Someone wrote to me:
I was hearing a talk today about loving oneself.
I enjoy the talk very much and I certainly agree that we should learn to see ourselves with wonder, joy, respect, gratitude, compassion.
But I was wondering, is this what is called true Love?
Can someone totally, fully, completely have this Love towards himself/herself? And what about love towards others and the world?
Is it possible to truly love all?
For the sake of the explanation, let’s make a difference between love for oneself and true love1:
Loving oneself as a person means healing the person we think we are.
It means, for example, having a high regard for our own well-being and happiness, taking care of our own needs, not sacrificing our well-being to please others, supporting our physical, psychological and spiritual growth, etc.
Discovering true love is something altogether different, as different as black and white. It is so different that, at first, it is even difficult to wrap our head around it… It is the essence of what I call true spirituality.
True love is the realization that the person I think I am, the person that needs healing is not really who I am; that the person that suffers and enjoys is not an individual, separate entity, but more like a movement, like an activity. Like a whirlpool. A whirlpool is not an entity in itself, but a movement of water. When the water moves in a particular way then an apparent entity we call a whirlpool appears.
A person, an apparent entity, appears from the One-Reality2 just like a whirlpool, an apparent entity, appears from the one water.
If this apparent entity we call the person/Carlos/Carmen/Sofia/Joan (or whatever name it has) is full of self-doubt, confused, disconnected from himself/herself, vain, upset, always agitated, anxious, too wrapped up in herself, etc, etc, then that ‘entity’ takes so much attention onto itself that it becomes very difficult to see the entity as the whole. And so, in this sense, to love oneself means to love the person, to accept the person, to forgive the person, to embrace the person, to find peace with the person. This is often done through psychology, philosophy and some spiritual practices like meditation.
Then, when that person is not so wrapped up onto itself, space in the mind may open up, and the possibility to look for and discover true love opens up.
This is the discovery that the person we think we are is not a separate, individual, existing entity, but that the only true ‘entity’ is the Awareness2 aware of the person. Or, in other words, it is the realization that what sees through our eyes, hears through our ears or tastes through our tongue is not the person, but the ‘One entity’2 seeing trough all eyes, hearing through all ears and tasting trough all tongues; this ‘entity’, this Pure Awareness2 is not personal but universal, and it is this Universal Awareness2 what I really am.
It is the realization that what is seeing through the eyes of the entity called Carmen, is also looking through the eyes of the entity called Carlos. And it is precisely this discovery what we can call true love. When we discover that what looks trough ‘my’ eyes and what looks trough ‘your’ eyes is one and the same ‘thing’, what could we feel for this ‘other entity’ other than love? (We may like that person or we may dislike that person, we may approve or disapprove the behaviors of that person, but this love is beyond the like-dislike/approve-disapprove dualities of the mind. This is precisely the discovery: we are not the mind!!!)
And when we discover that what sees trough my eyes is looking through all eyes, human or animal, what can we feel other than love for all?
What prevents us from true love is the belief in the individual consciousness: I am here, inside the skin and everything else, everything outside of the skin, is not me.
What allows true love is the discovery that there is only one Being/Self2 from which infinite entities like ‘Carloses’ and ‘Carmens’ and ‘Sofias’ and ‘Joans’ and dogs and mosquitos and trees come from; just like there is only one water from which infinite whirlpools, waves, foams, drops, vapor, ice, fog, rain, clouds come from.
This is what needs to be realized.
This is what I call true spirituality.
And this is what we can call true love.
1. I make a difference between love for oneself and true love in this note for practical purposes, to explain a particular point, but in reality this distinction does not exists: ‘Individual love is nothing but concentrated universal love.’
2. One Reality, Awareness, Being, Self, Oneness and many others are names given in many spiritual traditions to the one existence from which everything emanates. But, in a way, no name is correct because it has no form or shape, no qualities, it is not something that can be perceived by any of the 5 senses nor can be thought of or visualized by the mind.