“Love is all you need,” or so sang The Beatles. Is that true?
Love is more than an emotion. Love is a force, Love is the force (including but more than The Force of Star Wars fame). While the term “unconditional love” has merit when referring to love unrestricted by concepts and beliefs, it misrepresents the nature of Love, which could be described as “infinitely appropriate.”
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Love is all you need when Love is expressed in context. This is not what happens with imposition and unreciprocated desire. Love is, by nature, automatically reciprocal, that is, it flows both ways. Love flow all ways and always and it flows through the heart.
Poetic extraordinaire John O-Donohue wrote: “Though the human is born complete in one moment, the birth of the human heart is an ongoing process. It is being birthed in every experience of your life. Everything that happens to you has the potential to deepen you. It brings to birth within you new territories of the heart.” 1
As adults, we continue to grow and here is one of our richest maturing journeys, the path of the heart as it expands in Love. We find a clue about that journey in the classic text, A General Theory of Love: “We cannot hope to unravel the heart’s enigmas without knowing something about what love is made of, and how it operates. Biology has played almost no role in the most popular and influential views of love to date because as… Heisenberg proved, the questions we ask change the world we see”. 2
Werner Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who became something of a household name, courtesy of his experiments proving (in layman’s terms) that what is perceived is influenced by the one perceiving it. Applying this principle to Love, then, it follows that our experience of Love is shaped by the way we look. When we look through “the eyes of Love,” the world appears very different indeed.
The transmission from the eyes of Love bestow lovability on everything and everyone. This was Mother Theresa’s secret that allowed her to behold beauty in the most wretched. It’s also the key at the heart of that bold statement: Love is all you need. Yes, if we are looking through the eyes of Love, truly able to perceive without limitation, then yes, that is all we need because all else will follow from that. A world of Love is lit up by the power transmitted through the eyes of Love.
This cannot happen without conscious commitment. As it is, our human world is overwhelmed by misaligned passions, Love anchored to age-old beliefs about race and religion and politics, passions fanned to ignition by a media that panders to viewers isolated from Love, which renders them vulnerable to sale priced salvation, the “flavor of the week” in life fulfillment. This is a dangerous choice; fortunately it is not the only one.
Our species is being given the chance to choose how we will learn…. This is a time for us as a species and as individuals to choose again. It is an opportunity for us as a species and as individuals to choose differently, to choose otherwise, to choose this time to learn love through wisdom, to take the vertical path of clarity, of conscious growth in conscious life. 3
So wrote Gary Zukav in his timeless work, Seat of the Soul. He repeats the word “conscious” twice in the same phrase… for good reason. Being conscious requires waking up! Certainly there are reasons enough to rise from our slumbers, here in the 21st Century where we’ve boxed ourselves into a corner with our ignorant, insensitive, and embarrassingly disrespectful attitude towards the natural world which is, after all, our home. But Love pervades that world and must pervade us as well if we are to survive as a species and thrive into the future.
If we do, we will create a future of Love experienced by humans in new ways, not just with another or oneself but with the totality of all Love encompasses. Emily Dickinson painted her own compelling celebration of this delightful possibility:
Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Futile the winds
To a heart in port,
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.
Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!
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1. Anam Cara – John O’Donohue, page 6
2. A General Theory of Love – Thomas Lewis, Fari Amidi, Richard Lannon, Page 18
3. The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav, Page 204