In some traditions, and in our culture in general, passion and unconditional love are often set up as opposites. But it makes more sense, to me at least, to see them as a very similar quality and mostly different in what is included.
When we see ourselves as a separate human being, our natural care and compassion comes out in many different ways and usually in ambivalent ways as well. We care for ourselves, but not really and not fully – we also engage in many activities which are not so good for ourselves. We care about others, but again in often mixed-up ways. We experience passion towards another human being.
As what we see as “us” becomes more inclusive, our circles of care and compassion widen and become more incluse as well, and the quality and depth of this care – as it is expressed – increases. We become more aligned with what is – a seamless fluid whole of manifestation – so our actions of care are more effective.
As long as we have a fragmented worldview and world experience, our care is mixed up with blind aversion and attractions. We are in constant battle with what is. As our worldview and world experience becomes more transdual, our circle of care not only naturally includes more and more, but our actions come from more clarity.
In a fragmented worldview, we have what appears as selfishness and passion. And in a more transdual worldview, we have what appears as unconditioned compassion and care. The impulse seems to be very similar in both cases, but filtered through a different view and experience of the world, their expressions becomes quite different.
To organize this a little better, we can say that the common impulse is that of care or caring.
If it is expressed while being exclusively identified with my human self, or my circle of care and compassion is relatively small, then it takes the form of selfishness when directed towards myself and passion when directed towards another. And it is precariously dependent on certain conditions to be triggered. It is conditioned by the changing manifest world.
If I have awakened as Witness and then as what is, and my view is deepening transdual, then the same impulse comes up as altruism and compassion. Now, it is not dependent on changing conditions in the manifest world to be triggered – it appears as unconditioned. Although it is really still conditioned, but now on noticing and the awakening as Witness and then just what is, with no separate “I” to be found anywhere.