Warm, loving greetings, dear friends! Even as I type this greeting, the ever-present question arises: What is love? Can we really define it? Is it necessary, or even desirable, that we do so? It isn't really possible, is it? Love is something we can feel or aspire to be, but it doesn't lend itself easily to the kind of definitions our reason-driven culture seems to demand. While it isn't possible to define love, I am drawn to Carl Jung's juxtaposition of love and power: "Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other." Perhaps it would be fruitful to take this idea into our Silence and listen for a deeper understanding that might be revealed.
I had found a kind of serenity, a new maturity . . . I didn't feel better or stronger than anyone else but it seemed no longer important whether everyone loved me or not—more important now was for me to love them. Feeling that way turns your whole life around; living becomes the act of giving.
~ Beverly Sills, American Opera Singer, thanks to Liz Stewart
There is the same difference in a person before and after he or she is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and it was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too and that is its real function.
Real love is always difficult, as the German poet Rilke said, because "it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become a world, to become a world in himself for the sake of another, it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances." Eventually, love forces us to turn within. In the Symposium, his meditation on love, Plato called love a child of fullness and emptiness, suggesting that there is a kind of desolation built into every love. There comes a moment in the progress of most loves when lovers feel isolated and unfulfilled, because they have discovered that they cannot find real and enduring meaning by reaching outside themselves, clinging to their lover. . . They may see that it is only by daring to open to the silence at the center of themselves that they can begin to feel the presence of the One whom they have been searching for all along.
~ from TRANSFORMATIONS: AWAKENING TO THE SACRED IN OURSELVES by Tracy Cochran and Jeff Zaleski
Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility . . . though weary, it is not tired . . . though alarmed, it is not confounded . . .
Blessed are those whose hands and heart have maintained justice, who have lived in accordance with the laws of Love; those faithful to Love Consciousness will hear the good counsel, the guidance of Wisdom in their hearts. The fruits of integrity, justice, sharing, and compassion bear only blessing.