There Is Only Love

Dear Scott, Your words always make me reassess my worldview. But I still don’t seem to find the sweet, delicate presence of compassion that you feel everywhere.

You wrote:

“So we adopt variations on the theme: the universe should care, but clearly it doesn’t, and proceed to use that as a defense against life itself. But it doesn’t work, so maybe we try to whitewash the pain of conventional cynicism with some version of New Age or positive thinking technique or another. But that doesn’t work either, because what we imagine to be “reality” keeps on poking holes in it. So, for many, some kind of resignation or even nihilism sets in.”

Or even suicide, because the pain is so great. The words above describe me with startling accuracy. It’s as if you’ve known me all my life!

Then you wrote:

“If you stubbornly refuse to deceive yourself in even the slightest way, regardless of what anyone else in the world thinks, if you refuse to pretend you know anything about yourself or the universe, about life itself, then one sweet day, you will notice something very tender and delicate at the core of your being. It is where all affection and compassion come from, and if you stop resisting or blocking it with prior opinions or beliefs, negative or positive, it will reveal itself everywhere. It is not restricted to bodies, to any particular time or place, and when you discover it, you will realize that it’s always been there. If you are so bold and so honest and so courageous as to give yourself to it, completely, you will realize it is what you have been all along, and everything will make perfect sense. One sweet day… perhaps even this one, if you’re ready. It’s up to you.”

I am drawn to your teaching and comforted by it. But I must be a long, long way from being able to give myself to the truth of not knowing. How did you do it?

I finally began to realize how defensive, arrogant, and pretentious all of my assumptions were. There was also a kind of a chronic, gnawing, aching to stop deceiving myself.

Don’t we need our stories to survive in our world?

Do we? What kind of story do you need to eat when you are hungry? To rest, when you are tired? To feel compassion, when someone we love is suffering? Are not stories about ourselves and the world, in fact, a distraction and a blockage to spontaneously doing what needs to be done?

How do you accomplish the practical activities of living when you face every situation without preconceptions? Those preconceptions were taught to us by our experiences of life, and they make it possible for us to eat food, fix a flat tire on the freeway, take care of our dying loved ones.

Again, see above. Please understand, I am not saying that you should stop using memory. Your body remembers how to ride a bike without thinking about it. You remember how to use a computer to get on the internet so that we can share in this conversation. Thought is involved, of course, but it does not have to be assumed a reference point. When it becomes the central (or even exclusive identity), then enormous misunderstandings are the result. Frustration, anger, sorrow, and isolation soon follow.

Motive shapes memory. Memory shapes perception. Perception is the process by which we edit and color what we imagine to be our experience, but it in fact is only a grossly inaccurate and incomplete mental/emotional version of it. Again, it is shaped by clinging to what we want (motive). Make sense?

What I am looking for is some practical advice on how to accept the truth as you describe it, because it is beautiful, and if I could see things the way you do, I think I’d never worry again.

And even if you did, out of some old habit, there is no way you could take it that seriously again. (So there is a lot at stake in this investigation. Yes?)

In the final analysis, this is about love. If you don’t try to manipulate or shape it any particular way, you will discover awareness is love. Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end. Love is every step of the way. Love is the source, the motivator, and the goal. If you stop blocking it, if you carefully investigate without the slightest trace of cynicism or defense, you will discover love is what you already are. It is what you have always been. You don’t need to suffer anymore. Just rest in what you already are. And if you dare, disappear completely into what you already are. Then your struggles with life, with the world, with difficulty and change, will be over, and peace, joy, and freedom will be everywhere.

-Your own Self-
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