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13550Re: Weekly Words ofWisdom-Love

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Jan 17, 2005
      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, tarah513
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > >
      > > "Selfish love is not love. It's attachment, because you are doing
      > > things for your sake. Real love has no selfishness in it. If you
      > > really love somebody, it is completely selfless.
      > > <snip>
      > > H.H. Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda
      > Dear List:
      > The view of love being selfless and unconditional
      > is, in my mind, a false view and actually destroys
      > its sublime value. Every Valentine's Day we see
      > this accepted falsehood (the idea that love
      > is selfless) being propagated in a very pronounced
      > manner. Actually, it is committed year-round, but
      > its destructiveness is magnified on this holiday.
      > Love, we are repeatedly taught, consists of
      > self-sacrifice. Love based on self-interest,
      > we are admonished, is cheap and sordid. True
      > love, we are told, is altruistic. But is it?
      > Imagine a Valentine's Day card which takes
      > this premise seriously. Imagine receiving
      > a card with the following message:
      > "I get no pleasure from your existence. I
      > obtain no personal enjoyment from the way
      > you look, dress, move, act or think. Our
      > relationship profits me not. You satisfy no
      > sexual, emotional or intellectual needs of
      > mine. You're a charity case, and I'm with
      > you only out of pity. Love, XXX."
      > Needless to say, you would be indignant
      > to learn that you are being "loved," not for
      > anything positive you offer your lover,
      > but--like any recipient of alms--for what
      > you lack. Yet that is the perverse view
      > of love entailed in the belief that it is
      > self-sacrificial.
      > Genuine love is the exact opposite. It is
      > the most selfish experience possible, in
      > the true sense of the term: it benefits your
      > life in a way that involves no sacrifice of
      > others to yourself or of yourself to others.
      > For instance, I never felt one moment of
      > sacrifice for anything that I did for my son.
      > I take care of my elderly father and
      > definitely consider it a sacrifice on my part.
      > A sacrifice I face because of decisions I made.
      > This is NOT love. This is DUTY and honoring a
      > commitment.
      > To love a person is selfish because it means
      > that you value that particular person, that
      > he or she makes your life better, that he or
      > she is an intense source of joy--to you. A
      > "disinterested" love is a contradiction in
      > terms. One cannot be neutral to that which one
      > values. The time, effort and money you spend
      > on behalf of someone you love are not sacrifices,
      > but actions taken because his or her happiness
      > is crucially important to your own. Such
      > actions would constitute sacrifices only
      > if they were done for a stranger--or for
      > an enemy. Those who argue that love demands
      > self-denial must hold the bizarre belief that
      > it makes no personal difference whether your
      > loved one is healthy or sick, feels pleasure
      > or pain, is alive or dead.
      > It is regularly asserted that love should
      > be unconditional, and that we should
      > "love everyone as a brother." We see this
      > view advocated by the "non-judgmental"
      > grade-school teacher who tells his class
      > that whoever brings a Valentine's Day card
      > for one student must bring cards for everyone.
      > We see it in the appalling dictum of "Hate
      > the sin, but love the sinner"--which would
      > have us condemn death camps but send Hitler
      > a box of Godiva chocolates. Most people
      > would agree that having sex with a person
      > one despises is debased. Yet somehow, when
      > the same underlying idea is applied to love,
      > people consider it noble.
      > Love is far too precious to be offered
      > indiscriminately. It is, above all, in
      > the area of love that egalitarianism
      > ought to be repudiated. Love represents an
      > exalted exchange--a spiritual exchange--between
      > two people, for the purpose of mutual benefit.
      > You love someone because he or she is a
      > value--a selfish value to you, as determined
      > by your standards--just as you are a value to
      > him or her.
      > It is the view that you ought to be given
      > love unconditionally--the view that you
      > do not deserve it any more than some
      > random bum, the view that it is not a
      > response to anything particular in you, the
      > view that it is causeless--which
      > exemplifies the most ignoble conception
      > of this sublime experience.
      > The nature of love places certain demands
      > on those who wish to enjoy it. You must
      > regard yourself as worthy of being loved.
      > Those who expect to be loved, not because
      > they offer some positive value, but because
      > they don't--i.e., those who demand love as
      > altruistic duty--are parasites. Someone
      > who says "Love me just because I need it"
      > seeks an unearned spiritual value--in the
      > same way that a thief seeks unearned wealth.
      > And now, I see Valentine's Day (which is
      > fast approaching)--with its colorful cards,
      > mouth-watering chocolates and silky lingerie--as
      > a means of giving material form to this
      > spiritual value. It is a moment for you to
      > pause, to ignore the trivialities of life--and
      > to celebrate the selfish pleasure of being
      > worthy of someone's love and of having found
      > someone worthy of yours.
      > Faithe

      Dear Faithe,
      I'd say that you present an intellectual
      argument pretty well, but it is a spiritual
      and emotional situation. As Gurdjieff would
      put it, you're using the "wrong center"
      to deal with Love. In Raja Yoga, the yoga
      of meditation, we find the first 2 steps
      are to discriminate between the real/eternal
      and the unreal/transient, and to have dispassion.
      The selfish love you write of is clearly
      situational and changing. It goes from worthy to
      unworthy. This has nothing whatsoever to do with
      what Swamiji is pointing to. To use an example
      from another yoga that deals with Love, Kundalini
      Yoga, the Heart Chakra, when opened, is not
      selfish at all, and is infinite and non-exclusive
      in nature. And when the veil of illusion is ripped
      away, the undescribable Reality presents itself as
      can perhaps best be most closly described as
      Loving Consciousness.

      Words can only give a drop in the oceans worth of
      understanding of what this "Love" is.
      IT is only known experientially. And until that is
      our reality, all of our "selfish" actions are only
      attempts to experience this unselfish Love.

      Peace and blessing,

      PS: I remember Swami Satchidananda once saying
      (and I'm paraphrasing here) that the most selfish
      person was the one who wants to be unselfish,
      as s/he knows that only then will the entire
      creation be known as themselves, and thus
      satisfy all desires.
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