– Saint Augustine
When we use the word love, let us use it very carefully, in the deeply spiritual sense, where to love is to know; to love is to act.
If you really love, from the depths of your consciousness, that love gives you a native wisdom. You perceive the needs of others intuitively and clearly, with detachment from any personal desires; and you know how to act creatively to meet those needs, dexterously surmounting any obstacle that comes in the way. Such is the immense, driving power of love.
Something tells me that Easwaran has hit upon the true meaning of love, and that the love of which he writes so concisely and beautifully is what I long to fill my mind and heart with and to radiate from every word I speak and deed I do. Perhaps I'm being wildly unrealistic to entertain such an ideal. But I am a man of faith. Not in the Judeo-Christian God or Muslim Allah. My faith is in what Easwaran called "the Lord of Love" that constitutes my own deepest essence and yours.How do I fulfill this ideal in an age of so much conflict and terroristic violence, where fear, contempt, and hatred seem like a growing and potentially catastrophic plague upon the world and even people who purport to be religious or spiritual preach hatred of others? The only way I know to do it is to let my light shine as brightly as it will on everyone. Does this require me to look benignly on the darkness and evil that reside within myself and within all of us? I don't believe so. One can see, acknowledge, and even oppose the ugliness, darkness, and evil while still loving those whom these qualities or tendencies inhabit.
Some might accuse me of childish naivete or New Age "magical thinking" for saying this, but I believe that others are unlikely to be and do their best unless we are and do our best, and others are unlikely to shine with love unless we shine with love. I don't just believe, I KNOW that during those unspeakably precious moments when I shine with love, I feel extraordinary joy, and I know that people around me are picking up on my love and joy and are drawn to it. What would happen if we could all do this more and more often and draw those around us into the palpable presence of loving joy?
Others can call me a nut and go on fearing, denouncing, and hating the "illegal aliens," "Islamofascists," and whomever else they fear, hate, and wish to devalue, deport, or destroy and see where that gets them and the world. Or they can try the radically different approach of Easwaran and Augustine. "Love and do what you will." Love others so fully that you understand completely what they truly need to be happy and find a way to help them acquire it so that they won't think they have to hate, condemn, and kill you to get it, and you won't have to do the same to them to try to be safe and happy.
The history of the world is one of hatred leading to practically never-ending bloodshed and suffering. Isn't it time to see what love can do?