PART FOUR: Feel The Love
Now let’s talk about love.
Flowery illustrative words give you a warm and fuzzy feeling…
The fierce, abiding, confident love we’re talking about bears no relationship to warm and fuzzy feelings. Warm and fuzzy often blurs the mind and its vision, and we desire clarity.
Please understand: love’s soft and gentle side nourishes effortlessly and receptively once firmly established in both people’s hearts.
Warm and fuzzy works fine on a solid foundation.
The powerful love we’re talking about here appears almost exclusively as ‘Romantic Love’ between two people, and aside from sex. Once you cultivate this kind of love, the sex will take care of itself.
Let’s start by talking about how love relationships begin.
Two people often start a relationship because they find they share opinions about things. Let’s clarify: opinions come from thoughts, and feelings arise from karma and merit. Feelings about opinions arise from karma too, and feelings and opinions may change independently of one another.
If a couple begins a relationship based on shared opinions, the entire basis of that relationship is redefined when one person changes their opinion.
Sometimes neither person notices this occurring. Once opinions shift the relationship no longer has a firm foundation and may dissolve when disagreement surfaces.
People understand opinions more easily than feelings. How a person feels about something or someone may differ wildly from how they think about that subject. You can follow your own train of thought, but tracking your feelings depends on many variables.
Feelings about persons, places and things arise from your karma, your merit, and your previous experiences with the people you’re interacting with. Karma and merit already present unknowns, and memories of previous experiences present a further quandary. Experiences that took place in previous lifetimes often reside in unconscious memory, and often produce feelings you can’t explain.
So let’s break it down according to person, place or thing.
Things or places arouse feelings because you remember (consciously or sub-consciously) how a previous experience involving them made you feel. Your karma and your merit have very little impact on how you feel about the place or thing.
Memories of people present a different set of issues. The agreements you make with people along the Lane Between Lifetimes strongly affect how you feel about them. Agreements often set the beginning tone for the relationship, but soon karma and merit dominate the direction the relationship takes. What does that mean, “…karma and merit dominate…”?
It simply means that it matters how you treat one another.
When you meet people along your Lane Between Lifetimes and agree to the terms and conditions of your next meeting, the story merely begins.
Once you meet your companion in this world, actions begin to propel you both in whatever direction you choose, based on how you interact. People don’t always keep their promises, even if they were made in good faith, and even if they were made along the Lane Between Lifetimes.
The powerful virtuous action forgiveness can mend the negative karma that arises from broken promises.
People seldom break promises intentionally. Unanticipated pressures often confront people, and force them to make choices they don’t like.
Any relationship may face this, so wisdom encourages you to refrain from making promises of any kind.
This applies to any type of relationship, from love to business. Love forgives broken promises, so developing this type of relationship brings particularly wonderful results.
If you’re wondering about marriage… yes, vows are promises. If you take vows with someone or enter into a marriage with them, you’re basically entering into a business relationship with that person. If you truly love them, then from your side you’re in good shape karmically because you’ll manage to forgive all of your partner’s transgressions. However, if they don’t truly love you there’s no guarantee they’ll forgive your transgressions, and if Enlightened Beings can’t make things happen in certain ways, then chances are that you can’t either. Not all marriages involve partnerships in which both people love each other.
So, what do you do if you find yourself in a marriage and you didn’t realize it was a business deal?
First check to see if you love the other person. Whether they love you escapes your control, so just focus on how you feel. The other person personifies Emptiness, and reflects your own mind. Regarding this person as your teacher may reveal lessons in many aspects of your marriage. (Chapter Two of Book Two – “Why Are There Two Of You?” explains what we mean by ‘Emptiness’)
Many people look at how they feel about their relationships after they categorize them.
They might decide they’re in a romantic relationship before they even know if they like their partner. The magnet of previous agreement draws them together and from that point they stop questioning.
Questioning reinforces faith and exposes doubt.
Doubt is when you already have a negative opinion and you’re trying to find a nice way to express it.
Throughout a relationship (especially a romantic one), questioning brings vitality. When two people talk bravely about their questions, they have probably managed to find love.
Once you find love, you stop worrying about many things, including things that seem irrelevant to your relationship. Once you love someone, you understand the power and impact of striving to overcome major delusions.
So if you manage to find love, please feel very happy about your spiritual progress as well.