Everything is love.

Advaita Post, Volume 10 nr. 13

Love: let yourself go and merge

in Koorddanser 26 nr. 264 (June 2009)

The last article I wrote in Koorddanser (Advaita Post # 10-09) was about the nature of spirituality as an aware expansion and transformation of self-being and also of the world, a breaking open and liberation into openness without duality (non-duality), to a freedom from the dream of a limited self, free for all and for everything. The article ended with “That is Love.” The editors have requested that I write something more about that.

The principle of love

The principle of love is easy to understand and formulate from the perspective of an expansion of yourself.  As your self-being becomes more expansive a new, more spacious sphere comes into being.  Within that a) you release your older limited self and b) you allow that which at first was foreign or other, into yourself as being not different from yourself. This motion has an emotional sphere that we call love. When the unrestricting continues radically, when there is a total release of the limitations and interests of self-being and an acceptance of universal non-duality, this becomes Love.

This process is much easier to formulate than allowing it to become a reality for yourself. The formulation can certainly help, namely if through it you can see more precisely what’s involved. Insight remains a decisive factor in its realization. Therefore it can be useful to elaborate further on the description mentioned above.

Where does love show itself? In relations with others: your partner, your family, your parents, and so forth, in relations with animals, plants, things, or without a definitive relationship. The form can always be different, but in any case there is a self-being that is larger than the individual person, because it recognizes or finds itself in another.

Egocentricity and love

Expansion is certainly possible on the egocentric level. To put it more definitively: the ‘I’ always attempts to expand its own territory.  So you have a continuous desire for something or someone and you have the idea that that thing or person belongs to you, is your possession. You let your self feeling flow into this or that ‘other’.  When the desired expansion seems unrequited, strong reactions and attempts to arrive at the desired result still occur. The expansion happens on the basis of a ‘love’ whose center lies in a concentrated ‘I’ with its own self importance and self care. This kind of ‘love’ isn’t love, but rather, will to power, possession and consumption. The limited self or ego can’t follow other principles because it holds on to itself too tightly.

It’s clear that this path doesn’t lead to a loving unity. If you are an ego the two principles of love mentioned above (a & b) are not an option. We can see that in a relationship with someone else, but also with other living beings and things. The ego doesn’t want to release the old limited self.  You want to retain your own identity. Secondly you don’t really want to let another in. You are focused on something special, on what’s nice or has advantages for you; you experience the other from a limited viewpoint, in order to possess. The ego can’t arrive at love as an unselfish expansion and irreducibly open stance in relation to another, in short to the dissolving of the borders between I and other.  The ego is the denial of love. The ego-focus is a center-seeking tendency, and is the opposite of love as a giving and centrifugal movement. The ego as closed and hard is the opposite of love as openness and fluidity.

From ego to love

It’s really important to see that even with egocentric love an opening and an expansion of self and a search for unity is present.  That can form the basis for a higher form of love, namely if the I-focused forces diminish within the general expansion of the relationship.

On the level of the ego, love has a strong emotional aspect. In sexual relationships strong energies and passionate affects play a big role. Even though a strong egocentricity and egoism can still be present, the sexual approach always means an opening up of your own territory and that contains possibilities for further openings within it.

When the latter occurs, the fires of true love burn through. When it is strong, it consumes the ego and becomes cosmic.

Real love goes beyond the ‘I’ person.  It is always there, in as much as you release yourself as an ‘I’ person.  It is there in a completely clear manner, when you no longer create an opposition between yourself as ‘I’ and the other, when you love your nearest as yourself.  It is the sphere in which everything and everyone is absorbed.  In Love you are the Self of everything and everyone.

Joy

With the expansion of your own sphere and the release of your old self, all aspects of self-being are purified, also in the emotional sphere.  Every expansion brings a feeling of joy. Both always go together. Therefore expansion, that crossing of existing borders, is continually sought on the ego-level. It happens with fast cars, in every sport, in every study, but also through the use of drugs and alcohol. As borders are crossed or disappear it brings joy. From an ‘I’ level the expansion remains limited, focused on something particular and therefore dependent on conditions and so temporary.  Therefore the joy is conditioned and temporary.  These limitations disappear as long as you also release yourself.  Then there is not just a small expansion of personal feelings of joy but rather an infinite expansion beyond the borders of time and space and along with that also comes unlimited joy and bliss (ânanda).

Mirror

Love shows its true value only when it becomes more than a beautiful feeling. Everyone has a sense of that. And if you neglect that and remain with your egocentricity? Then these limitations show themselves sooner or later in the mirror of love. Then love is experienced as something hard: it also judges, judges everything that is still left over from the ego. This judgment can hit hard and cause fearful reactions. The tendency frequently exists to avoid this openness and to dive back into a nice, fuzzy emotional sphere. But God’s love has two sides which must be accepted in order for the unity to be manifest. Kâlî and Shiva in their destructive forms devour the ego. Only through surrender does it become clear that such destruction too is infinite love.

Your heart energy

Mostly you sit looking out and thinking about everything from your head. But you can let your point of view of yourself sink from there down into the region of your heart. Possibly you can already experience that the heart is soft. You can already approach that soft spot tangibly.  The soft heart feeling becomes stronger as you increasingly enter into it.  The feeling heart energy also begins to flow, undulating. And that undulation becomes increasingly strong.  Just experience it as a strong wavelike energy. It is fluid light energy. Inhalation brings the energy within, exhalation flows and radiates the energy out in all directions.  It is a definite feeling, but maybe you can also see it as illuminating energy. You can visualize it in order to experience it very concretely. When you see it very clearly before you, you can slowly and steadily enter into it, so that you can go along with the dynamic movement from the inside-out, with the waves and the radiation. Let yourself steadily and increasingly sink in. From out of the consciousness in the head you let yourself steadily sink into the feeling, into the heart. In this way head and heart, consciousness and feeling come together.  You radiate outwards as heart energy. Everything and everyone becomes lovingly absorbed in that energy. The process of expansion continues infinitely to a universal unity. The separateness of the ego, with its desires and resistances has disappeared.

Everything is love

When you have realized unity, you see only love, also in the personal. Then life as a person appears as a closing off and a diving into the limited space of borders. Then love becomes less visible. Even though it is still present always and everywhere, it’s not experienced like that. It certainly expresses itself on the level of ego, namely as the need for love. But this desire expresses itself in the striving for and the receiving of compensations, compensations for the lack of unconditional love. Nevertheless it can still be viewed as an expression of love. Open love can even be sought aggressively. But if you let everything turn open and melt lovingly, then there are no borders to love and happiness any more. Then there is a universal love-sphere of non-separation, non-duality.

When this realm becomes more and more rarified, what’s left over? Let’s call it absolute openness. As this presence is allowed to remain, there is a cosmic Love without veils.

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