This text is a continuation of "A Little Further", and it begins where "A Little Further" left - being who you are, or who I am. I write about my experiences, and they can not be read merely intellectually. The purpose of my writings, starting with "Out of Pain", is to describe my experiences. The more I move towards being instead of doing, the more I try to describe the indescribable. So, do not read with your thoughts. Read with your whole mind, experiencing rather than thinking. But do not throw away your reason. Do not believe me, since I don't write about beliefs. I write about what is, and it is your task to experience it or ignore it.
This text will be a collection of experiences and lessons, not in any particular order - or in the order in which I am experiencing and living them. They are not one-time experiences, but rather flashes of life-long experiences that run together with each other.
The One Who Is
We tend to define ourselves through activities, present or past. We think and feel, and we try to shape and decorate our appearance according to what we think we are. We think we are something, and we wish to give such an appearance to other people. Or we may think we are not something, and we try to hide some aspects of our existence by pretending and using physical things like clothes, make-up or fragrances. At times we may try to give an impression that we are not something that we know we are, or the other way around, we wish to give an impression that we are something that we are not. There are also times when we wish to be authentic and as real as we are. But who is the one who is authentic? Who is the one who thinks he knows when he is authentic and when he is not? Who is the one who thinks he knows himself?
We may think of this or that, but it has no effect whatsoever on what we are. We could be thinking of anything else and still remain the same. We could walk forwards, backwards or sideways, and our form would have a different expression, yet we would remain the same person. We could feel joy, sadness or rage, but we could feel also any other feeling, and still remain the same. There is nothing we can do, think or feel that would change the one that we are. We could as well think of anything else, feel anything else or do anything else. Some of us define ourselves through our feelings, some through thoughts and some through works. What would happen if we ceased thinking, ceased feeling and ceased doing? Would there be anybody? Who or what would that be? Would we die or would we find something essential? Would we meet the stillness of the grave or the Living One who manifests himself through thinking, feeling and doing?
We are free of our thoughts. They could be anything, and we would remain the same. Only our brain would work with another issue or other issues. We could have different opinions, and we would remain the same. What other people say or do, has no effect on our being. Their words and actions may give rise to feelings, and we may begin to think of something as a result, but the whole process has nothing to do with our being. Our thoughts may be compulsive, and we may not yet know how to think differently, but when we find that we are not our thoughts, we will find freedom in thinking. Our existence would not be endangered if we had different thoughts. As long as we think that we are our thoughts, we feel a pressure to make the world accept our thoughts. It may seem that I write this to gain acceptance to my thoughts, but it is not so. Whatever you do has no effect on my being. And I am not writing about my thoughts, as I hope you have patience to find out. If you would express hard opinions about my writings or myself, I might feel hurt for a while as a response to your behavior, but I would also feel compassion towards your being. Your harsh response would reveal that you have identified yourself with your opinions, and in order to gain your space and prevent your identity from dying, you have to defend those opinions. Or you might find that my texts are similar to your opinions, and you would then feel an identity boost. But if your identity would be rooted on something deeper than your opinions and thoughts, your reactions might not be that strong - and you would be aware of yourself as a whole, and not as a mere thinker or feeler.
We may be feeling an overwhelming feeling, and before we can surrender to it, it may cause our mind to think compulsively of something. This compulsive thinking may give rise to compulsive behavior and addiction. Suppressed overwhelming feelings often manifest themselves through compulsive thinking and behavior. This is exactly how I lived when I was an addict. I was not using my mind, but it was using me. When I began to heal, I found something deeper: the Silent Watcher within me. It is the one who knows when I think, and what I think of. It is the one who can say; I think of this, or I feel this way. It is something behind our thinking, feeling and doing. Eckhart Tolle calls it the Being Who Knows - the Silent Watcher. Much of "Out of Pain" deals with the Being Who Knows what is going on in ourselves - without any criticism. He just knows, accepts, and is.
When I began to heal, I came to know that my feelings are not me, and neither are my thoughts and opinions. I continue to be me, or even more me, when I cease thinking and enter the state of the silent observer who experiences without compulsive thinking and analyzing. I could feel anything and still remain the same. I could have any opinion on anything, and I would not lose myself. After all, my opinions are only a small surface of my existence, and my feelings are my personal responses to my expectations or my existence. Feelings are only a sign of something - a very personal sign - but my identity would not be lost if I had different feelings.
The moment we recognize that we are thinking something, we become free of the bondage of thinking. It does not mean that we should begin to fight against what we are thinking or feeling. We merely notice it. When my mind was compulsive and addicted, it was lost in itself. The silent watcher was not present, and I was not conscious of what happened inside myself. When I began to observe myself, I became conscious of myself, and it was painful. I noticed that I am not leading the show. I was thrown into thinking and feeling painful feelings and thoughts, but it was liberation, since I learned that they are only surface issues, and someone knew what was going on. That someone was me.
Space to Be
Existence requires space. Space gives the freedom for something to exist. This concerns both our inner invisible world and our physical existence. I was first led to the space on the physical plane, and it opened the space for myself to be. When we find the space, we find a freedom for our thoughts and feelings, and freedom for our physical existence without feeling a need to present an image of ourselves to others. The way I came to space, was a complete reversal of existence: I imagined that no one is present in the space that "I" occupy. It was good, since it completely broke down the false mental image that I had of myself. Many concepts are so deeply rooted within our unconscious minds that to get rid of them, we must do or think something radical. Often it means to think in terms of no-symbols, since symbols tend to create only additional thoughts, leading us into thinking instead of experiencing what is. If I don't experience me, do I know me? Am I a thought, a feeling, or me?
One day, as I returned from shopping, I carried a heavy bag, feeling its weight against my hand. It was a pleasant feeling, such that connected me strongly to the now-moment. I wanted to surrender to the moment fully, when a strange idea occurred to me: imagine that there is nobody carrying the bag, and it merely flies in the air. Immediately I felt that the flying bag was a manifestation of my existence. I continued this imagery until I arrived at our door, where I imagined that the keys flew to the lock and turned themselves as a manifestation of my presence. I still like to use this image, especially if I have difficulties in staying in the present moment. When I walk, I imagine that my clothes are empty and moving by themselves. As I write this, the keys of the keyboard go up and down, and occasionally the mouse moves. When I look in the mirror, at times I think there is no one there. When I drive a car, I sometimes imagine that the turns of the steering wheel and the motions of the pedals are caused by an invisible existence - Something that fills my space.
This leads us beyond form. The emptiness reveals us a dimension of something immeasurably greater than our physical form. It also allows us to experience that our physical appearance is of diminutive importance, and that it has nothing to do with what we are. It leads us to being - a being that can not be defined only by the physical space it occupies. It also leads us to the silent observer. When we cease to be aware of ourselves, we became aware of our environment and our effect on it. This frees us of observing ourselves and directs our attention outside of ourselves. When we imagine that our clothes are empty, we start paying attention on how they move. We begin to listen to the sounds that our existence creates. When I stand in the wind and feel its turbulence, imagining that I am not there, I am aware of the fact that the wind knows my presence. When I walk or stand in the rain, pretending I am not there, I notice how the raindrops refuse to enter in the space where "I" stand. This is my space, and I am in it.
The emptiness on the physical level leads us also to the emptiness on the mental level. When there is no one in our place, suddenly there is That which merely is. In the stillness of nonexistence, we find our connection to Existence. Our space is a manifestation of That which is in it. There is something that fills the space, and that something is not alone. It exists in connection with Everything, or with the source of Everything. It is a part of being, a part of God-given command of the existence of everything when he said, "Fill the space". In saying this, he said, "Fill the space with my words - Fill the space with myself". In your space you meet him, and when you are silent, you will meet him in a way you know he is there, filling your space with you. This is your being. Probably God does not fill our space physically. But his breath is present, the breath that he breathed into a man and gave birth to a "man created in his image". When we find this image in ourselves, we also get a glimpse of the Great Breather and his presence.
End of defense
We may have a mental image of who we are or what we are - based on our thoughts and feelings of ourselves, our past and our imagined future. We feel that in order to keep our identity, we have to fight against such issues that threaten our existence, or this image. We think that to keep our existence going on, we need something from the future, something that would strengthen it. And there are issues that we want to preserve at any price, since the disappearance of them would kill something of our identity. When I was a child in unsafe circumstances, I learned this way of owning my identity. I had to fight for myself, in ways a child could, to prevent my existence and identity from disappearing. I could exist only when I fought against. It was not safe to surrender and gain my identity by receiving and being. I would not have had any safe space.
During my healing, for a long time I felt that there is a step in front of me, a step too large for me to climb over. Gradually that step became lower, I began to feel a certain freedom, and I came to believe that one day the step - or fence - would be low enough to walk over. The step is not there anymore. But I did not step over it and enter the world from where I was standing. I did not have to. The world came to me. I am still in my place, receiving. I did not have to go to take anything, and there was no place to which I should have gone.
When I have got rid of my attachment to feelings, I can let any feeling come and go. They are a part of my fluctuating form in time, and an enjoyable part of existence. Even the fearful feelings have become enjoyable, since I have learned and experienced the greatest aspects of my being through them. They have led me to something far deeper than the feelings - they have shown me the way to the I. It is the I who knows the feelings he feels, and who is not affected by them.
The same concerns thinking. All thoughts are transient, and often created by circumstances. The I is not dependent on the thoughts. As long as we associate our identity with certain thoughts and opinions, we are enforced to cultivate those thoughts and to defend them. If we would give up, at least a part of us would die. But when we experience that out thoughts are merely our property - sometimes a property we would not like to have - they may come and go. We are free to think of anything, or to enter complete silence, and still remain the same. In this, we also find a strong connection to the entire humanity.
This causes a radical change in our relationships: there is nothing we need to defend against anybody. We are at ease in every circumstance. We may still need to set boundaries, but in doing so we love ourselves and the other person. When we notice that something would be harmful to us or to the other person, love calls us to set a boundary. The boundary is not set because of preserving a fixed identity, but because of love. Then the boundary is not against the other person - it is for ourselves, and ultimately also for the other person. There is always complete acceptance of the other person, and peace within ourselves. There may be times when we feel a fearful feeling, but we are aware of it, we accept it and let it be, and still we have a desire to love as we can while feeling our feelings. There is always a deep peace and knowledge that we love as we can. We can never love more than we can, and we peacefully surrender to our broken humanness.
When we know that we exist even without defending ourselves, our thoughts, feelings or our place, other people feel this freedom. They feel themselves safe and accepted - as much as they can. Often our calm mirror can be frightening to them. They may try to control us using hatred, but when they see that their hatred just goes through us without any effect, they don't know what to do. They have lost their power over us. Yet, they feel that they are completely accepted. What a fearful state! You can not stand it as long as you wish to be unconscious of your hatred. You either leave or begin to heal.
End of defense does not mean that we do not own our place. It means that we own it even when other people do not agree with us. They don't have to. We exist without their opinions. We say what we want, and they may give it or may not give it. It is their choice, which does not define our existence. End of defense means that we don't have to force other people to agree, and that we love them even if we disagree on some specific issue. End of defense means acceptance of variety, uniqueness, and the space of other people. It means that our identity has found rest, and we do not die if thoughts, feelings or works differ.
My Good Body
Our meeting point of the reality is our body. It is not only good, it is necessary that we honor our body in all its fullness. I had problems in it. I grew up in a touch-deprived home. People who I loved left me. Those who remained did not touch me. I was afraid of my body and ashamed of it, and I was afraid of touching other people. I did not like to be touched, since the touching I was used to was beating or pushing away. For a long time I misused my body, and it accumulated much shame. I had much shame related to my body, and it was further increased by teachings that said that the body is sinful and a source of all kinds of evil desires. But that is wrong. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. They are dwelling places of God's spirit on the earth. All other teaching is perversion and misunderstanding of the creation of God.
Our bodies are always in the present, and they are never selfish. They have their needs, and sometimes they may be thirsty or hungry, but there is nothing bad or sinful in them. Thirst and hunger are not desires, they are needs. Desires live in our thoughts, and in the future, while needs live in the present. Desires are nearly always a sign of a need to escape the present moment. Something in the present moment is painful, and we desire salvation from the pain of the present, sometimes so much that we can think of nothing else. If we are addicts, we use our body to live in the addiction. It is the only way to perform any action, loving, hating or addictive action. We use our body, but it is due to the desire in our mind. If we abuse our body, it is because our mind commands our body, and because it thinks that it finds deliverance through it. Our body is an instrument of our mind to express itself in the physical world. No addiction ever makes the body sinful or bad. Our bodies are always in the present, and they can not have desires, since desires are in the future. Our bodies may have needs, but they are always needs in the present moment, and when a need has been fulfilled, it has gone, and it has left no guilt. It will not show up again until the body needs food or a drink. Desires don't go away when they have been fulfilled, and if incorrectly met, they leave a trace of guilt and shame. Desires dwell in the mind as an imagined heaven, as something that will grant an escape from the lack of surrendering to the present moment. Desires are sinful or bad, because they prevent us from surrendering to what is, because desires are imaginary 'salvation' from the reality given by God into world of waiting for future relief.
Some time ago I wanted to own my body and to learn to honor it. I tried to think of it as good and lovable, but it did not seem to work. My thoughts and feelings refused to think of it and feel it as good. For a long time, I tried harder and harder, but to no avail. Then I decided to surrender, to feel it as it was. I began to think of my body with thoughts and feelings that arose naturally, by themselves. My body was shameful and disgusting, something that only disgusting people would like to touch. 'Normal' people would not want to touch me, but to avoid touching me at any cost. The ones who would want to touch me were human bogeys, as shameful and disgusting as I was. I understood that the shame I felt towards my body began to appear, and I decided to give it permission to emerge. It was horrible, but I also understood that what was manifesting was my shame, and not the quality of my body. My body was full of wormholes and yellow worms. What a manifestation of shame! When I slept, the worms crawled in my bed, and when I walked, they fell off to the ground, leaving a trace of worms behind me. Although the image was horrible, it did not feel very bad, since I knew it was my shame, and I was saying goodbye to it. The image lasted for one or two weeks, and now my body is smooth, warm, and filled with life. Getting rid of this shame removed many fears related to touching, and now I like to touch and being touched. Touching has become an expression of love and belonging. It is an act of unification and worth. Many relationships of mine have changed and they have got a new dimension. I love my body, and I like to be in it. Sometimes it feels like it is filled with white glowing powder, or some holy, very peaceful and energetic, essence. But this did not come through forcing. It came through surrender, and surrender opened the possibility to say goodbye to the shame, which otherwise would have remained inside me, to be locked in by my willpower. I would not have found rest, as I did now.
Happiness of the Silent Watcher
There is one issue in the silent watcher that I have not stopped wondering: he is always happy, contented and peaceful. There may be times when we think or experience that this is not true, but it is because the silent watcher has not yet manifested himself in all his fullness. He emerges slowly, and at first we may experience him only for a few seconds at a time before our feelings and thoughts take over again. But the more we find him, and separate our existence from our thoughts and feelings, the more we experience this silence and silent happiness.
The silence is not dead. It is a silence that allows all sounds to be, and a space that allows everything to be. Without silence there would be no space for sounds, and without emptiness there would be no space for things, plants, animals or people. Without a state of no thoughts, thoughts could not exist. The silence makes space for all thoughts, and it does not judge them for what they are. Without a state of no feelings, feelings could not flow. When we were in pain, our painful feelings filled everything so that there was no space for anything else. Our painful feelings were trapped and locked within ourselves, and they blocked the flow.
The silent watcher is not related to feelings, thoughts, doings, or anything else. He watches everything, and he knows everything that happens to us and in us. And he lets it be so, without participating in any of it. He is merely the one who knows all our internal messages, with no judgement, and he gives this knowledge to us. This inner flow is extremely rich, extremely peaceful, and extremely happy, even when we know that we feel painful feelings. They are just lessons, and through them we learn to know ourselves without any judgement. We know that something painful within has surfaced and is getting ready for healing. There is great joy in this knowledge, joy that is not based on anticipation of the future healing, but on the knowledge that we are being healed right now.
The silent watcher knows no past and no future. Only the present exists for him. He does not regret, memorize or anticipate. Anyway, the past is only a string of memories of former present moments, and the future is only an anticipation of forthcoming present moments. But our mind does not understand that it is imagining future present moments - otherwise it would admit the futility of such anticipation. The silent watcher watches all of our personality - thoughts, feelings, memories - all our internal messages. When we anticipate the future, we have only our thoughts, but in the present moment we live with all of our personality, our intuition, and so on. The moment we start worrying about the future, the silent watcher disappears - but what he can tell us is that we are worrying about the future, and as we notice it, we can return to the present moment. Then we can let go, detach, or begin to plan instead of worrying, and do so in the present moment.
Listen to the silent watcher, and let him lead you to his peace, rest and happiness. First it may appear only as short moments of peaceful silence and acceptance of what is, but gradually you will learn that he knows no worry, no pain, no fear, and no grief. He knows no hope either, since hope is related to the future. All he knows is the happiness and peace of the present moment, and it is all that there really is.
End of Duality
If we wish to give a good impression of ourselves, who is the one who gives the impression and of whom is it given? If we hate ourselves, who is the one who hates and who is the hated one? If we love ourselves, who is the lover and who is the loved one? If we forgive ourselves, who is the forgiver and who is the one who is forgiven?
Earlier I considered these statements as matters of course. Only now I have understood how absurd they are, but this absurdity can not be experienced without facing the Shadow. The power that is governing duality is the shadow, the part of ourselves that we don't want others to see, and which even we ourselves may not accept in ourselves. By facing our shadow, by accepting it and by gradually allowing it to surface, it dissolves. When we learn to love all of our features, we stop hating them. In the end there will be no hater or the hated one. When we understand and experience that everything in us can be in the service of love, there will be nothing to hide. We understand that ultimately the only way to love is to be ourselves, and the best impression we can give of ourselves, is exactly ourselves. By accepting everything, the lover and the loved one merge in sweet fusion.
Our relationship with ourselves comes to an end. After enlightenment, there will be no duality, but one silent, satisfied mind, which is satisfied even when experiencing sorrow, pain or loss. Everything resides in a peaceful and large space that allows all human issues to come and go. Internal conflicts do not only disappear, but also "internal friendship" disappears, since we are no longer many but one. There is no longer anyone to discuss with. Internal discussion is a sign of brokenness and of owning different opinions, but we have only one mind. The word I would like to describe an enlightened mind with is "simple". Our whole being will acquire elements of ease, participation and belonging, which are present without any efforts. This does not mean that it we don't need to discern, contemplate and take risks, but that there will be straightforwardness in them. The easiness is due to the disappearance of internal conflicts, and we are no longer at war with our inclinations, thoughts and feelings. We also know that we could as well exist without our aspirations, and they obtain rest. This rest is not giving up our aspirations, but rather experiencing that they are secondary - whatever happens, we continue to exist at peace, and they do not master us, but we master them.
The end of duality causes the end of defence, as described above. What remains is I, and it remains always the same is spite of what other people say of it. If their attitudes are not hose of healing love, we notice it, and just let it pass. Their attitudes are theirs and not ours. Our all relationships will be love relationships, since only healing love remains in us - the love that made us whole. After internal conflicts have disappeared, our interest in external conflicts fades away, and we experience them pointless. They will be something that does not belong in our world. In the midst of them, we are at rest as ourselves, without any fear. A being with no shadows will not panic, but radiates its own peace and light. It creates its own space by itself, and those who come close to such a space, will become aware of it. A solid, unpretending, restful and peaceful humanness shines through far away. We know it by ourselves. And what we most remember of people is what they are.
The fundamental experience of enlightenment is the reappearance of human simplicity and wholeness in our human weakness. We become someone we always have been. We find great rest, perfect humanness that embraces human deficiency. At last we humble ourselves in front of our incompleteness, and we let ourselves be exactly what we are. When we find and accept ourselves as incomplete humans, we perfectly own our humanness. We find the rest of being and existing. Our whole personality may blossom, since we deny no part of it. Even loving ourselves disappears and is replaced by peace and goodness towards all that is, and we know ourselves as a part of all that is.
Is Love a Choice?
Love is giving without reason, or preferably, giving void of all reasons. In the heart of a loving person, there is a state of goodness and goodwill, like a deep pool. From this pool, love creates its own actions as it faces different circumstances. The love of God is perfect love, where he gives out of his fullness, or out of the emptiness of his motives. He gives. He does not need to give, and yet he does not need a single motive to give. Yet, he does not give randomly towards every possible direction. Does he have a goal, or goals, when he gives?
Many say that love can not spring from selfish motives or desires. But does love need motives? Can one decide to love or not to love? How does love choose its goals? How does love choose what to give, and when?
Love has no reason to give; yet it gives. Giving is motivated by love. Love is motivated by itself, not as a desire to give, but as readiness - or surrender. It appears without reason. There is a flow of giving, and this flow carries the products of love. Sometimes the flow carries nothing, but even then it is not empty. When giving nothing, love is still creating its own birth, 'strengthening' itself, both in the giver and receiver. Love is the flow, and it carries expressions of itself. When it gives nothing, it expresses itself as greatly as when giving much. To give nothing may be a huge act of love, requiring tremendous amount of self-sacrifice. How easy it is to rescue someone, and how difficult to watch him suffer and grow! We are used to give or do something in order to assure people that we love them. We need to see something in the flow, even at the price of not loving, but then we have a reason – and often a selfish one. People may expect us to solve their problems, and they rebel when they see nothing in the flow. They say that we don't love them. Yet, we know that we love, and we suffer silently, knowing that we give them the best we can.
But does the love of God have a goal? The purpose of God is to restore people to their beauty and glory, to a state of holiness and cleanness. But what happens when such a state is reached? God does not stop loving and giving. He does not stop loving and giving even when we don't reach such a state. There is no final goal after which God ceases to love and to give, and there is nothing that we can do to make him stop loving and giving. After he has purified us, he does not cease loving; and he does not love us more or less. Being in a fire may not feel like receiving love, and we may curse God and rebel against him. Yet, he always treats us lovingly and, if necessary, with minimal pain, to prepare us for something that we may be able to appreciate only afterwards. His love and his giving spring from his goodness, and they will always remain. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. There may be times he needs to bring us to a point where we think that even the slightest breeze might finish our flame, but then we realize that he is the one who actually keeps it burning.
There is no state after which love ceases to flow. There is no state of perfection. When there are no goals, there can be no minor and major acts of love, since there is no ultimate target with which to measure the accomplishments. Every gift of love is necessary. Thus, we can not blame ourselves if we think that we can give only small expressions of love. Each and every one of them is necessary. We are not failures, and we do not fail. Love is always the same, and its effects are always the same. It heals - always. It brings joy, even when it has to reveal or touch a painful wound. From the viewpoint of love, it fails when its flow ceases. Even then, it does not fail – it disappears.
Yet, our experience reminds us of the fact that our love has failed. But has it failed? Actually what has failed? Did we have a goal? Did we have a motive? Did we expect something in return for ourselves? Did we think that when we have done what we wanted, it would be enough and more is not necessary? Did we imagine a state of perfection, where everyone would be happy?
An alcoholic father may think that he loves his children, when he actually destroys them. Can he really love? As long as he is immersed in the world of his own pain, he can not. His behavior is dictated by his pain, and the flow of love is actually a flow of pain. In order to love, he needs to heal the wounds caused by lack of love and self-love. His wounds seek to receive love until they become healed. In a sense, they create a negative emptiness, or fullness of desires, within him. His flow is reversed. 'Love' whose source is pain is necessarily selfish one. Whenever we have unhealed pain, what we think as love is nothing more than an effort to lessen our pain. We may do 'loving' acts due to guilt, but the purpose of these acts is not to love, but to make us feel more comfortable. In order to move closer to freedom from motives, we need to heal our pain. We need to be receivers until the negative emptiness, or the fullness of desires, has been changed into true emptiness, or lack of desires. Then we can become givers void of all reasons.
What happens if an alcoholic father ceases to demonstrate acts of love, even if they spring from guilt or shame? His children do not experience even short moments of happiness. He can perform loving acts for whatever reason, but he is unable to love as a whole person. He can not face his own pain, and he can not face the pain in his children. His behavior is driven by unconscious impulses circling around his pain, and try as he might, he is unable to ignore them. There is no rest for him, and other people can not find rest in him. He is not free to choose as long as he remains alcoholic. His freedom to choose is between drinking and recovering, and unless he chooses to recover, he does not own his freedom. He remains a prisoner of his own pain, desperately searching for love and validation. He is worth of great love. He is unable to give himself what he needs - healing love - and he is unable to give it to others. Yet, he can perform acts of kindness, and even acts of self-sacrifice, until his pain directs his interests towards another escape from reality.
In love, there is no giver or receiver, or they are united. Love creates itself in the heart of the giver for the receiver – not for the giver. When the giver is free of his presuppositions of what should be given, love is free to meet the needs of the receiver. Then, actually, the receiver creates the act of love in the heart of the giver. As if the receiver knew how he should be loved, and the giver knew how he should love, but it is communicated only in union of the giver and receiver; and the end result may be something that neither of them envisioned beforehand. It may even cause temporary pain for both, but only such pain that leads towards healing and deeper love. The receiver gives something for the giver before the giver gives anything. This is evident in the love of God, since he knows what we need, even before we ask for it. Sometimes he waits until we ask, but most often he gives when we do not understand to ask, or when we ask for wrong things. At times he gives pain, when he sees that we need to through pain in order to end in love much greater than the pain. In love, the receiver and the giver are one, even when the flow carries nothing. Even an empty flow unites the receiver and the giver.
The giver was once a receiver, when love created its own emptiness in the heart of the former receiver – now giver. The giver will always remain a receiver of the love of God, or of the universe. The receiver and the giver unite in God and with God, in the ultimate source of love. The giver can love only because both the giver and the receiver existed in the flow of love of God before anything was given or received, or before the secret communication of what should be given took place. When the giver gives, he receives the great gift of loving as expected; when the receiver receives, he gives the giver the possibility to give what he expected – and love strengthens itself in both.
Peace of heart - void of desires - transforms into a desire free of all desires. It becomes a peaceful emptiness, a deep pool of surrendered existence, and it deepens all the time. It can not deepen without loving. Love is a part of our peace. We can not find peace unless we experience ourselves loved, and we can not experience ourselves loved unless we surrender to love. When we give, we receive, but we do not give out of ourselves. We give because the receiver makes us give. We see something in the flow because the receiver initiates it and calls it for himself. We are not the sources of our love.
Is Being Loved a Choice?
I finish this text with the most difficult question we will ever meet in this lifetime. What makes it so difficult, is not the question, but the answer, which is a definite yes. Starting from our childhood, and continuing all along our life, we have learned a concept of conditional love, which is merely a distortion and perversion of Love. Conditional love is a form of trading between humans, a concept of if-you-do-this-I-will-do-that. If we by chance were treated with unconditional love, we would start collecting a huge "I do not deserve this". We would start feeling guilty and run away because of the familiar feeling of not feeling ourselves good enough. As long as we live as isolated human beings, we are forced to comparison, and when comparing ourselves with someone loving with unconditional love, we lose. We are worse than, we are not good enough. We run away and hide.
It is really terrifying to be Loved. Unconditional love means loss of ego, since it means loss of isolation. It means loss of all pride, since there is no way to be "good enough" or to make payments. People have been afraid of the unconditional love of God to the extent that they have made it conditional. Unconditional love means loss of self-made goodness. To be loved unconditionally means absolute openness, since we can not experience being loved unconditionally if we hide something because of fear. Unconditional love means loss of privacy, since as long as we keep secrets, we can not experience the whole of ourselves loved. Being loved unconditionally destroys our private world. Who would want such a destruction of self? Who would want unconditional love?
Nobody. Or maybe those who have realized that it is their only option. Those who have had nothing to give. Those who have understood and lived through what it means Not To Be Good Enough. Those who have found no other hope than the unconditional love and acceptance of God, Life or Universe. Hopefully such people will some day demonstrate that it is not necessary to do it that way - that you can be good enough starting from your date of birth.
Go back to yourself. We all have, or have had, our shadows. As long as you wish to keep your shadows in the darkness, you will not experience your totality Loved. As long as you isolate behind your mask, there will be no belonging and no experience of unconditional love. There will be a point when you say "that's it, I've had enough" - and you escape love.
Unconditional love does not open those dark cabinets in your heart. There is only one who can do it, and it is you. The only way to find unconditional love is that you accept everything in yourself. But we can not accept without admitting and surrendering to what is and what we are. The truth is that we are good enough. We never have been other than good enough. We have walked a long and terrifying way of healing, but it has not made us a slightest bit better than we have always been. We have always been good enough, and we always will.
When we are ready to be Loved, we have found rest in life. Life is no more an exchange of deals or services between isolated human beings, but a great experience of love, belonging and union. When we have answered "yes" to "Do you want to be loved unconditionally?", question "Do you want to love?" has already died away. Then, to love is not an option, not a choice.
Copyright Healing Eagle 2004
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