What is Love?
Whenever we look at something, the first thing we do is to calculate what we can get from it
W henever we look at something, the first thing we do is to calculate what we can get from it. It can be a person or an object, that doesn’t matter. Our thoughts start functioning either through fear or through greed to calculate what there is in the situation for us. Our attention is centered on that object or person.
It is possible to turn our attention towards our own inner space and ask,”What can I contribute? What can I add? How can I enrich others?” If the process is only to ask, What can I get out of it?, then it is driven by lust. If the process asks, “How can I enrich it?” it is driven by love! Lust is an energy that demands. Love is an energy that gives.
To tell you honestly, it is very difficult to define love exactly. Mere words cannot express it precisely. I am trying to use a few words here and there so that some word will click within you.
Love is an intense experience in one’s inner space. Many of us think love is a choice. We think experience and expression of love are a choice. We think that if we want to, we can handle love; otherwise we can let it go. No! It is not a choice as we think. It is a basic necessity of life.
When I say life, I don’t mean just breathing and staying alive. I mean being alive at the innermost being level, as a live Consciousness. If you can express love, if you can experience love, that is the only way of being alive as a Consciousness. If you don’t experience and express love, you may inhale and exhale, but you can’t say you are a live being. There are so many animals, plants and
other things that breathe day in and day out. You will continue to exist like them, that’s all.
A small story:
A disciple asked a Zen* master, “Does an enlightened master speak?”
The master said, “No, an enlightened person never speaks. Only a person who doesn’t know enlightenment speaks. ”
Then the disciple asked, “So does an enlightened master keep quiet?”
The master said, “No, an enlightened master never keeps quiet. If he keeps quiet, then he is not enlightened.”
The disciple was puzzled. He asked, “You say he neither speaks nor keeps quiet. What does he do?”
The master replied, “He sings! His being sings. He neither speaks, nor keeps quiet. His very being sings.”
Love is the ultimate experience of a human being. When the experience happens, we will not be able to possess the experience, only the experience will possess us! That is what the master means. When the experience possesses us, whatever we do will be like a beautiful song. Any word that comes out will be poetry. Our being will be so light. We will simply float. Our walking will be a dance. Our body language will radiate grace. All our expressions will be of great service to humanity. All human beings are born as loving beings. A newborn baby radiates causeless love. Does she know anyone around her at birth? No! Her energy is causeless love. As we grow, society instills fear and greed in us and we orient our love based on greed and fear. Then it is no longer causeless love. It is love with a reason. It becomes suffocating. We start feeling other emotions like jealousy, fear and anger. We experience only love with a cause, a reason. But with a little awareness and awakening, it is possible to reclaim our original love.
* Zen – Japanese Buddhist practice. Derived from dhyana, meditation.