, beyond. It is invisible, an energy of relationship, but it is real, and it is knowable, and it is understandable.
The reason that risk is part of the equation has to do with the nature of destruction and creation. Let's take another real world example: the world trade center attack of 2001. With a few hundred thousand dollars, a clever plot relying on deception, a few terrorists wholly devoted to the mission, trained and patient, they succeeded at part of their plot. They rammed three of four planes into targets, and in the matter of a few hours, they destroyed buildings that took months to build. They spent less money to destroy than it took to create. They spent less time to destroy than it took to create. All around, destruction has a greater "potential" in that it is easier to do. To construct those buildings took enormous know-how, cooperation, material resources, skilled labor, trust of all kinds between investors and architects and foremen and laborers, and even from all the people of the city who allowed the buildings to be built. A rather large segment of society had to invest a great deal of collective energy and resources and imagination to construct those buildings, and they offered a symbol thereby OF our cooperation, strength, and power. For power is the ability and willingness to act, and it took great power to achieve at that level.
What goodness takes lifetimes to build, evil can destroy in an instant. This is simply the nature of destruction and of creation.
We trusted visitors to our country. We trusted wrongly, expecting too much. We welcomed deceivers and workers of evil into our midst, and they stabbed us in the chest. They attacked not only the symbol of our strength, but stabbed right at our soul, and with most impassioned malice and hatred. They have, as all who hate must do, demonized us. We are as animals to them, corrupt and unworthy. They in their pride have deemed they have the right to make war upon us, and they do so wholly by turning our trust, the foundations of our society in respecting and honoring individuals and welcoming guests from all nations, against us. Or so is their intent.
We have trusted too far, but we cannot abandon all our trust or we are even further diminished. They laugh and they mock us for our "weakness", and lord it over us that they can do these things to us, that we are stupid enough to trust their lies and tricks and be deceived. They make a mockery of all they CLAIM to cherish. The god they think they honor "knows them not", and on this Muslims would agree. They are to Muslims what Timothy McVeigh is to Christians: a devil hiding behind a robe of false righteousness.
Our expectancy was misplaced. We have to correct this by being more vigilant, by NOT trusting as far as we did: not by way of shutting down trust, but by way of better figuring out who is or isn't trustworthy. We have to pay more attention, work harder, and because we relied on some who betrayed us, we are set back. We have, in trusting those twenty too far, risked and LOST the lives of thousands, the pain of millions, the work of millions more. We lost so much that day and since, it has reshaped our entire nation. But what we have left is much greater, and all that has been lost shall be replaced and then some. For we can create new buildings, and we will reach a much stronger and more mature place of trust that will not be deceived like that again. All the bonds that made us strong, in our pain and grief we reached for one another and those bonds they attacked and sought to destroy have been made MANYFOLD much stronger. They have but angered and emboldened us, for they are foolish men who do not have the first clue about us. Their images of us as corrupt, as weaker than them, these are conceits, the lies they have told themselves to elevate themselves above us in their own minds. Clever men, but fools, every one.
Their vision of a superior Islamic state in central Asia, to have been formed by conquering many neighboring lands from Afghanistan, lies in smoking ruins. We have torn down their corrupt state in Afghanistan and in its place made a space for the kind of government that IS built on trust. We are not there to force our will upon others, but only to remove those have been doing that all along, who attacked us and picked a fight we never would have started but are wholly willing and able to finish, with the remainder who live there to sort out their own destiny with our help and support. They will choose their own forms of government when their council meets. They chose the forms of the interim government. They must rebuild their nation from the ground up, and it is going to be a difficult process, for there are many who despise a vision of a nation built on trust, and want only to dominate of their own design, to rule and not to serve.
The USA has ideals of dominion, AND the fruits of the pursuit of these ideals are indisputable. They exist. We have the oldest governing document in the world. Our government IN its current form is the elder statesman now among all nations. Our founding principles, corrupt as they were at the time for excluding slaves and even women, still state a worthy ideal: that all men are created equal. From this we have been able even to purify the ideal, to include not just white men, but all men, and not just men but women, all human beings. We falter often and egregiously in our pursuit of this ideal, and there is corruption within our nation (sometimes seeming to be without end), but all that we have done which is good springs from these ideals and our commitment to them, our respect one to another, our love one for another, and our respect of other nations.
And through all of this, the relationship I have detailed can be tested, in the real world. Apply the mechanic for yourself. You can find the hope, the expectancy, the reliance, the risks. Pick any example of trust, failed or successful, at any level of sophistication or simplicity, and look for the components. I say that when trust has failed, a component has been lacking. Hope was false, expectancy misplaced, reliance lacking, or risks askew, such that the relationship between them faltered. Trust is the measure of honesty, the reliance upon honesty. Trust is the fragile keystone of creation, while betrayal is the ubquitous potential for destruction. Where trust has worked, the RELATIONSHIP of these components in this form will be found. Go, pick ANY example, apply the mechanics in the real world. See if you can find any falsehood to them.
There is more to a marriage than trust, much more. There is more to love than trust. Trust is ONE of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of emotional flows for which I can offer you a mechanic to explain and detail its function. You should not get the impression that I believe this is all there is to spirituality, emotion, or dominion. Your example about your wife, Doc, it's a great example. She lacked for trust in herself, but what she placed her trust in, that was more than you. She was trusting not in you, but in the relationship between you, that whatever might go right or wrong, you two would deal with it together and you would be there for her and not let her down, not just right away, or as the medication wore off, but for all time. Without the relationship, she could not remain off the medication. She needs your help continuously, BUT as she relies on that relationship and it comes through for her, the trust builds. Something is being created, slowly, layer by layer, and it is beautiful. The hope grows, the expectancy grows, AND the risk grows, as the reliance also grows. For at any time, destruction can rain down if the trust is betrayed, yet she is not afraid. And more and more and more is risked by continuing the trust, because more is invested through the trust. What is being built, created, grows larger and more treasured, yet remains as vulnerable to destruction through betrayal as at any point. Yet even as risk increases, uncertainty and fear are decreased. At some point the trust becomes solid, becomes so sure and certain in its solidity that it is redefined: not that she trusts you any more, but that she KNOWS you, knows that the relationship won't let her down. She is free and safe, as the bridge of trust between you is no longer a shaky rope bridge with rotten planks, nor a wooden bridge with a light load capacity, nor even a stone or steel bridge, but ever stronger and able to bear more weight with less worry.
More than A, or B, or C, or A+B+C. There is AxBxC where ABC is a whole new thing, without limits. You could choose at any point to wipe it out. Yet this is not in your interest, as you not only lose for yourself, but you lose for the other, too, for whom you care even more than for yourself. Love's bonds can be stronger than any steel, but trust always remains fragile. If tested, it may not break right away, or it may. Even one betrayal can destroy trust. Much depends on the degree of betrayal, on how strong the bridge was, and how the components resort themselves. If hope or expectancy or willingness to rely are destroyed, not just damaged or wounded or weakened but cut down, the bridge collapses and it will not be remade. You never know when you might reach that point, so you cannot afford to betray. Maybe the relationship will survive, maybe it won't.
Trust is not a theory, it is a real world mechanic with empirical structure: an understanding of a key portion of the nature of belief and attitude, of feeling and thought, of decision and choice, of relationships. You can ignore it if you like, it doesn't care, but you can't avoid dealing with it. If you prefer to deal with it from ignorance or mystification rather than from a place of understanding and engagement, that is your option.