Since Profane Light has turned out to be a library of longer, polished texts rather than the informal cafe I first imagined, I started a companion to this blog as a “lighter version” with frequent short bursts, fragments and scattered reflections. You can follow the lighter version on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/annanimm.at.profanelight). For a taste, below is a recent post (future posts will not be updated here):
Osho writes: “The basic fallacy that you are carrying within you is that love is always for somebody, it is addressed – and the moment you address your love, you destroy it. Love should be like breathing. It should be just a quality in you – wherever you are, with whomsoever you are, or even if you are alone, love goes on overflowing from you. It is not a question of being in love with someone – it is a question of being love. Love is not dependent on the object, but is a radiation of your subjectivity – a radiation of your soul.” When reading this, I had an uncanny feeling that part of me agrees, and something else in me recoils and just doesn’t get it…
I believe the basic fallacy we carry within ourselves is that we address our love to another because we think we’re missing something and we want the other to fill that lack, to give us something we crave, to make us feel complete. Love, when it becomes free from need and dependency, is an overflowing of your subjective radiance because you are already full (even if this fullness is rarely a constant high). But even when it overflows out of an inner power, this doesn’t mean that love is unaddressed and that it flows indiscriminately to everyone, in all directions, to all beings on the planet. It is only by addressing love to someone or something in particular that you can make it real and concrete by flowing on the rivers of laughter and sorrows that it brings. Otherwise, it’s an empty abstraction in your mind, a conceptual fiction, or a thought experiment, and not something felt with intensity in the heart. It’s easy to talk about unconditional love in the abstract, when it is directed to a multitude of people or even to people “as such” – it’s much more difficult to achieve it concretely, to embody it, in the ups and downs of the everyday messiness of intimate relationships, with people who you know and feel both admiration and, at times, utter exasperation for.
I do not think love can exist without intimacy, without a deep knowledge of the other person that comes through experience and from having felt each other’s wounds. Intimacy is not a spiritual platitude that we are all connected because we all share the same basic substance that makes up the universe; it is not even the feeling of your body dissolving and melting into trees and winds and stars during ecstatic trance moments or deep states of meditation. I do not think you can be intimate with 6 billion people. Maybe not even with 100. Because intimacy takes time, patience, and attention to cultivate. It’s possible to have a warm feeling of empathy or compassion brought on by a kind of intuitive grasp that we are all connected in our humanity, in our beauties and weaknesses, and even in our very beingness. And I think it’s possible to feel that connection for people you see on the streets who you’ve never met before or for people on the other side of the world who you’ve read about in the news but can only think of as a general, abstract population. But I don’t think feeling “connected” is the same as love. One exists somewhere above your head in the nether world of cosmic awareness and the other is felt, very palpably, in the heart, both when it aches with sadness and when it overflows with joy.