The love I have is always given upon an object – an experience or an end result. I love you. I love the food, I love my pet, I love peace, I love the way you look. I love my body. I love what you said. The love I have is the meaning I give to something I am experiencing. If I am experiencing delight, I am loving the situation. But if I am upset, I can’t love that situation anymore. It can be a situation, an event, a relationship – my love is always about something that I like about.
But how I can call that as love? It is only my mere attachment to that situation that I am experiencing. I am not seeing in myself that my feeling of love is an idea of seeing what is right and wrong. I am bias in my outlook. I can’t see love in a drunkard. I can’t see love in a murderer or a rapist. I can’t see love in those who pollutes the environment for I see them as all wrong. My love is merely an idea of righteousness I am holding on. Where is love?
I love you is because my idea is intact and not been challenged by you. I love you is because I am not been triggered by you. I can’t love you when you do not see the way I see. If I am a person who advocate cleanliness in the house and you may have accidentally left a used cup in the kitchen sink without washing it, I get upset. I can’t love you for what you have done. You are wrong for not conforming to my needs.
I love you because you satisfied my need for pleasure. But what has my need for pleasure got to do with love, or for that matter with you? If love has got to do with my need for pleasure, each time when I think of, say, wanting to have sex, I will feel love towards you. But it does not work that way. I am apprehensive whenever I need sex – there is no love at all at that moment – as I am not sure whether you will give it to me or not. I will scheme my way to attract you into my needs. A painful experience I am not aware off. And because of my wanting that is motivating me to do just as that, when I can’t get what I want, I see you as wrong, as unfair. But if my scheming does produced the result I wanted, I would say “I love you darling”. What a joke! But again, even though you may give in to my need for pleasure I may not necessarily get the “full” pleasure I wanted. For that I may blame you for the result or I blame myself for not good enough to arrive at that climax! No wonder my meditation teacher said that each time I want, I can’t get what I want except suffering.
It will be truer to say I love my ideas rather than I love you or anything that represents what I loved. I love ideas that supports me. I can’t love ideas that opposes me. All ideas in my system are always right, are always the truth to me. I don’t see wrongness in these ideas. If I can see wrongness in myself I am already seeing wrong ideas. I am usually not seeing wrongness in myself but rather seeing myself as wrong – they are not the same. When I see myself as wrong, I am judging myself. When I see wrongness in myself, I am seeing the erroneous views I am holding on. That is wisdom at work. The former is ignorance.
So when I say I can’t love ideas that opposes me, I am saying my ideas are always right. I am also meaning that others’ ideas are wrong. Am I playing God? How arrogant I can be.
All this love thingy is conditional. Or should I say there is no love at all. There is no such a thing call conditional love for love is whole. What is true love then? Is there such a thing? Is there unconditional love then? Is it possible?
The love I have all the while is focused on the object, on the end result – the effect. When wisdom grows in me, I give attention to the cause more than the effect, though many a times the mind tends to hold on to the experience. I recognize the interplay between both cause and effect. I see the wrongness in the effect simply because I was aware of the cause – aware of the wrong ideas I am having. There is no way I could see the effect as wrong so long as I am not aware of the cause. Thus to be aware of the cause and effect is important to the journey of wisdom.
The followers said to Yeshua, “Tell us how our end will be.” He said, “Have you discovered the beginning, then, so that you are seeking the end? For where the beginning is, the end will be. Fortunate is the one who stands at the beginning: That one will know the end and will not taste death.”
– Gospel of Thomas
To recognize the beginning is to recognize the end. Without recognizing the beginning there is no way to come into recognizing the end except to indulge the end. I can’t recognize anger, except to feel angry, until and unless I go to the source of my anger. Otherwise I am simply entertaining anger though I think I am aware of anger. When I am able see the entire picture of this causal relationship I am experiencing unconditional love for myself. I see how my suffering is my own creation and how by understanding suffering comes to an end.
There is no judgment involves here except compassionate understanding. When I understand myself I understand others too. There is merely compassionate understanding of the nature of things as they truly are. Unconditional love springs from this understanding, not from judging what is right and what is wrong. Common love is about feelings. Unconditional love is about understanding.
I can’t do unconditional love. Unconditional love does me. I can only do love as that is not what it is. Love is superficial, unconditional love is complete.