Here is another topic I tend to revisit.
What is love?
The simplest may be to look at it in terms of what and who we are.
What we are is that which all experience happens within and as. (Variously called consciousness, awakeness, Big Mind, Spirit, Brahman etc.) Here, love is what we are. This is not neccesarily a felt love. But it is the love of the left hand removing a splinter from the right. They belong to the same whole, so nothing is more natural than helping out as appropriate. And that looks like love.
Who we are is our human self. Here, the love from what we are is filtered through beliefs and identifications, and that means it can look like love in an ordinary human sense, and also a lot of other things. Ordinary human love is often mixed in with a sense of lack, need, wants, insecurities, compensations, and more. Felt love is often from some of these filters.
Going one step further, we see that even what doesn’t at all look like love (in a conventional sense) comes from love. That too is filtered love.
For instance, lack comes from care for our human self. It comes from a wish, or attempt, or impulse, to take our our separate self. And that’s still love, but in a filtered form. The same goes for fear, anger, wounds, trauma, greed, insecurities, and a lot more that from a conventional view looks like anything but love. And still, when we examine it more closely, all of it can be traced back to love. It comes from care for our human self, and an attempt to take care of our human self. It’s love filtered through all sorts of beliefs and identifications.
Who and what we are go together and are inseperable. That’s why the two forms of love mentioned above are largely inseperable and mixed together in our actual human lives.
In an opening or awakening, the first one becomes more clear, and it can be lived to some extent. The more we examine and clear up beliefs and identifications, the more it is revealed and the more we tend to live from it in more situations.
Also, the more we examine filtered love, the more we reognize it’s from love, and the less we tend to battle it. And that removes a layer of additional filtering which is also helpful.
As usual, there is nothing wrong with this filtering of love. It’s just how life plays itself out through us. It’s also inherently stressful and uncomfortable, and we eventually get to a point where we wish to find another way. And that’s where we can start to find a different relationship with the filters (more kindness towards them which tends to allow identification with them to soften) and also find ways to invite them to clear and release.
An important part of this process is to find more peace with and kindness towards the filtering. We see that nothing is wrong. We see it comes from care for this human self, and love. Identification with the filtering tends to soften and even release, partly from finding more kindness towards it. And, in general, everything feels a bit easier. It doesn’t mean that the filtering is all gone, or that all identification with it is released, but it does mean it generally is a bit easier.
It’s an ongoing process, and it tends to become more enjoyable and lighter as we go along. And from the outside, it may look as if we live more and more from the what-we-are type of love. The one that’s like the left hand taking care of the right. And it also tends to look sane in a very ordinary way, and deeply human.
- what we are – as left hand relating to the right, helping as needed, part of the same
- who we are – gets mixed up with lack etc, whatever is created from beliefs/identifications
- beliefs/identifications -> filtering love (still love but take other forms)
- e.g. lack = care for the separate self, wishing/trying to take care of it, still love but in a filtered form (some calls it “distorted” but that seems more judgmental than neccesary)
- love = what we are, what everything is