I know I’m embarking on a perilous journey to speak now on “The Shadow of Love.” I think that some readers might even be ready to lynch me for even suggesting that love would have a shadow side to it but in the realm of unconscious belief and behavior, which is what I call shadow, I am saying that love has probably the most going for it in this realm of human unconsciousness.
From the microcosm of the infinitesimally small quantum realm to the macrocosm of inter-galactic space, love is the force which manifests all that we know as sentient, that is, self-knowing beings. Like “the Force” which is spoken of in the universe of “Star Wars”, this force literally binds the universe together. It is the tendency of all matter in the universe to connect with all other matter in the universe and which is universally called gravity. It is also the force in the smallest realm of matter whereby negatively and positively charged protons and electrons are attracted to and repelled from each other and which is called electromagnetic force. That leaves only the other two forces or interactions referred to as weak and strong interactions which also have the effect of attraction and repulsion. In many respects, physicists would probably debate long and hard on such a simplistic explanation as mine, yet I think you can get my point that love is the force which binds all that we know, together.
So what of love in the realm and on the scale of human interactions, this tendency of human beings to connect to one another that involve both interactions which attract or repel?
There are many definitions and distinctions made of the word love. In Greek, there are four. There is first eros, often thought of as passionate, sensual love or longing, even unto sexual desire. Secondly there is philia or philos, which means friendship or dispassionate loyalty to family, friends, tribes or nations and is the source of the word philosophy or “love of wisdom.” Thirdly there is storgé, or affection, such a love of parents for their children.
And finally there is agapé, a holding one in high regard, even to the idea of “true love” as one would have for a life partner or spouse or even a love of God. Agapé is the word that would be compared to the French “amour” and translated in our English phrase “I love you.”
In addition, in the European Middle Ages came yet another distinction of love, called romantic, chivalrous, even sometimes courtly or platonic love, which implies both a longing, but yet also a sublimation of the erotic or sexual desire of eros. This distinction of romantic love is the source of much of our old and modern literature on the subject of love.
There is this popular notion that we often hurt most the ones we love the most. This may be a clue to what I am talking about when I speak of a shadow of love, for it is in this realm of social interaction where much of the unconsciousness around love resides.
For myself, I have seen and known love in all of the distinctions I have mentioned and I have noticed that in all these distinctions a common theme emerges, the theme of attraction and repulsion, which I mentioned before is the Force of the universe. This means that, in the realm of ego, with love comes its opposite, which is hate, although for some, a less stronger word might be intense or mild revulsion.
So in this realm of ego, I want to be clear that hate is not the shadow of love. The shadow of love is in the unconscious belief that I can know of love beyond the boundary of my own ego, and this is the shadow of love to which I have finally reached in this post.
The fallacy or shadow of love is that beyond the boundary of my own ego, love is only a projection. Let me repeat that. Beyond the boundary of my own ego, love is only a projection. I can say this with conviction because there have been written numerous how-to-books about finding happiness and contentment in a relationship and all of them are hot sellers because of the fact that beyond the initial feelings and longings that come from “falling in love”, love actually becomes a high maintenance activity for most of us, and I am certainly no exception.
So how do I get out of this trap of love being a projection? Can I actually consider that the way out of the trap is to step out of ego, even for a second, to see love not as a projection, but as a mirror? As before, when I have spoken of traps, the answer once again is YES!
So how does love become a mirror, instead of a projection? Asking the question that way still involves an ego to ask it so instead I will pose another route out of this trap and step up to the level of Causal being and say that when I am Love as Cause, everything else is a mirror of who I am. At the level of Cause, I get to see in the mirror of Love the reflection of who I am, in the smile or loving words of my partner, in acts of random kindness of a stranger, in the pain expressed by a dog upon whose toe I just stepped or the dismay of the owner of a car I just backed into. I can see Love reflected also in the hatred expressed by ones I would call my enemy, which allows me to forget for a moment that their hatred is a reflection of my own revulsion which is the other side of attraction, two sides of one coin, which is love. When I am Love as Cause, I can no longer fight against anything, I can only lend my support for something. I can’t fight against hate, I can only support love. When I am Love as Cause, I am connected with all, whether or not my ego can see it.
The very best use of life
...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!