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Love is

In my first poem titled Returning, I described the Passions as being like heat and cold. The changing of the seasons. The rising and falling heat of the day. And then, the consequence:

For Passion’s heat will always fade,
Chill to the bone, and feelings jade,
Cold, exhausted, insecure,
I did not know how to fly at all.

Longed for warmth, looked for a mate,
Thinking to share a happy Fate,
Bonds of Passion I explored,
And found they do not fly at all.

For how can two together fly,
When in the spell of lovers’ guise,
Unbalanced forces are ignored,
And neither half can fly at all.

Two Selfish Passions bound will rise,
Until the weaker falls behind,
Or stronger leaves for different score,
And broken wings don’t fly at all.

That’s why they say we fall in love,
It’s not Love True they’re speaking of,
But Passions bound in Selfish thrall,
They do not know how to fly at all.

I submit to you my view, that our most common conceptions of love, are all mis-taken. That all the many influences that teach us what love is, have taught us a-miss.

True Love is not complicated. It is not confusing, or frustrating. It is not hard to find. It can not, ever, be lost.

True Love is, simply, not what we think it is.

Consider our experiences of “love”. From the very beginning.

I see some one. In the seeing, I find that one “attract-ive”.

But what does that mean?

My eyes only “see” Form. Or, more correctly to say, my eyes receive light. The visible light waves that are reflected from the surface. My mind interprets the signals sent from my eyes as Form (including Colour).

What my mind then “sees” — or, more correctly to say, conceives — is an image. In the imagin-ation. A re-presentation, of the meaning that one’s Form has to me.

Beauty. Strength. Youth. Experience. Softness. Virility. Fertility. Power. Warmth. Excitement. Laughter. Comfort. Togetherness. Security. Fulfillment. Success. Status. Completeness. Acceptance. Honour. Respect. Approval. Et cetera.

How does my mind do this? By comparing the Form I “see” — in all its many splendoured details — with memory. With stored information. Stored understandings. Stored experiences. Stored inferences. Stored “knowledge”. Stored beliefs. Beliefs about what certain Forms represent.

When I “see” some one, and in the seeing, experience a strong feeling of attraction within me, the Falling has nearly begun.

What I am really attracted to, is not the Person, the Being with-in the Form. What I am really attracted to, at the first, is what their outward Form, and, their Form of actions, appear to represent, in relation to my beliefs. And because I already hold the belief that some thing like this image, this re-presentation of meaning, is desirable, the inevitable follows.

I desire to have what I “see”.

I begin to fall in “love” … in my imagin-ation … not with what I have actually seen; a mere physical Form, with all its accoutrements. I begin to fall in “love” with what my mind imagines that I have seen; a physical manifestation, an embodiment, of preferred beliefs.

Some of these preferred beliefs are, of course, all very good and well and, it may even appear to be, timeless. Alas, many more are fickle, only lasting as long as the most recent preferences in what others may have, temporarily, declared to be fashionable clothing.

It is in the fertile ground of our desire to have — that is, to possess, to own — a physical embodiment of an image, a representation, of those ideas that we have come to believe to be desirable, that all the temporary joys and unnecessary sufferings of illusory “love” are nourished and bear fruit.

I understand that you may not like to read this truth. You may feel a certain discomfort. A resistance. A desire to defend. But what is it really, that you are defending?

You may prefer to romanticise the common perception of “love”. You may prefer to say, to believe, that this desiring is not a desire to have, to possess, or to own. That it … yours … is a pure and true and good desire, to be “one” with the object of your “love”.

I say to you, that this “love” of which you speak, this desire, to be oned with the object of your attraction, is a desire born not of True Love, but of selfishness.

It is a desire to be oned so that, in becoming one, “I” may gain, and never lose, the embodiment of meaning that “I” desire to have.

This is not True Love.

Let us consider what True Love is. By going back to the beginning, of All Things.

By most accounts philosophical, scientific, and religious, in the beginning there was NoThing.

The “void”. The “singularity”. The “One”.

“God”.

In other words … by most accounts … “No Thing”.

Out of this “No Thing”, all things came in-to Being.

That is to say, the “No Thing” gave up, or yield-ed, of Its-Self; and so, All Things came to be.

All “things” are, therefore, a result of movement.

A giving, a yielding movement.

A movement in, and of, the Rest.

A movement of, and with-in, the Infinite “No Thing”.

Like the giving, yielding movement of, and with-in, a Great Ocean.

Movement that we may “see” as waves, but yet, remain still a movement in, and of, that Great Ocean:

This, then, from the Beginning, is True Love.

It is how we can know, understand, and recognise True Love.

True Love is a capacity. A potentiality.

It is a Rest.

It is an Infinite Capacity, that is Willing to give.

To yield.

True Love is Passibility. A capacity to “suffer”.

It is a capacity to be moved, in one’s self, and away from one’s self. That is, to be moved away from one’s own centre of being. A capacity for giving, for yielding movement, in sympathy with and for the existence, the movement, the life, of an Other.

True Love is a capacity to be a ground, a source, a potential, of and to and for All Other Things. Without distinction. Without prejudice.

True Love must be, therefore, humble, and meek.

It does not desire to have. To possess. Or to gain.

For it already has, and possesses, and has gained, All Things.

It is the Infinite, Eternal NoThing from which All Things are born.

True Love, then, being the NoThing, can most easily be seen in this world of things, through our embodiment, our manifestation of It.

That is to say, through our willingness to allow our Self to become, as it were, NoThing.

For why?

So that the NoThing that was from the beginning, might again be seen, by others — in and through and to you — as Being the All (or NoThing) that is in All.

This is how we know that True Love is not hard to find, and can not, ever, be lost.

Because “It” is the Source, the Beginning, the Essence of All Things.

It is Infinite, Eternal, and everywhere waiting.

It is with-in you.

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The best part

It occurred to me this morning, that the famous critic of religion, Richard Dawkins, and so many others too, choose to behave in a manner that is not pragmatic.

Whether by accident, or by design, the obvious truth is that they are, inevitably, perceived to be attacking religion itself.

I think they would do well to start over. To begin again, by valuing the pearl of wisdom passed down by my sagacious Nanna:

A man convinced against his will,
is of the same opinion still.

‘Religion’ has always been with us. Throughout recorded human history. That is what the evidence tells us.

A practical man, then, might be inclined to accept the likelihood that religion, in one form or another, is here to stay. And try instead, to make the best of it.

Perhaps the secret to resolving concerns about religion, and religious difference, is not to be found in trying to discredit religion. Or worse, in suggesting, or implying, that any one religion might be superior, or inferior, more “right”, or less “right”, than another.

Perhaps the secret — the secret to practical conflict resolution — is to be found in identifying that which is truly good, in each religion. And then, encouraging more of the adherents of that religion to keep it simple, by focussing their attention only on “the best part”.

Of their own religious tradition.

It seems to me that possibly the greatest danger facing humanity in recent times, is the appearance of ever growing tensions between the “Christian” West, and the “Islamic” East.

A solution, I suggest, is not to be found in the use of weapons, whether physical, philosophical, or legislative. On the contrary, if you ponder it carefully, along with my Nanna’s pearl of wisdom, you will see the obviousness of the truth. That all of these serve only to increase tensions.

It seems to me that the Christian mystical tradition, and the Islamic mystical tradition called “Sufism”, both share that which is essential to the goal of peace and love within. And so without.

A central theme, a continuous focus, on Oneness.

On the experience of being one with — of being in — the Presence of God.

Not just after (physical) death, in a placed called “Heaven”.

But here and now.

It is not possible, or so it seems to me, for any soul to truly glimpse the path to Oneness, to have an experience of Oneness — that is, to feel, if even only for a moment, a true sense of connection, with that which is Pure, Infinite, Timeless, Everywhere — and not to want for more of that connection.

And so, inevitably, in consequence, to also feel the need, the desire, to feel a greater, and not a lesser, connection to every other creature.

I can quite understand why it is that those who focus their time and commitments upon the “fundamental”, doctrinal, and essentially hierarchical traditions of their particular religion, have often exhibited a tendency to downplay, to distract, to encourage others to look away from mysticism.

In a very real sense, each religion’s own mystical tradition represents their greatest danger. That is to say, a danger to that religion’s temporal place of power in, and over, the lives of its subjects. The danger is that it comes from within.

Once a soul, whether self-identifying as “Christian”, or “Muslim”, begins to see that the central truth of their own religious tradition is found in, and through, an inner movement towards a deep and personal sense of oneness with “their” God — who, they soon begin to both feel and Know, is not “their” God only, but the God who is of, and through, and in All, the God who “lights every man who comes into the world” — inevitably, there is no longer any need felt for human authority. From someone to instruct, or command them, to be a “channel”, or “connection”, between them and their God.

For now this person has begun to Know the inner truth. The best part, of their own religious tradition.

Now it came to pass as they went,
that he entered into a certain town:
and a certain woman named Martha,
received him into her house.

And she had a sister called Mary,
who sitting also at the Lord’s feet,
heard his word.

But Martha was busy about much serving.
Who stood and said:
Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath
left me alone to serve?
speak to her therefore, that she help me.

And the Lord answering, said to her:
Martha, Martha, thou art careful,
and art troubled about many things:

But one thing is necessary.
Mary hath chosen the best part,
which shall not be taken away from her.

One thing is necessary.

The best part.

To sit, and listen.

It’s not complicated.

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