Friday, November 9, 2012

How will we respond to the call of love?

Love is the capacity to be the space for whatever could arise in our experience. Not a space that is cold, dissociated, spiritually detached, and transcendent, but one that is imbued with warmth, kindness, and an unbearable closeness. In this space, we very naturally make direct, empathic, attuned contact with the other – whether that “other” is another person or is our own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations. To love is to be willing to risk falling apart – for everything we thought we knew, including our spiritualities of specialness, to be exposed and to become obliterated in love’s fires. On some level, we intuit that if we truly allow love to organize our lives that everything will change, that the movement of love will reorganize *everything* in our lives, that we will no longer be able to hide out, that even our most sacred spiritualities will not be able to protect us or keep us secure and safe from love’s transforming activity. We see that we will even have to surrender even our most favorite spiritual concepts of “awakening,” “enlightenment,” “I no longer have a self,” etc. – for we know that love has no interest in these, or any other fantasies of me and my conceptual specialness. 

Love is not safe; we know this. In many ways love offers absolutely nothing; well, except for everything. Love does not provide any ground for our personal identity projects. We do not find our way to love, but rather love finds us, and has its way with us, according to its terms. In many ways, love is not something we can choose, for in such a choice we are no more; the separate self cannot choose its own annihilation. In love, there is no longer any movement to transcend or rise above anything – the spiritual movement of transcendence is obliterated and replaced with a raging intimacy, the call to come closer to life, closer to others, closer to the precious thoughts, feelings, and emotions who appear as guests from beyond, as luminous doorways into love’s reality. It is in and through intimacy with what is, in unbearable relationship with this sacred world, that love reveals itself. The call is always to come closer, to be willing to lose everything, to risk it all, to know that at any moment this sort of vulnerable nakedness could and likely will shatter our heart into billions of pieces, and that we could spend an eternity cleaning it all up. We know that this gooey, sticky, messiness that love is, the raging groundlessness that is the field of love, to this we are called… but how will we respond?

Love is allowing this sacred reality to be what it is while simultaneously caring so much about it that we’ll do anything to be that empty, yet luminous space through which a radically reorganizing transformation can occur. We allow ourselves to care so deeply about each conversation we have with another, wondering how love will have its way in this one and only moment. Somehow, our identity projects – spiritual and otherwise – are set aside and we are willing to allow everything to matter, everyone to matter, opening our hearts all the way, radically committed to kindness to our own and others’ embodied immediate experience. We surrender our lifelong habitual need to have others conform to our demands of them, and for this reality to mold itself to our expectations and unmetabolized needs. We are committed to seeing how we use the spiritual journey as a way to fortify a sense of specialness and separation, and how skilled the ego really is at using our path to “awakening” as a way to secure ground for itself. We see that the journey of love is not about how we can get more of it, or make use of it, or harness its energy for our own special life of awakening; it is not some “high” state that we experience or otherwise exploit for our own ends, but rather we become profoundly curious about how love will use us, how love will pour through this sacred human reality of time and space, making use of *this* particular body, mind, heart, and senses to be a portal out through which it seeds its ever-transformative essence throughout this world.