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by David Truman
1. If God Is Love, Something's Wrong
When mankind's spiritual explorers share what they've found in the deepest depths of Self and the highest realms of consciousness, they agree on this: God is love. That rings so true. We know, too, that the heart of every creature longs for love, seeks love everywhere, and feels at home only where love is found.
But if God is love, why do we still look for God in one place, and love in another? And why don't we understand that we, God's children, must also be love? And finally, when love is all around us, inside and out, why do we live as if we are without love -- ignoring the love that is, and the love we are? Clearly, our understanding has failed us.
God knows better, and would bring us home to Love as a mother turns her baby's mouth toward her breast. But in our confusion, we may not turn, and we may not drink.
Friends, you need not accept that God is love on faith, while failing to see it and feel it all around. You can truly know it. This article was written to help undo the confusions that cloud our perceptions, so that God's children can be reunited with their Divine Parent, and their reality of Love.
2. Righting Some Wrong Ideas About God and You
To be close to God; to understand ourselves and others; to walk the love walk, and not just talk the love talk, we have some adjustments to make in how we think, and how we live. Let's start with the most common misperceptions that keep us from truly appreciating that God is love.
God as law giver and enforcer
It is true that God is love, but in many ways, we're taught to believe God is judgment. All religions speak about how, on Judgment Day, God will judge us and seal our fate. This idea is hard to reconcile with a God who is love.
A bit more favorably, we think of God as a Father who is interested in our betterment, our refinement, and our rectification. So, in addition to praying to God for forgiveness, we ask God what we should do, and how to do it; and God gives all kinds of advice about that. God gives scriptures: the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, etc. God even gives orders, it would seem. Commandments. Laws. In many ways, God teaches us how to be right and righteous.
Indeed, God seems to be in the righteousness business -- according to human beings, anyway. At least God's reputation here on Earth has been built upon that notion of God's function and God's concerns.
But now let's be honest about the problem with all of that: No God who is a law giver, enforcer, and judge is one you can love. When you think that God's primary concern is rightness, growth, and spiritual progress, and that God's primary function is judge and jury; and you don't think you're correct, or you suspect you might not be; then you fear rejection by God, and even condemnation. Oh yes -- condemnation. This results not in love for God, but fear of God. It leads to hiding from God, instead of happy, close intimacy with God.
Our wrongful accusations
What a shame those ideas are, painting such a dark, fearsome picture of God. Consider this: we may not be perfect, but even we know better than to be judgmental -- let alone condemnatory. We avoid those things because we know they are bad. Do we really think God is less good than we are? That's what we're saying when we consider God to be that kind of Father!
Granted, all fathers want their children to turn out well, to learn right from wrong, etc. But no right-thinking human father has such warped values as to place righteousness above his love for his child. And no respectable human father would withhold his love and make his child earn it. But we're saying God is like that. Why hold the Lord of the universe to be lower than us -- less reasonable, more foolish? Why even worship such a heartless God?
Back to reality
Friends, we each create our own subjective reality by what we think. With our wrong beliefs, people create and believe a "reality" in which God is cold and distant -- the opposite of love, and the opposite of the truth! These views are so widely accepted that we rarely question them. But to get back to the reality God created, we must question them -- and correct them.
3. What the God Who Is Love Really Wants
God's real interest: closeness with you
Why God wants us to "do right"
Obviously, God recommends growth and righteousness, and has a lot to say about these subjects. But we need to remember why God wants us to do right. The reason is illuminating . . .
God wants us to do right precisely because
If you love someone, you don't want them to suffer
Well, neither does God. God loves you, and God doesn't want you to suffer the pain, the strain, and the misfortune that unrighteousness and moral wrongdoing bring upon your head.
Now, listen carefully, because this is key: The suffering that results from unrighteousness does not come from wronged humans or avenging angels. It is not a punishment from God, or a lesson from God. Suffering is primarily your own response to your misbehaviors and imperfections. Consequently, it cannot be prevented or removed by God or anyone else. Only by you.
God understands you, and knows this about you:
You are perfect, as God made you to be.
But, AT THE SAME TIME, God also knows this:
Depending on how you direct your free will, your thoughts and deeds can run contrary to your own perfection.
And WHEN THAT HAPPENS . . .
God OBSERVES that, on account of your actual nature, imperfection bothers you -- it rubs your true Self the wrong way. It disagrees with you, and makes you feel ill, confused, disoriented. Lost. Ashamed.
Listen: All of God's moral instructions result directly from that observation. God understands that you cannot be happy unless you are moral. God loves you, and only wants you to be happy!
Yet, sadly, here's how God's reputation as a loving God took a beating: When hearing moral instructions from God, we tend to conclude, "Oh dear! God doesn't care about me -- all God cares about is goodness, righteousness, and morality." NO, a thousand times NO! This is all for you, out of love for you. Because as we said, God knows that when you get involved in immorality, you suffer. You see?
Shame causes people to back away from love
Or at least, it strongly tempts us to do so. For example, consider this: In human society, no news is often BAD news. If people aren't calling you, if they aren't showing up, very likely, something is wrong. You've probably noticed this in your friends, or experienced it in yourself: When people are happy, or in a good place, you hear about it. They want you to see that, to know that; they want to share their happiness. And conversely, when people are in a low place, they don't want to talk about it. They want to hide. They will disappear from the skyline of relationship as much as possible.
Obviously then, shame causes retreat from relationship. So, not only do we suffer when we're immoral/ashamed, but also, at such times we back away from love, from intimacy altogether.
The ABC's of God, righteousness, and you
A. God loves you, personally. And God wants to be close to you, intimate with you -- together with you in love.
BUT . . .
B. Being unrighteous rubs you the wrong way. It makes you unhappy, defensive, and ashamed. In reality, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be unrighteous and feel good about oneself.
AND . . .
C. When (or to the extent that) you feel ashamed of yourself, you'd rather hide than be close.
SO . . .
D. True closeness with anyone -- INCLUDING GOD -- can't or won't happen when (or to the extent that) you feel ashamed of yourself.
E. God recommends RIGHTNESS to protect the possibility of being close with you.
God is smart enough to know what makes true closeness possible, and what prevents it. Immorality prevents it. So you see, it makes sense that, since God wants to be close to us, God would strongly encourage right and moral living.
Why God wants us to love
Above and beyond all the moral observances like don't lie, don't steal, etc., God says, "LOVE!" Why? Because God loves you and wants a functional love relationship with you. And God knows that if you love, it will facilitate that.
God's emphasis on morality could be called the negative side of the coin, simply because, if we are to be happy and close to God, immorality is something NOT to do. God's request for us to love is the positive side of the coin -- something to DO in abundance! In detail, here are some whys regarding the positive side:
Love Reason #1: Happiness depends on being oneself
God knows, just as you have a negative response to wrongdoing, you respond well to loving. Loving people are happy, and unloving people are unhappy. Seeing that, one could say, "Well, it is right to love, and wrong not to." That's true, but why is it so? Because you are love. You are happy when you're being yourself. You're unhappy being false, hypocritical, insincere.
If you are love, you have to live love to be you. Also, if the love that's in your heart is not expressed, you're not being yourself, and you're not satisfied with your performance. You can't help feeling that way: The homing pigeon always flies back to its nest. Being yourself -- your True Self -- is your home. Your soul will never rest until you're there.
(Now, I do understand: most people nowadays don't feel like they are love, most of the time. Many people have trouble with love. Many even feel they're not "ready" for love. Almost everyone behaves unlovingly from time to time. All of that certainly seems to raise "legitimate" doubt about one's loving nature. I don't intend to skip over this extremely important point lightly -- not at all. I only ask you to be patient, and suspend judgment; the next section is all about confronting and overcoming those doubts.)
Love Reason #2: Closeness depends on being oneself
People who aren't being themselves cannot -- rather, will not -- maintain close relationships with anyone. Frankly, they even don't want to: People who are being fake or insincere feel guilty and want to hide.
Also, people who aren't being themselves are not at their best. Being oneself is juicy, magnetic, lovable. Being oneself supplies all that would truly attract, convince, please, and charm the beloved. Most of all, it is you -- and it is real. The following sign, found on the wall of a marriage counselor's office, says a lot:
I cannot love a mask; I cannot love an act; I cannot love a charade. I can only love a genuine, authentic, honest person.
I cannot love AS a mask, as an act, as a charade. I can only love as a genuine, authentic, honest person.
You've got to be yourself to succeed in relationship, because relationship needs love, the love you are. If you withhold yourself, you withhold love. Or, you offer insincere love, which is just another way of withholding love. No matter what form it takes, withholding love is hard on relationship.
Love Reason #3: What we give determines what we can receive
The degree to which we love is the degree to which we can attract love, open to love, and receive love.
A loving person receives good treatment from others; an unloving person always runs into conflict. This principal is universal: We attract to ourselves according to what we live, what we give. And this is also true: as we give, we are willing to receive. When we're not loving, we feel unworthy of love -- and so, consequently, we're closed to receiving love. You've probably experienced this: you try loving somebody who's not very loving, and you find that they're not open to love. Eventually, you realize that you're wasting energy.
Again, the practice and habit of loving is crucial to the possibility of receiving love. God knows, and so do you, that only people who are intentionally, actively, and sincerely loving can effectively participate in reciprocal love.
Love Reason #4: We need the encouragement
Finally, an important reason that God encourages us to love is we need the encouragement. Very few people today are fully expressed as love. We're part of an ego culture that objects to love expression. We buy into that terrible pattern, and march to that terrible drummer. So we won't be our loving selves; under the spell of ego illusions and social conformity, we're opposed to it. That is our sorry fate -- until we choose another.
What God really wants
God loves the one each of us is. By calling us to be moral and loving, God is only encouraging us to be ourselves -- because we are so right, so loving, just as we are. We don't need to be different than we are to please God; we need to be the same as we are. We need to be true to our True Selves to be part of a beautiful intimacy with God.
4. Wrinkle: Who We Are is Out of Fashion in this Love-Negative World
Why we forget (or deny) that we are love
Even if we can accept that God is love, what about us? Most of us have not yet accepted that, as God's children, we too are love. We can't believe we are love when we see ourselves acting in unloving ways; pulling our punches on expressing love; and shying away from the full force of love received. If we were love, would we have such trouble with love?
We didn't always have this problem. For many us, most of our more vivid early childhood memories included infatuations, obsessions -- yes, and loves! We haven't changed since we were three or four years old, when we gave our heart freely, and fully. We've just dimmed our feelings down a bit, suppressed them more, and redirected our energies.
Why did we do that? Partly, we grew up and became "socialized" in a society that discouraged our free-spirited love. Most likely, a bigger part was this: we didn't want to feel the extent to which we are love -- not in a life that became, over time, suppressed, unlived. Thus, the simple-and-poignant fact of our love-nature became too hot to handle -- too hot to deal with, to stay close to, to be true to.
There's another factor involved -- and it's a big one, though it may be hard to admit: when it comes to associating with something that has fallen into disrespect, people tend to be fickle. For example: A guy becomes unpopular, and then somebody who used to associate with him now claims, "I don't know that man." Sad to say, but something similar has happened to love: Love has fallen out of favor on this planet. That means people of your kind are now out of favor, and have been for some time. As love, you are out of fashion.
You might doubt that, but try this: come out strongly for love, and see if you are warned, perhaps even scorned. That's exactly what we're talking about: love is out of favor.
Now, who wants to be warned, perhaps scorned, for being strongly pro-love? Under the prevailing conditions, it's understandable that few people want to be associated with love (yes, even though they are love). And quite possibly, if somebody asks you, "Are you love -- do you love?" you might be self-protectively inclined to say, "Me? No!" That's how the truth about you gets lost, even to yourself.
Ego's anti-love propaganda
If we are children of God -- children of Love -- why did human society spawn such an anti-love philosophy? Anti-love philosophy is a result of ego's influence on people. Ego's fear of love is expressed on a societal scale, and preached to each individual as anti-love "truth": The "wisdom" of separateness. The "safety" of distrust. From childhood on, we get messages like this: "Live for number one! Don't depend on others!" Whether such views are stated or implied, they are popular, powerfully influential "guidelines" from common society.
In modern society, people who are selfish and money-grubbing are the popular role models, perhaps even considered wise. For example: "He who dies with the most toys wins." Materialistic people are pitied and emulated all at once: pitied by the soul, and yet, at the same time, emulated by the ego-developing personality within this bad influence called society.
In egocentric society, even the relationship to God is purely selfish: We pray to God for material things. We blame it on God when we experience adversity. We even ask God to side with us in sporting events, and wars! The distinction between sacred and secular is entirely lost.
The ego's opinions about going for love are consistently discouraging . . .
"It would be dumb to do it."
"Only fools do it."
"You can't do it."
"It's impossible to love in a way which is sufficiently pure to succeed" (because everyone has selfish desires and tendencies, etc.)
Love is the opposite of selfish self-interest. Love is not ego-convenient, and not always cash-wise. Love involves devotion. Yes, and vulnerability. Surrender. Sacrifice. Of course ego-schooled, ego-ruled society is terribly negative about love. "Love stinks." "Love hurts," the popular songs say. So much bad press for love, so much negative feeling! Anyone who loves is a sucker? A devoted or trusting person is a fool? No wonder people will distance themselves from love, and even deny loving.
Proofs that you are love
Given the state of society, if you're a little shaky in your conviction that you are love, it's understandable. But the evidence -- ah, the evidence -- is all around you, and within you. Here are some proofs that you are love:
1. How much love you suppress. Surely you can feel how much love you hold inside. And you know how many love impulses you squelch. Friends, you must be love because of how much love you suppress -- actively, consciously, deliberately, frequently.
Granted, it's possible to get out of touch with how much you suppress your loving impulses, but not too far. There's a sense of withholding that most of us can feel -- a sense of inner blockage and stoppage, and a resulting sense of frustration, incompleteness. Those familiar feelings of frustration speak volumes about how much we're suppressing the love we feel.
Let's think: If love were our natural form of self-expression, then surely it would require a lot of suppression to squelch love. We would have to hold ourselves back from loving, like a spirited horse under tight reign. And ... that's exactly what we do!
Here's the point: The need for suppression proves the presence of the thing being suppressed. A lot of self-suppression means something abundant is being suppressed. What is that something? The love that we are! It just keeps surging up within us. That proves -- we are love.
Evidence is better than mere theory, far better than simply reciting, "God is love, and I am genetically linked to God, as God's child; therefore I must be love." Go with the evidence! And here's some more . . .
2. How often love arises. When you walk down the street, your heart naturally goes out to animals, to people, to children. You are moved so often, aren't you? It happens faster than you can think! You may even find yourself averting your gaze, trying to ignore something that stirs you. We are so used to responding with love, we hardly notice it anymore. We don't take it as evidence that we are love... but it is.
3. How much you're ruled by love. Love rules us. It rules gently, irresistibly, by attraction. Sure, we can fight love's attraction, and we often do, but it isn't natural. Whoever is truly free -- not stuck, or resisting -- surrenders to love like a falling apple surrenders to gravity. Love also makes us uneasy with being unkind, angry, rude. In that way, love rules -- from within. It's not manners, not upbringing -- it's love.
All life is sensitive to love's requirements. If someone steps out of line, a friend may speak out in love's name:
Example: Tom reacts with upset to an innocent request to mow the lawn. He starts to stew and sulk, and mutter nasty names under his breath. But a friend says, "Look, quit acting miserable. It's not doing you or anyone else any good."
Even if no outer voice called, we would call ourselves, because our conscience is love's voice speaking from within.
Example: Your sister breaks your favorite glass while washing the dishes. You start to scold her because you are angry, but you don't get too far before you notice she looks awfully hurt, awfully afraid and vulnerable, and she starts to cry. Suddenly the wind goes out of the sails of vengeance, and you find yourself wishing to offer comfort. You apologize for making such a big deal out of it.
4. How meaningless things are apart from love. Think about any great experience: What made it great? Follow your feelings to their headwaters and you will agree, the most important thing about all significant events has something to do with love. Even if the experience itself is not social, the first impulse is always, "Who can I share this with?" Likewise, in every moment of great personal victory, what stands out is not the victory itself, but its human ramifications -- measured in love units.
Nothing in the world, nothing we can attain or acquire, cosmic or mundane, means anything apart from its relevance to love. Everything else is empty, meaningless. Even the millionaire knows his yacht means nothing except if he can share it with people he loves.
Let's admit it
Whether we're conscious of it or not, we all live, breathe, work, and play for love. And if ever we neglect to do what maximizes the potential for love, we regret it. So let's ask the question one more time, with feeling: why are we so deeply and easily moved by love? Because love is who we ARE!
5. Love-Ability, and How to Have It
Even though we are love, a lot of us don't feel ready to be love. We think we have inner demons, battles to fight, rough edges to grind off before we can love. We have to "get ready" for love -- or so we think.
Granted, we may have to reduce our ego to love more effectively. We may have to overcome some resistances, self-protective tendencies, selfishness, and so forth. On the other hand . . .
Preparing for love is dangerous. How many people have you known who claim to be "getting ready for love," but who have, in the process, gotten significantly less ready? Most often the people who say they're getting ready, don't. While waiting to be ready for love, our love muscles atrophy. And we may develop habits of thinking that actually work against our goal. How can we avoid those pitfalls?
You can't prepare to love
You can never fully "prepare" for love, because you reach a point where, if you don't just jump in and love, you're stuck. Getting ready for love is like ground school, but loving is like flying a plane. Blackboard learning only goes so far. It can never replace experience. And it can never replace these love-essentials:
Love priority. Having a high priority on love and loving shows real interest. It means you're truly available to love.
Love practice and experience. Only a person who deeply loves, and is deeply loved, can possibly know what love can be, and what it can accomplish. Loving is what makes any person strong in love. Simply put your shoulder behind love's wheel and turn it.
Love commitment. You could be reading self-help (or, more accurately, "self-harm") books all you want, but there's no replacement for the actual, bankable commitment to be there, loving through thick and thin.
Love intent. Does a person really want to love, or do they have other consuming priorities that would crowd out loving you? Without strong intention, attention is too divided, too weak.
Love availability. A person with sufficient interest in love will always make room, even in the busiest life, for loving. If someone cannot seem to manage that, it's time to review priorities, because love cannot thrive in second place, or lower.
So: Beware of people who are chronically "getting ready" for love, hiding in their perpetual preparation. They may be chickens who don't really dare to hatch. When looking for a viable love-partner, look for the five factors listed above. What you need are the essentials, not just a bunch of theories and affirmations.
Love is not a technical skill
Love is not a technical skill that requires a lot of study to learn. Love is sincerity itself. It is the expression of a human being who is willing to be as they are: vulnerable, dedicated, intentional, and feeling. None of that is technical. In that respect, love is not something you go to ground school to learn. It is not something you can understand by frequenting the "self-harm" section of the bookstore. You can't learn about it in an encounter group, enlightenment weekend, or any other kind of class. And, you don't need to.
We were born knowing how to love. Babies love; even animals love. It's a natural function of all of God's creations. A teenager can give beautiful love -- even if it means being grounded! I knew a teenager who was so in love, she wrote her beloved's name thousands of times in her notebook, instead of listening to the teacher. First love, beautiful love! It makes you think, doesn't it? What is love? Where does it come from? That girl's love sure didn't come from the encounter group she attended ten years later. It came from her heart, when she was sixteen!
Every person is a lover at heart. To be oneself, for real, is to be great at love. As yourself, you have far more than a prayer in relationship, in love -- you are practically invincible. All you need are non-technical skills: Honesty. Sensitivity. Surrender without fear, and without even needing to know the meaning of the word.
What "getting ready for love" usually means: a long avoidance of love
Granted, there's plenty to learn about love. Without a doubt, it takes a lot of work and deep, sensitive consideration to love somebody well. But the best way to learn love -- the only way to learn it -- is "on the job training."
What is "learned" from self-harm books, encounter groups, and psychotherapy? Not much of value! Most of the time, when you get right down to it, that kind of "learning" is anything but helpful -- the very opposite of enlightening. Most students of popular thought end up significantly worse off than they started. They learn ego-approved ways of thought and behavior that mess love up. Make no mistake, a person can learn ways to mess love up without knowing it. And that just puts them further from mastering love, not closer.
The truth is, the success of love depends almost 100% on wholeheartedness. Will our so-called learning, gained in the marketplace, make us wholehearted? Not likely. More likely, it will make us more guarded, more half-hearted.
Popular love books make up problems upon which to blame the epidemic failures of love. And they offer warnings by the ton, with a few compensatory rules and techniques to memorize. But at some point you realize, there's no way you need to know all about what can go wrong, and (supposedly) why. There's no way your love can be improved by a rule or technique. The secret of love is not information, but wholeheartedness. Do you want to succeed in love? Then you need to love as wholeheartedly as a sixteen year old. Wanting to write somebody's name in a book thousands of times -- that's where your heart is. That's where you belong: in love.
That said, you can take love classes -- but if you do, take them from persons who are competent in love. And take them in the right spirit -- and with the right intentions. All right intentions are intentions to love.
6. Love Intention and Counter-Intention
Intention determines results
In every area of life, the result of any action depends entirely on the intention behind it. For example, someone gives you a gift. If the gift is given with the intention to make you feel loved, you will feel that, and the gift will most likely make you happy. But if the same gift is given with a different intention -- to create a sense of obligation in you -- you'll feel that. And the gift will probably make you uncomfortable.
Any particular ACTION will produce different
The intention to buy time
What is college for? Getting ready for a career, right? Yes -- in theory. But in reality, people have various reasons for going to college. And, the pursuit of a career rarely tops the list. How many people have you known who went to college partially because they didn't want a job? Not now, anyway. Many people attend college to buy four more years of freedom to enjoy themselves before going to work.
With that in mind, consider this: A common reason to "prepare for love" is because people don't want love -- at least not now, not yet. In reality, they want to get away from love, and perhaps even stay away from it. In short, they don't want love any more than the average college student wants a job. Shocking but true!
You see, sometimes studying love is really for love; but often, it actually expresses a counter-intention not to love, not to be involved in love -- not to be obliged or expected to love reliably, responsibly. Do you see it? People aren't used to thinking about counter-intentions, so let's clarify that point a bit more . . .
Counter-intentions are not well-known because they're usually not stated, and are often subconscious. But you can easily see them by their results. What would you think of a person who says he wants to be a pilot, but he's been to ground school for ten years? He's taken the same classes over and over, but never gone on to fly a plane. And similarly, what would you think about a person who's taken acting classes for fifteen years, and never been in a public production? In both cases, the people don't want the thing that their effort points to. They're buying time for not "having to do" the thing they're preparing for. They have a counter-intention -- and it keeps them "safe." It keeps them safe because intentions, not actions, determine results: we never achieve goals we don't want.
The real costs of buying time
Is "getting ready for love" helpful? That depends on the intention behind it. What is all this "getting ready" really for? Is it for learning and succeeding -- or is it for avoidance?
If a person is there to succeed, they will succeed. On the other hand, if a person is preparing for love with the intention to buy time, they're setting themselves up for a long break from relationship. And that long break will, most likely, increase dysfunction.
Never underestimate the power of avoidance to erode functionality. When a person buys time, there are hidden costs involved. If a person is in a love class to avoid love, the real result will be dysfunction, calcification, atrophy. Use it or lose it. That's why taking time off from relationship to get ready for love tends to be dangerous.
Unwilling, but not unable
People who think they are unready for love aren't incapable of love -- they're unwilling for love. Inability is wish fulfillment for the unwilling.
People who consider themselves unable to love are in deep denial about who they are. They are in denial, too, about the many loving impulses they have, which, if manifested, would work wonders. God has no children who can't love, or who don't love. Every person on earth has enough inspirations in their heart to turn the world right side up -- and create heaven on earth.
Life goes on, within us and without us. But if you just watch it go by, you are dying, little by little. Fortunately, you've got tremendous potential to truly live. So what are you waiting for? If you want to use it, go for it! No use waiting for anything or anyone. No one's stopping you -- unless, perhaps, yourself.
7. You Decide Who Gets to Call the Shots
Ego -- rather, sympathy with ego, identification with it -- is why we lose touch with the love we are. So it seems to make sense that we have to fight back against ego's influence in order reclaim our love. When we fight against ego, we call it "the good fight."
But how can we beat the ego by fighting it? We can't! Fighting is the ego's home turf, its preferred strategy. And in fact, it's ego that recommends fighting. Fighting lends mass to the "enemy." Therefore, fighting only makes sense from ego's perspective. God recommends love -- and love beats war. Spirit says, make Love, not war!
As you know, the solution to any problem is never found on the level of the problem, but on the level above. Realize, then, that on the level of ego, there is no solution to the problems that ego creates. But love stands higher, on a level safely above and beyond ego. That's why love can solve those problems. Love, and only love, can solve the problems that ego creates, and humanity suffers. Love conquers all.
Losing the good fight?
Ego is just like a negative spouse who's always making a problem of everything. Ego makes the struggle for liberation an unwinnable struggle, and the quest for love an unrealizable dream -- all because the ego is always busy inserting conflict and counter-intentions at every turn. Just as a negative and conflictual spouse will do.
When you have a spouse who refuses to let go of chronic negativity, the only way to insure lasting peace is divorce. Similarly, only by getting rid of ego can a person have lasting freedom and fulfillment. That means: don't fight ego on ego's terms -- divorce it!
Ego insures doom and gloom. Treat it accordingly! If you had a leaky gas pipe in your house, and you knew the leak could kill you, you would commit your resources to repairing it. If you had a disease that you thought was terminal, you'd do the same. Well, ego is that kind of problem: terminal. But in the case of ego, one fixes it only by walking away from it.
And, one must repudiate ego entirely to be safe. Isn't it fruitless to dig up only half the crab grass in your lawn? It's the same with half-heartedly rejecting ego, while remaining somewhat sympathetic with it.
Mixed allegiances are hell -- or limbo at best. Under the ego's spell, people regularly do things that are concessions to the ego, and support it. For example, some people get into black moods and purposely stay in such moods. They will react to higher consciousness and inspiration in ways that are characteristic of ego: run from the light, attack it, discredit it, and so forth. Also in subservience to ego, many people live and act on the basis of pride. They will act selfishly, and think nothing of it.
Friends, this is no way to win the battle with the ego: to supply it with ammunition; feed it; coddle it; sympathize with it -- and then fight it. If you did that to an enemy in any battle of any kind, you would find yourself in an endless war, and cause yourself infinite pain over infinite time. That is exactly where you are.
Love alone is the source of success
One only overcomes ego with love, and never ever otherwise. Therefore, as long as we struggle, we struggle in vain. But when we love -- indeed, every second that we love -- we succeed.
So, put away this notion of the "good fight," and take the higher, truer view that peace alone is good, not war. God does not call for us to struggle against illusions, to fight the good fight. God always only calls for the realization of what is. God would simply have us know ourselves as we are, and reality as it is.
Actually, God calls for love alone -- knowing that love will deliver everything else we need. That's the beauty of love, that it makes all the beautiful things possible. Love even makes possible all the things upon which love's realization is thought to depend. Now that's a radical thought, but true. For example:
Fidelity. Without love, how could you have fidelity, love's supposed prerequisite? Love is true of you, and you can't be true without it.
Loyalty. Without love, how could you have loyalty, love's supposed foundation stone? You can't. You are loyal, faithful, devoted, constant -- all because you love.
Integrity. Without love, how could you have integrity -- when love is who you are?
Honesty. Without love, how could you have honesty, since love is the truest confession of your loving being? Without love, how could you have authenticity? Without love, how could you be real -- if what is real for you is that you love?
Enlightenment. Without love, how could you have enlightenment, when enlightenment is unity-realization, and love is the cause of unity consciousness? Without love, how could there be unity consciousness? And therefore, the enlightenment upon which love and loving may seem to depend is, in fact, the result of love. Love is the cause of enlightenment.
So you see, love creates (or is) fidelity, loyalty, integrity, honesty, authenticity, enlightenment, unity. Each and every one of those values is the result of love, and not the other way around! Love creates all good.
A quick reality check
What's really beautiful is what's in your heart. What's really ugly is what you think is good only because you've been brainwashed by an ego-ruled society. If we're marching to a very ugly beat with our non-surrender, our non-love principles, our refusal to love, then we're listening to the wrong drummer, folks -- and we're out of step with ourselves.
Remember, without love -- the love we sometimes deny, reject, and refuse to participate in -- how could we have fidelity, loyalty, integrity, honesty, authenticity, realness, reality, enlightenment, unity, truthfulness? Impossible! And you know what? We don't have those things -- not hardly. All those things are rare on this planet. Why? Because we chronically refuse to love.
8. How to Get Ego Out of the Way, and Love
Don't improve -- love!
We talk so much about getting better, being better, but you know what? If a person really wanted to be good, they would love. One could say, lovingness is next to Godliness, but it is even closer than that. To be truly good is to have the intention of God -- which is love. Everything else is the refusal of love.
The path of improvement, for example, is a far cry from the path of love. Improvers are, in truth, refusers. We work to improve because we refuse to be improved -- to be at the improved condition now, already. To plan to go from A to B almost always expresses the present refusal to be at B.
But don't worry, because when you really want to be improved, the improved condition is only a heartbeat away. Just love. You can do that right now, because love is what you already are. You can be you now, you can be love now, and skip the improvement charade.
Granted, there are many ways up the mountain. But most of those ways lead further down into the valley. Among the few that go up, most ascend at a terribly slow rate. Other paths lead round and round on the same level, never getting anywhere. But -- love, and you're there! You're at the peak now, not later! You are the fulfilled expression of God's love.
Self-effort is always a far cry from truth, from beauty, from joy -- but infinite love is always here now -- and it is happy. You are -- in yourself, in the love you're suppressing, the love you've been reluctant to be -- the heart of God's love. It's already the case.
Therefore . . .
DO NOT struggle to become.
DO NOT try to improve yourself.
Just love, and if you can't figure out what that is, let go and let God. Let go and go with the Divine wind. You'll soon find that the Divine wind is love.
Trying to be good is not the way, because generally, when we try to be good, we try as egos. That will never work, because you see, ego doesn't have the capability to be good. So stop worrying about your own capability as a separated creature, and go with God. Go with the wind.
There is a wind which blows in your soul, and it is God. It is your own true nature as well. But whatever we call it, that wind is the Divine impulse. It is Divine providence talking to you and through you. It is moving you to love, as love. It is moving you to do as you would do, and not suppress it, if you be yourself -- if you be good.
So, go with Divine wind, instead of self-effort. Throw yourself into the river of the impulses God gives you. Do that, and you will create heaven on Earth. You will bless. You will edify. You will help, and you will heal. And you will do all of that by going with God (which is, ultimately, going with yourself, being yourself).
Say yes to the fact that you and God are one -- and love
Say YES to the fact that you and God are one.
YES to the fact that your will is the same as the Will of your Heavenly Parent.
YES to the fact that your will is to love. You have the intention that God has; you need only to recognize God's intention as your own. God wants love to happen; you want love to happen. That's how it is.
Say YES to all the above, and then, on the strength of that . . .
Let go, and let God.
Go with the wind.
The one and only way is love
If you remember one thing from all that we have said here, remember this:
The one and only way is LOVE.
Problems are never solved on the level that they're on.
We've found it! We have found the level above all the problems that ego spawns, lives in, and suffers. That level is love.
Now you know why the one and only way is love: there is no other way.
by David Truman
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