The Trouble with How We Love

The Trouble with How We Love

It seems we were born to invent. For better or worse, it is what we do. And not just things, but stories, excuses, and schemes too.

Thus, much of what we invent we would be better off without. Take the idea that love is selective, for instance. Who concocted that one?

Our inventiveness apparently dates to our expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Since then we have twisted and spindled a lot of what was already perfect. Love, in particular. We have turned its all-inclusive ideal into a mere expression of personal desire.

Love 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.

Everything in this world is dual in nature. Yet, we have conditioned ourselves to love only the agreeable half of its two-sided manifestations. 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 this is natural, but really it is merely a habit, and a bad one at that, acquired of outward living.

Love that depends on certain physical, mental, and emotional criteria is a mark of instability, an example of egoic selfishness that becomes 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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