Tag Archives: higher love

What about Love?

Love is heart of life. Naturally, life-long, I’ve sought to understand what on earth (and in heaven) the love-word means.

I’ve already posted earlier thoughts. For example, in Rethinking LOVE I wrote:

Love is the ultimate mystery. It sparks and keeps the life process going, more to be accepted and honored than psychoanalyzed. Plato described seven stages of love. Each is a rung on an evolutionary ladder which leads from a child’s love for parents, to erotic love, to friendship, and eventually the pinnacle of divine connection. These seven stages correlate exactly with the seven energy centers of yoga anatomy.

In I Want To Know What Love IS (& Isn’t), I wrote:

There was a time when, wherever I’d go, the popular Foreigner tune “I Want To Know What Love Is” was playing in the background. I shopped to it at Woodman’s grocery store. At Gold’s gym, I showered and dressed to the sound of the same music. While I waited in line at the local Subway for my six inch sandwich on honey-oat bread with tuna, provolone cheese and veggies . . . again, the same song.

I wanna know what love is.
I want you to show me.
I wanna feel what love is.
I know you can show me.

If it wasn’t that, then it was the Jennings/Winwood song, “Higher Love.”

Think about it: There must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above.
Without it, life is wasted time.
Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on.

We walk blind, we try to see,
Falling behind in what could be.

I took it as a cosmic hint. Pay attention to this universal need, and the ways we sing about our searchings.

Attempting to comprehend how people can possibly apply the same love-word to such a broad range of contradictory behaviors, I located what I’ve experienced within the spectrum of energy centers. Plugged in to the Life Wheel, it looks like this:

 

LoveLadder.sized

You might find it useful to know a bit about the personal experiences that led to this understanding. I count five significant love relationships, each a stepping stone to the next.

First there was Beecher. I was a high school senior. He had already graduated college as a physics major and worked at a prestigious research firm. He had plenty of money to spend on fun dates, a fancy sports car, and a suave manner about him. He found me fascinating, which I found flattering. Near the end of the school year, after I’d already been accepted at Oberlin, the college of my dreams, he asked me to marry him. I didn’t need time to think about it. I told him flat out never to ask again. I had an inner sense of destiny — of an as-yet unknown calling. Forfeiting college for an early marriage wasn’t it. That was easy.

Within the Life Wheel, this experience fell on the positive side, primarily on the material level. Kindness and consideration were present, though not its focus. Encouragement was lacking, nor did I feel protected. The possibility of higher love never occurred to either of us.

Second was David. From the start, I was stuck on his name. My hero grandfather, beloved younger brother and two cousins were all named David. It was the name of my idealized biblical figure, King David, who combined the aspects of healer-warrior-king all-in-one.

This David, a dazzlingly gifted pianist and conductor, came into my life during my Freshman year at Oberlin. He was a blond, lion-maned, flamboyant Leo. I was his compliment, a gentle and quiet brunette — a Jungian “dark” Leo. We set each other off like fire-works. He courted me with red roses, music and poetry. We adored each other.

Sadly, he was damaged by childhood abuse, seemingly beyond repair. I met him at the time of a prior girlfriend’s horrifically hurtful suicide. Then a scheming female got her hooks into him. She seduced him into a marriage which he instantly regretted. But I would not take him back.

There was an element of fate at work. Even after college, David kept reappearing. He instinctively found ways to locate me, and always at a vulnerable time of transition.

I agonized on and off again through many twists and turns over the span of more than twenty years. Only through repeated self-analysis did I come to recognize the power he held over me, the lessons to be learned, and finally get free for good. In essence, I had projected all my gifts onto him. The lesson was to take back my power, and however modestly, own in myself the virtues I saw in him.

Within the Life Wheel, despite its emotional highs, this experience fit predominantly on the left, negative side — a mix of romance, sentimentality and violent possessiveness.

Third was George. He came into my life after David’s marriage. It was a rebound swing to the opposite extreme. He was balding, bland, and boring. He offered stability. Although we talked about love and marriage, there was no spark. The major up-side for me was that his presence in my life kept my parents off my back. They liked him.

It ended when I was awarded a NDEA Title III Fellowship to complete a Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I phoned him up with the news, ecstatic. He broke up with me on the spot, saying it meant I was smarter than him, which he couldn’t bear. After initial shock came relief. No great loss.

Within the Life Wheel, security-based love was focused on the material outermost rim though, to his credit, he was always kind to me.

The greatest disappointment from George-time came from a conversation with Mom a few months after the break-up. She commented that she hadn’t heard much about him lately. I told her why. She actually sneered. “Good for him,” she said. “Serves you right.”

That relationship didn’t even register on the chart. Though she went through the motions, her heart wasn’t in it. Was her harshness a factor in my father’s suicide? I was only six at the time, so only God knows for sure. My ultimate solution to that loss: turning to God, as Christ did, as my true Father.

Fourth was Swami Rama. The training in yoga science and philosophy was invaluable. However, he wasn’t what he seemed. The world saw a highly accomplished performer. But behind the mask of a celibate holy man. he was a serial rapist, financial con artist and ruthless deceiver — living proof of the maxim, “The larger front, the larger back.” For too long, he got away with abusing energy sciences to exploit unsuspecting students. Bottom line: I learned valuable, undoubtedly necessary life lessons and was then released to move on.

Where would I place this experience within the Life Wheel? Despite the swami’s seductive promises of love and help, it registered exclusively on the left-hand side, fluctuating between lust, domination, lies and oppression.

Fifth. By comparison, earlier relationships heightened my appreciation of OA. No status and adventure. No flaming, heart-breaking romance. No social stability. No two-faced “spirituality.” He was the real deal. Magical – full of healing, wisdom, wacky humor and an incredible, unearthly sweetness. He too loved God as his Father and, like the good angels, acknowledged Christ as his lord and master.

OA breathed a natural genius into whatever he touched. Some praised his incredible memory, but I suspect he was dipping into akashic records with the same intelligence he applied to physical computers, instantly retrieving whatever information he called forth. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel that such a soul ever walked this earth, much less that I was allowed the opportunity to make his last days easier.

His influence spanned the entire field, on the right-hand, positive side of the Life Wheel. As I told Old Avatar, in him I’d won the lottery of life. He knew and showed us what Higher Love IS.

Angel Calling

 

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Life is Eternal

In JBP at his best, I wrote A great deal of suffering comes from ignorant fear of death. Many have been deceived into doubting the existence of the immortal structure that supports the mortal frame.”

Here, due to time constraints, it must suffice to expand on my meaning by drawing from earlier work. In Contemplation of Mortality, I quoted from Essay 2 on DEATH.

Dying patients went through the five stages, but then after “we have done all the work we were sent to Earth to do, we are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul like a cocoon encloses the future butterfly,” and . . . well, then a person had the greatest experience of his life. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, The Wheel of Life

I continue:

Webster’s definition of death is the act or fact of dying — the permanent ending of all life in a person, animal or plant. Personified, death is pictured as the grim reaper, a hunch-backed, black-robed skeleton wielding a scythe. The term refers to extinction, as in the death of hope.

These definitions, however, represent an extreme cultural bias with important effects on behavior. They reflect the materialistic belief that the physical is all there is. When the body fails, there is nothing else. There is no essence which survives to travel on.

The I Ching embodies a more inclusive, comprehensive view. Like the learned amongst most ancient cultures, Chinese sages regarded birth and death as natural changes, complementary stages of an ongoing cyclical life process.

Sages continue to regard death not as extinction, but the culmination of a winter season most wisely spent preparing for the coming spring. They teach that a soul, having learned the lessons and completed the work of one life cycle, separates from its used up shell. The shell, once the spirit moves on, collapses. The life essence, however, simply migrates, possibly to take on another form.

Further:

Fear is the natural outcome of limited materialistic beliefs equating the end of physical life with total extinction. Those who experience the True Self as immortal and indestructible are not plagued by fear of mortality. No doubt the courage and solace which sustained Socrates as he calmly accepted his death sentence — not as an escape, but an affirmation of principle — came from the depth of his soul awareness.

book header bird

Also to the point are the following sections from Rethinking Survival. The first is “Higher Love, Unity and Inclusiveness.” The other is “The Mystery of Death and Rebirth.”

Higher Love, Unity and Inclusiveness

The Positive Paradigm Wheel is the image of wholeness and completion: Higher Love. It pictures the inclusiveness which Campbell and Einstein believed essential to planetary survival. All parts are present, each in right relationship to the others. No part of life’s experience is lacking. No part is distorted or out of place.

This is the harmonious unity each one of us, by birthright, has the potential to experience. Poets describe the joining of the center with the surface as the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Given today’s paradigm malfunctions, the bliss of Higher Love seems like a distant dream. Yet we each have memories, however distant, mirrored in our art and sacred symbols. The mandalas and stained glass church windows are just a few of the countless examples. We each have persistent longings for “home” and romance that remind of us of what’s possible.

These longings are captured in the often quoted “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” The 19th century English poet William Wordsworth lamented the socialization process that represses early awareness of divine origin:

Wordsworth

Like Wordsworth,  Einstein had glimpses, notably at the beginning and at the very end of his life. As chronicled by Walter Isaacson:

The great awakening that happen in childhood are usually lost to memory. But for Einstein, an experience occurred when he was 4 or 5 that would alter his life and be etched forever in his mind:

The catalyst of this lasting impression was a compass his father gave him. He remembered trembling and growing cold in excitement, awed by the “mysterious powers” of a magnetic needle that behaved as if influenced by a hidden force field. As he recalled later, “Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.”

inner-compass-sized

At about the same time, his mother introduced to him to music. It awakened awe before the magic and mystery of nature. “Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe itself,” Einstein wrote.

For him, “love [of music] is a better teacher than a sense of duty.”

Phoenix - sized

The Mystery of Death and Rebirth

The yin-yang mysteries of life and death apply to experience on every level, from the individual, to families, nations and even planets.

. . . “The strange thing about growing old,” Einstein wrote, “is that the intimate identification with the here and now is slowly lost. One feels transposed into infinity . . . ”

In the year before his death, commenting on the passing of colleague Michele Besso, Einstein wrote, “He has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. It means nothing.”

Making an observation that could have come directly from the Yoga Sutras, consistent with the Positive Paradigm, he consoled Besso’s family, “For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubborn illusion.”

It is said that in the middle ages, Carmelite nuns retired to their cells each night to sleep inside the wooden casket in which, when they died, they would be buried. Taken out of context, this may seem morbid. But in fact, they had it right. They were aligning themselves with the patterns of nature, the better to ultimately survive them. For each in- and out-breath repeats the cycle of release and renewal. Each night that we sleep, we let go of bodily awareness and return refreshed the next day.

On every scale of magnitude, the pattern is the same. Paradoxically,survivors who have released unfounded fears of death are freed to live to the full, here and how.

Lao Tze’s work, which breathes I Ching wisdom, illumines this paradox. He describes the relationship between the Creator and creation in the first passage of the Tao Te Ching. From Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change:

Unmanifest and manifest are two sides of a coin, seamlessly joined, though apparently opposite.

Entering this paradox is the beginning of magic.

Figure II.8 shows what this vision looks like when the words are properly placed within the Positive Paradigm Wheel. To the uninitiated who live exclusively on the surface of the Wheel, the eternal may seem illusive. However, the inner vision necessary to accomplish goals is found only by daring to let go of the familiar surface to travel true home to the center from which blessings then flow outward.

In the words of the God of Moses, “Return unto me, and I return unto you.”

In Passage 16, Lao Tze goes even further:

16

Here, the sage not only repeats the vision of the hero’s journey. He also describes the methods of the journey — the meditative practice of stilling the mind and emptying the heart, followed by contemplation from the detached observer’s perspective. He also describes the consequences of failing to complete the life pattern and the blessings of succeeding.

The ignorant, through inattention and willfulness, generate misfortune, pain and suffering. Those who attain the source, however, (usually with the guidance of an enlightened teacher) achieve the overview which leads to acceptance, compassion and omniscience. Those who survive intact, merge with the eternal source and begin anew, like the New Adam and Christ in The New Testament.

Preparation makes the difference, deciding who is most likely to survive coming transitions, emerging better than before through the experience. Here is the root of Positive Change:

I Ching # 49. CHANGE. Day and night replace each other in endless cycles of CHANGE. The same natural law generates flux in human events. The unprepared see Change as a threat, but the well-prepared face the unknown calmly. They know that after degeneration reaches critical mass, regeneration follows. Welcome the new. Avoid short-sighted fear.

Angel Calling

I Want To Know What Love IS (& Isn’t)

There was a time when, wherever I’d go, the popular Foreigner tune “I Want To Know What Love Is” was playing in the background. I shopped to it at Woodman’s grocery store. At Gold’s gym, I showered and dressed to the sound of the same music. While I waited in line at the local Subway for my six inch sandwich on honey-oat bread with tuna, provolone cheese and veggies . . . again, the same song.

Now this mountain I must climb
Feels like a world upon my shoulders
And through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder.

If it wasn’t that, then it was the Jennings/Winwood song, “Higher Love.”

Think about it: There must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above.
Without it, life is wasted time.
Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on..

We walk blind, we try to see,
Falling behind in what could be.

I took it as a cosmic hint. Pay attention to this universal need, and the ways we sing about our searchings.

We look everywhere for this illusive, life-sustaining essence (albeit sometimes in the wrong places). Is it above us, hidden in the mountains tops, or still higher, shining from the stars? Does it dwell deep within the human heart?

Or all of the above, like the all-pervading force Yoda honors in Star Wars.

Here’s what I came up with as a result of my personal searchings – a picture of Love’s full-spectrum possibilities:

Want to know

Used as a diagnostic tool, the Life Wheel shows how words shift meanings at each successively inward level. It applies to the full spectrum of value words, from Action to Virtue, including Love.

Positive and negative expressions of love take on different forms at each ascending (or descending) stage of the Life Wheel. We each experience our personal, unique variations on the same basic themes. But the idea isn’t that complicated. It looks like this:

LoveLadder.sized

Scientists limit their search to the outermost tangible, measurable surface of the Life Wheel. Because they look exclusively at physical manifestations, they find different (though complimentary) answers. Take, for example, the Youtube series on “The World’s Most Asked Questions.”

SciShow surveyed Google and Youtube for the most frequently asked questions searched on the web. According to them, the world’s #1 burning question is, “What Is Love?”

The video on the #1 question is hosted by an unidentified, fresh-faced 20-something presenter — gravity-defying hair, sporting a gray hoodie. Reading from a teleprompter, he waves his hands with the confident gestures of an expert. Flashing in the background, bolded scientific terms along with colorful brain-scan images reinforce his message.

“Love,” the unnamed anchor starts out, “is the number one question that keeps poets and philosophers up at night.” But, he claims, it’s no mystery to scientists. “They have good explanations.” Several in fact. The answer changes depending on which kind of scientist you ask.

A biologist would say it’s all about reproduction, evolution and the survival of the species. [Issues associated with the first three centers (“chakras” or “wheels”).]

A psychologist would say it’s all about togetherness and our need for acceptance. [Issues associated with the fourth, heart chakra.]

But, no-name continues, “It’s really about chemistry – brain chemistry to be exact.” Aha! This is where the preamble was leading. “It’s incorrect to associate love with the heart,” he says. “It’s all about the brain. We know this because we can see the brain in action in brain scans.”

What follows is a discourse on brain science. “In fact,” he claims, “the early stages of love look an awful lot like a brain on cocaine.” When a person first “falls” in love, at least a dozen different brain parts light up, releasing powerful chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters that trigger “feelings of excitement, euphoria, bonding and butterflies.”

Research also shows that the unconditional love between a mother and child activates slightly different regions of the brain, he says. (That’s interesting, but no details are supplied.)

The video ends where it started, “Love may seem like a mystery to poets. But to science, love is within the realms of the comprehensible.”

Oh well. If you’ve been following my earlier posts, you’ve seen the hollow-shell diagram of the exclusively materialistic, empirical science worldview. According to the Rules of this Knowledge Game, information received by intuition and con-science at the inward levels of the Life Wheel is excluded as off-limits.

But scientists don’t have all the answers about love. Some perhaps, but not all. Research science (as Einstein knew) is a “necessary but not sufficient” piece of the knowledge puzzle.

From experience, I know there’s much more to higher, unconditional love than meets the measuring eyes. Nor does everything done in the name of love partake of this universal essence. Quite the opposite.

The love we seek and sing about isn’t motivated by chemicals. Hormones aren’t causes, only response mechanisms. Nor can love be contained or explained by analyzing the brain. People come and go. The legacy of love they leave behind endures. The temporary physical receiver can’t be equated with its mysterious, eternal source.

“Re-search” = “Look again.”

The Positive Paradigm Handbook Will CHANGE the Way You See Yourself

globeThe Positive Paradigm of Change gives change agents a practical method for achieving the positive, long-lasting change which all of us want, many promise, but few are able to achieve.

The Positive Paradigm Handbook will change the way you see yourself and relate to the world – forever. It gives you:

  • a functional picture of how your life really works, and by extension, what moves the people around you.

  • the map for achieving fulfillment, personal happiness and higher love.

  • an instrument for organizing your personal life, making realistic decisions and acting more effectively to achieve intended results.

  • premier tools for cultivating self-awareness, making the unconscious conscious, and mapping goals for personal change.

  • a comprehensive standard for assessing your leadership skills, maximizing this potential, and choosing which leaders to follow.

  • a powerful diagnostic tool for identifying the roots of disease-causing stress and correcting lifestyle imbalances.

  •  profound insight into the causes of discrimination, sexual abuse and PTSD, as well as  how to heal from their effects.

  • a realistic standard for recognizing true friends from mortal enemies.

Ultimately, it gives those who follow through the edge on long-term success, tipping the scales of history in favor of human survival, one person at a time. If these claims sound intense, they are. But they’re well founded.

To be continued. Follow next week for the Seven Basic Axioms of the Positive Paradigm.