Way of Knowing: Lesson Three - Question One
How do I not keep one love for myself and yet continue loving myself?
Indeed, beloved friend, it is a question well asked about a very subtle, but important, point as one comes to live a fully Christed Life. When I said not to keep one love for yourself, I was indicating that the egoic mind looks upon forms of any kind, whether it be person, place, or thing, and projects its love onto it, and then misperceives it as a source of Love.
There is nothing outside of you that serves as a source for Love. One of the great tricks of the mind, in the human experience, is that when the mind experiences Love, it forgets that it is experiencing It because it is making a decision to do so. It believes, then, that something outside of itself has had the power to change its own state. But this is not so. Therefore, those “loves” become attachments. They are idols. And that would be another word to use for the love that you should not keep for yourself.
Make not an idol of that through which you’ve experienced Love. Make not an idol of the great physical lover who gives you ten thousand orgasms in a single night – hmm? Do not keep that love for yourself. Do not seek to possess that one for your own selfish reasons. Do not seek to possess the money that comes to you and to hoard it up in barns to save against a rainy day. For that will only insure that you will experience a rainy day.
Keep not one love for yourself. How, then, can you experience self-love if you’re not keeping one love for yourself? Beloved friend, the answer is just the opposite. How can you experience self-love when you are caught up in trying to possess the loves that you would see as outside of yourself? Self-love requires surrendering attachment to the illusions that you have formed about those things – persons, places, or things – that you think are sources of Love. Think about it. It’s a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn.
You do not love yourself, you see, by bringing more of the things into your life that you say you love. That is a great mistake. If you say,
Oh, I absolutely love shoes.
You will then see that “shoeness” is a source that has a magical power that can trigger a change of heart and mind in you. And you will then take the dollars that flow to you, and every time your energy drops, you’ll think,
And you’ll run out and you’ll buy yet another pair to get a temporary fix.
You will think you have loved yourself by giving the things to yourself that you think you love. That is not truly self-love, although it is a great beginning point when working with someone who is totally insane; that is, totally caught up in egoic consciousness – so much so that they won’t even allow themselves to enjoy their egoic state of consciousness. It is very wise, then, to say to one,
Oh, you like ice cream? Very well, give yourself total permission to have all the ice cream you want.
It’s not the ice cream that matters. It’s the act of recognizing and re-cultivating the ability to feel and receive enjoyment – that’s all.
But as that begins to mature, you begin to see through the transparency of the things of the world. You come to see that you can give yourself enjoyment by taking a deep breath, stretching the arms out with the palms up, and receiving Love. Nothing has to change around you. You don’t have to eat anything. You don’t have to sex the body. You don’t have to accomplish anything great in the world. You need only receive the presence of Love.
Self-love, then, actually comes to grow the more you release attachment to the idols of love that you have created in the world. A woman who “loves” her garden in the back yard because it gives her so much enjoyment – not quite true. She decides to bring enjoyment to the act of gardening, while the neighbor next door can merely have a garden to try to keep up with the Jones’s, but hates every moment of it.
It is not the garden that creates joy. It is the decision to bring joy to the activity of gardening. And then, you see, the lady can never leave her house, can never move away, because,
Oh, my god! I can’t give up my garden. It’s the source of my greatest joy!
And that woman stays in the same house until the day she dies, pushing away her dreams of seeing Europe. Pushing away her dreams of swimming with a dolphin. Why? Because the garden has become the thing with the power to give her joy.
Hold not one love for your self.
Let it go. Let it become transparent. Do not be attached to it. Learn to recognize that in any given moment, when you are experiencing Love, it’s because you’ve decided to. You are the one who has brought enjoyment to the context of the moment. The thing, in itself, is neutral. Power is not outside of you.
How, then, can you let go of the loves of the world that you have created and still love yourself? By holding what I’ve just shared with you, by sitting with it, by putting it into practice, by recognizing, more and more deeply, that when you are doing what you love, it’s because you have first decided to open your heart in Love, and then take action. If you love to sing, it is the Love that is present first. And then you sing. The singing doesn’t cause love for yourself.
Therefore, indeed, beloved friend, contemplate well what I have shared with you. For the great paradox of the mystical Christed Mind is to see that there’s nothing to hold onto in the world because there is no world. There is only the Reality of Love extending Itself through the temporary context of form. If you find yourself loving to make music, know that it is from Love that you are choosing to be a music maker, temporarily.
That should be sufficient for now.