Excerpted from How to Survive Life (and Death): A Guide for Happiness in This World and Beyond .
Love is the current of compassion running through life
Love is the truest content, as well as the constant current and flow, of all Life and being. Thank you for coming everybody! Goodnight! Drive home safely!
When you remember all the prominent occasions of your life—the special victories, appointments, rewards, all the good times—underscoring every one of them has been the atmosphere of Love, and Love’s presence within each of those moments bubbles up through every happy memory.
All the most meaningful parts of your life—often just little things like laughing with a little kid, or soaking in the blissful beauty and solitude of nature, or that unforgettable meal with those very special friends, or giving a simple gift that may have changed someone’s day (or even someone’s life) for the better—all these special moments have arisen out of Love. But I’m sure that all of us, in our hearts, suspected as much already.
All of the most difficult and damaging parts of life originate in those conditions created by the absence of Love. On the grand scale of things, without the selfish and exploitative parts of human nature that cause so many problems for our planet and its inhabitants, there would only be the beautiful supportive flow and creation of Love. If absolute Love were our primary goal and motivation, the Earth and all the people on it would be in pretty wonderful shape.
That’s pretty simple and obvious, and may seem rather airy-fairy, but it really wouldn’t be so bad, would it? For everyone to take care of everyone else, and the planet? In fact, I believe it’s the real goal we all share in “the end”— to accompany and lovingly care for everyone, including, of course, our Mother Earth.
Here’s something interestingly scientific, paraphrased from an overview of research conducted by the Institute of HeartMath, The Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance. Did you know that medical science has now determined that the human heart, unlike any other organ in the body, contains a complex cellular structure similar to the brain? The same kind of neurons, neurotransmitters, support cells, and so forth. In fact, our hearts are directly linked to our brains, and, along with being able to learn independently, remember, feel, and sense, our hearts can enable our brains to perceive certain things, to inspire types of thoughts, and to determine our emotional experiences. And what do you suppose constitutes that energy of the heart? That forms the language of the heart? Yes, it’s the medium—the smallest (as in humblest), as well as the overwhelmingly grandest, of Life’s most visible “invisible” energies—Love.
In fact, before moving on to your next undertaking (pardon the expression), it may help you to realize that you are adrift in, surrounded by, and have always been swimming in an invisible river of this energy—this virtual ocean of Love. It’s easy not to see it. We tend to keep our heads above its surface, while our hearts are submerged down in it. Even when it seems that Love is nowhere to be found, much less the principle medium of Life, if we strip away all the impositions of human will and ego, it’s always right there, even in its trace forms of regret or contrition. Engaging with it is a beautiful calling.
So the main job of life is simply to eliminate the obstacles that prevent our experience of Love—the free flow of Love into us, out of us, through us, and around us. But unfortunately, it’s not all that simple, is it? We need to strip down all our ideas about the world, and especially about ourselves; we need to learn to swim naked in this river of Love and become one within this medium—this subtle and beautiful energy that can carry us securely through this dimension of life, and beyond. And who among us, I ask, doesn’t like to swim naked (especially in the dark)?
Put aside your reservations (and inhibitions) for a moment if you will, and let’s go skinny-dipping. Here’s how. Since Love is all understanding and acceptance, naturally it’s what allows everything to be as beautiful as it possibly can be in our perception. When we open our hearts and accept everything and everyone as they are, simply and without judging or comparing—when we put a hold on every negative label or thought—we’re briefly granted the ability to see Love as the medium of Life that it is shining through, as well as to witness the sometimes heart-breaking nature of life’s constant struggle to return back to the source of Love.
When we open ourselves to this current of compassion that’s running through Life, we can find ourselves within it and realize that we can actually live there. It becomes obvious that it’s constantly flowing right beneath everyone and everything; and then even what seems terrible to us is exactly what it needs to be, doing what it needs to do for its own expression and evolution back toward Love—and for our return as well. Instantly, within that moment, absolute tolerance and acceptance become literally a no-brainer. We describe people who live in this flow of Life as being “all heart”—as in, “she’s all heart,” or “he’s all heart.”
If we open our hearts and use them as very nice alternative brains to process the world (instead of only using our calculating brains), we see the world through a filter of loving compassion, and instantly everything and everyone become just fine the way they are—and, in fact, as truly beautiful as Love allows them to be (sometimes a little sadly beautiful) in their own right. All of the pointless distinctions, all of the obstacles between us begin to dissolve into insignificance.
Each person takes on that wonderful quality of himself or herself, bumps and all. They may all be crazy, God bless ‘em, but they’re all beautifully, uniquely crazy. Everyone you’ve ever known becomes kind of perfect, even if in a very imperfect way. Everything that has ever happened or will happen in your life and in the world—even if it seems absolutely terrible—is fine as it is, because it needs to be that way in order to change and connect back to the flow of Love, back to the place where Love sympathetically carries it all—and you as well. If you just allow it to.
If you try your best to become Love, to personify it, you’ll find you never have to worry about who you are, what you look like, what you have (or don’t have), what you’ve done (or haven’t done). You just won’t need to worry about your outsides ever again. Your insides will become your outsides.
And there goes the swimsuit.
Love and honesty are always the answer
If it’s still hard for you to accept the concept that Love is the true creative medium of Life, and that all “evil” and unwarranted struggle is caused by inescapably human attitudes and conditions, then consider that you may be suffering unconsciously from those same unfortunate human attitudes and conditions a little bit yourself. And that’s what keeps you from realizing the real Love that’s underneath everything. As is often the case, whatever makes you most uncomfortable in life may be what you’re carrying around inside of yourself, without really seeing it. You’ll need to take a really honest, objective look at what’s actually blocking you from the Love. You’ll usually find it pretty easily—hidden in plain sight, in fact—but only when you’re being steadfastly honest with yourself.
Timeless wisdom suggests that Love and honesty are the simple keys to all human solutions. Here’s the ideal formula:
Love + Honesty = All Solutions.
Let go of all those petty external details that have nothing to do with that ideal (and they all are pretty petty). Try to de-energize your internal obstacles to Love by noticing how your mind wants to label and categorize everything as “good” or “bad”; then make a concerted effort to relax and relinquish that incessant need to judge everything you see automatically. Instead, try to see it as what is Love and what is Not-Love. If it is clearly Love—jump on that bus. If it’s Not-Love, then you may ask yourself this one question: Have you brought along enough extra for everybody? At these times, it may be up to you to supply what’s missing.
You never need to deny or hide from the apparent antithetical “reality” that evil exists in the world. Why would you? Good illuminates bad, as day replaces night. The moon is always there, only it’s the sun that brings Life. The poison of evil exists everywhere there’s human willfulness and ego. But when you do your best to experience the medium of Love and become one with it, you’ll become the antidote to that poison. You’ll join up with a deep, invisible river of the antidote.
I’ll speak of Love as a physical field of being (like gravity) over and over, and because of the idyllic romanticism attached to the word, it may start sounding like so much gratuitous gushing. So please, call it whatever you want instead. Call it God. Call it Reason. Call it sanity, or compassion, or entanglement. Call it Creation, or the Universe. Because for our purposes, in my book, it’s all the same.