Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What is Love?

It is easy to get lost in the fine details of the applicability of this perspective to daily incidents and sundry and, hence, I request the reader to award me not more than 3 hours of his/her valuable time - not a mere 3 hour span but one in which there is no intrusion from pre-conceived opinions, no rapid pushing against yardsticks placed against the wall of experience, no immediate urge to agree or disagree, but an empty 3 hour span where you allow the words, the thoughts, the soul of this post to seep in and occupy whichever alcove of your mind it finds pleasurable and fragrance the rest of you before you awaken to reflect on this and present your arguments and/or assent. Please.



Love is, in its truest sense, a life-affirming transformation of an individual. This transformation can happen to the prod of a God, the nudge of a fellow human being, the tempo of music, the iridescence of Nature's beauty or that on a more limited canvas or the tango on the palate; whatever be the vernacular, the effect is the same. It is like the flow of warm sunshine through the invisible labyrinths of an iceberg; an effect which cannot be undone. Love is not a belief. It is not a need to be fulfilled. It is an inevitability.



I shall proceed now to explain the characteristics of the Love I speak of but, before I do so, let me also lay to rest the confusion that people often have about Love and physical intimacy. They are not related (else the world's oldest profession wouldn't have even existed) and one can exist in the absence of the other. Whether it is best to have them together is pointless because the nature of Love is such that it is self-sufficient. Like any cake that might look/taste better with more icing, one might find Love and physical intimacy combined to better one without, but icing alone never filled a man's stomach. Hence, the cake has to be right before worrying about the icing.



Love is a cessation of thought and machination. It is a transformed individual's mark and it reveals in various ways. The transformation being individual doesn't depend on the other entity's corresponding reciprocation. Hence, the Love for Nature is often the commonest theme which has welled in many a Lover's heart giving rise to wonderful poetry, art, gardens and the like. Again, it can be wonderful if Providence smiles and events are opportune to bring two individuals together and bring about a transformation simultaneously in the other's being, but that is not necessary for Love. If one listens to the words of Bhadrachala Ramadasa one is also made aware of Love that didn't find reciprocation in the expected manner.

Hence, the cessation of thought is vital. It is an unstoppable evocation of all of oneself towards the Loved. In such a state, thought and design have no role to play as they are inherently levees. This doesn't mean that one becomes blind or one becomes a criminal fanatic once in Love. What it means is that the transformation leads to a state of being where the individual is earnest and genuine in every action that s/he performs. It is a well known story as to how Hanuman in his Love for Lord Rama (then, they were two living entities) smeared his entire body with sindhoor. His actions were not borne by a need to prove to anyone but merely out of the joy that he was told that Lord Rama derived from seeing a little bit of sindhoor. It does not mean that everyone in order to convince themselves of their love being Love, drop all their chores and mollycoddle their object of love. If one has to go to the office, one has to, which doesn't lessen the Love (as I said, it isn't a feeling or belief or hope, it is a transformation).

Love doesn't recognise or permit shame or fear. In the sheer might of its purity, Love faces nothing which can raise a finger against it. There can be nothing wrong in the wake of Love nor anything inappropriate. Love, in its transformation, also rights all the incongruent facets of the individual self thereby leading the individual to instinctively act in an apposite manner. Where there was once fear, insecurity and doubt, Love brings in peace and clarity. Love doesn't use promises and commitments as its crutches to cross the land of Life. Love is not crippled and hence, needs no human constructions to aid in its survival. Love is deathless, diseaseless and hence has nothing to fear.

Love is the only constructive transformation. In none of its manifestations is Love hazardous to the individual. It might place him/her as inept to co-exist with other people in a society but it is never detrimental to his/her vitality and soul. In Love, there is an unbeckoned nurturing and accommodation that is not a sacrifice or a compromise. There is no place for destructive emotions like hatred, jealousy or ill-will. The mundaneness of life will definitely give occasion to squabbles over chores and opinions, but Lovers always utilise these to continue the process of transformation. In Love's field flowers blossom of their own volition, withering to make way for more, in cycles of unknown and most beautiful patterns. Love cannot drain one's spirit. It invigorates entirely, from every single corner wherever the individual may be. Hence, such a Love doesn't employ destroying other entities as a means to survival. Love doesn't mandate rebellion or disrespect. It doesn't demand of the Lover to shun the rest of the world. It doesn't grant imprimatur to the individual for being self-centered. Again the Love between Lord Rama and Sita is an example which bore the test of time under societal pressures but never waned. In being constructive it is also inclusive.

Love is a source of creative energy. It is not the only source, mind you, but in Love there is an exaltation of one's sensitivities and receptiveness. It is common fare that those in love are more eager an audience to ballads and ghazals as well as early morning walks or Spring-time escapades into the meadows. Beauty seems to suffuse everything that surrounds such a lover who has but been moved into loving someone/~thing. What then is there to say of someone who has transformed entirely in the blaze of Love? The world of Love is filled with rivers of poems, boughs of soft rich fabric, beds of fine gems, landscapes of the most colourful paintings breathing in the air that is truly the most pure, most fragrant. This heightening of ones senses is another inevitable result of the transformation. Love is delightful and joyous.

But Love is not of the mind. It is not a decision. One cannot wish it into existence. Love doesn't call upon the sensory faculties for its struts. One cannot plot Love into being or hope to build it in place. No amount of hanging out at the right places or chalking down the must-haves and nice-to-haves will help. Since it doesn't hinge upon the sensory faculties, it doesn't require the person to be right next to them or constantly talk to them or pamper them. It doesn't live off demonstration although demonstration is inevitable. It cannot be brought to court-martial and evidence is not something that can establish Love. Love is something that can only be realised and hence it requires a quiet mind and a receptive soul to recognise its occupancy in the being. A million clever questions cannot prove Love's breath.

In Love there is no narrowness of the human mind. The pettiness that is rife in our every day world vanishes in Love. In Love, I do not want to compare my capabilities with that of my Lover. I do not wish to contest. I don't find a need to. I simply create or rejoice or sing or dance with the least worry about whether I am Loving more than my Lover. I do not make demands of my Lover for everything I get from my Lover seems so surprisingly beautiful that I am not sure what more to ask for. Love is not a barter and the Lovers are too caught up in being in Love to be able to keep tabs. Love feels no need to show off or gain sanction. Love is inherently decent and respects human beings for what they are.

Given that Love doesn't allow fear, insecurity and other destructive elements, it is also devoid of pain. There is no pain of separation, of betrayal, of loss or of miseries borne together as Love is a transformation. It changes the very fabric of the individual being into one that sees not another option. It is not a rational, clinical process of re-fabrication but an irreversible transformation. In such a transformation, a Lover cannot feel pain as the process is complete (though minor enhancements are not inconceivable) and hence, there is nothing to revoke that which has come into existence. The transformation is permanent and so is castigation of pain in this context. The mortal cessation of the Loved doesn't undo the transformation. Although there might be an ephemeral sorrow for things left undone, there is no pain.

The notion of the Loved entity turning out to be spurious doesn't make sense here as Love is not a belief or a hope. If that spurious entity had the Power to bring about a transformation, then so be it. What is spurious as a disconnected and objective audience, is not the same as a Lover. It doesn't mean that the Lover denies the truth or wishes to live in an illusion. The Lover is very cognizant of the true nature of the Loved (and probably knew what you now recognise to be spurious much earlier) but is also transformed. Love is not a helpless state of entrapment. Often it surprises many a man as to how something which was once a shapeless granite rock, after some chiseling has become a wish-granting deity. That this same rock which could have become a mile marker evokes so much devotion and at times Love is amazing.

Finally, Love in its very transforming power often creates channels for the individual to spiritually evolve. These conduits are the very ones which lead a Lover to realise the Love s/he automatically feels for the entire world (not for their actions, so the silly question of "Should I love a rapist?", is nonsensical. Love, as said, is not a choice or decision. A Lover would love to be with the rapist and help him/her break the destructive barriers of his/her self and be free but when the rapist is sent to the electric chair, the Lover is still his/her own transformed self). The Lover doesn't seek out people like a missionary nor establish Love homes. S/He is simply unable to stop Loving a person they come in contact with. They still go about their usual life (though even their work seems to be filled with Love) but their every single action and thought is now supremely transformed into a spiritual oneness that is akin to being one with the Divine. Not in every Lover is this observed and I am still meditating on whether this is the essential and final sign for the completion of the transformation of Love.

Love is not entirely of the spirit as some are quick to conclude. Since Life itself is not entirely of the spirit, Love cannot be so. The beauty that physical intimacy adds to Love is irreplaceable and cannot be shunned in spiritual snobbery. The role that proximity plays must be relished to be realised. Sharing moments together, dinners, the bed, the newspaper, bicycles, seats on the bus, going to a movie, shopping sprees, beaches and a lot more add to the flavour of Love. But it would be silly to mandate that these are required for Love to happen. To simply brush aside the spiritual foundation of Love is as ridiculous as mocking the sensory minarets of Love's monument. But the spiritual foundation is indispensable and the sensory constructs are to be forgone only when unrealisable. In its ideal state, Love is the perfect blend of spirit and matter.





Love is what completes that which God left incomplete.





Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
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5 comments:

  1. Parvati6:27 PM

    :-)
    Yes, of course.

    # Does this transformative love transform value systems that I have cherished since forever regarding life, work, society, friends to become as noble, spiritual, divine as the love itself is, and the person himself has become? Or is the love you speak of purely a subjective inner transformation, and your life (personal or career) follows its drab heavy course? Or does the love blind your perception to find the drabness of the quotidian beautiful, with no need for change or transformation?

    Just a thought. Hey! - I did suspend thinking for the mandatory 3 hours...

    # A purely divine and spiritual post belonging to another world of Gods and Beauty and of course Love.

    Frankly, I am speechless - thank you.

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  2. :) Interesting - found it more profound than the previous post on the same topic.

    For me, love is like the air we breath..... sustenance and path to evolution.

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  3. Anonymous2:34 AM

    Hi Eroteme !
    I landed here just to WISH YOU THE VERY BEST THAT LIFE CAN OFFER in 2008...
    "Love is what completes that which God left incomplete"
    That sentence caught my attention and what an amazing statement it is.Thanks for sharing some wonderful posts.
    What an AMAZING image to go with it:)

    (*_*)

    Uma

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  4. Hi,

    I'm writing this after having read both your posts on 'LOVE'.

    Am actually having a hearty laugh. Want to know why? In all that iron-clad logic of yours *Someone had used the same phrase in the comments* there is a serious flaw. It is the 'assumption'.

    Ok, I did not just give you 3 hours ... I gave you a couple o days because I chewed on this and I am thinking real hard before commenting. Should I, Should I not?

    'Love' ... You are right when you say that every one has his / her own opinion when it comes to 'Love'.

    Here's mine:

    Falling in and out of love - That's not love.

    When in love as you said, people transform. What kind of a transformation is it?

    When a woman finds herself so much in love and commits herself to marriage, she sticks by it - she is transforming ... from a silly irresponsible girl to a responsible woman. If she's married to a womaniser, if she is a woman who is trully in love with him, she sticks by th emarriage if she has children - really? what if the womaniser transforms to a pedophile? Isn't the woman responsible for her children too? Do you really think it was or is easy for a woman to realize and accept that she was and is in love with a womaniser who does not love her? It is not hate or self love which gives a woman courage to leave such a man. It is the love she has which transforms her to realize her self worth and respect herself enough to accept that she has made a mistake and move away. Love transforms her.

    A woman who does not accept what her husband is and continues to love him - does not actually love him - she is stagnating herself and actually protecting an evil man - she does not in the first place have the courage to accept that she was wrong.

    Believe me when I tell you it takes more courage to love and to transform in love.

    The woman you have spoken too, might have for argument sake told you that she'd love the womaniser ... God forbid she falls in such a trap. The truth is it is hell - to be in love with a womaniser. What hurts is wondering every waking momment - Did he really love me? All those words - they were just words. etc etc etc ...

    LOVE - it does not mean you have to stick by a womaniser. Love also gives you the strength to leave when you have to.

    I equate love with responsibility and respect.

    I hold the love between a man and a woman to be Holy and good. If God did not want man and woman to have love and express it in the form of physica intimacy - he need not have created in pairs. He could well have made us with the ability to propagte as singles. Cloning ... is another devious way for man to try to quench his thirst to live alone - without accepting the urge to feel dependable. Love does that.

    Love - there are times when a lover feels miserable in love, insignificant, enraptured by the magnitude of love. There are also times when in love one feels that there is nothing impossible. The Euphoria of love.

    You feel that that's all it is - a euphoria.

    After reading everything I feel you are trying to logically either conclude that love has more substance to it than we give it credit OR that we are trying to find meaning where there exists none.

    The last line though it is constructed logically - spiritually leaves a lot unsaid.

    Love completes what God has lef incomplete.

    God is love. To love is to experience God within us. A man or a woman can never find God if s/he has not loved. Loved and lost. Loved and lived a life of love.

    What you say as confining yourself to one - is trully the boyish irresponsible you who wants to have more candy than everybody else. Dont confuse that wanting for more candy with the love with which that candy is made :)

    Hey, not judging you in any way. I see these writings as an attempt to reach you r destination ... Carry on ...

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  5. Sorry, did not give you my theory of what I think your assumption is.

    "Love: There'smore to it than what you see around you."

    That's the statement around which you are working.

    There's nothing wrong with it.

    But furthermore you are also assuming that in the present world - no body knows love. No body actually loves ...

    Just my observation :)

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