The term “love” is used by many people. Most of the time when they use the term love, they are talking about romantic love. They are talking about love that is fused with need, and if you look at the process of falling in love, it’s an interesting process.
You have a heart that is love, but it’s closed to you by your own mind. So you’re like a hungry ghost, looking all the time.
Then you meet somebody, and they have a key that fits in a lock that opens you to your own heart, and you think, “I am in love.”
But, because the person had the key, you say “I am in love with you.” Actually, what happens is that they opened you to the place in yourself where you are in love. When you meet somebody with the key, you become very attached because it feels so good to be in love, so you want to know where that person will be on Thursday and Friday, and for the rest of your life. You want to possess your connection to your own heart. We enter into a relationship that says, “I will be the key to your heart, and you will be the key to mine,”
Now, let’s say you begin the spiritual awakening, and through your meditation practice you start to loosen the hold of your mind, and you begin to come more deeply into your heart, and you begin to feel you are in love, and you look at a person and you are in love with them. Your habits of the past have always been to be a hungry ghost in need of love.
So you try to collect that person, not realizing it’s coming from inside you.
Now the problem comes when you look at another person. Again, you feel this love, so you want to collect that person. It starts to become very complicated. Why should you assume when you feel in love with one person that is the only person you will be in love with in life? Is that what a contract is? To not love anybody else?
What happens when you heart is open and you love everyone you meet?
What you have to let go of is the model of yourself as somebody that is deprived of love.
You have to stop collecting lovers because every one is someone you meet in another one. You start to fall in love with everyone. It’s hard to know what to do. It’s hard to realize there’s nothing to do, that when you’re in love with somebody, you respond in what is appropriate. I work with people that are close to death. My heart is quite open and I fall in love with them. I fall into the state of love with them. If that came out of my need for them, then their dying would be a very frightening thing for me. It’s very delicate work because of the depth of the learning of the need to love and be loved.
There is no way you can know the Beloved if you are filled with a sense of your own inadequacy.
See the spiritual practice as one of relinquishing definitions of one’s self in order to come into the present.
See the spiritual journey as one of coming into the space of love. Look at the people you don’t love and see them as an exercise for you to open your heart.
– Ram Dass
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