Is It Love?

Positive emotions generated by the ego already contain within themselves their opposite into which they can quickly turn. … What the ego calls love is possessiveness and addictive clinging that can turn into hate within a second.—Eckhart Tolle

 Love is a spontaneous phenomenon, associated not so much with a person or persons as object as simply being an energetic condition. Love may also be beyond energy, at emptiness or the proverbial still point, but I haven’t gotten there (yet?). I do, however, sometimes feel the love and I can say nothing is more gratifying.

 The problem comes when we correlate the emotion with a human, personal object. We feel we’re in love with someone when what we have is simply the arising of an emotion. In short, the feeling may or may not have to do with another individual.

 Do you know a man/woman obsessed with a love object? Maybe you’re the one who’s focused on Lucy or Gary or Jean. That could be fine, or it could be entirely inappropriate.

 Thinking of that feeling of love as love for all beings is probably a good approach even if the love is sparked by the presence of or thoughts of another, specific human being. Not that personal love can’t appear, but until a personal love is tried and tested and sustained over time, love is best accepted as an impersonal love, a love that arises from a state of good fortune, even grace, and that has as its object all who live. Nothing is to be done with love, except to feel it and to express it to all.

 To immediately enclose the love as a singular love directed at one person would be short sighted. Indeed, in that case, we allow the individual to evoke and capture our love entirely for that one person’s sake, which limits the feeling that might let us grow into a full human being.

 Individualizing love also creates a condition of potentially truncating the emotion itself.

 Personal love isn’t always well suited to a situation or idea. Should it arise in a mutual, fulfilling way, then we’re blessed. But, really, the larger vision might be less arduous and invoke a lot less struggle.

 Love of all sorts waxes and wanes, even the impersonal stuff. But think, if we awake one morning and feel grumpy about humanity as a whole and disenchanted with the universe, that doesn’t imply an irrevocable split. We suppose our mood will lighten later in the day after we exercise or have breakfast, and nothing is lost. But waking up and realizing the love of “the one” is rotten to the core means a whole big mess ensues, starting with self-questioning and self-doubt and a whole lot of “what do I do now”s.

“I loved her,” said the boy who shot his beloved—and her mother and grandmother—after she’d broken up with him.

Emotions arise, and that’s perfectly fine. Love is a wonderful emotion to feel, a universal solvent that heals all ills if felt often enough for long enough. Love is, in fact, grand. But suppose we take it with a grain of salt when it settles on a particular trigger lest a heart beating with this exalted stuff later fills with a much less pleasant emotion. No, no, I have nothing again love at all. My beef is against our impulsively leaping into…trouble.

For another take on the perils and promises of love:

And for the perils and promises of the universe:

Or wait for STRINGS in paperback. .