*Brian Wilcox. 'Kuan Yin ~ Bodhisattva of Compassion'. Flickr
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A continuance of dialogues with a sage who did not see himself as a sage, but others did; from Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
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At the beginning of the group sharing, the sage spoke...
you cannot get love
you can only share love
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Sir, as I've gone within over many years, in silence, I seem to question more the sincerity of other persons' motives. I feel, also, like I've never gotten over a deep need to be loved. I wonder if I'm still more needy than I think.
I will tell you a story...
One day a wise man went to a banquet and dressed shabbily, so the host refused him entrance. He ran home and put on his best robe and fur coat, then returned to the banquet. Immediately, the host came over, greeted and ushered him to the head of a table. When the food was served, the wise man took some soup with his spoon and pushed it to his fur coat. He said, "Eat, my fur coat, eat! It's obvious that you're the real guest of honor today, not me!"
What do you hear?
Persons judge us by what we appear to be, by external standards.
As you are drawn more into the heart of the Beloved, you will see and feel more as the Beloved. You cannot help but sense the motives of others. Yet, this is not the same as having a neurotic doubt of others. This is spontaneous insight, and you are no longer as likely to be fooled by others; persons cannot hide from you as they once did, even as you cannot hide from yourself as you once did, for you have allowed insightful-sensitivity to arise. And what you find is this becoming to see, feel, and embrace the other regardless of the external standards by which he or she would be judged by others. Now you know all outward standards by which we are socialized to be accepted or not, to accept others or not, are merely imposed on the innocence we were born as and are. We each belong at the same banquet, regardless of what we wear; that is, regardless of our self-presentation. See, we are not our self-presentation, we are not any presentation at all. In being, not presentation, we belong, we are; we cannot not belong, we cannot not be. Here is Love, the healing of social fragmentation.
So, what about this need to be loved that I spoke of?
The humanness we embody needs love. This is a biological and psychological fact. The spiritual path is not meant to transcend this need, but to embrace it as part of the Whole. Devotional spirituality expresses this need to love each other, as well as give and receive love from the Supreme One. The felt-sense of this need will likely come and go. You may, however, reach an equanimity regarding this, wherein you no longer feel this as a longing, or emotional need, arising from lack of being loved.
What's the difference?
The ego-need, or self-need, for love is natural, it arises out of a sense of lack. It is a stage of maturation. So, we go outside to find love. We are designed to pass through that, but we can get stuck, always feeling a lack of love. This feeling of lack is a wise guide. This is like desire. We desire something, we get it. Then, for a short time, we feel a release, a relief. That space is the space of where there is no lack, this is home. In Love there is no sense of lack of love. One can only feel such lack not fully accepting he or she is never separate from Love. How could Love feel a lack of Itself? That would be impossible. Love can only rest in Its own fullness; in the best sense of the word, Love is full of Itself.
What's the source of this insatiable need for love?
No one and nothing can give you the love your heart has longed for. Only Love can give you that love. This is, to me, the ultimate teaching of religion. In surrender to Love, Love gives you Itself. Call this God, the Beloved, Allah, Krishna, the Supreme, whatever you wish. With less, you will never find contentment in regard to love. You may fill filled with love for a time, intermittently, but the dissatisfaction will return, you will be aching again for more. You will go from one love-injection to another. Yet, love-doses cannot meet the need for the Beloved, Love Itself. All your longing to be loved, this is to awaken you to Love. Then, the search ends, you rest in Love, in gratitude.
Yet, some seem, who're not awakened to Grace, unperturbed by a lack of love?
The key word you spoke is "seem." The ego can disguise its felt-lack in many, misleading ways. This is like persons who act most strong veiling how weak they truly feel. When a person always shows forth strength, I know that person is hiding felt-weakness. It is emotional, ego, compensation. In the Light, you see through this show, compassionately. How difficult it must be to live trying to show one feels no need for love? Such is a veil. Still, if a person were to feel no ache for love, when apart from surrender to Love, what would be the hope for him or her to awaken to Grace, to Love? Yet, no one is to dare assign no hope to anyone. Who knows? We never give up on anyone ~ that is the way of Grace.
So, the divine love isn't coming from a lack?
True. One can naturally sense the need for love arising from the fullness of Love Itself. In this, rather than the self seeking to fulfill itself, Love is inviting communion with Itself. Love is Self-soliciting. Here, in this reaching out, inviting, for communion, there is no desperation. Persons living from the Fullness do not invade the space of other persons demanding love, demanding attention. As for as receiving love from others, by following the way of Grace, you may receive less, not more, love. Do not assume because you unite with Love and love others from that joyful communion, you will get a like return from them. Few persons are ready to return such authenticity of Love, some, if not many, will flee it. We have been socialized into love-games, pretenses, and love grounded in the body, including group-love, if we can call it that, where we have affection for those like us and whom we like, and all others are left out. In this I recall a saying from the Bhagavad Gita,
Seek refuge in thy soul,
have there thy heaven.
How does that relate to what you've been saying?
Fullness is found within the intimacy more intimate than the mind, with thought, and the body, with feelings, can know. This intimacy, as the love flowing in it, cannot be found in externals. Withdraw from the externals into that intimacy, where there is Fullness. All else participates in the Fullness, yet, in itself, nothing has this to share. It only is given through, as each creation becomes a means of Grace. So, here, "in thy soul" is not a space inside the body, as though a soul resides inside or outside, but is the intimacy of connection with Grace, the Divine. The Intimacy is Love. When you surrender into Grace, you yield into Love. If you dive into the ocean, that is the ocean, not a pond, a lake, a stream, or a river. In God, all is God.
Why do I feel this at times, at other times not?
First, feelings come and go. This Fullness is not a feeling. Yet, a feeling of It arises, at times. Also, it takes time to learn to trust this. Once we learn to trust this closeness, we relax in the knowing that we have plenty of love, regardless of the love or not we appear to be receiving from others. Then, what love we receive, we are grateful for, while the love we do not receive, that is not a problem anymore. In fact, even to speak of a love we do not receive is nonsensical, for only love given exists. Cherish it! Do not pay attention to the love not received, the love that is not, cherish the love given and received. Then, we love others freely, it flows, it just happens, without a price tag attached to it. Some persons will reciprocate, some will not. Regardless, we feel loved in giving love. Love becomes Its own gift. The giving of love becomes one with the receiving, without necessitating that another reciprocate by loving us in return.
*Brian Wilcox. 'Reaching Out in All Directions'. Flickr
(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019
*The theme of "Lotus of the Heart" is 'Living in Love beyond Beliefs.' This work is presented by Brian K. Wilcox, of Maine, USA. You can order Brian's book An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, through major online booksellers.
*Quote from Bhagavad Gita, from Sir Edward Arnold, Trans. Bhagavad-Gita.