Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Love and Self-love.
I recently read a post by a spiritual teacher of nonduality, related to the topic of love, especially that of romantic love and yearning of the heart. This teacher maintains that the search for love happens regardless of tradition, and there is value in exploring feelings, emotions, and psychologies behind this search for love. This teacher also prides themselves on having around 40 years’ experience in the field of Zen, Advaita, and other teachings.
While I find the above approach reasonable, I also find that it is so easy to get carried away with the topic of "love". It lends itself into over-analysis into the emotions, psychology, and reasons for why we act as we do. It is like taking the simple message of nonduality and then building a massive super-structure on top that somehow explains the spontaneity of things.
Nisargadatta completely deals with the topic of love, by taking it to be Self-love. Love of the "I am"-ness, which starts from the moment we awake in the morning, and goes on until we get to deep sleep at night. In fact, this self-love begins as a child, and comes upon us spontaneously itself. It grows with concepts and ideas, added by those around us. It seeks to experience, know, expand and "be". It is behind all movement towards supposed external objects and "love interests", despite externalities being merely projections of our internal world and beliefs.
Rather than attempting to explain how all this works, and how we should be dealing with emotions and feelings due to this love-yearning, why not get to the root of the matter? The "Moola-maya" or root-illusion, being that we are, in fact, this "I am", that needs to seek and perpetuate itself. If I take up a plant by the roots, is there any more need to keep pruning the branches?