THE BIRTH OF THE LION -PART II- LOVE WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP
Abridged Version (14 % of the integral text)
What is the essence of love, and how is sexuality related to that?
This question can only be answered in relation to the one who asks the question. To answer the question in a general sense, I have to split the answer into two.
Sexuality is a double-edged sword that can be a celebration as well as be misused by searching for love in sexuality and confusing sexuality with love. It also is a double-edged sword because it reinforces the mind’s tendency to identify with the body.
First of all, it is difficult for the mind to meditate when involved in sexuality because sexuality has the same effect as a drug. Sexuality is a drug. When you take a drug, the mind will have the tendency to direct the attention toward the “dust” that gets kicked up by the drug instead of meditating and being with the essential. If you take LSD, the dust consists of hallucinations, and if you use sexuality as a drug, the dust consists of all the side effects created in the body by the distribution of hormones. So much dust is kicked up by sexuality that the stimuli overwhelm the mind, and it loses the awareness of being beyond any boundaries of the body.
Satsang has nothing to do with any teaching on sexuality. To be in Satsang means to be beyond any teaching. Inasmuch, there is nothing to teach about sexuality that can be universally applied beyond the known facts of physical functioning. When a teacher makes a statement about sexuality as it relates to a certain questioner, there is the danger of drawing general conclusions about it. The validity of the statement relates to a certain moment and the particular person asking the question. It doesn’t have any other value. One cannot make a concept out of it that sexuality is good or sexuality is bad. There are people who have tried to follow the ascetic path and who have failed. Others have tried to reach ultimate transcendence through physical union and this also did not work. As far as I can see, any path via sexuality has ultimately failed.
The mind following a spiritual path moves from materialism into spirituality. To leave behind materialism means to direct the attention away from matter and thus at the same time also away from the body. The body is not only an expression of matter, the body is matter. Yet the development from materialism to spirituality is in itself not true development. The misunderstandings and concepts, the beliefs and ideas of the mind, are just transposed to another level, the spiritual level. That, then, is called the spiritual path.
I see that for many seekers, who have turned away from material levels, there arises the problem of denying sexuality because it has been subjected to a noble pseudo-spiritual reformation. I see the great damage done by thousands of years of Christian conditioning through which sexuality has been condemned and put in opposition to holiness. This includes seekers from the West, who, it is true, don’t call themselves Christian but who deeply and subconsciously cling to these collective beliefs and deny sexuality out of spiritual concepts. The United States is a good example of it. The founders of the United States were Puritans whose religious misunderstandings about asceticism and abstinence still poison the collective consciousness of the thinking mind that identifies itself as “American.” It is also perceptible how much tension the minds of American seekers hold in this area. Even with most American spiritual teachers you can feel a slight bias when they are on the subject of sexuality. All of that has to be severed.
I don’t say anything about how sexuality needs to be lived. I don’t say that it has to be practiced or that it must not be practiced. I just see that the superficial concept among many spiritual seekers seems to be that sexuality must not be lived, with the exception of certain New Age subcultures who practice Tantra, etc. Materialistic seekers, on the other hand, whose minds still cling to matter very strongly, seem to pursue sexuality as a means of defense against the recognition of their deep unhappiness.
What is the problem with sexuality? The problem is not in the body; the problem is in the mind. Exactly like all manifestations that come out of the Self, sexuality is an expression of celebration, an expression of the Self. To see any shade of negativity or positivity in what I say would already be a distortion because as I said before, there is ultimately as little to teach about sexuality as about any other subject. …
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What is love, really?
In Advaita, the teaching of non-duality, little is said about love. The reason is that anything connected with the notion of love has nothing to do with love or has to do as much or as little with love as everything else. What the mind takes for love is hormone release. No concept of love could be understood by the mind. As long as there is the slightest idea of what Love is, there is also an idea of what Love is not, or, more truthfully, what Love is not allowed to be. Love is that there is peace, and Love is that wars are waged.
I could tell you a lot about what love is not. It does not mean being just a certain way. Love cannot be touched by any idea. There is no one more or less loving than anyone else. Love has nothing to do with anything belonging to the personality. There is nothing individual about love. It has nothing to do with relationship. Everything that arises, arises out of love.
Does this mean that if a man and a woman are in love with each other, it is not really love?
The difference between I love and I love you is essential. The ego only understands love in relationship with an object. In the connection between man and woman, the flame of love is kindled. But this fire, which in truth is the fire of love for the divine Beloved, unfortunately and all too often is not recognized. Then love becomes a possession of the ego.
The ego wants to have love and therefore it needs an object. Thus, the partner becomes the beloved object that then has to be possessed. The ego then calls it, I love you. Remove the you from the I love and love is set free. Then you see that you can also lose the you, but you cannot lose Love itSelf.
You cannot love another. If you believe you have to love another person, then you also have to make a strenuous effort. Then you are once again busy “pushing the car downhill.”
In Stillness, you are. Out of this Stillness, love appears on its own. This does not necessarily mean, as the mind would interpret it, that you will be loved for it, because being in the truth of love naturally confronts all notions of love. This, the mind doesn’t always appreciate. Love is. Love works.