What Is Love?
Love requires some preparation to comprehend its power and magnitude. The problem with love is that people try to love. They try to be loving. They even try to be loved. It does not work very well to do this because to be loving is not the first step.
Many people talk about love saying, “Well, if you are loving, then this will happen, and your life will become more joyful, and people will respond to you more positively. If you are more loving, you will have a greater degree of friendship and companionship. If you are more loving, you will experience God more directly.”
The problem with this approach is that people cannot try to be loving. They try to be loving on top of their current experience, which often is not very loving. You cannot place a sentiment on top of your experience and hope that your sentiment will be successful. Love is an expression of your own Knowledge. It is an expression of your True Mind.
So let us not try to be loving so that we can be more honest with each other. Honesty requires that you begin where you really are. You cannot begin from where you want to be. You cannot be where you want to be. You can only be where you are. If your current state at this moment is not a state of profound love, then you must express that state and find constructive ways of doing that.
This in itself is a great step forward. It requires you to become self-observant and to disassociate yourself from your experience enough so that you can look at it objectively. This involves a certain degree of self-acceptance. You must accept your current state. You cannot be waging war against it, even in the attempt to become more loving. That is fruitless and will lead to a greater sense of personal failure, which you do not need.
Love will come naturally in its own way. You do not need to create it. It will emanate from you when the conditions are right, and other people will respond to it. You will not be trying to be loving or kind or nice or lovable.
The problem with trying to be loving is that you lose respect for yourself because trying to be loving is a form of self-denial. It is saying, “My current state is repugnant. I will not honor it, and I will attempt to be in a more desirable state.” Well, a more desirable state may indeed be worthwhile, but you cannot attain it through self-repudiation.
So let us talk about love in terms of preparation, the kind of preparation that allows love to emerge naturally. When love emerges naturally, there is no dishonesty. There is no self-denial. Love is happening. Your challenge now is merely to accept it and to allow it to emanate. You will be as much a recipient of it as those with whom you are engaged.
Let us make a few important points regarding this. First of all, you do not create love. You cannot manipulate love. In fact, you cannot do anything with love, but it can do something with you. You cannot drum it up. You cannot add it on. You cannot strive for it. It is elusive, if you do. If you are open and cultivating yourself correctly, it will be a natural emanation. It is both a result and a cause in and of itself. Like Knowledge, it is a force that is latent within you. As you focus upon it and allow it to express itself, and as you become a substantial person who has a capacity for Knowledge, love will emanate naturally.
Love is not an emotion. It is not always kind. It does not maintain one appearance only. Ideas of being loving and lovable conjure up certain forms of behavior and mannerisms and certain forms of etiquette and social obligation. But this is only acting at love. Love is very powerful. It does not need your creations. It only needs for you to become an empty vessel through which it can express itself.
Love may make many appearances. If you think about this, you will realize that there have been times in your life that were extremely difficult and very challenging, times that you rejected and could not tolerate. Yet their result was a greater experience of love and relationship. Those “great romances” that failed you, did they not save you from a worse calamity? And in retrospect, could you not look back and say, “My God! I almost married that person! I am so glad it did not go that way!” But at the time was it not terribly painful? That was love in action, too, but it did not look loving at the time.
It is only when you look at your life from a greater perspective that you see and sense that your life is being gently guided along. And when it is not gently guided, it means that you have gone too far away, and you need a stronger assistance. Therefore, you get a little push now. It is not so gentle, but you need this because you have disassociated yourself from your own Knowledge substantially, and you need a strong correction from life.
Love is mysterious. It is not always happy; it is not always kind, but it always carries you forward toward the Source of love itself.
God’s purpose in life is to unburden you. That is God’s first purpose. God cannot give you anything until you are unburdened. You cannot carry a gift from God if your hands are full of your own necessities. People at the beginning ask God, “Help me get what I want. I want this and I want that, and I want you to make sure I get it. If you are real, you will do this for me.” Here you are not quite sure if the things you want are not merely burdens for you. If you keep demanding from life that you have these things without result, maybe it is not in your best interests or maybe it is not time for such things.
God’s first purpose is to unburden you, and the unburdening is an act of love. In fact, you will do most of the work. Do you know why? Because trying to fulfill yourself is so terribly disappointing. Only God can fulfill you and only you can fulfill God.