The Meaning of Love

by Robert Wolfe on April 10th, 2014

Question: I viewed the 46 minute interview on YouTube, and found your words and presence deeply resonant with my understandings. I did come away with one question or topic that I did not hear you speak on: the presence of Love Abiding. Is there a place in your writings that I can read your thoughts on love as permeating Nondual Presence? Or do you speak of Nonduality without any framing of that presence in terms of love? - Rev. Roy R.

Robert:

Because it is so much at the very root of spirituality, an entire book could be written on how love is perceived by an enlightened being. As a pastor, you are asking how love is expressed in the context of nonduality.
By the way you framed the question, I think we can agree that we are not considering love in its common conception as mere affection and attachment toward another person or object; benevolent concern for other animate beings; romantic or sexual attraction; or worship and devotion toward an idol or supernatural image. All of these are relationships which reflect a dualistic perception. As Ramana Maharshi has said of this, "When you talk of 'love' there is duality, is there not: the person who loves and the entity…which is loved."

In the transcendence of the dualistic perception is the profound love which the nondual sages refer to. The Sanskrit term ananda is often translated into English as "bliss," but the bliss is the consequence of experiencing unconditional love: the word unconditional is defined as "absolute." This is love for all that exists: that means the "good," the "bad," and whatever is in between. It means a love that inclusively makes no distinction between what is manifested from moment to moment, and the omnipresent Totality which manifests it.

Ramana uses various words to indicate the ever-present actuality, such as God or Self, that ti which all things owe their be-ing. So he says, " Expansion of love and affection would be a [proper] term for a true devotee of God," or the sublime Presence. But he emphasizes that thjis infinite Presence "is not 'somewhere else', but is inside [as well as outside] of each of us; so, in loving all, one loves only the Self…The individual is not separate from God."

He is telling us that this love and affection expands to embrace the good, the bad and the indifferent—in ourselves, equally as in others. This is the "unconditional" aspect, which, relates to our being nonjudgmental and non-interfering, and thus eliminates conflict, inward and outward.

This "love" is not an alternative to "hate"; it's the transcendence of divisive polarities: such as that some people, or developments, are "good" or "bad"; or that they should be this way, and should not be that way. This is what Ramana means by "the absence of love or hatred." 

The infinite Being is above hatred, and above love as well, in the discriminatory sense. But that within each of us which has the capacity for the expression of unconditional love, or compassion, is a manifestation of the Presence which loves itself through the medium of being all things which can be the subject of love. 

Thus Ramana says: "Love is not different from the Self…[in this sense] God is love…Love itself is the actual form of God…Call it pure bliss, God, or what you will."

"It is only through jnana [Self-realization] that the bliss that derives from true love will arise…Die yourself [into the eternal Self] and lose yourself, becoming one with love…To be the [nondual] Self that you really are, is the only means to realize the bliss that is ever yours."

So, in summary: God is love (as well as all else), and this God manifests as all that is.


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5 Comments

Peter - April 12th, 2014 at 8:35 AM
Wonderful So clear and simple. I literally felt waves of bliss engulfing me to accept the serentity of surrender. Yes. Thank you Robert
Ramona leBlanc - June 16th, 2014 at 2:16 PM
I am so grateful for this question and your beautiful wise loving reply.
Colin - June 21st, 2014 at 1:27 AM
Thank you Robert,
And Rev. Roy for the question.
I live in Tasmania, an Island state, south of the big Island called Aust.
I have been waiting along time to take the next step in my journey,
Thanks again Robert
ken - November 9th, 2014 at 7:13 AM
There is neither love nor hate, no purpose. cause or effect, neither aversion or desire; only nothing HappenING as everything the way it seemingly appears to be. What could nothing know of these matters? The very longing to define "that" is still the lingering of comfort and security which lie deep in the human psyche.
robert caldwell - November 10th, 2014 at 6:17 PM
thank you for explaining this. intuitively I knew that this is the way it is, but I could not understand it. robert

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