I wonder sometimes, what Love truly is. How it feels, and if what I feel for others, is truly Love.
Coehlo’s seminal text, The Alchemist, last came into my life at a particularly fortuitous time period, as I dealt with issues of a crossroads nature in all aspects of my personal world. The tale is wonderfully drawn, clear and an excellent primer for many of life’s more esoteric vistas. The book begins with the relation of the story of Narcissus, and his death by drowning in a beautiful Lake. The Lake, feeing sorry, did not realize Narcissus was beautiful, but only saw its own beauty, reflected by Narcissus’ eyes. The book contains a lot of gems thus far along the read; gems that I’ve read elsewhere before, and have also realized of my own experience.
Is what we love about others, that which we love about ourselves? There exists also the truism that what we hate about others is what we hate about ourselves, so why should not its opposition be true as well? And, if that is the case, what does that say about the nature of Love? Closely related to these questions, is the realization of the magnitude of the statement and biblical verse, (1st John, 4:8) God is Love. Again, working in opposition, Love is God. So, if what we love about others is what we love about ourselves, and Love is God, then what we are truly loving is the Divine that we find in the reflection of our own perfection manifest through the medium of dichotomous existence, the manifold illusions of separation, distinction and differentiation. Do you feel me?
God is One (God being in this conception the manifestation of the All: Omniverse), All is One, Love is the vital force that permeates all of Creation, that allows the atoms to bind together to form molecules, that keeps the neutrons and protons eternally separate and yet immersed within their elemental dance of attraction, the very core of physical Creation itself. At larger scales of aggregation we find the divine harmony of ecological evolution, of biological niches where families of chemical distinction resonate and engage in symbiotic relationships of harmonic convergence, existing as one part of a larger ecosystem, all working in tandem to create a larger whole. The Butterfly Effect exemplifies the chaotic nature of symmetry, within which order lies – despite all appearances to the contrary – and what, pray tell, could better exemplify our current thoughts and beliefs about the vagaries of love, moreso than chaos theory and the realization that order does indeed flow from a primeval source into our lives through the medium of attraction, through the medium of desire, through the medium of Love?
God is Love. Within us, seeds of God lie, in many dormant as the Ego lives our lives, working super-consciously to keep us sub-consciously unaware that there is a Cosmic Order and meaning underlying every single instance and expression of Love in our lives. The Ego is wily, will do everything in its power to keep the illusion of Maya intact. But, beneath every argument there is a reason, there is a manifestation of Divinity, an expression of Love. Beneath every war, a yearning for completion, and holism. The instantaneous nature of attraction – the pheremonic soup of synchronicity and opportunity that sometimes results in lifelong connections and, at other times, only a fleeting-but-memorable explosion of interest and consumation – is the crux of our dilemma, and comprises the entirety of the facade of coincidental correlations that many use in order to deny the fated nature of the times.
Is the reflection of me that I see in you the totality of my commitment to the reality of Love? Or, is there more to the equation? Does compassion play a part? And, if so, what is compassion and how is it expressed as a value of Love?
Compassion is defined as the desire to decrease the suffering of others, which, as the Hindus and Buddhists say in the Four Noble Truths, is one of the mandatory elements necessary in order to transcend this physical plane of existence. And yet, compassion can only be born of Love, of the ability to see another’s pain, because we recognize that pain as a reflection of our own pain, as One expression of a pain that the world feels, that God feels, that is beautiful, and transcendent, and the key to the Door of Life, through which we all must pass to get through to the other side.
The movie American Beauty was an excellent example of this pain, sense of disenchantment and disillusionment, as are many other movies, plays and stories, all of which are the same story, telling us about ourselves, and about our promise and potential, as well as our doom and destruction. All stories are only One Story, All loves are only One Love, All of us are only One of us, we are all, therefore, One.
An expression that encompasses the juxtaposition of compassion and Love is, “I’m Sorry. I Love You”. I feel you, and resonate with you, on the same vibration of love and joy, ecstasy and despair, anger and envy, happiness and depression. I see your heart as my own heart, feel your anxieties as my own, hold your triumphs as high as my own, unadulterated by a need for envy or jealous because You are Me, and together We are Free to Be All that we are Promised, All that we believe We can Be when we are young and unbound by the life choices we have made.
The rising exhilaration that comes from the realization that all of the above is true is felt as a gentle thrumming in the body, a gentle shiver that moves from the base of the spine up, into the crown. Can you feel it now? As you can when you hear or read some Eternal Truth? That is the confirmation that we all are One, that Truth, beneath the relativity of our senses and experiences is more than truth, culturally and individually defined. While we are drugged by the sensuality of the Ego, confused by the rush of emotions and experiences and bombarded by stimuli from both within and without, beneath that seeming torrent lies the deeper calms of Eternity, where all Experience eventually sinks, softly, permeated by Light and Dark alike, eventually undifferentiated from the Source of All, while still, incredibly, remaining distinctly aware and conscious of its individuality. Immersed in Love, in God, in All.
At the personal level, then, I am confident in the Love I feel. The compassion that opens my heart to you, to the multiverse, to Divinity. Being not yet immune to the vagaries of emotional turbulence, I waver in the storm, bombarded by emotional currents that do not all belong to me, but are emanations of our shared spiritual milieu, traversing the biosphere, atmosphere and etherosphere simultaneously, affecting those who are open to such. And yet, I revel in the Love. Am dwarfed by the immensity of its expression. Tears and laughter combined, transcendent joy and intimate sadness, the blessing, and promise, of Life.