This is the path of love. The path of the heart. Like all paths, it is fraught with pitfalls and traps, and most of our emotions are either in the service of our minds or our frightening things that overwhelm us and make us afraid so we protect ourselves from them.
So we come through life a little bit like hungry ghosts. We are beings that have huge needs for love, but seemingly it’s like we have some kind of amoeba that doesn’t allow us to digest our food. So, though we get love, it goes through us and then we need love all over again. This conception is so deep within all of us that we’ve built an entire reality around it, and we think that’s the way it is; that everybody needs love and that if you don’t get it you are deprived, and that the more of it the better, and you need it every day from everything. In that sense it’s like an achievement; you see people that are achievers. The minute they achieve something it becomes irrelevant, and their awareness turns to the next achievement because they are addicted to the practice, not to the goal.
The predicament with loving is the power of the addiction of the practice of loving somebody; of getting so caught in the relationship that you can’t ever arrive at the essence of dwelling in love.
If you imagine it in this sequence that you are cut off in your heart from love so you feel hungry, what that hunger is is the hunger to come home. It’s the hunger to be at peace; to be feeling at one in the universe; where lover and Beloved merge. It’s the place to feel fulfilled in the moment, to be able to live fully in the moment.
Closed off, you are like a bee looking for a flower. You’re flying around buzzing and looking. There are certain very deep patterns, whether they’re psychologically learned or karmic, that are like a lock waiting for a key to open it, but the key must fit into that lock. It must be a certain pattern or concatenation of factors.
All of your psychological conditioning prepares you to be attracted to certain methods, or certain paths, or to certain people. For many people, the energies they’re working with at the time they are seeking this love so strongly are second chakra energies; energies of desire, of sexual desire, of desire for union that is relational and the energy gets into that pattern. And you associate making love as a vehicle to coming into love.
So you’re going along as a little lock waiting for a key, and along comes a shadow of love, goes by, and like a little duckling you turn and you start to walk after it. It just happened to be the particular pattern that turned you on, that opened you up. And you say, “I think I’m in love” with him, or with her. See, that’s the key, right there – not “I think I’m in love,” “I think I’m in love with her” or with him. And if you’re lucky, your key unlocks her or his lock, and his key unlocks your lock, or her key unlocks your lock. So you get into “You love me, I love you, here we are,” and it’s incredible because through this dynamic you have opened to a place that’s like a triangle; the two people together are feeding something that they don’t even know. If they’re feeding the unitive space behind the dualism, they’re feeding the quality of love, and when they’re together, they touch it.
When you say “I’m in love with you,” what you’re really saying is that you are the key stimulus that is opening me to the place in myself where I am love, which I can’t get to except through you. Can you hear that one?
– Ram Dass, Omega Retreat, July, 1992
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