What is Love? Previously in the pages of this blog, it might be noted, we have largely explored what Love is NOT; Love is NOT a feeling, Love is not an emotion! Okay, so in some sense of the word, Love might well be defined in both these manners, but primarily, Love is an action, right? Yes, Love is an action, but really, if not based upon the former or latter, is it actually based on anything but duty, which IS a feeling?! If it's based on a feeling of duty; is it truly Love? On the other hand, if it IS based on feelings & emotions ( which, as we've noted, can change like the weather ), can THAT really be called True Love? Does Love change like the weather; can we fall out of Love? If we base our Love on feelings & emotions, we could sure experience falling out of love, but Love is NOT something we can fall into OR out of; Love is what we are!
Most of my readers are probably more or less familiar with the discovery of gravity, most famously, by Issac Newton. As the story goes, Newton was sitting under an apple tree, ruminating on the forces of Nature, when 'lo and behold', an apple fell from the tree onto his head. ( that's how I remember it, anyway ) Maybe he wondered what made the apple fall the way it did, maybe he wondered what made the apple fall down rather than up, why it landed on his head instead of somewhere next to him ( of course, if it DID hit him on the head, it probably didn't stay there, but rolled off & came to rest next to him ). Whatever the case may be, whether or not the story is true, our understanding of Gravity is largely based on perspective! If an apple falls down to the ground on OUR side of the world, is it actually falling UP in relation to say, Australia, AKA 'The Land Down Under' ( or would that be China? Wait, wouldn't that actually be sideways? )?!
Einstein, many years later, with his theory of General Relativity, figured that gravity, rather than being a Force of Nature, was instead a curvature of space-time! According to this very interesting ( mind-blowing ) article, 'it occurred to Einstein that the sensation of riding in an ascending elevator is similar to the sensation of gravity.' Shortly after, He came to understand that Gravity & acceleration were not just similar; they were the same!
Even today, we talk about objects ( people or things ) that gravitate toward each other. We 'understand' that some things just naturally 'attract others. Well, while this may be true enough; we should understand as well, that this, as so much else, is based on perception! We know that, in the case of human beings anyway ( ? ), choice is the deciding factor. We must choose to act on any attraction we may feel. There are many factors involved in that choice; we need not go into that here! The point, as this blogger sees it, is that Gravity, rather than being an impersonable Force, like Destiny, for instance, is instead a choice, an acceleration ( movement ) in any given direction. In other words, we may be attracted to another, for whatever reason & to whatever extent, but unless we choose to move ( accelerate ) toward the object we are attracted to, we will never realize the True Gravity of the situation!
Gravity, then, like Love, is often perceived as a fickle mistress! Why does one person 'fall in love' with this person instead of that one? Why did the egg roll down that side of the roof instead of this side? Some may chalk it up to Destiny, as, 'they were destined to be together', but with so many variables involved, both in the case of the person & the egg, is it really that simple? One can profess to believe in 'The Law of Attraction'( ? ), but again, unless one acts positively on that ( feeling of ) attraction, can anything come of it?
Much of the problem here, if problem there be, is a general misunderstanding of what, or Who, Love is! As Christians, we understand that 'God is Love' ( I John 4:8 ); other religions seem to tell us that WE are Love. Being of the same Essence ( speaking as a Christian ), I fully agree! We are Love; therefore, though we tend to show that Love ( actively ) through the filter of our feelings & emotions, it is not those feelings & emotions that ARE Love! Because WE are Love, even though our feelings & emotions try to dictate to whom ( or what ) we show Love, we can override them & just BE who we are!
'Easier said than done', you might say. Well, yes, that's true; according to Genesis 4, Cain found it impossible to overcome his feelings & not murder his brother, but was it truly impossible? Was he destined to kill Abel, or did he make a conscious ( or even unconscious ) decision to allow his jealousy to rule over him to the point of murder? Do we not shape our own destinies by our choices? One might well argue, 'if I'd had a choice, I wouldn't have stubbed my toe & so, fallen & broken my leg'! In response, you might note that, while the other most certainly did not aim to stub their toe or break their leg, neither was the proper care exercised to ensure they did NOT stub their toe & break their leg! In the same vein, then, while Cain might not have set out purposely to hate & murder his brother, he did, not because he was destined for hell, but because he chose to let his emotions rule his actions!
Since we are, in our very Being, Love; why do we find it so difficult or even impossible to overcome our feelings & emotions? Why can't we just 'let it be' & say 'it is what it is'? Well, for most, if not all of us, our Ego has taken control! Many, indeed, have confused their Ego for who they really are! Just like the fact that we HAVE a body, but are not identified BY that body, we HAVE an Ego, but should not be identified by that Ego. One might wonder; 'in this world, this day & age, where everyone else is living by & identifying with the Ego; how CAN we just simply BE Love?' 'Well, my friend; the answer, simple as it may sound, IS ( metaphorically ) blowin' in the wind!' All we have to do is be still & know.....................
Charles Haddon Shank