"Love Cannot Be Given"
From a talk with Wolter Keers in Gent on January 18,
From the Dutch magazine Am1go
I had a meeting yesterday evening with a group of psychiatrists and
psychologists. There I defended the proposition that there is only one
psychic obstacle and that you can reduce all of psychology and psychotherapy,
and all psychiatry to that one obstacle. That one problem is that we have
forgotten that we are love. It was told to us when we were little that
we got love from our mother and father and so on. And when it all maybe
went wrong later in all sorts of ways, we discovered that we had not received
enough love. And so love became for us something like a sack of potatoes
that you can give and get in a big sack or a small sack and the like.
This has nothing to do with love. What we actually are is the most humble of all humble things, that in which everything arises. That is the light itself. Nothing is more ordinary, common, everyday than that light; we have known nothing except that. Love is the discovery of myself (the light) in the other; the recognition of the Silence that I am in the other. That is love. Love cannot be given to anyone, you cannot get love; you can't make water wet, because water is wetness. Neither can anyone give you love, no one can receive love from you, you can only recognize love in yourself and you can recognize love in others. The moment that it happens, there is naturally no other anymore, because you indeed recognize in other, in the most literal sense, notice well, in the most literal sense; yourself. I never speak to anyone except myself, and you never hear anyone except yourself. I cannot underline enough how literally true this is. Love is to recognize yourself in the other, in what you unjustly saw as 'an other' until that moment. But it is yourself that you see there because there is only one Self. There is only one light. There is only one love. The recognition of yourself in the other, of the Silence that you are in the other, of the light that you are in the other, that is what we call love. It is not a question of giving, it is not a question of receiving, it is a question of recognition.
What is well true is that when the recognition has taken place there arises in us a reversal of movement. When I have not yet recognized it, I have a calculating machine going and then I find you to be nice or not nice: then I can either earn money from you or not, then you will say friendly words to me, or give me trouble, and so forth. That is all calculated with a centripetally directed mentality. But the moment I recognize myself in the other, who then is no longer an 'other', because I am speaking to myself behind the eyes, at that moment a centripetally directed movement become a centrifugally directed motion. You need only have been in love once to know that you are as large as the universe.
Fear is one obstacle. And every fear is the fear of losing love. I am afraid to let myself be seen as I am because the you may think that I am crazy or bad, or something or other. And then there is the wall: then there is 'I' here and the other there. I am afraid that I am going to lose the love of the other. You see, whenever I think that love is something that I can possess than I am afraid then I am going to lose it. But, when I have seen with my entire being that I am that Love, what then? Water can never become wetness, because water is wetness: you can't lose love because you are love. Seeing that clearly dissolve all fears one by one; fear of death then becomes laughable. Then you can also be totally yourself in a psychological sense; you can drop all your resistances, because what others think about you is then their problem; 'you' are that which the others are seeking. And if they project a mental picture on you it is because they project a mental picture on themselves; they see themselves as a personality and therefore they see all living beings as personalities.
As long as I take a position as something that I am not, namely as something that could possess Love, as something that searches for Love, just so long am I subject to the laws of desire and fear. And where there is fear and longing there is karma and the whole story. As soon as I see what I am this imaginary world falls apart in pieces. The moment that I recognize this always unexpected a subtle explosion takes place and this material world turns out to be nothing but a dream, exactly the same as a nightly dream, there is absolutely no difference; both are nothing else than movements in Consciousness, and the movement that is there for a given moment is seen by me as real — in the day time it is the waking state, the world, the primary feeling, and at night it is the dream world, which is then just as real for me as the dream world now. But if I look at the experience that the dream world and the waking world have in common then I see that they are nothing other than movements in that One Consciousness that I have always been. I don't have to do anything to become it because I am it. I am the One Experience. In everything and everyone, in every movement I am this One Experience.
When this becomes a lived Experience then there is no more psychic fear possible; then there may be pain, but suffering is no more possible. I recognize that in all people, I recognize That as myself in all people, and because I know as a lived Experience — not as a theory that there is nothing else than love I love all people, because I see Myself also through the eyes of the schizophrenic or the criminal or whosoever.
Last time we discussed the image of the water and the waves; first we all think that we are a wave and that the neighbor wave is a competitor, then at a given moment, we discover; I am water and the neighbor wave is also water, and the more we pay attention to the water the clearer it becomes, until we are totally in the depths where there is nothing else but water, then we see that we are that one water and all the waves and by means of these waves the water speaks with itself. In terms of religion; this Light is what religious people call God. We are that Light, each of us consists of nothing else than that Light. Every great tradition and religion says it; that God is omnipresent and is Light and Love. Not only Christianity but all the great religions say that in one way or another. In other words: John is not speaking with Peter, but God is speaking with himself, through the one and through the other.
If this is seen and all the old ballast and ideas, such as 'I am a thing weighing so many kilograms' have disappeared, then what remains is the one lived Experience. That is what one calls Enlightenment or Freedom. It is never something new. It is That which you are now and have always been, and whoever says that he can give it to you is a swindler.