We have explored the idea that all adjustment can only ever be fear. My actions to prevent pain, to live a life of duty, and my need to become something better than I already am, can only ever increase my pain. The essence of love – accepting the limitations of language to express such a concept – is to know your absolute correctness already, to freely accept the whole organism that is ‘you’ as you are without the need to adjust. We only adjust when we seek reward or security; expressed as the following of criteria and condition. Does love contain criteria or condition? Has it ever? Examine it for yourself.
Our minds are petty, blinkered and conditioned; caught up in sensation, the craving for security and satisfaction in its various forms. Can there be love without freedom and is there freedom if one is conditioned? A conditioned mind asking ‘how am I to be free?’ is an utterly nonsensical question. Freedom only exists when the level of one’s conditioning is seen and understood, when there is no longer control, submission, discipline and so on. So one must begin by deconstructing this mad world with its hierarchies and injustices. Deconstruct the views and beliefs that shape who we are, like those we have absorbed in response to the trauma of living in a callous, competitive world which has left us totally devoid of the self-empathy needed for there to be love.
Asking ‘what is love, how am I to cultivate it?’ is not the correct question. ‘What is not love?’ is the correct question. Love is not attachment; it is not mutual usage, convenience, utility, desire, lust, sensation, romanticism, emotionalism or sentimentality. Love is not the brotherhood of man; it does not exist in the ideal, the imported virtue, the fairytale, the shining knight, a Mills and Boon novel or Anais Nin kink.
Love is not necessarily being on the same page; two politicians can easily identify with each other. The art of learning and sharing, on the other hand, require two or more people meeting each other at the same level with the same intensity at the same time, ready to find out, free from the line and ground stick of their personal prejudices, opinions and conclusions. Words are then no longer barriers, fences to stand behind; we are walking together as two friends, attending.
Love is not escape; it is not the avoidance of our childhood wounds. Love faces that which disturbs, it makes the unconscious conscious; it is the ending of our flight from what is – the very basis of fear. Love is not being caught in a self-projected dream or a co-dependent nightmare. It doesn’t rely on any system invented by man; there are no leaders or gurus, there is no authority, there is absolutely no spiritual ambition.
Love that which you wish to understand: love is genuine understanding. It is not imported. Direct perception is living thing, not a body of knowledge. Love is more real than anything that thought can devise or describe. It is forever fresh, anew, vital and alive. It starts without end; is universal, non-selective and unconditional. In relationship it never asks for anything in return, it does no harm or can be harmed. It is innocent and all innocence is invincible.
What we call ‘love’ is often closer to desire. In desire we seek to posses, manipulate and dominate. We are aggressive when pleasure is denied and so then comes the jealousy, the resentment, the reactions, the cravings to fill our inner emptiness, depression and boredom. For love to be, loneliness must cease; a wholeness must be. A deep abiding aloneness which is undivided, non-fragmented, not broken up; the state of being all one. This is not oneness but wholeness; a holon inside a fractal universe without centre, where the whole exists in every part. Then between fellow man there is humility, trust, sharing, empathy, honesty, sensitivity – the basis of friendship, of relationship. Man can then be without adjustment of himself, never caught in comparison or measurement. Never caught in the urge to power.
Self-affirmation is not love, though many thinkers today spout this distorted idea of self-love as the basis for communal love. Self-love, when properly understood, happens when the individual is truly complete; when he is indivisible, undivided, not caught in duality – the thinker and the thought. It is not a process of integration around a centre, for then the ‘me’ is still operating. Love only is when the self is not, when the mechanics of the mind cease, when it has learnt to be free of itself (its conditioning), when it has learnt to be free from the known. Only then is there no centre and the flowering of something exquisite, expansive, untouchable, tantric. The mind ceases of its own accord without the discipline to cease.
One cannot cultivate love; there is only the understanding of what is not love. It is this meekness that is most powerful. Then the beauty, depth and immensity of something immeasurable, unutterable and blissful come into being. Man is no longer just for himself; his reverence exists in his conduct with another. He is passionate for all, compassionate; he feels deeply passionate about changing that which is unjust, immoral, deceptive, acquisitive, violent, brutal, callous, wicked.
Love is a power the ‘me’, the ego, cannot provide. Love’s very softness and tenderness is its invincibility. It is a totality, an exactness and an immensity beyond our petty little pleasures and stimulations. It is a freedom that has its own beauty, strength and living virtue (not the pious virtue of our archaic dogmas). A truly religious man is not spiritual. Spirituality can easily be a form of identification. He is a maverick, a rebel without uniform; he is a sceptic. He doesn’t believe in the soul, reincarnation, the afterlife, heaven or any of that superstitious nonsense. Love engages the whole of life with an intensity that cannot be described. It is the ultimate intensity but for it to be, there must be humility.
There must be freedom from the craving for experience for genuine experiencing to be. There must be freedom from the search for gratification; there must be in essence freedom, choiceless freedom.