The Saving Force
As we look at the current state of the world, it can easily feel like civilization is coming to an end. All around us we see suffering, pain and strife. Racial, ethnic and national divisions are globally inflamed, and separateness seems to be the order of the day. Seeing this, it is easy to believe that humanity is on the brink of disaster, and that we are witnessing the prelude to another Dark Age. Yet these problems are not without remedy. The realization of our essential oneness is the antidote, and it is love that makes such realization possible. Love has therefore been called The Saving Force.
Love exists as a pervasive energy underlying human existence, and never waivers. It is the force that reminds us of our fundamental oneness. And, it is this realization that human evolution is tending toward. Yet love is not something that must be developed but only discovered and lived. It preexists. Indeed, we do not cultivate the saving force of love. Instead we cultivate our capacity to recognize and embrace it.
Often people say that God is love, and indeed, there is much truth to this notion. Though God is characterized as possessing many attributes (such as will, beauty and intelligence), love is the most important. It is a vibration woven into the fabric of Creation itself. Love binds all things together in a field of unity. From the human perspective, when two people fall in love, they are both immersed in this unitive energy. Taken more broadly, it is the force that helps humanity to realize its oneness. And, from a cosmic perspective, it is the binding energy that holds the universe into a working singularity. This is why love is said (in esoteric literature) to be governed by the Law of Attraction. Whether we consider it from a human perspective or beyond, love always attracts and unites, and in this is found its saving properties. It saves by uniting, and dissolves the barriers that divide.
As we consider this subject, it must be realized that love is hierarchical. By this is meant that love can be experienced at varying levels. At the lowest level, it manifests as desire. Our cravings, wants and longings relate us to love at a very personal level. A higher category of love is aspiration. Here love is the force that propels us toward something that is meaningful. For example, when we see a scientist aspiring to find a remedy to a terminal illness, we are witnessing love in action. Often with aspiration, there is a personal and impersonal aspect to it. The scientist will likely experience personal satisfaction from the discovery of a medical cure. Yet, s/he is also impersonally driven to contribute to the betterment of humanity through the field of medical research. On a still higher level, love is directed toward the oneness of humanity. In this case, the love of humanity is all that is known, and there is no personal benefit that gives rise to this experience. Indeed, the highest type of love is the most impersonal, and yet the most inclusive.
When a person is relating to higher love, solutions to problems become more apparent. In this regard, love can be considered revelatory. Often problems seem irreconcilable because there is a lack of understanding between the parties involved. Yet, when a person holds a sense of loving unity, the barriers that prevent finding a solution begin to dissolve. Love can lift the veils that tend to prevent us from seeing the way out of a conflict or crisis. This is because it makes it possible to more easily recognize ourselves in those who hold an oppositional view. When such a sense is established, we then can better comprehend the reasoning behind the opposing point of view. In truth, this is an essential step in finding a solution to any problem or crisis. Understanding thus emerges, and in this, solutions can be found. Understanding is therefore the agent of love.
From the esoteric point of view, love and soul are synonymous terms (or nearly so). The human soul can be understood as the sum total of the wisdom one has developed over countless lives, as well as the degree of selfless love inwardly felt. To experience higher love is to experience a dimension of the soul. Often people believe that the soul is something to be realized at the time of death. However, this is a misunderstanding of the gravest kind. The soul is not something remote to us. Instead, it can contribute to the moment to moment perceptions of life. For example, when a person feels a deep sense of compassion for another, at that moment the soul is shaping his/her perception. In this way, the soul participates in the immediacy of our experience, and is not distant from us at all. It is only our inability to recognize it that makes it seem remote.
It may well be asked, how does one distinguish between higher and lower love? As already mentioned, higher love is more impersonal than the form of love usually experienced by people. Higher love does not want for itself. By this is meant that it requires no reciprocation. Typically when we experience love, it is accompanied by the hope of love in return. Therefore, the usual experience of love is rooted in a hidden yearning to be loved. In this regard it is reciprocal. Yet higher love doesn’t behave in this way. There are no strings attached to its expression, for it is sufficient unto itself.
In addition, lofty love is free of the attitudes that arise from the judgmental mind. These types of thoughts tend to divide life into categories of right and wrong, good and evil. Higher love finds no room for expression when the mind is focused on such divisions. These mental tendencies often preoccupy the ego (personality), thus blocking love from its expression. Love is always present though difficult to access when the mind divides and separates what it perceives. In this is found a deeper understanding of the ancient notion that the mind is the “slayer of the real.” Yet, when the mind is properly wed to love, it acts as the “revealer of the real.”
It is important to realize that higher love transcends all personality reactions and judgments. To experience this type of love requires, therefore, that an individual be profoundly removed from his/her personality. Indeed, we must inwardly know ourselves to be the soul, and realize that the personality is merely an outer garment for its expression. When this is at least partially realized (experientially) then a higher type of love will surely be felt. Indeed, it is unavoidable. As a person gradually evolves his/her consciousness toward the soul, higher love (contained by the soul) becomes more and more a part of one’s way of living. To be the soul is to be the love that it carries.
The evolution of human consciousness is profoundly connected to love, and our changing relationship with it. Indeed, the expansions of the mind (spiritually understood) only occur because there is a widening intimacy of the heart developed at the same time. Several methods can help enhance a person’s relationship to love. Most important of these is to work toward perceiving life and events in terms of the larger whole. In other words, try to recognize those things that remind us of our commonality and oneness. By so doing we counter the mind’s separative tendencies. The spirit of criticism and division wanes when one cultivates an inclusive perspective to life and circumstance. In this way, higher love gradually becomes more recognized and felt within one’s life.
We have seen that love is The Saving Force. This sacred energy has the power to lift humanity by revealing the fact that we (as a species) are essentially one. This awareness gradually develops as an individual deepens his/her relationship to love. In this regard, love is hierarchical. At its lowest level, it manifests as personal desire, and at its highest point is experienced as inclusive love dedicated to wisely contributing to humanity’s betterment. Our relationship to love is therefore evolutionary. It evolves from personal to impersonal expressions of the heart, thus shifting an individual from an exclusive to an inclusive relationship to life. Love is not something that must be created for it always exists. We need only to find it deep within ourselves. And, to do so always requires that the personality (ego) yield to the deeper love conveyed by the soul. In truth, higher love is only realized when we surrender to it.
© 2006 William Meader
Biographical Information: William Meader is an author, teacher and counselor. Much of his work is focused on the subjects ofSpiritual Creativity, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Art of Meditation. At present he is teaching in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He resides in Oregon, and can be contacted through his website at meader.org.