E ARE FOREVER LOOKING FOR LOVE
in our lives.
We look for a sweetheart
who will turn into a loving spouse. We look for love from our
parents and respect from our children. We look for love from our
government, hoping our leaders will be compassionate with us and
our countrymen. But strangely, we often get into our worst messes
when all we are doing is looking for love. A marriage may split
up due to one of the partners looking elsewhere for love. A teenager
may wreck his car and his body by driving too fast in a quest
for a certain kind of love from his peers. Desperate for love,
people ruin their minds with drugs which give them a temporary
surge of a counterfeit feeling similar to love.
Does anyone ever find love? If so, where is it? Observation suggests
that love, real as it is, cannot be found and isn't anywhere.
When you go looking for it, you are going to find something else.
What you find may keep you occupied for awhile, even addicted,
but it's not love. Love is the most priceless treasure that life
affords us. Religions enshrine it, billboards exploit it, professors
categorize it, and newspapers report on its perversions. But it
is nowhere to be found.
that love, real as it is, cannot be found and isn't anywhere."|
Love is a song that threads its way through our lives from beginning
to end, but did you ever try to find a song? You just know
when you're hearing a song, and you just know when you're experiencing
deep love, but you can't find either one. The song is a
process. It weaves its way through the vocal cords and through
the air molecules, but neither the vibrations, nor the ears that
hear them, nor the voice that produces them, is the song. You
can write notes on paper to suggest a song, but the notes are
not the song. A song is a process that cannot be the same twice.
Even if you hear a recorded song twice in succession, there are
two different songs because you yourself have changed slightly
between hearings. A song is a participatory, unrepeatable process.
And so is love.
Love and songs hide in the cracks of the universe--not only between
the atoms, but between the betweens, in the realm of quality,
not quantity--in the unmanifest (which is nowhere). Love and songs
must and do express themselves using time and space, but they
can be neither found nor captured in time and space.
If no one were looking for love, our world would be in sad shape, some
might say. But our world already is in sad shape precisely because
so many people are on this quest which seems so laudable and reasonable
until you examine the results of it. The problem with looking
for love is that it is the me that wants it. The me wants love
in the form of pleasure, money, status, fame, and any number of
other forms. And if the me wants these things badly enough, the
me will get them. Unfortunately, all the me gets is the forms
and not the love. The me grabs for the beautiful flame and gets
only hot ashes. Love eludes the me always, because the me is somewhere,
and love is nowhere--they can never meet.
"Love eludes the me always, because the me is somewhere,
and love is nowhere--they can never meet."|
Is there no way, then, to find love? Is there no solution to this
dilemma? Probably not. However, it is a simple fact that anyone
can love. It is one of our inalienable rights as humans to love
and to give. Perhaps life could not even exist without this process.
There is an electricity generated in the action of love that is
as real as that which powers a train or lights a reading lamp.
As with electricity, no one really knows what love is nor where
it comes from, but we do know we can channel both electricity
and love through conduits. Properly channeled electricity can
transform our environment, and properly channeled love can transform
the quality of our lives.
It seems that love is most vibrant in us when we forget ourselves.
Self-forgetfulness is recommended by most religions as a way to
peace and enlightenment. Knowing this, spiritual aspirants try
to forget themselves, hoping peace and enlightenment will come.
Catch number one here is that they cannot forget that they are
forgetting themselves, so they are still caught in the me. There
is no catch number two.
When we grow weary of looking for love and finding only its ashes
and its forms, we may suddenly give up the search. When we have
been bitten by our greed and have had our very health impaired
by our search for love, we stop our hurried quest one day and
look within--not within the me, but within the cracks of the universe.
We may not see anything, but we feel something--we hear a song.
We feel a change in ourselves, a new perspective from nowhere.
We haven't asked for it. We just stop searching and there it is.
That is love, sneaking into our lives from the cracks between
the betweens. We were never away from love, but we could never
find it. We wore ourselves out like the man who ran around the
streets of the village searching for some air to breathe. He wasted
much air to do his searching, but he never found air.
Listen to the silence if you would hear the song of love. Love
may catch you between bites of an apple or while you are cleaning
the toilet. You live within love always, but you can never find it,
capture it, preserve it, or explain it--you might as well try
to build a rose with a hammer and nails. Just wait, and listen,
and watch, and work--and one day when the time is right, a rose
appears on the bush. This rose is rooted in the cracks of the
universe, and so is love, and so are you.
"Listen to the silence if you would hear the song of love."|