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PeaceConsciousness.org is an online e-zine. This publication provides both a forum for exchanging ideas related to peace, and for suggesting means, at all levels, to use in resolving differences between individuals, groups, nations, or even species. We will learn not only where we have common ground, but also learn to celebrate our differences, because those differences provide richness, diversity, and a continual flow of new ideas for us to consider.

March 1, 2008

What is Love?

One often hears others state that they wish there was more peace in the world, or that more nations were at peace. Humorous motion pictures, books, and articles that contain scenes from beauty pageants often depict one or more of the contestants in that pageant stating a desire for world peace. Peace does not occur within a vacuum. This individual mental and social condition arises in the presence of other human experiences or conditions such as understanding, tolerance of others, the will to and the process of sharing, happiness, and love. The emergent leadership theories of transforming and servant leadership base their postulation on the attainment of moral sensibility and an attitude of service. In other words, they both are based on principles grounded in love. Such attitudes are critical to the building and enjoyment of world peace. Today many large businesses possess the financial clout of some small countries and are often able to influence what goes on within the borders of many of them. A few individuals have also amassed fortunes that rival emerging nations in power and influence. Situations such as these give even more importance to the adoption of attitudes of service, morality, transformation, and love. This article endeavors to uncover the meaning of one of these emotional conditions: the emotion of love.

Love is everything, everywhere, and everlasting. Love will exist as long as the Cosmic exists, because love is an attribute of the Cosmic. You may wonder why I contend that love is an attribute of the Cosmic. There are several reasons. First, if you agree that the Cosmic is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent, then everything in creation, including thought and emotion ensues from the Cosmic and is composed of Cosmic properties. If you are a member of the Christian faith the following analogy may be helpful: the Christian Bible states that Jesus is the Son of God. It also states that the Son and the Father are One. And finally, it has been said that Master Jesus was love made manifest. Therefore if Jesus is Love made manifest, and Jesus and God are One, then love and God are one; or, love is an aspect, expression, or attribute of God. Also keep in mind that it has also been said that Master Jesus is the Light of the world. I will delve into light and its relationship to love later in this article.

Can love, as most of us have come to know it, be characterized or subdivided? Can a person love one person more, or to a greater degree than they can another? If a person feels they can, and do, then I suggest that they haven’t uncovered the true meaning of love. In instances such as these, perhaps the person has not experienced true love, but rather, superfluous infatuations and attraction to life and objects on the physical plane of existence.

Love radiates throughout the Cosmos, as do rays of sunlight radiate from our sun. I believe this is because love is the emotional thought which holds the Cosmos together. I remind you of the biblical verse “In the beginning was the Word.” Also remember that Jesus was called the Logos, or the Word made flesh. Meditate upon these thoughts. A word when thought or spoken becomes vibration. Everything in existence is nothing more than vibration. That is, everything is composed of subatomic or atomic energy, and as such, is constantly in motion—a state of flux, whether it be composed of a wave or a particle. The energy of love is universal, and touches all in its path evenly. It does not pick and choose. Until we experience universal love, or love of the Cosmic, we can only theorize and philosophize.

All around us, we hear people refer to various forms of love: brotherly, carnal, materialistic, passionate, etc. But I ask you, how can love, being universal in nature, have so many aspects? Surely it doesn’t. Love is simply love. It can’t be bottled up or labeled. Such labeling is a result of humanity’s objective reasoning, and not natural law. Love is also unconditional. No one possesses it, yet we all share in the possession of it.

What most of us refer to as love is in reality, passion or desire. True love contains neither. When one experiences universal love, all things, including people, are equalized. One who experiences it loves ants, weeds, their family, etc., to the same degree and with the same force—the love force. The result of experiencing such true love is peace.

When one experiences universal love they discover one of life’s greatest secrets: that there is no secret, or magic key to proper living. Universal love is simplicity at its best. It requires us to empty our minds of all preconceived notions of what love is or isn’t, should or shouldn’t be, and so forth. When one experiences universal love, they experience the totality of their being. They discover that all life stems from the same Mother-Father God. They realize that we are all sisters and brothers, forever and always united. Only when such loving experiences have been had, can one make the right decisions concerning their future, and how they interact with others. Only then shall peace reign eternal on earth.

Universal, or Cosmic, love has often been compared to a two edged sword. In a way this is an accurate comparison, for all things are dual in nature. All things possess positive and negative aspects. Although love has a negative aspect, love itself is always positive. The negative aspect arises in its absence. This is similar to light and darkness (think of the deepest meaning of the Psalm 23). Darkness has no actual existence. It is one of our realities. It is simply the negative aspect of light. Neither does darkness have power. It is energy-less. It is our fear of the unknown that projects power into darkness. Our fear gives it power, and its power is that very fear itself, and the effect it has upon our thoughts and emotions. As an example, let’s assume we are in a well-lit room that has no windows. When the lights in the room are on, objects in the room are easily recognized, and we are confident in moving around while bathed in the light. Now, let’s close the door and turn the room’s lights off. Are we as confident in our actions as we were when the lights were on? Probably not. Where did the darkness come from? It didn’t come from anywhere, because it has no positive attributes. In other words, it does not exist. Try measuring darkness by degrees, or some other scale. You can’t do it. You can only measure light in its varying intensities. So, when the lights are turned off, we find that darkness is the negative aspect of light. Darkness is the absence of light. And so it is with hot and cold. We can only measure heat. And we can only give credence to love: hate, envy, so-called evil, etc., only manifest in the absence of love. You and I give power to these negative attributes of love. As you can see, we either express love, or we don’t. There are no degrees of it. But as said earlier, we sometimes mistake desire and passion for love.

Can love or the negative aspect of it hurt us? On the surface this might appear to be a truism. But upon closer scrutiny we will see that it is not. Let’s analyze this question as it applies to this ancient Sufi saying: “Sometimes the only cure for illness is death.” This sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. To understand this statement one has to possess knowledge of Karmic law. If the word “Karmic” startles or upsets you, it shouldn’t. All religions and most philosophies profess the law of Karma, but may not refer to it as such. Karma is the great equalizer. It keeps our lives and everything in creation in balance. Karma allows for a harmonizing of world, and universal forces. Christian scriptures refer to Karma in a veiled manner, with statements such as “an eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24), and, “And his disciples asked Him, saying Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2), etc. Therefore, when illness is brought upon us by our having to pay a Karmic debt, or by our having lived our lives inharmoniously, this means that we have failed to allow love to express itself through us. We have failed to live in harmony with natural laws. Illness and other forms of tragedy are placed before us in an attempt to teach us the error of our ways. If we continually fail to learn from these valuable lessons, Karma will exact its most powerful toll: Death of the organism, failure of a governmental system, etc.

As you may have surmised, love and Karma are closely related. To live a full and healthy life we should always try to live in harmony with natural law—God’s law. Karma is impartial. It dispenses both positive and what we may perceive as negative forces. If we express love in our lives, good health, happiness and peace will be our reward. On the other hand, if we choose to live in the absence of light and love, Karmic law will cause corrective action in the form of an object lesson—a learning experience, to be applied. The choice is always ours, for we attract or build Karma based upon our thoughts and actions. When we think about our future, we should always be aware of Karmic law, and how it will attempt to exact payment for our labors, be they good or bad. Our actions today determine what we will reap in the future. This holds true for individuals, organizations, and nations.

From time to time, mentally extricate yourself from the environment you’re in. Observe the actions of those in your presence. Try to express thoughts and feelings of love to all of these personalities. While mentally withdrawn from your environment, imagine the myriad of actions being performed by other people here on earth. Think of births, robberies, donations, marriages, deaths, etc. Where do you fit in? Are you as important as you think you are? Sure you are. But celebrate the unique characteristics of your personality in a quiet and humble fashion. See love as an integral part of all that takes place. Forgive the evildoers, for they are like children. They have not yet learned the virtues and benefits of trying to live a spiritually oriented life: a life where doing good things for others is the cornerstone of growth and development as a member of the human race. It is a precursor and cornerstone of peace. Keep in mind that such individuals have willingly removed their thoughts and actions so far from love’s light due to their exercise of free will that they may no longer realize or recognize its presence. They appear to live in darkness. But also remember that no one actually lives in darkness. Some, however, do choose to live in the absence of light. Do whatever you can to focus more light into these apparent pockets of darkness. The more light (love) you shine forth, the more shall you receive, and the better you and mankind will be for it. This is Karmic law. Lest the vessel be emptied, it cannot be filled with new refreshment. With this knowledge you can safely walk through the valley of darkness and fear no evil, for your Inner Light, the light of love and knowledge illuminates the path ahead. Because darkness is the negative aspect of light, it cannot exist in light’s presence. When you’re in that darkened room, light a match. Where does the darkness go? When one has come to a full understanding and belief of these principles, they will have truly come to understand what love is, and from whence it comes! The understanding of the concept of love, along with its accompanying conditions of understanding, tolerance, happiness, and sharing, is one sure way to discover and enjoy personal and world peace.

-- Thomas Sagacious


Powerpeace said...

I may return later to comment further. For now I wish to address the author's satement about the different expressions of love. My own thoughts on the subject are that love is expressed in many ways. There are many species of animal, plant, & mineral. They all need love. The love they need is not the same. People too are like this. A person who has been abused, or who has abused, requires significantly more expression of love than one who was not exposed in such brutality.

Anonymous said...

IN response to May 2008 comment from PowerPeace: I agree, totally. The difficult thing is how to love the person with the difficult behaviour without encouraging or condoing more of the same behaviour. I have come to the conclusion that only by giving Unconditional Love ,as God gives it, will this person be helped to become the best they can be. What we must remember is to ask God how we may show unconditional Love to the person in question on a particular day. If we forget to do this, and rely on our own judgement ,surely we will be wrong in trying to assist the one in question.

The expression of unconditional Love may happen in a different way from day to day, and moment to moment. For that reason, we must trust completely in God's guidance and we must also ask for protection for our own emotions and well being as we offer to be a channel for this persons's highest good.

With our total trust in God, this can happen and will happen.