Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
Every month there are approximately seven hundred twenty hours. Now we have this one. How shall we best use it? I would like to suggest that together we let love live.
Let love live. It’s my practice to look up meanings of words and their etymological roots, their source. I did this for these three words, and it has inspired deep meditation and insight. I’d like to share that with you now. The root meaning of the word let is “to allow,” which is the way we often use it. Another meaning is “to let go.” Tolet means to let go. What needs to be released in me right now to let love live? This could put focus on things that don’t let love live, which is literally beside the point. A still mind and a clear heart are required conditions for anyone to speak the Word of the Creator. And we are each the creator of a world, our experience and all the relationships we have. If we look around and don’t much like our creation, there’s no one else to point the finger at.
In the Genesis story of Creation, the active word of God is let. “Let there be light…. Let there be a firmament….” On and on, up unto “Let us make man,” meaning mankind, of course. In this sense, this is not the creature with the bloated and inflamed human ego. To the one with the bloated and inflamed human ego, let in this way seems impossible and scary, because to really let, in your life, you must release control. Frightening!
Releasing human ego control is quite likely the most difficult and necessary thing for you to do. We have a word for it, and that word is surrender. Surrender is frightening, even paralyzing to the ego. What’s going to happen? One could feel that something, maybe even everything, will be lost. You’ll be out of control. But I ask you to reflect honestly: Aren’t you out of control now, at least at times? When unconscious factors compel you to do, say, think or feel something, do you have calm control of your experience, to create a world that you would love and not be repulsed by? You have your emotions, your thoughts, your attitudes, but it is not right to cede control of your life and your creation to them.
As a kid with two older brothers, a common phrase we used was “Says who?” in an immature way. When one or the other of us attempted to gracelessly invite the other to do something we wanted him to do, “Says who?” There’s a more mature way of asking that question. When an inner unpurified impulse rises to compel you to do something, you have every right and the responsibility to ask that question: Says who? What is the source of this impulse? If it’s not the truth of who I am, I won’t have anything to do with it other than just let it be present and in one way or another love it, but don’t buy in.
Relative to surrendering, letting go and releasing, it’s probably true for many of us that our life is really not working now anyway. No matter what façade we put on, no matter what we might try to convince ourselves of, in one way or another, things aren’t working all the time. What’s to be done? Give it up. Stop judging your own experience, and release limited and limiting beliefs about who you are.
We have a new dog, technically a puppy of eleven months. He’s gotten much bigger than we expected, a powerful adventurous guy. We’ve been training him to be under the control of the leash of love, rather than a commonplace material leash. In the process of training, there are some awkward moments, but it’s working. I’m happy and proud that he can have his fullness being a dog and maintain a connection and adequate control through the current of love.
There is something each of us can look at in that regard, relative to our own capacities of heart, mind and body. Are we attempting to establish control by beating ourselves up and telling ourselves what fools we are and how inappropriate we’ve been? Or is it all about love? Love of what’s true, not necessarily condoning limited behaviors arising out of limiting belief. On the leash of love, our dog, Pan, is happy because he’s free.
Which brings me to the word love. I found it edifying and surprising that in Sanskrit love is synonymous with free. I was delighted but surprised to discover this. For human beings, love is such a loaded word. It can carry unbelievable weight; it can carry expectations of committing to something that you don’t know if you’re capable of, or want to commit to. It’s loaded with expectations condoning other people’s behaviors in the name of love. Well that’s not what it is, certainly not all that it is.
Love is fearsome in its power. At some level we know that. We know that it’s not something to be toyed with, and yet toy with it we do out of ignorance. This toying has hurt everyone. I don’t believe love hurts. Everyone’s been hurt in love relationships with another. We know the saying, “Once burned, twice shy.” “I’m not going back there!” This leads people to defend themselves from the very thing that can set them free. This is, by definition, a self-constructed prison: the love being trapped inside, when letting love out is the only way to get free. How sadly ironic.
I like that freedom and love are synonymous in Sanskrit, because to human beings, freedom isn’t nearly as threatening, is it? Everybody in one way or another wants to be free. There are things to be said about love: love is the truth of you. Love loves to love. Whatever else is happening in your circumstance, it is an opportunity for love to be present. In your circumstance, the only way you can ensure that love is present is if you bring love. The only way you can bring love is to know and express the fact that you are love. You don’t just have love. That’s the truth of who you are. You are love.
Yes, much more can be said about love—look in any bookstore, listen to popular music. There is a lot said about love. But little more can be explained. Love must be experienced to be known.
A step we could take together is to each ask ourself this question: How is my life, my circumstance, my situation, inner and outer, perfect for the expression of love? In the tougher, knottier, uncomfortable, painful situations in your life, it is not easy to ask the question. I suggest you ask it anyway, because it could open a chink in the prison walls and let a little light, not in, but out. Once it starts going out, nothing can stop love. Love is unstoppable. We can stop ourselves from being the truth of love, but love itself cannot be stopped.
Ask this question and do not answer it; open to receive an answer from love. How is this circumstance perfect for me to be an expression of love? After working that a while, it can develop into a mantra: “This circumstance is perfect—perfect!—for my expression of love.”
We’ve covered let and love. This third word in what I suggested we do with this hour is live. The root meaning of this word also showed interesting results. Among the original meanings is “to remain,” and also “to continue.” It holds the essence of both stillness and activity, of dynamism, of being and doing. When we settle into a place of truly being one with life, isn’t that what it’s like? The deep stillness of our meditation isn’t void, with nothing happening; it’s very dynamic. We find that, born of the power of love, in the womb of truth, you emerge in life—you live.
Let love live. Let love remain; let love continue. These are the three words we used to begin our time together. Let love live could be restated: “Allow freedom to remain and continue.” Or “Let go, and the freedom of love will infuse your world with life, still and active.” Or “Release that which prevents freedom from being.” Take the responsibility and humbly assume the authority to let love live.