It is always risky to generalize, but in some areas – when experience and insights find the same – it can also be helpful. In any case, whatever we come up with is always a question. Is it true?
So in terms of our motivations, it seems that whatever is behind them is first fear, and behind that, love.
As soon as we sense ourselves as an I with an Other, there is always fear. We are an object in the world, at the mercy of the larger world. We have needs, wants, desires. We get what we don’t want, don’t get what we want, lose what we don’t want to lose, don’t lose what we want to lose, or at least, we know it may – and will – happen. It is a drama of life and death, which flavors even the little things in our lives.
Whatever we do and experience in this situation is tinged with fear. Our likes and dislikes, our goals and motivations, they are all mixed in with at least some fear. Or, we can say that fear is behind it all. Fear of not getting what we want, getting what we don’t want, losing what we have and want, not losing what we have and don’t want. However innocent, however much it looks like love or joy or just enjoyment, there is always fear lurking in the background.
But there is something even behind that. Behind the fear that comes from a sense of a separate I is love.
And that is especially noticeable when we do practices such as the Big Mind process. Each voice at the human level, whatever it may be, is always there to help and protect our human self. It operates from love. Its whole reason for being is love.
So behind anything in our human life, behind any motivation, any emotion, any action in the world, is fear – coming from a sense of being a separate I, and then love.
And as with any statement, it is really a question. Is it true? Can I find it in my own experience? What do I find when I investigate it in my own experience, maybe even starting with that which seems the furthest removed from this on the surface? Is something else more true for me? Do I want this to be true? Or not true? What if I find something different?
OK. So I just got something to eat. What was behind that action? A sense of hunger. I wanted to satisfy that hunger. Ultimately, I wanted to keep this human self alive. If the hunger went far enough, there would be fear there about it dying. So I can find fear in the background, not at the surface in this situation, but I can easily see it surfacing if the situation was more extreme. And behind that is love. A love for this human self, a love for life, a love for being alive. Compassion. Kindness.
Earlier today, I went somewhat out of my way to do a favor for my partner. It just seemed the thing to do, not much going on at the surface of it. But there too, I can see that if I take the situation to an extreme, there is fear mixed in with it. A fear of not being liked, of losing her, of being alone. And there is also a love there. A love for her, wanting the best for her, wanting to help her. And a love for myself, doing what seems best for me as well.