Love is the most important truth of life, the raison d’etre of creation, and yet has been the least understood.
Before we understand love, we must understand why we came into being. God created us ("Eko aham bahusyam") because, all alone He could neither love nor be loved. There was so much of that pure joy in Him (Anand of Sat-Chit-Ananda), that He wanted to share it.
But the One appearing as many was basically an untruth, so Maya had to be created, there had to be a Cosmic Hypnosis. Like you cannot create ornaments with pure gold and must add some copper to make it workable, God could not have made a creation of dualities with a non-dual Core of His Pure Consciousness.
So, as 'there was light' and creation was springing forth, God wanted to see if in this cosmic play, we would choose Him and love Him, or we would choose only His gifts of dualistic creation, if we would misuse / abuse our separate identity. For this choice to be exercised, He gave us free will and made us in His image, complete and independent.
Maya or Satan was given a job : to take us away from God, to let the One appear as many ; this was a centrifugal force set in motion. But God did not want us to go too far away and be lost either, so He kept drawing us back - this is the counter-balancing centripetal force. His love is unconditional ; constantly though silently, it pulls us back towards Him. Isn't the earth pulled away from, and pulled back inwards towards the sun, at the same time, or the electrons away from, and also towards, the nucleus of an atom ? If there was not this balance, the earth would either be flung irretrievably away or sucked into the sun, and be lost in either case ; and it will be so for the electrons orbiting around the nucleus.
God pined and hoped we would love Him back, but most of us chose not to. Now, He had to be a part of the drama, even though inwardly detached, knowing it to be what it was - just a play. He had to be, and indeed is, both Immanent – in it, and Transcendent – beyond it. The Satan also, being a conscious force, "a liar from the beginning" (since his existence was to make the One appear as many) and wanting to perpetuate his own existence and the tremendous power over us that it implied, overdid his job and rebelled. Wanting to not lose our freedom, we sided with Satan.
God waits patiently ; He can make and unmake galaxies in a split second, but He wants us to love Him spontaneously, without prompting, without force. No one can be forced to love, after all - not even a baby.
In each soul, being made in the image of God, there is this yearning for love, this desire to share the quiet joy within ; it's a pure feeling. It's love divine.
But the ego and ignorance, Asmita and Avidya, micro-cosmic reflections within us of the macrocosmic Satan, corrupt this pure innate feeling into attachment. Love cannot be attachment ; attachment is an emotion and the natural end of all attachment is its opposite : resentment or repulsion. When we are too attached to a certain sweet, for example, it eventually causes nausea and soon we get surfeited and we don't want to even look at it, let alone eat, any more ; when we are too attached to a person, it ends in disappointment and disillusionment, often hatred.
Love is not an emotion, it is not possessive. It wants to give. All it wants in return is true love, but it does not cease even if not reciprocated. A flower does not stop its fragrance if crushed, or discarded, or even trampled. It does not choose who will receive its fragrance ; true love, similarly, is universal.
When you love truly, you love all. Because God is omnipresent, and true love is Divine.
So, then, is all human love, so contaminated as it is, futile and vain ? No, it is under purification - a necessary part of the whole transformation, a base metal being converted into gold by the touch of the Philosospher's Stone that the Guru's loving wisdom is, it is even much more than that. The world is a school where, in families and friendships, we learn to purify human love into Love Divine. It does not happen overnight - through pleasure and sorrow, through sharing and quarrelling, through attachment and aversion, through apparent owning and losing, through indulgence and introspective restraint ... it gets slowly catalyzed into pure love as we keep learning.
Francis Thompson calls God a 'Hound of Heaven' in his renowned poem by that name. He says God chases us, rather than we chasing Him. We don't need to chase Him, really. He is willing to come running anyways but do we really care for Him even half as much as we care for His many gifts?
He seeks and chases us because He knows what a mess we, His children, have landed ourselves through misuse of the free will He gave us, He knows we would never be happy until we loved Him back, so in Francis' poem, God says to us 'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me !... Naught shelters thee who wouldst not shelter Me !'
This poem was a favorite of my Master, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (author of 'Autobiography of a Yogi'), who taught us what true love is and whose teachings this blog is inspired by. Human relationships, the Master said, will always be imperfect until anchored in the Divine.
One may ask, didn't God, being omniscient, know this mess would be there ? Well, it is for Him to answer, but I guess He knew. He knew we would eventually all return to Him and a drama, so sad and poignant in its course, would have a happy ending. Will you, after all, like a movie that has no villain ? One good thing about Satan is that he never binds us for ever ; a falsehood is falsehood after all and must fail and fall through.
So we keep seeking that 'something else' which will make us all happy ; God's love is that something else, my Guru says, and for those who have found It, the search is over. When we truly love Him, we will love all alike, for He is in us all - equally, no matter what our mistakes !
Love is a soul-inspired pure feeling, not an emotion.
Love, Peace and Joy...
Online Motivational Life Coach & Corp. Trainer