Love's Universe

The School of Love
"We are all students in the school of love, although it may take us a long time and much suffering to admit this fact. Something obstinately refuses to see the obvious. Its amazing how stubborn and slow we are, and how often we still forget. We forget whenever we think ourselves more important than others, whenever we see our own desires and goals as more important than the feelings and well-being of those we love. We forget whenever we blame others for what we ourselves have been guilty of. We forget whenever we lose sight of the fact that in this school of love it is love that we all are trying to learn.

Yunus Emre, the first and greatest Turkish Sufi poet, says, "Let us master this science and read this book of love. God instructs; Love is His school."

We have all been failures in love. This is our conscious starting point. Only a saint is an expert and complete lover, because only a saint has been freed by God of what stands in the way of love.

We can practice meditation and seek spiritual knowledge for years and still overlook the central importance of love. One of the subtlest forms of egoism is when we engage ourselves in a practice to be more spiritual than others, when we turn spirituality into an arena for our ambition. But loves eventually forgives even that.

I do not really know if this modern world is further from the truth than many civilizations that have preceded it. Yet so much of what occupies our attention is a fiction, and through these fictions we live a life of delusion, of separation, of selfishness, of loneliness. Behind our sadness and anxiety is a simple lack of love, which translates into a lack of meaning and purpose.

Unless we look with the eyes of love we cannot see things as they are. We have searched for love in all the wrong places: in building ourselves up, in making ourselves more special, more perfect, more powerful. Love's substitutes are driving the world. We strive after anything but love, because love is so close we overlook it.

One of the most painful experiences for any person is recognizing that most human beings take themselves as the exclusive goal and center of their thoughts, feelings, and activities. It can be utterly terrifying for a sensitive soul to live in a world where everyone is so busy achieving their own goals and interests that real human needs are pushed aside or trampled in the process.

For most people, even "love" is primarily a form of desire, preference, or obsession; love, in other words, has been confused with self-gratification. And for most people "spirituality" is reduced to a way of feeling good about themselves. The diseases of self, once at least partially mitigated by the vaccinations of faith, are becoming more rampant. This self-centered way of living and being is exactly the "sin" that all authentic traditions of spirituality would save us from. Even the notion of spiritual "health"-- as a self-giving and an awareness of a suprapersonal Center beyond one's ego--is becoming suspect.

It doesn't matter what we have accomplished, what recognition we have received, what we own, there is nothing as sweet as loving--not necessarily being loved--but just loving. The more we love--the more people, the more manifestations of life we love--the richer we are. Nothing is more beautiful or more sacred than the impulse of love we feel for a friend, a child, a parent, a partner. Nothing would be sweeter than to be able to love everywhere and always.

Rumi has said, "Whatever I have said about love, when love comes, I am ashamed to speak." At the same time, if Love is the essential power within and behind this universe and our inner life, no subject has greater precedence. C.G. Jung said as much in his last book:

I might, as many before me have attempted to do, venture an approach to this daemon, whose range of activity extends from the endless spaces of the heavens to the dark abysses of hell; but I falter before the task of finding language which might adequately express the incalculable paradoxes of love. Eros is a kosmogonos, a creator and father-mother of all higher consciousness. . . . Whatever the learned interpretation may be of the sentence "God is love," the words affirm the complexio oppositorum of the Godhead. In my medical experience as well as in my own life I have again and again been faced with the mystery of love, and have never been able to explain what it is. . . . No language is adequate to this paradox. Whatever one can say, no words express the whole. To speak of partial aspects is always to say too much or too little, for only the whole is meaningful. Love "bears all things" and "endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7). These words say all there is to be said; nothing can be added to them for we are in the deepest sense the victims and the instruments of cosmogonic "love." . . . Man can try to name love, showering upon it all the names at his command, and still he will involve himself in endless self-deceptions. If he possesses a grain of wisdom, he will lay down his arms and name the unknown by the more unknown. . . that is, by the name of God.

C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Although a mind as great as Jung's can assert that love is a complete, unknowable mystery, I am convinced that there is a knowledge of love, that it desperately needs to be shared, and that in fact no knowledge is more valuable and essential.

It may be that failure in any field is essentially a failure of love. In the nineteenth century, for instance, when progressive psychiatry consisted of the surgical removal of sexual organs or lobes of the brain, organs that were believed to contribute to the moral illness of human beings--this was not only a failure of intelligence, but a failure of love. And in the twentieth century, when mental health was sought through shock therapy, behavior modification, or through the control of prescribed chemicals, it was once again a fixation on the outer, material being, and the overlooking of the requirements of the inner being--again a failure of love.

Likewise, economic systems based purely in outer values, including communism and capitalism, are destined to fail if they do not incorporate at their heart the values of love.

Art, too, must be inspired by love. It degenerates into technique and decoration when it comes into the service of ego or economics.

We are not merely Love's passive instruments; we are its servants. In order to know how to serve, Love needs to be grounded in knowledge.

Love without knowledge is dangerous. With love alone we could burn ourselves and others. With love alone we could become lunatics. In ancient tradition they warn us of the person who is unconsciously "in love." Such a person, it is said in Central Asia, should wear a bell on their ankle to warn others of their state.

Love is such an extraordinary and complex power, and the human being has such a great capacity for love that to dismiss it as an unknowable mystery is like standing in awe before a fire and saying we don't know what this is, how it started. or what to do with it.

Love is both mystery and knowledge. Furthermore, it is a mystery that has spoken to us about Itself in the form of those revelations that have profoundly altered the course and quality of human history. The lives and teachings of Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad have influenced and transformed so many billions of people because they are essentially teachings of love."
Love's Universe

The universe is an expression of love

Every being and thing in creation is set in motion by love

Love is seeking to discover itself

The human being is God's beloved

The Spectrum of Love: Eros, Philos, Agape

Love of our Source
Kabir Helminski