Wow, dare I even tackle this subject? How many will disagree or even be offended?
Well, I promise I will do my best to explain my views in the most mindful way possible.
First of all, I do not believe that love is a feeling. I know that all of us have thought this way our whole lives, but I believe it is incorrect.
Feelings are never real, they are all simply illusions in our mind that keep us from reality. An example would be anyone that you once felt love for, but no longer like them at all. Or a car that you loved when you bought it, but now you can’t wait to get rid of it.
When we attach a feeling to anything, we dilute the reality of it. That car was just a car and that person was just a person. The car will change and deteriorate, just as a friend will change and age. If love is a feeling, then it comes and goes.
And I think that love is far more powerful and honest than this. It cannot be a feeling, it has to be a reality.
When one has real compassion and acceptance of all beings, this is love.
I think that ignorantly (avijja), when we get a glimpse of this truth, we immediately attach it to an individual or object. Examples would be “I love this song”, “I love cheesy pizza”, or even “I love you”. Whats the difference in those uses of the word? You may say that there are different kinds of love, but again I think this is delusional. Love becomes just a word to be thrown about.
In each of those examples, you are merely getting a glimpse of love. So you attach to it. Maybe only for a moment, maybe for many years. But still, this is attachment to a concept, this is not love. And until we let go of attachment and expectation, I do not believe that any of us can truly understand love.
And for those of you who do not know a person who is like this, I can assure you there are people filled with love and no attachment or expectation. I am extremely blessed to know many of them, who each serve as living examples for all of us.
I am not yet one of those people who can serve as an example for you. I am however possessed with a strong determination to cultivate this. Not in words or actions, but in reality.
I think this passage from the Metta Sutta gives a very good example of how Buddha explained love. He states: “Just as a mother, even at the risk of her own life, loves and protects her only child – so let a man cultivate this Universal Love.”
So these are my thoughts, and I welcome your comments.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.
What is love