Love, the most exalted word the world has ever produced to describe the most banal unto the highest purity that can emerge in a human heart, and at the same time a popular wildcard to define our relationships.
‘Relationship’ refers to at least two parties. The relationship between them has aspects like sympathy, attraction, beauty, connectedness, advantage; terms that – in turn – also include an opposite side. The essence of these is mostly called ‘hatred’, a coarse word that barely tolerates a milder synonym.
What we inwardly experience as ‘Love’ must be something that has no contradiction, but such a concept cannot be found in an earthly dictionary. A shortcoming that we try to remedy with substitutes such as ‘Love’ with a capital letter. Oneness is getting closer, even if it is also a concept that we may also know and experience but can hardly imagine. This is because we experience that there is still an observer and an object, so again there are two. There is an enormous gap between being one and being of one opinion. Our being one usually means that there has been enough bickering and the giving and taking to avoid for instance too great a loss of face. In ‘oneness’ – the word says it all – there is only one left; there is no one to give or receive.
And that’s precisely the bottleneck. From the Ego (with a capital letter and also called the All-Will) we have built our own ego and around it our own universe. But an ego is sometimes so big, that in that whole universe there is only room for one of them and for nothing else. Thus, we wander forever along the border between war and peace. As an individual or as a group, the scale does not matter. We often live only by virtue of an opponent, in whatever form.
And yet we were given this body, with its miraculous capacities, on loan, as it were, to complete our journey through this life. Does this body have to disappear then? Certainly not, as that ‘vehicle’ as it is also sometimes called, is the only way to play the role that has been assigned to us on this earthly stage. Only, the rider should be on the back of the horse; not the other way around.
Ridiculous image? Maybe rather tragically comical, but everyone must decide that for themselves, although it is not a simple matter when the suspect is both judge and prosecutor.
Maybe this body can even help us – that incredible life form that can breathe, eat, transform, move, perceive, speak, act, and feel pain, illness, pleasure and so much more. And there are also all the processes that take place in secret, such as conversion, circulation of oxygen and fluids, digestion, thoughts, desires; an obscure mechanism with always the danger that something can go wrong – and often does. A complete universe in itself of coming and going, the spectacular and the hidden, the ups and the downs.
But this whole diversity also reveals to us what the term ‘oneness’ can mean. For example, we don’t get angry with our knee when it hinders our mobility, we don’t criticize the liver for being inflamed, nor do we condemn the molar that’s messing up our weekend. And the fact that our heart keeps on ticking, through thick and thin, is something we find quite normal or just don’t think about at all. I am in all that and all that is in me as I go and stand here: the accuser and the accused, the admirer as well as the celebrated one. Every aspect sits on the same chair. There is no kind of relationship between befalls me and me-myself, no, it’s all ‘I’.
Whether we call this organisation with terms like creation, cosmos or nature, for everything that goes on within it the same applies, there is only an increase in scale. The inflammation can also be called war, the broken joint a natural disaster. But all these are events within one and the same being, there is simply no room for an ‘against’, because ‘oneness’ – the name says it all – has no opposite. The lily blossoms and withers, the chorus of the dawn vaporizes in the morning breeze, the hurricane lies down between the rubble as the promise of new opportunities. Apparently, a useless turbulence of coming and going, of construction and demolition, misunderstandings, annoyances, happiness and setbacks; the ordinary waves and wavelets of what we call ‘life’, the power that encloses the entire universe and has no judgement about what is happening in its womb. Everything that happens in and with our existence touches our consciousness; happy and relieved by the signs of healing, worried about the failure of a function or an endeavour. There is no trace of resentment, contempt or exclusion in this, for all this too is … I, the reflection of the Primeval Force that we carelessly call ‘life’, the great unknown – and unrecognized – that is anchored in our being as potential and which accompanies us throughout our life, – and waits.
For access, as it were, to a forgotten Empire that we once exchanged for the adventure ‘Earth’. This potential has no name, because a name distinguishes it from everything else. But there is nothing else, because it is the All. This is how abstract ‘life’ expresses itself in concrete, active forms. And although our consciousness cannot (yet) really grasp this, it constantly confronts us with a choice. Either the I-will, or the All-will. Either an immersion into the peace of the impartial oneness, or the I-you relationship with its criticism, rivalry, fears and doubts, and the superlatives thereof in the world around us. Sowing discord in it seems to be the trick of the earthly powers to keep our perspective focused on the surface. But it is an illusion: these things, too are decided in the All-Will, as ways and opportunities to break open our insight, to defrost the frozen spark in our hearts so that it can find its place again in the great Stream.
But where has ‘love’ gone in this argument?
We could summarize the above as: I and you – I with you – I am you. Actions and thoughts of us – people – are often exponents of the lines of force that circulate in society; those who say ‘I’, say ‘we’ at the same time. Next to and behind the accused stands the community that formed him/her. If we really let this sink in, we may progress to compassion, caring together and accomplishing together what needs to be done here and now, regardless of the judgement and appreciation of the ‘I’, with its opinions and interests. This can then be called love, the way to Oneness, revealed to us and guided by Love itself; the way that can transform the opponent into a fellow Human Being.
Reference: This article first appeared in Pentagram 2019 issue 3