Universal love is God's elevator that can carry you to the heights of heaven. And lots of people try to take that elevator. But unfortunately, most of the time the elevator is stalled—the power is out. That's because what people call "universal love" tends to lack passion. It becomes little more than a concept.

Love without passion
is a bird with clipped
wings. It's passion
that gives love clout
and makes it work.

Here's the thing: love without passion is a bird with clipped wings. It's passion that gives love clout and makes it work. Think about it: How loved do you feel when the minister says, without emotion, "I love each and every one of you in this congregation"—or when a Buddhist monk says, "I love every sentient being"? Compare that to the experience of being personally, passionately loved—the thrill of knowing that your beloved loves you and wants you, and brightens up each time they see you. And what about the experience of passionately loving someone?—the inspiration and excitement that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and stay up all night. It's a different world, and the difference is passion. Passion gives love power.

Where do we find the passion that would make universal love effective? Generally we find it in personal love, because we can identify with personal love in a way that we can't identify with universal love—at least not at first. Personal love turns us up and tunes us up. In the process, it awakens psychic awareness, raises consciousness, and enlivens the body/mind. So you see, when we speak of personal love, there's much more to it than meets the eye.


Stairway to heaven

To experience being in love is to experience heaven on earth. Honestly, if you haven't experienced that, you've never been in love.

Personal love—true, sincere, genuine personal love—lifts us to heaven. We have all seen that whenever people love sincerely, they are knocking on heaven's door. No doubt about it. And here's the proof: People who are sincerely, deeply in love feel some remarkable things, things that are out of this world . . .

Just like that, true personal love would brighten the world. And it would cause people to experience what universal love really is. It is far more than a theory, a philosophic position, a religious or spiritual commitment lacking in passion, lacking in fire, desire, and healing power.

personal love - universal love

the stairs to the elevator

The springs of heart-
felt, passionate love
are so bounteous that
they fill the heart to
overflowing. And that
overflow is agape.

If universal love is an elevator to heaven, personal love is the stairway to the elevator. And although that sounds like a contradiction—because what we call personal love feels like already being in heaven—it's accurate in this sense: When you love your beloved strongly enough, your love overflows and goes out to all. The springs of heartfelt, passionate love are so bounteous that they fill the heart to overflowing. And that overflow is agape. You fill up your heart, and then you fill up the world.

When you're in love, you find that personal love is a fire that can't be contained: it becomes universal love naturally, automatically. When you are in love, you find yourself loving everything. You experience your affinity with all of life. You've risen in love, then, instead of fallen in love. When your spirit has been resurrected in love, universal love flows from your heart quite naturally. It's overflow—overflow from a heart that's full of love.


The stairway is blocked

With their overflowing love, people in love bring heaven to earth. And that's great, because surely, we need heaven on earth. If everyone were in love, what a wonderful place earth would be. Just imagine!

Now imagine a society that's almost completely deprived of personal love. Imagine the misery, the hellish quality of such a society. You don't really have to imagine it. When you look around, you can see it—and you can feel its effects. Because that's what we have, pretty much. There are little spots of love here and there, but overall, even when the flowers of personal love appear, they are soon overshadowed by the weeds of selfishness. Almost always, personal love gets diverted and inverted.

So many people—because they are unwilling to love unselfishly, and because they fear that others will not love unselfishly either—decide to skip personal love, and try to go directly to universal love. But there's a serious problem with that: as I've said, without personal love, universal love is out of reach or very weak.

Real universal love
is personal love on
steroids, and is not,
in fact, impersonal
or non-passionate.

So the elevator to heaven is out of service, because the stairway that leads to the elevator is blocked off by fear. People have grown so suspicious of personal love that they're no longer doing it. And now they're stuck in a spiritual backwater. All over the world spirituality has become dry, almost heartless, simply because it lacks heart-passion. It lacks the passion it woulda-coulda-shoulda had if the person had surrendered in personal love. But those would-be universal lovers will someday realize that real universal love is personal love on steroids, and is not, in fact, impersonal or non-passionate.


Get selfishness out of the way

Children naturally love in a personal fashion. So does everyone. No heart wants to love universally only. We want to love personally too.

But personal love has gotten a bad name. People have seen much failure in what is called personal love—so much ego junk in it. The ego's reactions within personal love have created such strong associations between love and unlove that people have come to feel that love is UNlove, abuse, abandonment, etc. Too many people, acting selfishly, have fallen from the grace that personal love is in its true and original form, into the disgrace of personal UNlove—the failure to love truly.

I'm saying, "Wait a minute! Bad things have happened, but those things have nothing to do with love—except that they express ego's reaction against love."

For God's sake, and for the sake of the love that God is, we must clearly distinguish between love and UNlove. Never think that the disasters created by ego are about personal love, or about love of any kind. Instead, recognize the truth: Ego's reactions—against love, against heaven, against the appearance of heaven, and the expansiveness, the joy, the brightness of heaven—is the problem. You must have seen that terrible backlash pattern time and time again. Isn't it clear, then, that ego is the problem, not love, and not personal love? The problem is ego becoming selfish in the presence of the treasure and pleasure of love.

Forget ego. Renounce
selfishness. Then you
can rise in love and
not have to fall in love
(or fall out of love).

Seeing that, forget ego. Renounce selfishness. Then you can rise in love and not have to fall in love (or fall out of love).

The selfish component needs to stay out. That way, personal love can flower. People can love personally and naturally, and not fear that their tendency to do so is a crime, a danger, a problem.

How is anyone to find heaven on earth if they cannot express personal love, and at the same time keep it unselfish? A woman's strong desire to love personally with great passion can create heaven on earth, but fear often prevents the expression of her powerful love. And a man will try to love universally and maybe have some success, but he'll fall far short of heaven if he does it without much passion. Without passion, everyone is locked out of the real fire. And as I've said, no one will find the necessary passion until and unless they invest in personal love to the point where a bright fire awakens and burns brightly in them.

So let's cultivate deep personal love. Here's how:


A way to start climbing the love-stairs to heaven

A. Find a private place where you can focus your mind in peace. (Often the best time for this will be in the middle of the night, when all are sleeping. You'll miss some sleep if you do this, obviously. But many lovers like you have gladly traded sleep for love!)

B. Focus on someone for whom you feel natural feelings of love. Picture them in your mind. Be with them in your mind and heart. Give them your love. Freely. Happily. Generously.

C. Be happy with the feeling intensity that arises in the midst of loving personally. If you do these things sincerely, a little fire of love will start to burn in your mind and heart, and it is personal. Do not worry about it or doubt it because it is "only personal." There's no only about it. Even God loves personally, you can be sure of it. So enjoy the ride!

D. Pile on that fire everything you have that will make love's flame burn brighter and hotter. Throw on the fire all your caring, your passion, your desire. Build your fire until the fire burns big and bright and hot, and fills the sky and the space around you. Sit in the flame, and let the flame consume you. Let it consume your heart, your mind, and your body. Again, be happy with that. And again, do not doubt it.

NOTE: The personal love experience described above starts out as a "meditation." But the more you do it, the longer it will stay with you even after you stop "meditating."

How do you know when you are making progress in love? These ways:


True personal love is unselfish

Everything that is done
in the true spirit of love
is a gift. In true love,
even your passion, even
your desire, is a gift.

Friends, as you know, when people speak of passion or even of love, they often think of these things selfishly. But that is not what love is about. Love is about the beloved—not about the one who loves the beloved. "The lover is but a dead thing; the beloved is all that lives." That is real love. Everything that is done in the true spirit of love is a gift. In true love, even your passion, even your desire, is a gift.

Yes, love will make you happy. Yes, love does you good. But even so, remember this: Getting something for yourself is not the purpose for loving. Always, love is for the beloved. Giving, helping and healing are the purposes of love.


Let love consume all

To bring love back into power, we need passion-fire. Desperately. With passion, love can live and burn like a wildfire all over the world. Love has the power to convert this world and everything in it. Love can burn all the hate down, and plant beauty in its place.

You are the light of the world. Love is the light of the world. It is important to know that if you love truly, you will indeed find yourself in love, in a bubble of love and a ball of energy. When one is truly in love, one lives in that bubble, that higher place, that heaven realm. So, if you are willing to enter into the realm of love, you can be in heaven even while still living in the hell that this world can be.

Please try this: Cultivate personal love as I have described. Develop it in your heart until you find yourself in heaven. Then stay there—stay in love. Don't go with the selfish tendencies, ego's backlash reactions. Don't let ego interpret love selfishly and thereby convert love from something generous to something selfish (and UNloving). Don't do that, or you're back to hell again. Instead, climb up to heaven, and this time, stay there.



by David Truman

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