Know that when
you learn to lose
yourself, you will reach
the beloved. There is
no other secret to be
learned, and more than
this is not known to me.
—Ansari of Herat10
Although you may devote yourself to an aspect of the Beloved, like the guru or the deity as mother, child, or lover, you are in it for the love, not for the attainment, not for the object. It’s one of those wonderful paradoxes you encounter on the path. You can’t attain it; you have to become it. In the process subject and object, lover and Beloved, become one. You lose yourself and gain your Self. To go from the experiencer to the merger with the One requires grace.
To stay in love, or to serve as Hanuman serves R–am, the true devotee maintains a thread of connection to the self and pulls back from fully merging, or goes in and out.
The truth of this path of the heart is that there is no path. There is only the heart and the love that consumes the lover who becomes the Beloved. Love is a state of being, not a trip from here to there.
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