On Love & Its Thorns
Sep 28, 2022
Some people may have a deep suspicion of Love itself, and it’s totally expected, especially if it is composed of All That Is which in turn can make one think of Chaos itself.
What are the implications if we equate the two?
To me, I can see how if there is no differentiation (hence no value put over anything else), then love can exist equally among everything, and so Love can be an equalizing water (the chaotic waters spoken of in the Old Testament).
But Love unveiled perhaps is too much, beyond blinding, and so we wear solar eclipse glasses, protective equipment of narratives and images where we can experience different manifestations of love in morsels. In the essay prior to this one, I call these love morsels love coins.
But there was once where I perhaps lost myself within those primordial Love waters.
The time I surrendered completely to love
Once during an Ayahuasca experience, I may have experienced Love with a capital L or at least a simulation of it. There were many times during my ayahuasca experiences where I found myself in hellish realms, and so I had developed methods in which to protect or ground myself from the onslaught of too much information.
At first, I took on a sort of Qigong meditative sitting posture of acceptance to view everything in a passive third person perspective, yet this technique only went so far to keep me from being overwhelmed.
I then devised a more clever technique which involved a surrender into a death/a simulation thereof. Naturally, it involved going down to the floor in prostration with my forehead to the ground. Any further onslaught on my existence became like a joke because it felt like the idiom—beating a dead horse with a stick.
I would say, “Whatcha gonna do, kill me? I’m already dead!”
If the onslaught continued, it only created laughter due to the absurdity of something trying to beat a dead horse with a stick.
The death technique was quite effective but still not 100% so I devised a third way, a way to take surrendering even further.
Who has heard before the line, “Is love stronger than death?”
The third way was a form of surrendering where pinpointed attention was kept on Love itself where nothing else existed except Love, no matter what happened around me: torture, good, evil, anything. I surrendered to the waters of Love. It was then perhaps where I dove into those primordial waters which so many people seem terrified of for good reason.
Even in the Egyptian pantheon, Apophis is this chaotic creature and the relatively sketchy figure Set is recruited to defeat it (to put Order upon it) because Chaos cannot be killed only restrained temporarily like in a genie lamp.
Love is problematic and that’s okay
In more a modern myth, there is Cupid who we all know has a bit of that trickster quality. But is that not the thorns that come with the rose?
Simply look at all the ways in which we use language to communicate love: “falling in love” and “going crazy” for someone. Lakhoff, a pioneer of cognitive linguistics, postulated the connection between early cognition and language (as early as inside the womb), and even notes how language in the world uses certain metaphors and manners of speaking when talking about love such as: Love Is Madness, Love Is Magic, and even Loved One Is A Possession. (1)
Tragedy is part of the love equation here in Time World. Outside of time, Love with a capital L may have no tragedy at all.
In this world however, to love something is to take that potential valuing away from someone or something else. It puts us in a situation of choosing one thing over another. That other thing may register and feel the pain of absence in one’s love.
Then there is the object of love who does get the valued attention. Due to the nature of our world, all is impermanent so it, too, will end in tragedy.
How the dog cries when the owner leaves the house.
So we are left with tragedy and what to do with it. Can we accept it? Can we treat it as beauty? Like unpleasant characteristics we may tolerate from people we value, can we accept this unpleasant characteristic of tragedy coming from the love of this world?
But we don’t have to close too much
I can see how some would choose to close off love altogether due to all the unpredictability and suffering. Yet this will most certainly end in more suffering. Closing off love will create a self-imposed prison, something to the likes of Dante’s last ring of hell where Lucifer has the bottom half of his body stuck in ice. The ice gets cooler the more he flaps his wings to try to escape. The image is reminiscent of similar episodes of peoples’ negative Void/Abyss experiences. (2)*
Whether scary, unpredictable, or painful, love of this world is what we have to work with. We all know the line and I still hold fast to it that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
* And if one says there needs to be two things for there to be love in the first place, then the two things, the observer-observed relationship can be (1) The Mind (Source) observing the state of no differentiations and (2) Chaos allowed to be the case, perhaps the primordial case (note that a case is a value hence the primordial value). This all can be the First Love or The Love Among The Chaos.
** Speaking of Void/Abyss, my attempts to make peace with that realm have been ongoing since I’ve had my share of negative Void experiences as well. I’ve edited my belief system regarding that terrain of no terrain by associating it also with a place of love. Instead of a terrorizing space, The Void can be a blanket space of momentary rest. Though it will sometimes feel like 100,000 years, eventually some order, art, or game will surface.
To think of that space in such a way also reminded me of Buddhism’s Heart Sutra. There is a line—Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. But it’s the title itself that intrigues me even more. Here there may be a connection between Emptiness or Clear Light as the Buddhist like call and Love (or Heart).
(1) Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1981). Metaphors we live by. University of Chicago Press.
(2) Ashton, Paul W. From the Brink: Experiences of the Void from a Depth Psychology Perspective. 2010.