If I were to pick the most important word from the dictionary, without a moment's hesitation, I would pick Love. The greatest and most sublime of all emotions is love. Its profundity renders it unjust for love to be merely classified as an emotion, it is a state of being, a transcendental state at that. The more firmly you are situated in love, the greater the bliss; such bliss that is immanent in you will start emanating from you. If it were to come down to just one difference between being divine and being human, it would be former's ability to always only give out love compared to the latter who, sometimes, falters.
This genuine word most pure, in this artificial world so impure, however, has been overused and abused so often that it has become a blanket term for many things it is not. A lot of people love someone or some philosophy or a cult or sect or their possessions and devote their entire life, saving for and protecting them. People also refer to growing in and out of love and consequently relationships. Some pledge their life and "love" to each other only to separate later on. There are many who find their love fade away with time like the most glittering colors do under the sun. But if it was true love, how could it fizzle away? Truth, while it may be not be absolute, is not dependent either. Similarly, true love is not conditional, for what is based on certain criteria is more an agreement.
Many a few are able to love God truly. God does not talk to them or directly answer their questions. He does not partake of their offerings nor does he ever show His form to them. They still continue to love God and cry for Him however. If they are not doing such worship out of any fear or with a view to attain some objective, they are close to true love. Whether they are completely established in love can only be ascertained when they hold a communion with the God in a human being. If they are still able to love everyone with the same emotion, they have become an embodiment of love. When, the only emotion they reciprocate with is love, they are no less than love incarnate. Know that in the presence of such person your own being undergoes a silent transformation. Loving God is easy for He neither criticizes nor complements; He does not hug you nor stave you off. You have accepted Him the way He is. He is a product of your belief; unfortunately, often not your own belief but the one passed onto you. Loving God is still a divine act for a human being; loving all is a godly act of a divine being. If you do not have any realization of your own, and you do not have any knowledge about anything but if you choose to only return all emotions with love, people will offer you the highest place on the altar of their hearts and will worship you more than they ever worshiped God. When stroked by trouble you will be in their thoughts before God and when struck by joy they will attempt to contact you before visiting the shrine.
So, how can you ascend to the level of a divine being! Actually, it is easier than you think; the practice may be harder than mere comprehension of the underlying philosophy. You must be comfortable with yourself and be contented with what you have in order to cultivate the emotion of love. You must also learn to stay inwards so you may not only maintain your blissful state but be imperturbed by the emotional, intellectual, and material offerings of the world. That will allow you to always only give out love — pure, unalloyed and pristine.
Love is innate in everyone. It is the cause of your existence and the basis of your being. It is often misplaced at the same time in most people. Love when misdirected takes the form of an attachment and when mispositioned, it promptly becomes an obsession. Till such time that you turn inward completely, you can make an effort to discover your present state of love. The following section will help you do that. Once done, you can repair it if damaged, rejuvenate if worn out, renew it if expired, and strengthen if weak. It is going to take some work but the rewards are infinitely priceless. Regarding the present placement of love in you, reflect on the following:
People love different things and they do so differently. Often attachment, infatuation, attraction or certain desires ranging from lust to liking, from pity to passion are mistaken for love. Love may well be the basis of such emotions as well as the trigger but it is when love is polluted and no longer pristine, it permanently assumes one of the aforesaid forms. Love is very fluid, and, an apt shapeshifter. Of those who love, their love is generally divided among the following three in no fixed ratio; sometimes they only love one of the three, other times, only two. Your goal is to channelize all your love from other categories into the single most important one. Onto the categories:
There is no dearth of people who fall in this category. They love things and they are totally, head over heels, in love with their possessions. Personally, I am always amused when people are in love with non-living things. These ones are deeply attached to their cars, gadgets, accessories and so forth. Basically, for everything they own and has a price in the market, they are in love with that. If this person's wife has a car accident, he is more worried about the car and insurance than his own wife. He may, only just, cleverly hide his emotions and customarily enquire about wife's well being immediately followed by a series of questions regarding the car, damage and the like. A significant portion of their time is spent caring for their soulless possessions, the rest on talking about them and any remaining, worrying about them. Love is a peculiar emotion. It transforms you into the one you offer it to. You start loving a criminal, you will find yourself accepting his immoral ways becoming one yourself with your acceptance. You love a saint, you will turn into one too. Similarly, when you start to love things, you become a lifeless thing yourself. The only difference — you have consciousness and things do not. When in love with things, you will not be able to love people; certainly not so freely or expressively. I hope you know that your car, house or golf clubs do not love you at all. They are just as ready and able in anyone else's hands as in yours. If you continue to be a thing by loving things, you will soon be a thing forgotten as well. Because you are a thing now, you will either be outdated, obsolete or old-fashioned one day in the future, for, that is the fate of all "things" eventually.
If, sadly enough, you are one of these people, you need to do some serious thinking. Let go off your attachment with things. Direct all your love to the other category. Love only grows when distributed among living beings, for it is only in another living being that it lives, otherwise it dies. Loving things will drain you out of love leaving you hanging high and dry; too high for anyone to hear you and too dry to retain any fragrance or taste. If you do not start loving people infinitely more than you love your things, you will waste your beautiful life on lifeless things before the life in you flees away too leaving all, absolutely all such things, behind you for others to use and abuse at their will and leisure. Your dead photo hung incongruously, in a manner no less unceremonious, on a listless wall will be the only reminder that you ever existed.
Some people are in love with a philosophy, a religion, a cult, a sect, a cause or a certain belief system. Of the above, a cause if dedicated to the welfare of others may be worth loving. The rest may deserve your attention, opinion or even sympathy but not your love. Remember, you are what you think but you become what you love. These people, the ones who love not things but a certain intellectual proposition, are still better than the first ones. At least, they develop their intellect or live their life in accordance with the religion or cult. All religions, I believe, have something wonderful to offer.
There is a caveat though. An ongoing affair with a philosophy, can turn one into a fanatic and sometimes, an extremist. Once down that route, it is very hard to change. Since you adopted a doctrine, not based on your own discovery, but either at the whim of your mind or a superficial intellectual grasp, giving it your love will turn you into a superficial and dry person. Love perishes in dryness.
Those who are in love with a philosophy or the like have bought into someone else's opinion; consequently, their love, its concept, and its expression reduces to an artificial manufacture and opinionated theory. Most religious professions, paid or voluntary, social or commercial, fall under this category. Such practitioners consider the cause or doctrine above other human beings. Some will even give or take life for such cause.
If, by any remote chance, you happen to be in this category which you may be justifying by branding your obsession as your passion, please, I implore you, take a good look and try to see trees from woods. If must you dedicate your life to a philosophy or a set of dogmas, at least, create your own.
A borrowed one will only fetter you robbing you of your freedom. The ultimate attainment is to shift your focus of love from this one to the next category; as follows:
3. Living beings:
You are the one who has learnt that fellow human beings, regardless of the virtual differences of race, creed, pigmentation, are just about as human as you and as divine as the One you worship. I thank you for gracing the planet earth. You make this world a beautiful place. You may practice whatever religion, you have discovered and understood the essence of spirituality. When you treat everyone like you treat yourself and see everyone as you see your God and when everyone only gets back love from you, you are a sage. True love is unconditional. It is not governed by the action-reaction laws of motion just as it is not a theory of physics.When you throw a stone or a flower in a lake, the lake accepts both with equal indifference. The stone drowns immediately; the lake accepts it and does not complain. But the lake thanks you by keeping the flower afloat. When you either expect or want anything in return for your "love", be sure what you have is not love. When you give love conditional upon having something first — be it mannerisms, love, respect, anything at all — that is not love either. But, when the only thing you have to offer is love, that undoubtedly is love.
Whenever you buy anything from the market, you always pay the price with money. Money is the only thing you offer to buy the intended item. The more you have the more you can buy. Equivalently, love is just about the only currency for all that is priceless. The more you have it, the greater your choice. The more you can give, the more you can buy. Just like you may have a million dollars, if you are not prepared to part with a dime, you cannot buy anything. You may be a great saint or a heinous sinner, if you are not willing to give love you cannot have any in return. When you give out every ounce of love you have in you, you will be rewarded with an infinite supply of bliss and love.
Love is part of your very existence. If you want to experience bliss without treading an arduous path of tedious practices, just start giving out love. For every emotion you are offered, return it with love; for each gesture you are shown, gesticulate back yours of love, for every word uttered to you, articulate yours with love. Try this unfailingly for a few months and see the difference for yourself.
Give your love to people, living beings, before you offer it to a religion or a thing. And things remain just that — lifeless, soulless things. Tell your car that you are very sad today and see if responds with the care you always showed it. Talk to your God, your religion, telling them you are feeling low, and see if he comes out of the book, picture or idol. Try the same with a human being, you will at least get a response. Before you go tell another person of your woes, listen to someone with his and help him feel better. When done to a few people a few times, you will always have a listener, a carer, someone who wants you to be happy.
I hope you know that your love is worth lot more than wasting on things.
Go on! learn to love so you can learn to live! Express your love. Make someone feel special. Make others feel important. Make all feel human. Make everyone a recipient of your love. Make each one yours. If you are tired of being human, become god instead. Be divine. All of the above is only possible when you can live a life free of expectations. And that, in turn, is possible only after you have turned inward. Turning inward will open the flood gates of love and bliss. It is only natural then you will give out what you have n you. Imagine being infinitely loving and blissful and eternally so at that.