The purpose of creation is fusion, or connection. A great irresistible force motivates us toward unification. Such is the power of sexuality, leading us to the blissful experience of fusion and a sense of timelessness.
Fusion happens on four levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. If we are unified and without conflict, the sexual experience will be fulfilling, joyous, nourishing and sustaining. It will add creative power to the universal reservoir.
The question is: how do we overcome conflict to have this?
For the infant, closeness is passive – they only receive. This is as it should be. For the adult, closeness must be mutual with a giving and receiving by both partners. But distortions create a hard wall so that energy cannot flow. When you cannot give and receive, you are numb. There is no fusion and no pleasure, only perpetual frustration.
On the mental thinking level, you must express yourself, even when that is not welcome. Not doing so is dishonest. It is due to fear of unpleasantness, and an unwillingness to risk pain, exposure and confrontation. It’s because you won’t do the hard work of going to the more profound level.
You can only communicate in a healthy way – without guilt – by eliminating cruelty. You must release the hidden motive to hurt. The energy of the inner tyrant needs to be reconverted to positive aggression, so you can take care of yourself and set healthy boundaries. If cruelty is gone, the other may feel hurt due to their own reactions, but you can battle it through. When you no longer blame, you can speak up.
- If you can’t exchange honestly without cruelty, where is the fear in you?
- What cruelty in you makes you afraid to say what you see?
- Where is your blindness that makes you unsure, defensive and hostile?
A loving connection on the emotional level is expressed by perceiving the complexities and potential of the other. You put aside your ego needs and expectations and make yourself empty so you can exchange feelings.
The deeper yearning, however, is to really know another – to find true being through two people revealing themselves to each other. There is a wish for close connection that is in harmony. But if attraction on the physical level is only for procreation or pleasure, it will not embody this fuller connection, so it will be superficial and disappointing.
In love, you deal with what is, handling pain and frustration as a doorway for experiencing bliss. We must be willing to risk pain, exposure and confrontation. The Guide tells us that a lifetime would not be enough time to fully know another soul.
The Guide calls relationships a “path with a path.” This is because your ability to be in a loving relationship depends on your ability to give and receive, which depends on your ability to perceive reality, which depends on your ability to be undefended, which depends on your ability to suffer pain and frustration free from manipulative interpretations. When you can let others be who they are, you have the freedom to be the real you.
For fusion, you must give what you long to receive, including: tenderness, warmth, respect, recognition of others’ essence and capacity for growth, patience, benefit of the doubt, room for alternative interpretations, trust, and room to unfold and be. These are aspects of perfect love.
Self-knowledge, self-love and security are all prerequisites to love. Of course, there are degrees and it is not an either-or – we grow and develop these as we go. Sometimes we try to overcome our insecurities through outside pursuits, such as doing good deeds for society. But this goes under the heading of escape because security cannot be found outside the self. That doesn’t mean one should cease doing good works, but it needs to accompany establishing a center of gravity within.
To the degree insecurity permeates the soul, the capacity for loving is absent. If you are insecure, you cannot trust yourself. And if you do not trust yourself, how can you love yourself? And you need to love yourself before you can love another. So healthy self-love and inner security are linked, and lead to the ability to love others, which is the highest point on the scale of loving.
Five Stages of Love
- Love for inanimate objects | This is lowest on the scale. Objects do not oppose. They do not require the complicated mechanism of perceiving the feelings of another. They do not disapprove or criticize. They demand a minimum of personal sacrifice or consideration. Objects will make no demands.
- Love for abstract ideas, principles, art and nature, and love for one’s profession | Love for abstract ideas evades personal involvement with the accompanying apparent risks, but at least it moves the mind, soul or spirit in some measure. It may also require some personal contact and confrontation with others of different opinions. Love for ideas and principles is certainly more outgoing than the isolating pursuit of loving mere objects.
- Love for plants and animals | They require a certain amount of sacrifice and consideration, putting one’s immediate selfish comfort aside. It does not require the risk of rejection, nor taking the trouble of pondering what the other’s needs are, or the effort to establish mutual understanding. To a very minor degree this may apply to keeping and caring for an animal, but certainly not to the degree required in a close relationship with another human being, where one’s senses have to be alert to the other person as well as to oneself.
- Love for humankind as a whole | This may still relieve a person from intimate personal involvement — the most taxing form of love, and therefore the most fulfilling one. But it does require effort, thought, the willingness to sacrifice, activity, and many other attitudes that are highly constructive. This applies only if such love is followed through in practice, rather than remaining just a theory.
- Love for individuals in close, intimate relationship | This is highest on the scale, and most constructive. The fact that we often demonstrate love through turbulent behaviors that have nothing to do with genuine love – but indicate immature needs and dependency and often bring disharmony – still furthers development and our capacity for love. A life of turbulent relationships may be infinitely less harmonious than the life of a hermit or a recluse, but the process of inner growth cannot be gauged by apparent outer harmony.
Consider where you think love for God would fall on this scale. Is it love for abstract ideas and principles? If so, it can be an escape. If it is healthy and genuine, it manifests through the love for others with whom one is able to communicate and relate.
This, in turn, cannot happen unless you overcome your fears and vanities; unless you find and dissolve the obstructions in you that cause inability and unwillingness to love.
We need to have the humility to admit the limitations of our understanding of the inconceivable and incomprehensible existence of the Creator of all beings. And then we can turn our attention to the things human beings can learn – namely, to love other human beings.
To love God as an idea does not require practical involvement and the willingness to put one’s egocentric aims below the needs of the other person. So it is possible that an avowed non-believer is in fact closer to loving God than a professed believer.
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