Jul 9 2013
What is Love?
And the Buddha opened his eyes.
He looked at me and asked, “What is it that you really want?”
I sat for a while in quiet wondering. What is it, really?
Is it approval … understanding …
a desire to feel connected to someone in this world?
Or is it The Truth?
In this moment of quiet contemplation I came to surrender to the fact that what I had been grappling with–under the guise of wanting to connect with another in the truth–was that what I really wanted was to join with an image on the screen–not the truth. Very subtle! It felt as if joining together deeply in the mind with another would bring me some sort of spiritual satisfaction. On this journey even the idea of joining deeply with another has to be looked at, questioned and undone. Where is the “other”? The Course is teaching us that there is only our own mind. The idea of bodies being able to join is a false idol; it is a pseudo-experience of joining. Of course under the Holy Spirit’s guidance all situations and relationships can be used to fall ever-deeper into True Love. The Holy Relationship is not between people; it is allowing the seeming relationships of this world to be used to see all of our desires for what is not the truth.
“Undermining the ego’s thought system must be perceived as painful, even though this is anything but true. Babies scream in rage if you take away a knife or scissors, although they may well harm themselves if you do not. In this sense you are still a baby. You have no sense of real self-preservation, and are likely to decide that you need precisely what would hurt you most.” T-4.II.5
If you want a relationship with another person you are reinforcing lack in your experience. This has to be faced to ever free your mind from the attraction to special love. This is what keeps the mind fixated on a world of dreams and away from our eternal reality. There is no horizontal harmony.
Like a baby we continually grab for what will somehow satisfy this longing for connection. If relationships are used to pacify this deep feeling of lack, they will continue to fuel the experience of lack in our lives. It is the biggest hook we all have to face. When we use all of our earthly relationships to take a deep look at our desire for something other than God’s love, we enter into Holy Relationship. This commitment is quite different from the ones we have accepted as valuable and good in the world. This is a deeply devoted commitment to God. It is a doorway that opens. Next we begin to walk through all the levels of lack and deep despair that the hope of having a relationship with another was made to cover over. This is the place where most people want to turn back to the familiar because there is extreme disorientation as the mind commits to one Purpose. It is where the rubber meets the road for those who say they want the truth but in reality really have no idea what deep excavation has to occur to get at the root of this self-deception. How many times have you said “I want the peace of God”?! Perhaps you exclaimed this in moments of deep despair. Probably upon deeper inquiry you might find that really what you are saying is I want to find some way to be happy in my relationship with another.
“I want the peace of God. To say these words is nothing. But to mean these words is everything. If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time. Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, memory of God entirely restored, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.” (W-185)
WOW!! Isn’t that worthy of your attention?! Jesus also says, “To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it.” (T-7.III.4) The kingdom of heaven is WITHIN, so why do we unceasingly seek for it without? We must STOP and let Him lead the way. And the way can be quite a shock! You mean all the things I thought were of value and would bring me safety, security and peace and happiness are a counterfeit for what is real and true? This is where it gets very disorienting! If the Course is your given path and you see yourself settling for a counterfeit–you have to question it.
“Step back in faith and let truth lead the way. You know not where you go. But One Who knows goes with you. Let Him lead you with the rest.” (W-155) I find this so comforting! Over the years I have seen that with every idol that is raised up, looked at with Spirit, questioned and released, my relationship with the light in my mind becomes deeper, stronger and more present. One of my deepest lessons has been around letting go of what seem to be good things in this world. I feel like a poster child for this line from the Course:
“The dreams you think you like would hold you back as much as those in which the fear is seen. For every dream is but a dream of fear…” (T-29.IV.2)
I have unlearned a lot about what I thought love was. In fact I have come to realize since being in this community that in truth what I thought love was, was anything but love! I had no idea when I began this deep excavation into the self-concept that I would uncover how inaccurate these beliefs and ideas of love really are. Jesus teaches that “there is no Love but God’s.” (W-127) If that is true than why do we experience so many variations of it? That should be the first clue. Why is there such a difference between how you “love” your lover and how you love your neighbor? Jesus is pointing us to a much bigger picture and a much deeper experience than what has been settled for as love. It is worthy of our focused attention.