Sunday, February 12, 2017

What is love? Baby, don't hurt me.

I've read many times from people who have had a near-death experience return and say that the only purpose in life is to learn to love unconditionally towards all.  By "love" it is usually interpreted to mean an emotional act that leads to physical acts (giving, hugging, etc.).  And yet, this belief somewhat contradicts the concept of free-will.  In my understanding, love does not mean an emotion, which is fleeting.  The idea of love isn't something that is wishy-washy and googly-eyed.  Instead, "love" in the purest sense, means "acceptance" and unconditional love is unconditional acceptance, and true acceptance is everlasting.  That is why the feeling of love is pleasurable because that is what acceptance without judgment feels like. Being accepted purely is to be included, to be incorporated, to be merged into One.

To have love means you accept another's condition, and unconditional love means you accept another's condition without seeing any fault.  In essence, they mean the same thing.  So to say the word "unconditional" is to emphasis "complete" (such as "Heart, mind, and soul") acceptance.  When people say "there isn't enough love", most people are talking about what they think of as the feeling, which sometimes leads to acts of, "love".  What does "accept" mean?  What are you accepting?  Acceptance of another means you accept someone's choices, beliefs, appearance, situation, and anything else related to their freedom of choice.  Those things we judge as being out of our control, such as our appearance, is also our choice that was made before and during our human existence.

So what does it mean to learn to love another?  This is where the term "love" has been politicized by religion.  It has become synonymous with the ideal of feeling something good towards another.  But that is where the problem with this understanding lies.  Unlike acceptance, which simply means you do not judge another relative to your own beliefs, likes, preferences, etc., the ideological love assumes you must feel something positive towards another.  This supposed requirement to feel something positive towards another, and impossibly at all times, is not freedom of choice.  When it says that "God loves all", it simply means "God accepts all".  "God" is not sending positive emotions as "love".  The feeling of "love" is our body's interpretation.  And herein lies the crux of the world's problems.  It is not wrong to feel anger, or hatred, or jealously.  But these emotions are the result of our lack of acceptance towards that which is outside of our own ideals.  In fact, people do not love themselves as well, by not accepting their own conditions and choices and beliefs.

Because of the freedom to choose what we like or dislike, we can also hate another.  But to believe that we must love one another in terms of emotion, is not a good belief because it creates guilt when you cannot live up to that expectation.  And guilt is another emotion.  However, if you do not accept another, that is also your freedom of choice, and from this perspective, you do not have to feel guilty.  Freedom of will, which is the result of the concept of "love acceptance", means you can choose something and feel something different. In other words, you can feel something negative towards someone, but still accept their choices and by accepting them as they are, you love that person. Your feeling of hatred or anger towards them does not negate your own freedom of choice to accept them as they are. This is clearly demonstrated by most parents towards their children. A parent might be upset or angry at their child for their actions or behavior, but still accept them as their children and as individuals with freedom of choice.

In our present condition in the world, we are learning this concept of "true love", which is to learn to accept ourselves and one another as they are and their choices.  You cannot tell people to "love one another", and you cannot force another to believe what you believe.  This must be done by each individual, by learning to understand that we all have our own freedoms of choice.  This can only occur when everyone understands that there is no judgment upon anyone.  Not only do the religious believe that everyone is judged, but the non-religious as well.  This sense of justice stems from our religious heritage and humanistic beliefs about life.  The belief, and in many cases their desire, that there are consequences to our thoughts and actions outside by another (whether God or a humanistic judge) leads to the belief and desire for punishment and retribution (not just to punish, but also to get satisfaction).  As you can see, this aspect of judging is what causes difficulty in people to accept others.  The harsher the disliked act, such as taking a life, the more retribution is sought, and this because of the belief that life is a here-and-now thing, and that death creates separation from the living.  Once people realize these long-held assumptions and beliefs are not truths, then the grip of fear which feeds the need for judgment will shift.

Now, knowing the humanistic perspective, some of you might be thinking "if everyone accepts others like this, then I'll be able to get what I want".  But that isn't what "acceptance" means.  It does not mean if you ask someone for something, they have to accept your request.  Acceptance means free-will and free-will means acceptance.  Someone can choose to believe something different from you, and acceptance would mean both of you would accept that difference in belief.  In the same way, if you ask someone to be your mate, and they refuse, it isn't that they are not accepting of you.  It means they have their own freedom of choice and you accept that choice.  They accept you for your choice to make the offer, but they use their own free-will to decide to decline.  Acceptance/Love does not mean your way.

In my belief, the purpose of life is to have the freedom to choose any and every experience that will fulfill ourselves, and that freedom to choose comes from pure, unconditional "love", which means I am accepted as I am by choice, and accepts me to choose for myself whatever I desire.  Do not misinterpret this to mean "pleasures".  People who do not understand this point of view look at the words I wrote and think in humanistic terms, with humanistic ideas about what they might do with pure freedom of choice.  "Fulfillment" is not a humanistic concept. It is the answer to the question of "who am I". What makes you happy? When you are happy, then you are who you really are. The feeling of happiness is the interpretation of the concept of love, telling you that you are filled with love acceptance. Choose to do that which makes you truly happy, with integrity (meaning it isn't a temporary "high" or happiness due to overriding other's happiness)!