Sunday, August 13, 2006

More Delicious Details about Love


Love makes sense in only a larger context of Mind, and in the context of an overall life guided by an active Mind. But to imply that anything is "greater" or "broader" than Love is apparently too contradict the mystical statement, "God is Love." But we must note that this statement does not by any means exclude that God is also other things, even broader things, such as underlying Mind. The statement could be more accurately stated, "God is cosmic Mind expressing Love." For it neither says nor implies, "God is only Love." God is, in Her totality, much too great to reduce absolutely to a single concept.

The construction of a shelter could well be the expression of Love. For without realistic and practical expression, "Love" dies into nothing but an idea or concept, and no idea is real Love, however elevated or noble. As "faith without works is dead," so truly, "Love without expression is equally dead." So, constructing a shelter could indeed be a viable expression or practical manifestation of Love. For if one loves the other, that Love demands actuall expression.

If genuine Love were in operation, these types of activity would be exactly the Love, for Love exists only within its expression. Without Lovexpression, there is no Love.

Giving pleasure to the self, as long as it does not harm the self or others, is a viable expression of selflove. By denying the pleasure of selflove, you are really limiting in a serious way others' truest and most elevated ability to love each other. For she who does not love herself cannot effectively or deeply love others. For selflove is as viable and necessary an expression of true Love as is other-Love.

I fail to see any harm in giving pleasure to the self as an expression of selflove. True, in history, we have a strong streak of asceticism, but, as the Buddha discovered, this is not a viable spiritual path. From the view of higher Love, there is nothing at all "wrong" with giving pleasure, including sexual pleasure, to the self, especially if this reflects what the other wants; thus does personal sexual pleasure express Love for the lover and the lovee simultaneously, making its expression even more complete. Only an oaf goes for sexual ratification that is only personal; good sex involves pleasuring both; and sensitive people are pleasured best when the self of the other enjoys the sharing. But neither does the mystic embrace even this fine principle absolutely or fanatically. For example, she does not condemn masturbation in moderation: Where is the harm that could and would make it a "sin"?

There is no contradiction or inconsistency in seeking pleasure in good sex (that which does not harm), for both the self and the other. For, in sensitive sex, each shares the pleasure of the other, and this keeps good sex from becoming mere shared masturbation; it makes it a real and deep sharing. Selfpleasuring becomes other-pleasuring.

Agreed that lying, by act or by claim, is dishonest. But if both received genuine pleasure, this would make sharing sexually an expression of true Love for both by both.

Achieving or discovering pleasure in sexual content brings joy to both, and hence, is an act of Love for both by both. Your problem here is that you seem to make a "black and wite" choice between pleasing a and b; but, especially in sexuality, no choice is necessary: Both can be equally and simultaneously pleased by Love-sharing, as sex.

What I would call an "abstract Love," or a-Love is an impossibility. For, as noted, that so-called "Love" can really exist without expression. So, a-Love is an existential impossibility, and an oxymoron. It is but a figment of literary and other forms of imagination. No, you do not have to be physically with the ones you love; but any Love must contain, even be defined by, real Lovexpression.

When Love is genuine and real, It compels people to think of each other. Depending on the type of Love, and Its powerlevel, some Love compels uninterrupted thought of the lover; but even a mild Love must compel the great pleasure of thinking about the beloved. Without this, all that you have left is the naked and cold abstraction of so-called "a-Love," which is no Love at all.

There is nothing "spiritual" or even genuine, about this kind of a-Love. Spiritual Love is defined by concern, aid, assistance, mutual enrichment, by doing, not just saying.

Real Love must have two aspects in order to be complete and real: 1) the "warm fuzzies," which is what many mistake for Love, when it is only one-half of Love. For real Love also contains, and must include, 2) action or behavior, manifested as service and/or friendship, and consisting of several varieties of Lovexpression. According to the type and powerlevel of Love, these can range through an entire spectrum of intensities; but if they are not present at all, neither is Love.

Any abstract "Love" is only illusion, for a full one-half, and often more, of all Love is Love-action or Love-behaviors.

Even the person of Love, the mystic, is never so one-dimensional as to be interested in only Love. Though she worships It, admits this, and though Love is the Center of everything in her life, this by no means prohibits a wide spectrum of other interests. Although Love is the most important part of, or interest in, her life, there is not a hint that the enlightened mystic becomes a Love-fanatic; indeed, to do so would violate a basic aspect of the Love-pattern, and that is moderation. Mystics seek the "Middle Path" of buddhism, which prevents "agapomania," or an unhealthy obsession with Love only. (This is so even though periods of agapomania can be healing and healthy.) Mystics can cultivate any interests in the world that are not directly antiagapic. Most of these, most of the time, are relevant to spirituality. But within that broad subject are hundreds of sub-subjects; and so, spirituality as Love amplifies interests, and does not confine or diminish them.

Despite our society's hatred of good and innocent sexuality, this is also a very valid Lovexpression, provided that neither a nor b has a sexually monogamous commitment to another. (Remember that ahimsa is not ascetic anti-pleasure, but demands that the mystic voluntarily hurt no one; and inappropriate sexual sharing would definitely hurt.)

Even conflict can be a rich store, or goldmine, of subjects to discuss. But so can the many forms of positivity, upliftment, goodness, compassion, Love, etc. We can invest virtually limitless time in the discussion of these and other complexities in our personalities. And Love by no means prohibits the discussion of conflict and/or interior challenges. For if conflict is a goldmine, and it is, Love is the mother-lode.

And not one of these items goes against a shared and luminous, very fulfilling, Love. For not one is designed to harm another being.

You write, "Clearly, this is a very different kind of love from 'love-only.'" Agreed that real Love has nothing in the world to do with a-Love.

We mystics love an entire series and spectrum of very different friends. We find their personal variations and varieties of interests and tastes only makes them more interesting. The fact that all who are cultivated on a deeper level of friendship are also interested in Love and good psychological expression and healing only makes them deeper friends, and deepens also our shared friendship, which is, imho, the way that things should be between friends. All of our friends share this belief in Love and its Power; but none is a fanatic, and none so monochromatic that she can speak of nothing but Love. Still, in the abstract, a person who spoke of nothing but Love would not be a harmful or terrible, boring fanatic. In today's diverse and varied world, she might actually be refreshing. For Love is as wide and splendid a topic as we are ever likely to come across. And agapology (the psychology of Love) is very, very deep, polyfaceted, and healing.

The Buddha is all about suffering with the subminds of the great Mind. That is why the Crucifixion is the ultimate symbol of the Christ or Buddha in our culture. There is no Love so real as that Love that suffers in our personal losses, and thus, acknowledges them as important. Suffering makes God human.

A part of spiritual culture and development is a growing sense of spiritual independence from too much human input. But the more spiritual being is arguably more in need of Love than the neophyte, who might well feel that she can take or Leave Love, or she might be even afraid of It. No matter how completely she grows, the mystic never "outgrows" the need for Love; for It is her sustenance, her interior nutrition, and she is not afraid or ashamed to request Love-- although loving people are rarely in need of such a crude request, and give Love in abundance, in many forms and powerlevels. This they do voluntarily, without the need for coaching or coaxing.

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