Love is a very important topic for you. Can you discuss it further?

Many consider ‘intimate’ physical exchanges between people to be love. They include sexual encounters and various expressions of affection: Hugging, kissing, etcetera. These may be provoked by instinct or by social custom. They can emanate from loving feelings or just be the proper thing to do. But what the body does IS NOT LOVE. This bears repeating. The body DOES NOT LOVE.

True love, real love, whatever you want to call it, is SPIRITUAL. Only a human spirit is capable of it. Love is an UNNATURAL ACT OF CARING FOR OTHER FOR THE OTHER’S SAKE. You ‘put aside’ self, self interest and desire. You focus on what is OUTSIDE you. You try to understand it, help it, nurture it. Deep within you, you are doing your best to care for WHAT IS NOT YOU. Your motivation is truly selfless.

There are many who say this is not possible. That everything you think or do is in some way for self. True, much of what you think and do can be said to be selfish. Even if you think you are truly doing for another you might say that the motivation is to make you feel good about yourself. Maybe you want to be thought well of by society or by a particular person. You do your best to be nice, to understand, to be benevolent. But if it is a self-conscious undertaking, it is not love, not really.

There are so many ideas of what love is and so many expressions of what many consider to be love that it is not easy to appreciate what love truly is. Forget the superficial. Physical activity is not love though it can be an expression of it. Emotions and desires may be provoked by loving feelings but they are not love either.

There is A CORE TO YOUR BEING: Who and what you are after everything is ‘stripped’ away. It is invisible, indivisible and forever. Close your eyes. Picture a red rose in your mind. Stare at it. Smell it. Appreciate it. Welcome to your CORE.

Now gaze at a live, full-blooming rose. Wonder about its texture, its beauty. Consider its miraculous growth from a seed. Feel the vibrancy of its life. Sniff it. Adore it. The rose is now more than a rose … mere pedals on a stem. For you it is a captivating display of beauty that provokes awe in your heart. You care for it. You preserve it … place it in a water-filled vase. Later you dry it and put it under glass. This ‘core’ experiencing of the rose reveals an inner glow which casts a ‘light’ on the wonders of nature and even the ‘creations’ of ‘man’. Your ‘heart’ is enraptured by so many ‘things’ it encounters. You love ‘rainbows’ and ‘symphonies’, kitty cats and baby clothes … oh yes … infants of course. They stir something inside you which has no limits. Your spirit is loving more and more unabashedly, selflessly. Ego ministrations are not part of this. You care for OTHER for its own sake!!

This may sound esoteric even enigmatic. But it should not. You, YOU reading this right now … you know deep within you, YOU WANT TO LOVE, you want to feel joy. This is why you were created. You KNOW it!! You also know that the most joy you have found in your life has come when you have ‘abandoned’ your SELF interests and cared for what is outside you. Stare at a cute little puppy, a cuddly baby, a beautiful sunset. Now feel this way about EVERYTHING.

Love has no bounds. It is all encompassing. This is perhaps the most wondrous thing about love. Time, place, whatever the circumstance, you can always truly care … you can always love. And the more you leave yourself by your loving … the ‘fuller’, more radiant you become. A truly miraculous ability you share with no other animal. You and you alone are capable of growing … constantly … spiritually … by loving. This is the reason for your existence. And you along with every other soul can strive to be a ‘consummate lover’. You have the means to do it!!

Sooo … back to Saint Augustine’s admonition: “Love and forget the rest.” How is this possible? In the purely physical world there is no such thing as love. Animals’ sole purpose is to perpetuate their species and survive as long as possible. Domesticated creatures may exhibit a fondness and closeness with people, but they are conditioned to do what makes them most secure and comfortable. They may snuggle in bed with you. They may defend you. But they can never understand you much less ‘abandon self’ and focus entirely on you … ‘for your sake’.

Human beings do ‘act out’ as animals with instinctual drives. They are driven to survive. They participate in the natural world with a variety of pursuits. Many live and die believing that ‘this is all there is’. They ignore their fledgling spirit … its growth through loving. But hopefully you appreciate Saint Augustine’s advice: “Love and forget the rest.” He was exhorting you to develop the habit of loving. As a caring human being all you do will be predicated on your love. You can have total confidence that by loving you will ALWAYS BE DOING THE RIGHT THING.

Yes, you make mistakes. You may occasionally be selfish. Reacting in anger is always a possibility. You need your emotions at times to confront difficulties. When attacked physically or psychologically, you react. Very normal. Brief assertions of self whether justified or not DO NOT CHANGE YOU. Reverting back to your true loving self, you find peace and purpose. For the ultimate, transcendent reality is your SPIRIT. Nothing can diminish it. Unfortunately some never make a commitment to caring. They develop habits of placing self above all else. This is the most profound mistake anyone can make. Love cannot be nurtured in a ‘hardened heart’. A life obsessed with the physical will never find peace and joy. And saddest of all: There is no hope. For a spirit can only ‘soar’ with love as its impetus.

So remember that you are a spiritual being, a transcendent gem in the mist of inevitable demise. Know that your spiritual abilities are always there for you. They are potent forces that expand and strengthen your loving. The more you use them the less opportunity pride and its cohorts has to rule your heart. You needn’t worry about your thoughts and actions, your beliefs and worldly pursuits … for your commitment to loving … constantly being renewed … will ‘strengthen’ and expand your growing spirit. “Love and forget the rest.”

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