An Easter offering: Below you will find “cut and pastes” from two future posts. The chronological placement of part of this post, however, is only a week away, so expect to see it “in total” in about a week’s time. The title of this blog—the answer to the big questions—references a past blog entitled The Big Questions. If interested, here is the ID of the post describing the questions
Look at all those people who read Jesus; how many really experience the meaning of the words: Love God with all your heart and do on to others as you would have others do on to you? Probably not many! I want to end this post by describing a relatively recent event (the meaning of which I am still struggling over). Maybe I should call it a revelatory event, or maybe not. Anyway, the actual event I’m about to describe took place a very long time ago. I’m going to let the woman in the event do the talking here. At the time, she was advocating a particular mystical tradition and when I begged off her invitation to join the group, she stood up and walked away. From afar I continued to watch her meander down the beach as she strayed in and out of the clinging ocean surf, but, while watching, I reached for my bag and took out pencil and paper and began to write down the highlights of our conversation. She was a strong woman, very impressive, as can probably be guessed from what follows:
Scene: Enjoying the ocean view drinking coffee on an outdoor patio of a Waikiki hotel.
“I was debating whether to butt out my cigarette and leave, when she
looked at me and said, “Isn’t that beautiful. It’s the song of the
(she named a bird I couldn’t pronounce). Off in the distance I could
hear something like a bird chirping, but if it hadn’t been pointed out
to me, I would not have heard it.
“Its probably looking for a mate,” I said.
“Oh, and why would you say that,” she replied.
“I don’t know; probably because that’s why birds sing,” I said,
“to find a mate and have little birdies. Go forth and multiply, I
believe the big Guy said. Right?”
“Do you think birds sing just to fuck?” she exclaimed.
“Hold on,” I said, “I’m not an expert, but I read somewhere that
birds sing to attract mates. It sounded like a good explanation when I
read it. Why else would they sing?”
“Sexual attraction is secondary,” she said. “You guys got it
backwards. Birds reproduce in order to sing, not the other way around.
A higher purpose is involved. With their songs, the birds express that
higher purpose. In the larger picture, it is all about the creative
expression of love and beauty.”
“I guess I hadn’t really thought much about it,” I said.
“Nature, by creating different species,” she continued, “sent forth
love, and consciousness of love. It was all about the creative
expression of that love. That’s why we’re here. We exist for that
“Hey, you’re probably right,” I said, “but one or two biologists
might disagree with you. If it weren’t for singing birds, far fewer
birds would get reproduced, and with no progeny to reproduce the
species, gone would be the songs, the singers, and the potential for
greater creative expression, at least among birds. Right?”
“So what are you saying?” she replied. “Is it that love and beauty
amounts to nothing more than guaranteeing a sufficient number of
births? Are you telling me that, after the baby payoff, that’s it,
there’s nothing more to life, to love? Everything after that is just
“All I know,” I said, “is that love doesn’t prevent babies from
happening, and the more babies, the more love. It has to be that way.
That was all I meant.”
“Have you ever been in love?” said Lorna. “I mean really in love?
Where you couldn’t stand to be apart from your lover? Where you
overflowed love, not just in `sex,’ but in the `push and pull’ of
every emotion imaginable?”
“I guess not,” I replied, “I’ve been in love, but it wasn’t like
that. Being in love, for me, created more chaos than it did bliss.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she said, “bear with me for a moment while
I tell you what you’ve missed.”
The following is a paraphrase of Lorna’s description of Love:
“Love, propelled by the beauty it creates, burns through the senses in music, poetry, literature, painting, dance—all artistic forms of expression follow from it. Love animates and grows. Without it, there would be no work ethic, no survival. Perhaps, someday, you will have the inclination and the time to look beyond yourself, to that world where creativity and love burn brightest. If that day comes, I dare say you will come to know that love is what the Absolute Affirmation is all about. It is love that must be affirmed. You are not the liberator. The real liberator is love. Lover and beloved become as one in love. All opposites come together in love. Love is where real liberation takes place. There is no substitute for it. Separation does not exist there. Love is the greatest apperception. You have no power before love. Freedom, beauty, and completeness are embedded there; the psychic and the cosmic are embedded there. It is the same in death as in life, and I know that you know that, even if it is beyond you! You cannot change the unchangeable!”
Where self-consciousness, life, and duality—the affirming structures of God—become transparent to mind, Divine Love emerges. Love is, according to the great mystic sage from India, Aurobindo (1892-1950), “a union of self with self, soul with soul, and spirit with spirit.”