The Bhagavad Gita tells us that Brahman (God) caused the illusion of separateness. Krishna says, “Divine, indeed, is this My illusion and hard to go beyond” (Chapter VII, verse 14). If the illusion is caused by the One, what is its purpose? The avatar Sathya Sai Baba describes our origin and the need for the illusion in this way: “In the beginningless beginning God was one and the thought arose in Him, ‘I am one; let Me become many’” (1990, p.74). Sai Baba elaborates: “I separated Myself from Myself so that I may love Myself. My beloved ones, you are My Own Self’ (1998b, p.131). Sai Baba declares that the reason for the illusion of the many is so that the One can love itself. Loving requires two: the Lover and the Beloved. If there were no illusion of being separate selves, the One could not love itself because if we were aware of being the One, there would be no other one to love. When we love one another, the One loves itself for we are the One. This is why all religions emphasize love.
… Our deepest need is to love and be loved. This is a reflection of the One separating itself from itself so that it may love itself.
~ excerpts from Purifying the Heart, John Goldthwait, Ph.D ~
And that is why, we love. It is safe to say that at most probable moments, it is the idea of the person that we are attached to that we love, instead of the person him/herself; yet, excluding that idea, a sort of feeling continues to linger on. This probed me to ponder and inquire further which led to this new insight.
We love, and yes so unconditionally – and this is the Truth. Yet, when ideas and perceptions which we proclaim as ideal creates the illusion of conditionality in love, this misapprehension hovers what may be in truth, of unconditional love; and turn its reality into an idea of love which has its attention outwards to the object, the form; rather than the essence of the form of which where the essence is. The essence itself is innate, of true nature. Something (really, not a thing at all) that is not perishable, need not be replenished; already whole and complete as it is.
I remember conducting a session with participants, having them list down qualities of what they would deem to be their perfect or ideal lover or beloved. Qualities they listed down were many – handsome, rich, caring, wise, responsible, good in bed and etc… and yet, when I questioned them as I strike off one by one of the qualities they had mentioned, if they would and could still love this ‘so-called’ ideal lover or beloved, one of the participants honestly and authentically answered, “less, but I can try”. By the time I strike off the last quality on the board, it dawned upon many of us during that session that perhaps then there would be no more love. And that would result in seeking yet another lover and beloved since the present form does not possess the perceived qualities to be the perfect lover and beloved.
Another participant amongst the group twisted her face, as if her expression of some disagreement of some sort. I could relate to that because she had experienced her ideal perception of her lover and her beloved (being the same person, mind you) being stripped off and yet found within her, immense love for him. And I asked her, “if your lover is to come to tell you that he is leaving you for another woman, what would become of you?” Without much hesitation, the wise participant answered, “I will let him go if that is what causes his happiness; and I will still love him. If I am miserable, that is my problem and I will take responsibility for it.” Of course, having said that, the words “I will” sounds more like a choice. In truth, there is no choice – when you are love, you just love.
It is innate in us to wish for love and happiness for our lover and our beloved. Yet, what keeps us miserable is not because love has left us, but merely ideas hovering around the perceived object or form where, if one is able to identify the blocks to it, love remains and peace is regained. So while we may be attached or in love with the ideas of what we perceive our lover or beloved to be, it is too, possible that beneath those ideas – is our unconditional love for the lover and the beloved. And what I mean to say here in the word ‘possible’ is that not all relationships are based on such foundation.
No wonder the saying in love stories “I am waiting for the one”, which is to mean the One, which is you, me, him, and her – without the illusionary ideas camouflaging love’s true presence.
And my wise partner asked one of our common teachers “isn’t that attachment?” Our wise teacher revealed, “G is unconditional love, but the outer layer where G as your wife is the attachment.” And I am trusting what he meant by the outer layer, are the ideas we have of our lover and beloved, which are merely figments of our imaginations. Taking away the concepts and labels of the conditioned mind, where ingrained ideas have been deeply seated; therein lay the unconditional love which is of our innate nature. No wonder of such allowance and freedom with much blessings from my partner in my own growth and vice versa despite the difference in the path we trod. It is only moments where irritations starts to surface that it is indeed just a call to look within, the concepts and ideas to be released and forgiven. For the concepts and ideas are not real, only what is within as essence is what is true.
Realizing this I start to ponder if it is possible to have many lovers and beloveds. As I experience an expansion of love, encompassing many – I cannot vouch that it is not possible. Still, there seems to be preference in choice, of one that comes from wisdom or ignorance. No wonder at any point in time, ‘temptation’ can start to allow one to fall ‘prey’ if birthing from the space of lack and malicious desire. And J would put it as ‘unconscious guilt’, and B would explain it as ‘defilement’. While there is many yet there is only One. As one draws itself nearer to the Source as the likes attract the likes; no longer will the lover and the beloved unite from the space of guilt or defilement – but simply for the Lover and the Beloved to come as one as an expression of Love, of the true innate nature.
To express Love for the One – for the One to experience loving as the Lover, and to be loved as the Beloved.