LOVE

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."    Terri - age 4

“A garden needs a lot of care and a lot of love.  And if you give your garden a lot of love things grow, but first, some things must wither; some trees die; fresh young saplings take their place.  In the planting season you can watch the garden become very beautiful…Some plants do well in the sun.  And others grow better in the shade.”
   Chance the Gardner, Being There, Jerzy Kosinski

"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence"    Erich Fromm

“You can’t be wise and in love at the same time”    Bob Dylan

"A toast, Jedediah to love on my own terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows - his own."
  C.F. Kane, Citizen Kane, Orson Wells, Herman Mankiewicz

L’amour est de tous les sentiments le plus egoiste, et, par consequent, lorsqu’il est blesse, le moins genereux.”   Adolphe, Benjamin Constant

We are all searching for our truth, which may be a Universal Truth.  The goal of the Golden Seat is to harmonize Philosophy, Science, and Religion, or in Plato’s language, to harmonize Beauty Truth, and Goodness.  The visual touchstone of that quest is the beautiful artwork called The Golden Seat whose central figure, the angel ‘Harmony’, gives us a clue to the answer:  the very top of her halo is the word ‘LOVE’.

In Book II of Eat, Pray, Love: India – 36 Tales About the Pursuit of Devotion, the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, meets Richard, a former oilfield worker, truck driver, used car salesman, junkie, alcoholic, hippie, farmer, Vietnam vet, radio voice-over announcer and  high-end medical equipment dealer (until his marriage fell apart and he gave the whole business to his ex and got left “scratchin’ my broke white ass again”). 

 “He must be a new arrival.  The stranger’s got a cool, ain’t-no-big-hurry kind of walk…He sits down across from me and drawls, ‘Man, they got mosquitoes ‘round this place big enough to rape a chicken.’  Ladies and Gentlemen, Richard from Texas has arrived…”

In story 44, Gilbert tells Richard of her frustration in wisin’ up to the nature of spiritual devotion,

 “All I seem to do is argue with myself when I try to meditate.”  “That’s just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge.  This is what your ego does.  It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you’re flawed and broken and alone instead of whole.”  “But how does that serve me?”  “It doesn’t serve you.  Your ego’s job isn’t to serve you.  Its only job is to keep itself in power.  And right now, your ego’s scared to death cuz it’s about to get downsized.  You keep up this spiritual path, baby, and that bad boy’s days are numbered.  Pretty soon your ego will be out of work, and your heart be making all the decision.”  “Ever try to take a toy from a toddler?  They don’t like that, do they? They start kicking and screaming.  Divert his attention.  Instead of trying to forcefully take thoughts out of your mind, give your mind something better to play with.  Something healthier.”  “Like what?” “Like love, Groceries.  Like pure divine love.”

Love’s Garden

In 'What Do You Say After You Say Hello', Dr. Eric Berne, originator of transactional analysis, discusses the nature of the human garden,

 “All men and women have their secret gardens, whose gates they guard against the profane invasion of the vulgar crowd.  These are visual pictures of what they would do if they could do as they pleased.  The lucky ones find the right time, place, and person, and get to do it, while the rest must wander wistfully outside their own walls…[healthy or unhealthy love] is about what happens outside those wall, the external transactions that water or parch the flowers within.”

What parches love’s garden is the ‘trash’ we must go through since we leave the maturity ward.  Besides the trash of the physical planet itself (floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis), the cast of dodgy characters are plenty:  the ignorant, the children-of-the-lie, the dark, the damning and simply just the mean-spirited.  Their ability to douse love’s joy and Light ranges from the humorous to the horrid, from the naïve to the nasty.  We live in a negative planet which can condition us to the point of striking out at those we love.

Love, like gratitude, is active emotion – it is expressed outwardly (through the gift of a flower, the touch of a hand, a few spoken words).  A passive emotion, like greed, is held inside.  The healthy outlook is not to view the ‘trash’ as a negative, but as a positive, telling ourselves, “I won’t be like them.”  As John tells us, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5).  Love’s wand the Caduceus protects itself with its ‘wise as serpents’ wisdom against deception and its ‘harmless as doves’ purity against absorbing negativity (Matt. 10:16).

Love’s Crucifixion


 
The nurturing of love’s garden can be viewed as a "feminine voice" of love’s equation.  The famous Lebanese American poet
 Kahlil Gibran gives us a "masculine voice" perspective on love’s garden, in his poignant poetic essay On Love (The Prophet),

 “When love beckons to you follow him, though his ways are hard and steep.  And when his wings enfold you yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.  And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.  Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning…”

Love’s Opposite
Journey of the Soul (Book 3) gives us another insight into love’s nature by exploring love’s opposite – hate:

 “An awful lot of healing and joy can be given through personality, and a lot of pain can be given through personality.  Maybe you cannot be the life of the party.  That does not necessarily mean that you cannot be congenial (eg, kindred, sympathetic).  There are not many peacemakers anymore.  There are a lot of squabblers, and an awful lot of naggers, but not many peacemakers.  You cannot save the world, but you can certainly clean up your little area. Hate is your fear of the ability to cope.  When you hate something, you cannot cope with it. If you cannot cope with your mother, ex-wife, then you hate her; or you father or ex-husband, you hate him.  You really have to think to hate.  You really have to conjure up vengeance.  Love is automatic.  It flows.  If you have to use effort in loving, you are not loving.  You are tolerating.  If you have to make a conscious effort everyday to try to love something or someone, you are not loving.  That is toleration day in and day out.”

The Laws of Love
A pioneering study of love, 'A General Theory of Love' (Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D., Richard Lannon, M.D.) observes that “love has an intrinsic order, an architecture that can be detected, excavated and explored.  Because it is part of the physical universe, love has to be lawful.  Like the rest of the world, it is governed and described by principles we can discover, but cannot change”.  The goal is to find
 laws of love where consequence of neglect is just as severe as ignoring the force of gravity and falling off a cliff.  The consequence of neglect is not the (fictional) ‘subterranean hell’, but the blockage of spiritual growth.

These ‘laws of love’ are not as mysterious as one would think, for they have been with us since the beginning of recorded history.  Only Two suffice:

 I. Love God with all your heart, mind & soul.
 II. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love Up - Love Down
The Lengthy Story of The Golden Seat discussed two grand movements in Religious/Philosophical matters:  Ascension and Descension

The path of Ascension is reflected in Love Law I – Divine love.  In seeking simplicity and to balance levity and solemnness, The Golden Seat calls it ‘LOVE UP’.   Matter to Spirit.  The Many to One.  The path of wisdom.

The path of Descension is reflected in Love Law II – Affectionate love.  The Golden Seat affectionately calls it ‘LOVE DOWN’.  Spirit to Matter.  The One to Many.  The path of compassion.

Looking at it a different way, we could say ‘Love Up’ is “Vertical Love” – the love of God.  And ‘Love Down’ is “Horizontal Love” – the love of Man.  It is left to the read to reflect on the visuals of vertical and horizontal and the symbolism of the cross.

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