[Excerpt from ‘HOME, the return to what you already are’]
In the American version of The Office, two characters Ryan and Kelly have an office romance and after a while it ends. Ryan, reflecting on their relationship post break-up, says of Kelly ‘I’d rather she be alone than with someone else. Is that love…?’
An alien researching the definition of human love according to popular culture might well agree with him.
‘Absolutely Ryan,’ it would say in its alien voice. ‘You are spot on. Love on Planet Earth in the 21st century is entirely about how the other person makes us feel and what they have to do or not do to maintain that.’
It reminds me of a postcard I saw years ago which said,
‘If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it.’
On one level this is humorous. On another level it points to the very worst of our actions when it looks like our salvation will be found through the control of another.
Our soap operas, romances, movies, novels and songs tell us what Love is. Possession. Control. Inter-dependency. Need. Desire. Indifference. Revenge. Completion and Wholeness through another. Almost unanimously, they tell us that Love is all there is. And that, for Love to be realised, we need to be loved.
And that sets up quite a task.
Because it is true, ultimately Love IS all there is. It IS the sense of being home, of being settled, of being right, of being complete, of the foundation from which to live life.
But… other people are not necessarily the most reliable places on which to pin the stability of our entire existence.
They don’t always do what we want them to.
Sometimes they prefer to hang out with other people rather than us.
They have their own needs and wants that can conflict with ours.
They might ghost us. They might leave us. They might die.
The attempt to realise the Love can be so confusing, so veiled, so confronting.
The word Love has been completely taken and claimed by the conditional, by a world of romantic love, familial love, love of our pets or our surroundings. It’s claimed by the objective: it’s a love of something or a love from someone. It looks like it depends on the behaviour of someone to us, how we’re perceived, the regard that we’re held in.
Love is perhaps the ultimate blurred space in a conversation about what we are.
The knowing of our true nature as unconditional Love does not stop the body-mind from delighting in family, friendship, romance and sex. On the contrary, this knowing space is the only place in which those relationships can genuinely flourish.
But to use these relationships to find our true nature and, in the attempt, to end the suffering of separation is where confusion lies.
The self-identity arose in that blurred space between the survival of the physical and the survival of the idea of me. Our relationships and the people around us while the self-identity is forming create a blue print of separation between the self and another. This blue print becomes the lens of lack through which the world is viewed.
Love looks to be the way in which we can return to that remembered space of Wholeness before the idea of separation arose.
The desire to stabilise what we are, to be whole, to be someone or something looks like it is related to Love, somehow.
This is true in the sense that the ultimate stability is the recognition that we are Love. But the conditioning of lack sends us out to try and find our Wholeness from a fractured place and the only outcome is more fracture.
It looks like the way to remedy this lack is to find the thing that will make us whole, to be loved enough and then we’ll be all right.
But this search to be loved enough that we become whole is a wild goose chase because it is the search, the looking out there that veils the fact that we are Love already.
And the terrible irony of all of this is that the more necessary it looks to us that Love has to be found ‘out there’ the harder we try to find it, the more life is a series of rejections and knock backs.
And this is because the appearance of reality is a projection from the inside. These rejections are our own conditioning of lack and incompleteness reflected back over and over again. Each time, saying the same message ‘You are Love already. It cannot be found out here. Realise Love first and then go from there.’
And from there, what happens?
Maybe we could go back to Ryan for the answer and the last words of this chapter.
The interviewer asks a now more grounded Ryan about his relationship with Kelly and he looks to the camera and says simply…
‘I can’t explain it’.