Mark --- again you are trying to use philosophy to discribe a spiritual love where as I have been trying to use theology .It's quite a contrast . I don't believe that people have this kind of love you are talking about . I think what you are saying is that there can be love without there being a motive to love . I think we all want to be loved but have to learn how to love .
I don't believe that people have this kind of love you are talking about . I think what you are saying is that there can be love without there being a motive to love . I think we all want to be loved but have to learn how to love .
Actually I don't believe people have this kind of love either, it's not a function of what we call persons. Therefore strictly speaking there is no learning of this kind of love, although I could say there can be learning in connection with the expressions of this love. To me it is closely tied in with the matter of self and awakening, outside of that it would just be a matter of a certain specific behaviors. Being loved and being loving toward others is totally different from being love itself.
Mark:I would suggest that a spiritual love is actually very personal, which doesn't mean it cannot exist in a situation that is not personal from an individual subjective perspective, but we might say it is bigger than that.
This kind of love is all-pervasive, yet so few tap into it. So few "connect" on a day-to-day basis.
It's the kind of deep-seated undertone that fills the soul and overspills into the world around (talking experientially here, as all is One) so that one can truly love thy neighbour and thy enemy...
I hear where you're coming from Ross, the thing is personal is a concept we learn - and so if we want to be nit picky it is simply one of many things that we would say it is not, strictly speaking. It isn't that there's this idea of impersonal force that is better - it's not that either, because we can only say what it is not, since strictly speaking it can't be put into words. Experientially speaking, the personal can be very useful. In zen there is this idea of heart wisdom, so it isn't this cold and sterile position that some might imagine it to be - but it's all a matter of pointing to something that can't be spoken, which I'm sure you understand. To that end if it gets the job done it doesn't so much matter what the pointer is, I would just be concerned that we do not get stuck on the pointers. Some fingers pointing to the moon might be prettier than others, but we're not after the pretty manicures.
That which we learn, is not.
That which remains after we unlearn, is.
When we are born we have no hangups, but quickly absorb those around us, including protective mechanisms to stop our "love"/"energy" being sapped away. This corrupts everything and screens out and warps the light that should come from within.
On being "born again" we strip away that which has been learnt, leaving something pristine. This isn't a process, it's an occurrance.
That's not to say that we don't re-learn some of the same ol hangups, but we are better able to view them objectively - if we but would!
Sometimes, on evaluation, we see things which need stripping away again - THAT is a process.
"So let a man examine himself..."
So by the same token it includes both personal and impersonal as well, but the essential nature is just impossible to put into a word, even the word love. I'm reminded of this story about a student seeing a zen master repeatedly bowing to a copy of the heart sutra with tears flowing down, and there's a dented spot on the paper where he obviously hit with his head many times. The kid asks one of the senior students "Why is the master doing this? Isn't zen beyond the written word and concepts?" The senior student replies "That's a shame, you really don't know anything about zen at all." Although the spoken teachings might sometimes be about what it isn't, the actions often express the reality very clearly. It isn't important what the action or behavior is, it is what's underlying it. To me this story carries the same feel as the song Amazing Grace. People think zen is a tradition where a bunch of stoic looking people sit around and get hit with a stick, but that is a conclusion that is based on outward appearances.
Again, agreed. Hence my reversal of your words, above
There is that which we "see", and something that seems to work from entirely the opposite direction, when we examine the mechanics of it. It's a bi/multi-directional flow (or more appropriately, does it flow at all, or is it just as it IS?).
The thing that causes a wry grin to be wrest from my lips is when I see folks strongly propounding one extreme or the other
Edited to add:
It's strange how "Amazing Grace" seems to touch everyone. I was invited to play it at a Fest, last year.
It certainly seems to hit the spot, for so many occasions.
Ross: Yes, unfortunately the hang up can be religion, the vehicle that got you to that point in the first place. Things by nature go away, depending on the situation it may be more skillful to focus on that than on a specific one and undertaking an activity of stripping. But it is a process of refinement. I'd heard a Sufi teacher mention his teacher used to say everything needs to be loved, and you do that by giving it your attention, and if you're not giving something your attention you should give it away. This would leave nothing neglected. We might say it's a matter of loving things to death.
I started dealing with some of this (though this thread took over) last week:
Religion can sometimes be used as a stepping stone (though isn't obligatory, just as it wasn't in my own case), but after said "rebirth" it can be a distraction (unless it's used for the tool it is, and maybe with appropriate "teachers").
As is seen with the Martial Arts (for a fresh example), the process of refinement is a life-long process. At which point does one claim one is a Marital Artist, though?
There comes a point where one stops pontificating and actually DOES!
It's an experiential thing insomuch as it cannot be effected without engaging in the experience itself.
IMHO that is but one reason the JW's miss it. They talk about it, and study-study-study, but catch only rare glimpses of that which they allegedly seek. "Heaven" has been shut up from them, by their teachers.