'What is Love?'
So we started touching a little bit, yesterday, on this word Love… and I know that this word has a lot of connotations and meanings. Most of those meanings seem to be about an experience of love, and of course I am not denying that there are experiences of love. Not denying any experience. And in fact that not denying any experience, is the Love that I am talking about.
It's not all about feeling loving. It's not only about enjoying, or any subtle trying to maintain a state of happiness because that is just the mind tricking itself. I am talking about a complete openness to whatever is here. Complete openness to pain, complete openness to fear. Completely being unprotected against any of those things that we normally think can hurt us. Whether it’s apparently outside of us, or in thoughts, or in feelings. It is all included. It is all existing, now… in… what is.
There is no point in trying to escape it. It’s here, and there is nowhere else to be. Even if you don’t understand what you feel, even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if it doesn’t fit into your ideas of how things should be. It is anyway…radically here. No matter what you think. Radically sticking a finger up at what you think!
Radical Love. Radically Life. It is seeing again and again that you have no way of changing or controlling what is. This is the freefall, seeing thought trying to control, trying to stop the pain, trying to protect 'myself', and knowing all the time how ridiculous this is. There is no one here who needs to be protected. There is nowhere to hide. Everywhere is here, everywhere is you. Even a future time, you know, because often we put the pain off into the future: "I’ll deal with it tomorrow", "I’ll deal with it next year. Just not now." It’s the same with this hope: “one day I’ll get it, "one day I’ll face everything and it will all fall away and it’ll be fine.” But this 'one day' is just the same as here right now. This 'one day' in the future, even one second in the future, is right now anyway. You can’t escape it. No matter how much you try. In a way what we are cooking up here in this pressure cooker of a retreat, is the realizing that there is no escape. Facing it, feeling it. Feeling whatever is right now, including your apparent resistance to it because that resistance is part of the feeling. “I don’t want it to be like this”, is part of feeling like this.
So this Love, loves even that. Even the hate, even the anger… even the war, and the death, and the destruction, and the rape and… everything. Unconditional Love is not what you think it is. In fact it can’t be thought of, because anything you think unconditional Love is, is conditional and limited to what you think it is.
It's about losing any concept of Love, losing any idea of any experience of Love, whether it’s in your personal relationships, with lovers or friends, or people that you find irritating; people you hate or just everything that goes on inside of you, the sensations that you love, the sensations that you hate. Everything is already loved, whether you love it or not. And it’s already loved because it’s here. Just the very fact that it is happening…
Life bursting into existence just for you, right now.
If that’s not Love, I don’t know what is.
27th November 2011, Montezuma, Costa Rica