The Trouble with How We Love

The Trouble with How We Love

It seems we were born to invent. For better or worse, we incline to stretch, twist, and reshape much of what is before us, until what is there is the next advance on what had been before. Inventing is what we do.

But often what we invent we would have been better without. New versions of a truth, for instance. Or the re-construed teachings of Christ. Or the idea that love is selective.

Interpretation, a favorite form of invention, can leave a real mess.

Our inventiveness apparently dates to our expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Since then we have bent, spindled, and revised a lot of what was perfectly given to us to last forever. Love, in particular. We have turned its all-inclusive ideal into a mere expression of personal desire, a relationship based on what we want. Love, of which all is made, was never meant to be a “want.” It has always been the omnipresent “is,” the inexhaustible source of “ever existing, ever conscious, ever new Bliss,” known in Sanskrit as Satchidananda.

We have been conditioned by our planet’s dual nature to love only the agreeable half of its two-sided manifestations. Most notably, our love of other people – and our lack of it also – tends to rest on the imposition of personal provisos. And so, it comes and goes. We may think of this as “natural,” but really it is nothing but a habit, and a bad one at that, acquired of outward living. Love that depends on the meeting and maintenance of physical, mental and emotional criteria is a mark of instability, an example of egoic selfishness that serves as a magnet for the suffering we experience.

It is ego that leads us to seek outside ourselves for what we want, but the ego cannot love without parameters to please it. It weighs and labels what it sees, using its sensory scale of pros and cons. The result is distortion of love as pleasure or pain.

To see anyone as a stranger, or anything as separate, is to limit our sympathies to “I” and “mine.” The only cure is to live from within, to embrace the whole of life’s demands and diversities, no longer wounded of wanting.

Love is not an invention we can improve on. We have to let it be as it was intended. In its original state, it was – and is – the answer to every need.

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