Ever met somebody/an activity that you connected deeply with?
A chance encounter that turns into relationship that grows exponentially, with how things just seemed to click? A person whom, when you are with, the world just seems to fade away like a dream. That you can just drop everything and lay it all aside and just be, when that person is around? A person that you can explore all aspects of life with, and with whom nothing else but the present moment matters. No expectations, no needs or wants, just pure joy when you are up with your shenanigans, and only peace when you are at rest with them.
That’s just the beginning.
Lesson #1: Love has no definition
The only difference between the bond shared by romantic partners and best friends is in the way that the love is expressed. When all labels (best friend, lover, parent, blood brother etc.), romantic gestures, funky handshakes, sexual escapades, and shared activities/interests are put aside, what else remains? When all the labels and surface activities that the mind creates are transcended, the only truth that underlies the relationship remains: love.
Why do you love the person that you do? Why does your best friend understand you like nobody else? Why do you deeply care about the people that you do? Even if the expression of that love differs on the outside, is it not love that underlies that romance that you share with your partner, the care for those in thy familia, and the memes that you share with your friends?
“I don’t have friends, I have family.”-Dominic Toretto, The Fast and the Furious
Lesson #2: Love is the recognition of our shared being
Love transcends all labels of caste, nationality, beliefs, and faith, because it is inclusive. It shows us that we can put aside all our differences and come together because we want to. Look no further than disaster relief efforts, cat videos, and international sporting events for they bring people from all walks of life together. The outside expression or cause may differ in the realm of form/thought, but the recognition that just about anything can bring people together is the indication of our shared being.
If the recognition of yourself in the other is not called love, what is?
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”-Matthew 22:39
Lesson #3: Love is the absence of separation
Love is the recognition of our shared being. What you do to the other, you inflict upon yourself. The world has seemingly forgotten that. Why else would there be so much hate and suffering inflicted unto humans by their own brethren unless that recognition was somehow obscured?
The only thing that could obscure the recognition of our shared being is our identification with our thoughts. When you believe that a person that you have never met before standing on the other side of an imaginary line is your sworn enemy, there can be no love present. The prevalence of this phenomenon because of the narratives/fictions that pervade the world today is itself the reason why so many of us feel so alienated, so at odds with others in our lives. It is the foundation on which the illusion of separation is built upon. It is the reason why wars happen, the reason why ethnic groups fight each other, and the reason why petty squabbles can turn into a lifetime grudges.
While fictions are useful for the functioning of society, what we fail to understand is that they are ultimately narratives and become identified with them. When identified with a narrative or a belief, it becomes impossible to see the other as something that threatens you. More oft than not, the other becomes a problem to you that must be solved at all costs because of your belief that you are separate from them.
When you see past all the differences; that we are all one in God’s infinite being, how could there possibly be separation?
“True love is born from understanding.”-Buddha
Lesson #4: Love is happiness
When you do something with love, all there is is the moment itself. You want for nothing else, for through love all illusions fall away, for love is nothing but joy and fulfillment.
Why else would we seek out our friends, favorite activities, or relationships? Because happiness is what all humans seek, and through love we free ourselves of the illusion of separation. Through art, the painter flows in the brushstroke, and there is nothing in the moment other than painting. Through music, the musician loses herself in the melody, and there is nothing in the moment but playing. Through hobbies, we forget our identities and become one with our activities in the moment. Through our relationships, we merge with our partner through the love that we share. When we are freed of separation, there is only happiness, and no matter the outward expression, it is profoundly felt through our activities as love.
When you and your lover are deeply in love with each other, is every moment spent with each other not heaven on earth?
When everything you do in life is filled with love, what else could you ask for?
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”-George Sand
Lesson #5: Love transcends everything
The excitement that barely contains itself when meeting a friend long missed. That savage rush of joy when picking up a long forgotten hobby. The solemn warmth that we carry in our hearts when we remember the loved ones who have gone before us. The reconciliation of separation and differences in the wake of a tragedy.
In the presence of love, time and space do not matter, nor do beliefs and identity. It can reunite friends, family, lovers, and hobbies. Love can reconcile differences between people and nations. Love can inspire people to do incredible things, and imbue the smallest things with gratitude. Love cuts far deeper than any blade or word, for it has the power to touch people’s hearts. Love manifests as hate incarnate because something loved strongly has been hurt/threatened. Love expresses itself through grief because one is separated from that which one cares deeply. Love is that which is lacking in all repressed tendencies, and expresses itself through anger. Love is the source of all forgiveness and acceptance. Love is inclusive, for it does not discriminate. Love is the recognition of our shared being, and is the fundamental atonement for the illusion of separation to be healed.
True love is unconditional, for it is how the world will heal.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”-Martin Luther King Jr.
Lesson #6: Love is your true nature
Every child enters this world with boundless curiosity and an infinite supply of love. To love and care is in a child’s nature; to be curious and joyful is a child’s prerogative. For all humans enter this world as such, with wonder and love, no matter the circumstances. How the hell do we adults who know far more about this world end up more anxious and depressed than our children? Surely we can learn something from them.
Love and peace is the fundamental nature of all humans. Hate and sadness are all learnt, just as knowledge and judgement are acquired. The same fictions/narratives that have elevated human society to what it is today require adults to be knowledgeable and have good judgement to keep it running smoothly. This process perpetuates itself by training children to be competitive and self-centered in order to function in society. While these fictions/narratives are useful for the functioning of society, identification with them is to assume their limitations as our own. Through identification with narratives, people strive for ‘success’ in a cruel, unforgiving, competitive world in search of this elusive thing called ‘happiness’ through the acquisition of objects, recognition, relationships, or states of mind. They lose themselves in their search, never knowing they were already that, and a lifetime of striving and searching then becomes the perfect irony.
This simple overlooking of your true nature is small, but it creates a world of suffering. No child comes into this world with ambition, but every child comes into this world already loving and joyful. Narratives and thoughts are ultimately just thoughts, to keep constantly identify with them requires effort. Why not relax into what you already are?
“Truly, I say to you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.”-Matthew 18:3
Lesson #7: Love IS
Know that love is all there is. Your atonement is merely to recognize it.
“The truth is that you are already what you are seeking. You are looking for God with his eyes. I suggest you ask, “what’s ultimately behind this set of eyes?” Turn around to see what is looking.”-Adyashanti
God is the name for the peace, love and happiness that you have sought all your life. Turn your longing around, see clearly that you were always that which you have sought. Thus, nothing else needs to be said. Silence becomes the highest teaching here, for LOVE IS.
“There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.”-Buddha
Don’t wait to start loving your life, for you are already it. I wish you love, peace and happiness from the bottom of my heart. Have a great one.
“Judge nothing, and you will be happy.
Forgive everything, and you will be happier.
Love everything, and you will be happiest.”-Buddha