“The crown of spiritual experience is the attainment of divine love – a love that overflows the bounds of all human calculations and standards and inundates the entire world.”
– Swami Ramdas
This is a worthy quote, but how many of us really understand this “love” he’s speaking of? I know for most of my life I didn’t have a clue. Trying to untangle this “love” stuff everyone is seeking, having or lamenting over is enough to drive anyone insane, but I persevered for most of my life. The only constant regarding the concept of love I was sure about was the certainty I was missing something intangible. In so many ways I was right, and in so many ways I was dead wrong. I think I’m coming closer to figuring this whole love thing out.
“Love” is one of those slippery terms; like “truth” and “god”. The moment you try to define it you’ve already lost the battle of doing it. The longer the list, the more confused you become. I’m finally beginning to understand it’s because it defies the intellect. “Love” is not separable from “Truth” or “God” in this respect. This is the way I view these terms, whether right or wrong:
- God – the “what is”; that which is the source of and fiber of all that is. It’s not a physical being or thing, this is where our confusion begins. It’s existence is beyond what we can perceive of physically and quantify intellectually.
- Truth – a Higher Intellectual expression of that “god” and truth than those born of and intellectualized in the physical world.
- Love – A Higher Emotional expression of “god” than those emotions born of and felt in the material world.
I realize, believe me I do, this really doesn’t clear much of anything up. Unfortunately, by their very nature it’s probably as close as we’re going to get to a no-nonsense definition. These are abstract things best expressed through the arts and experienced in deep inner silence. I’m convinced the closest most of us come to experiencing it is in that brief instant when you’re overtaken by the beauty of something. It happens when your mind is suddenly stunned into stillness and your heart is ignited by sheer awe. It’s present in that momentary hush.
I think there’s a lot of confusion out there regarding the “inundation of divine love” into the world as Ramdas states. A lot of folks beating the spiritual trail think this is something they need or have to do. It’s a noble idea and gesture, unfortunately in the doing we’re involving our own mighty human egos. Goodness knows the world needs a little more kindness and good deeds are certainly needed, but realize those deeds for what they are. Without judgement, they are actions arising from the ego and not the pure state of divine love.
The effect of divine love, in its purity, involves no doing. From where it springs there is no doer. Divine love is manifested into the physical realm through the realization of itself in you. Once you’ve consciously been in the experience of it, the lamp is lit. Your own being becomes the only doing to shine it forth into the physical world. You know people like this. They exude a certain “something” without having to speak a word. Peacefulness surrounds them and the weight of the world seems something alien to them. Their proverbial cup runneth over.
So the intangible thing I was missing is that this is a state that exists and is available to everyone. You walk in it, swim in it, sleep in it. It’s never apart from you. What’s missing is the simple realization. It’s not magically found in the relationship with another person or ideal. It’s found in the stillness of the heart when the mind is silent. Once realized, the relationship becomes with existence itself and spills over into everything you do and everyone you relate to, in whatever role that may be.
To love existence
As you would your beloved
Reveals God’s secret
My plan for the coming year is to “be” in “love”.
Copyright Jean Mishra 2012