That’s what John Lennon was singing and it is true, all we need is love. But do we really know what love is? Love is a word that is sung about in songs, written in poems, talked about a lot and it is something many people long for one way or the other, mostly in form of a partner. We hear it a lot these days: “Be heart-centered” and “Be love”, “Love is the answer, because love always wins!”, “Send Love and Light!” and so on. People post it on Facebook as their Religion: Love, and use it casually in conversation in their every day lives. It is seen as the solution to all the world problems. All you need is Love!
If that’s so easy, how come nothing has changed fundamentally on planet earth despite the obvious technological progress? It’s 2011 and we still see genocide, oppression and wars happening. Hundreds of thousands of children and civilians have died in the Middle East and around the world because of the war machine under the control of psychopathic leaders who couldn’t care less about anyone who holds up the peace sign with a proclamation of love as the force for change.
Looking at it more closely we can see that “Love” is one of the most abused and misunderstood words. We mistake things like gratification, sentimentality, obligation, duty, passion, desire, and other superficial emotions, ideas and conditioned concepts as “Love” in order fill something that is lacking within us. These distortions are also used (unconsciously) as buffers to avoid facing reality as it is by looking at the world with rose-colored glasses on, instead of seeing oneself and the world more objectively beyond appearances.
“For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.”
- Niccolo Machiavelli
There is personal love between humans, motherly love, love of family and community, love for oneself, love for something greater than the self, love for god and even love for man-made ideologies and concepts such as for a nation and country, etc.
So what is love? How can we describe or define such a powerful force? Words are very limiting and can only point to it, but are not it. Maybe we can start by examining what love is not.
When it comes to interpersonal relationships we often see control games, jealousy, and envy which is obviously not love, but expressions and behaviors based on fear and need. Love is related to emotions and feeling, but they can be merely based on chemical reactions in the brain that result in a “high”, where people feed off each other which is also be the basis for psychic vampirism. Many relationships are based on this feeding mechanism, which has nothing to do with love, but is a parasitic need resulting in co-dependance. Sexual attraction is also mistaken for love at times. Many people get into relationships for the wrong reasons, be it to escape their loneliness, to fill a hole in their lives or feed off another person. For the most part this happens unconsciously and so people tend to lie to themselves about love and their relationships in many ways, not seeing the other person as he/she is and not even seeing themselves clearly as they are.
“People convince themselves of their own lies, becoming victims of their own inventions as they begin to direct their lives by standards of behavior, ideas, feelings, or instincts which do not correspond to their inner reality. What is truly serious in this matter is that the individual loses all points of reference regarding what comprises truth, and what comprises lies. He becomes used to considering as true only that which is convenient for his personal interests; everything that is in opposition to his self-esteem or in conflict with already established prejudices, he considers false.”
- John Baines
© Francene Hart
To truly love another person we need to see the other as he/she is without trying to change that person. That is the basis for unconditional love, but for that to happen we also need to know ourselves and see us as we truly are, so we don’t fall into the trap of illusory projections which only result in disappointment and hurt once the romantic phase is over. It’s about acceptance and consideration, being able to give and receive, to be externally considerate and not expect anything.
But beyond personal relationships, the idea of love has also been distorted and used superficially as slogans, especially in the so-called New Age and “Love and Light” movement. It is equated with being positive, open, friendly, not saying or focusing on anything “bad” or “negative”, to be always cheerful and have a smile on ones face. Of course there is nothing wrong with kindness and friendliness as well as being positive, but it must be based on truth and reality, not lies, self-calming rationalizations or avoidance, including political correctness which only leads to complacency and ignorance. As I wrote in The Positivity of Objectivity and the Time of Transition:
Something that I hear a lot these days as well is the need to be more “”heart-centered”, loving and compassionate. I agree, obviously we all need to connect more to our heart, show empathy and compassion, especially extending it the whole world, beyond our close friends and family. But what does that really mean? Many people seem to associate love with emotions and feelings or “niceness”, but is it not more than that, like a higher state of consciousness/being? We seem to mistake many things for “love” and even judge the intellect as “bad” (mistaking it for the monkey/predator mind), hence many suggest that we should “think” with our heart and do what we “feel” like doing, which mostly results in mere self-deception and lack of critical thinking. It’s about aligning the heart with the intellect, intuition with logic, mysticism with science.
I’ve come across many individuals who seem to force themselves into this artificial and superficial state of “love” through contrived affirmations and “feel good” spirituality, ignoring anything that may be a threat to their “positive” life view. However, the body (physically and energetically) doesn’t lie and in some of the people I worked on in my massage & bodywork practice I encountered suppression and armor that is manifested by denying the shadow part of themselves and the world as they ignore objective reality. On the surface they don’t even think that anything is “wrong” with them. It’s very much a blissful ignorant state, trying to stay “high” on artificial emotional projections, avoiding anything that may give them a “downer” and living in a subjective tunnel vision with blinders on. I can see this kind of attitude in many self-proclaimed “aware” and “conscious” people who follow shallow New Age teachings and pop psychology resulting in self-calming but lacking deeper healing, growth and essentially real love.
“The Shadow describes the part of the psyche that an individual would rather not acknowledge. It contains the denied parts of the self. Since the self contains these aspects, they surface in one way or another. Bringing Shadow material into consciousness drains its dark power, and can even recover valuable resources from it. The greatest power, however, comes from having accepted your shadow parts and integrated them as components of your Self. Everyone carries a Shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
- Carl G. Jung
“When you distance yourself from the source of suffering, when you name it as opposite to what you want to be (I assume that you all want to be good, don’t you?), you lose a chance to change it. Because it continues to live inside you, as part of you, making you make many of your choices, but you refuse to recognize it, so you remain in ignorant bliss and you continue to suffer.”
- Olga Kharitidi, “The Master of Lucid Dreams”
Love is not merely an emotional state, but a state of consciousness. Just like there are different levels of consciousness, there are also different levels of love one can access on the spectrum of consciousness based on ones level of being and awareness. There is carnal love based on the sexual center and animal part in man which is the biological drive to procreate, ensuring that organic life on earth continues. This drive is mechanical tied to the General Law and somnambulistic state sapiens is under.
“As a cell of humanity, man forms part of organic life on Earth. This life in its ensemble represents a very sensitive organ of our planet, playing an important role in the economy of the solar system. As a cell of this organ, man finds himself under the influence of the General Law, which keeps him in his place. In fact, this law leaves him a certain margin or tolerance. It allows him some free movement within the limits it sets. Within these boundaries, which are very limited objectively although subjectively they appear vast, man can give free rein to his fantasies and his ambitions.
Without going too far into the definition of these limits and detailed description of the components of this General Law, we can say as an example that one of those factors is hunger: the servitude of working to assure our subsistence. The chain: sexual instinct; procreation; and the care of parents for their children, is another factor. The esoteric maxim that applies to this aspect of life is conceived thus: carnal love is necessary for the general good.”
- Boris Mouravieff
Then there is courtly love based on the higher centers, which is a higher state of being that can only be accessed through sincere self-work, not giving in to mechanical and chemical driven behaviors and choices. It means to see the world, oneself and others more objectively. From an esoteric perspective it’s about evolving towards this objective love. In other words, the more we are objective with ourselves and the world, raising awareness and see things as they are, the higher the degree of love we can access. It is based on knowledge, being and understanding, not merely emotional states and “happy thoughts”.
“Subjective love is attached to one’s own idea of the other or to what can be gained or obtained from the other. People call the most various desires love. These can have to do with social status, addiction to power over or domination of another, sexual interest and so forth. The emotion fluctuates between satisfaction of getting and fear of losing and is generally centered on the self. Subjective love seeks to somehow forcibly appropriate another into one’s extended self. One example of this is showing off what a clever or good-looking partner or child one has in order to somehow increase oneself. Any games of domination or co-dependence which often involve the term love fall in this category.
The relationship between love and attachment is subtle. The subjective perspective hardly makes any difference between love, desire to possess, need and attachment. Still, love completely without wish to be or interact with the beloved or some emotional bond or attachment to the person seems a contradiction in terms. We should not take the notion of ‘if you love someone set them free’ to the extreme of seeing all as potentially interchangeable objects of love. This misses the possibilities of specificity and reciprocity inherent in the concept.
Love often gets confused with need. If love in the objective love sense is to be a giving interaction, in order to love one must be willing to and have something appropriate to give. The idea of need reverses this concept and makes the love of the other into love of self. There is much pop psychology hype about the concept of loving self before loving another. This ties in with the idea of giving versus needing but the notion of self-love gives this a self-serving twist.
It is better to say that one needs to be in order to love. Being and self-love as intended in the above paragraph are entirely different. Being here means internal consistency. One cannot love if one I loves, the other obsesses over jealousy, a third sees this as foolish and a fourth does not even know of the whole thing. Besides, to love anything except one’s illusion, one needs to know the beloved. The capacity of knowing is again predicated on being. Love often implies specific dedication or commitment. Again, these mean little if one is without internal consistency of being. Thus work on the self is needed for better to love.“
However, by doing the work towards objective love one shouldn’t ignore or suppress anything that doesn’t live up to the ideal of higher love beyond the self. Everyone is on a different level of being with different lessons to learn and integrate. It seems to happen very often in spiritual and esoteric circles that people claim attributes to themselves and inflate their being above the actual state of where they are and what they need to learn and confront in order to grow and evolve. Objective love is not a detached unemotional state of existence. It simply means to act from one’s true self beyond conditioning, programming and projections with a “clean” emotional center, not one that is shut down.
Our emotions are the gateway to love, but they are not love. It’s about opening up to vulnerability and not suppressing negative emotions such as anger, sadness, jealousy, grief, but work through them which leads to compassion and empathy, not only for oneself or close friends and family but for the world and humanity at large. This also means to experience and feel emotions so we can let them go without suppressing them or projecting them on someone else. There are many ways to do this. Art, music, journaling as well as breathwork, bodywork and other healing modalities can help in the process of transmuting the shadow into light through emotional cleansing. It’s a delicate and deep process that doesn’t happen over night. In that sense relationships are also lessons in love and not an end it itself. We also tend to attract people who can show us valuable lessons as they serve as mirrors and expose parts of ourselves we wouldn’t be able to see as we all have subjective blind spots.
“According to the Great Work, a friend is one in which you support and encourage the others expansion in either the mind or the spirit.Otherwise they are people you are sentimentally attached to it because they would eat cinnamon bun with you. And they will say ‘hee, hee, hee’ aren’t we having fun”. Drug addicts do the same thing. Drug addicts want to be around people who will support them and be away from real friends. Do you know why? Because it feels good. To be a member of a mystery school can be catastrophic to the ego and to the ego’s habits and to the propensity for mediocrity. No one ever cried striving for excellence. They only cried when their mediocrity was taken away from them and pointed out to them.”
The more lessons are learned, the more knowledge gained, understood and applied, the more we purify our emotions, the more one’s being and awareness raises as the higher centers are activated and the more we can “see the unseen”. This is a process that is different for each depending on many factors.
There is also the topic of “Organic Portals”, a type of human who has no access to the higher states of love because the inner wiring is missing so to speak. That doesn’t mean that they are automatically “bad” people. They simply have a different experience of love based on their level of being. As mentioned in the article about Organic Portals, we all are on the level of the Organic Portal until one makes the effort and engages in the work to activate the higher centers. Different levels of being and consciousness is not a value judgment based on better or worse, but just shows the different states we live in as not everyone is the same.
Psychopaths on the other hand (about 6% of humanity) have no capability to experience anything close to love, compassion and empathy by birth. It’s not a psychological disposition but a genetic one. That is another topic which is very misunderstood and ignored, especially since most psychopaths can appear as “normal” through their “mask of sanity“. They are not necessarily criminals in prisons, but can be CEO’s, politicians, spiritual leaders, a husband, wife, child or the neighbor next door. To assume that we are all the same and that everyone has access to this higher love (or any form of love) is self-deceiving at best and we see those kind of assumptions in the oversimplified idea of “we are all one!”. You cannot BE what you’re not, nor can you give what you don’t have.
© Alex Grey
If one looks into accounts of Near-Death experiences (NDE) and what people have “seen” or realized, there is a common theme: This profound experience of “objective” Love, which is not related to the Love as the human personality experiences it and cannot even be expressed in words. It can only be described as what it is not. They can’t truly explain what they experienced or what love is but only what it isn’t. It is for example, as one person who had a NDE said, “not a sentimental, get a tear, ‘feel someone’s pain’ feeling, not an emotion. It is beyond sentiment or feeling someone else in this form, but relates more to an all expansive, knowing and understanding.”
“The problem is not the term “love”, the problem is the interpretation of the term. Those on third density have a tendency to confuse the issue horribly. After all, they confuse many things as love. When the actual definition of love as you know it is not correct either. It is not necessarily a feeling that one has that can also be interpreted as an emotion, but rather, as we have told you before, the essence of light which is knowledge is love, and this has been corrupted when it is said that love leads to illumination. Love is Light is Knowledge. Love makes no sense when common definitions are used as they are in your environment.
To love you must know.
And to know is to have light.
And to have light is to love.
And to have knowledge is to love.”
- from the Cassiopaean sessions
Ultimately there is no love where there is no truth and knowledge. Love entails to see the world as it is not as we like, want it or assume it to be, hence true love is essentially linked to how much one can access objective reality. In order for love to be the agent of change towards a better world and to bring about positive change we also need to acknowledge the darker side of life and the world we live in, the things and issues many people look away from, believing that by simply focusing on the “good” and “positive” there will be a shift in consciousness. That kind of thinking is the blind spot in many New Age teachings these days, which actually results in the opposite of what is intended for the unacknowledged shadow grows bigger and stronger, manifesting itself unconsciously through our collective. As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
“An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them.”
- J. Krishnamurti
The many ideas of just focusing on love (and how people interpret that) or sending love to the world leaders and humanity or even to the planet are not acts of real love, but merely emotional projections which are self-deceiving and put man more into sleep, believing he’s actually doing something and bringing about positive change. True love respects free will and one cannot give or send love to someone who didn’t ask for it.
I have to wonder when people talk about world peace and love but still vote for Obama and believe the lies we’re being told by our governments, be it about 9/11, the war on terror or anything else that has been clearly used for social control. One can have as many positive/loving/nice thoughts and emotional highs as one like, if one still believes in lies, follows teachings based on lies, there will be no raise in consciousness nor access to a higher love that can actually be a true agent of healing and awareness. The contrary, believing in lies feeds entropy, no matter how well-meaning the intent.
Love is beyond words and no change is going to happen if people simply repeat that “love is the answer” or “all you need is love” while still clinging to illusions and not engaging in sincere self-work. Without a deep understanding and knowledge of what love truly is and entails we just keep going in circles as history is repeating itself. If we really want a shift in consciousness then we need to take a look into the mirror and also do the work to see the world as it is without ignoring things that may not look that “pretty”. There is still much we have to confront before we can enter a new world based on love, peace and truth.
“To search means, first, I need Being, Truth; second, I do not know where to find it; and third, an action takes place that is not based on fantasies of certainty— while at the same time a waiting takes place that is rooted not in wishful thinking but in a deep sense of urgency.”
- Jacob Needleman
“Love is not a behavior, an attitude, a mannerism. It is not etiquette. It is not convention. Love may express itself in many different ways—softly or forcibly. Love can appear meek. Love can appear strong. Love can challenge you. Love can criticize you. Love can expose your illusions, your fantasies and your self-deception. Love is not what people really mean when they talk about love, in nearly all circumstances…. Real love emanates from Knowledge. It in essence is the expression of Knowledge.
It is this greater love that is so far beyond and distinct from the love you hear about in conversation. People say, “I love this. I love him. I love her. I love this food. I love this place. I love your dress. I love nature. I love the woods. I love the ocean.” Real love is something beyond all this. The real love that moves you to give your life, that refocuses your life, that tells you that you are in error, that confronts you with the fact that your life has been misspent and you are trying to take it in a direction that is not its true direction, this is love!
The love that keeps orienting you towards your greater purpose for coming into the world regardless of your plans and goals, the love that does not change, the love that does not adapt to your wishes, this is the love.
Knowledge will take you somewhere you could not take yourself. Knowledge will take you beyond your fears and your preferences because all preferences are based on fear—the fear of not having, the fear of being wrong, the fear of losing, the fear of death.
What is love? Love is the movement of Knowledge.
It is only when you realize that getting more of what you want will not make a difference that you will turn to Knowledge. It is only when your plans for personal fulfillment are shown to be weak and fallible and unfulfilling that you will turn to Knowledge. Here profound disappointment is extremely important and holds a great opportunity for you. But extreme disappointment is what everyone wants to avoid, so they keep trying to plan and scheme and focus their life to get what they want. Their predicament is only deepened. Knowledge is speaking to them all along, but they cannot hear. They are not open to that. They want what they want. They are driven by fear and preference. And so love is unknown to them.
There is a greater love. This love does not have only one appearance. It is not associated with a certain kind of behavior or etiquette. It is not a social convention. This love will pull you away from danger. This love will challenge your thinking and your attitudes. This love will show you that your life is going nowhere. This love will move you to go one way when you want to go another. This love will restrain you. This love will redirect you.
You take everything you are doing in life, and you ask yourself, “Fundamentally, is this what I really need to be doing?” Every relationship, “Is this relationship helping me? Is it important for me now?” Everything! And you will have a deeper sense of it coming from Knowledge, way deep inside of you. Perhaps it will be a feeling. Perhaps it will be an image. Perhaps the answer will come a week from now. You have to keep asking and listening. You are asking for the Great Love to redeem you, to reunite you, and to put you in a position where your greater gifts can be realized and given to the world.
Only Knowledge can take you there. Knowledge can bring two people from opposite ends of the world together for a greater purpose. That is the power of the Great Love. And the Great Love is what the world needs now.”
- from “The Great Love” by Marshall V. Summers