Love the wine, not the goblet
Mankind talks about love, a lot. Ad nauseam in fact. Love this, love that. Love this way, love that way. It’s alright to love your partner, and it’s alright for her to love you back, but it definitely isn’t alright to love another woman, or another man.
There are different levels and categories of love. Love your children this way, your uncle and aunt that way, mum and dad another way, sister another way still, and so it goes. All categorized, all compartmentalised, all good as long as you don’t wonder off the path or get confused about whom to love which way, and whom not to love at all.
In reality there is only one Love. The Love that encompasses all, and everything; the Love that heals the sick, cures the insane and raises the dead.
But mankind does not talk about this Love; this Love without boundaries, end or imperfection. This panacea for the human condition.
The reason humanity invented “love categories” is because it fears Love; humanity believes the panacea is in fact a deadly plague. Humanity believes its survival is dependent on division. ‘Divide and conquer’ is more than a slogan, it is indeed the fuel that energizes, drives and keeps ego alive and its blue-planet spinning.
Before you can have true division, however, before a Catholic can hate the Protestant, before Sunni and Shia can engage in bloody conflict, before Mohammedans can slaughter millions of Hindus, Love must be carved up into as many pieces as is required for it to be unrecognisable. Unfelt.
Ego must have definitions, the more definitions the better. The only thing better than numerous definitions are things impossible to define. Like language. In truth, ego speaks in tongues. You can never learn a language in its entirety. There is never a time when you will know all the words. Yet love has no language. You don’t speak to it, you feel it. You know it. You allow it to embrace you and caress you, heal you and make you joyous.
Ego only sees form. It worships form. The more beautiful the form the more ego covets it. What is inside the form matters not to ego, it’s the shape, the appearance that turns ego on.
What ego is so busy defining and directing is not love at all. What ego refers to as love is in fact form. Ego is incapable of feeling Love. Love has no form. Love is formless. Love IS.
Rumi says it beautifully:
Whoever is loved is beautiful, but this doesn’t mean that whoever is beautiful is loved. “There are girls more beautiful than Laila,” they used to tell Majnun. “Let us bring some to you.”
“I do not love Laila for her form,” Majnun would reply.
“Laila is like a cup in my hand. I drink wine from that cup. I am in love with that wine. You only have eyes for the goblet and do not know the wine. A golden goblet studded with precious stones, but continuing only vinegar, what use is that to me? An old broken gourd with wine is better in my eyes than a hundred goblets of gold.”