Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

No U in Love

By Soulthriller

Love is where you are not.

It would bomb as a pick up line, but it’s a concept of love worth pondering. They are the words of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a renowned spiritual teacher who traveled the world in the twentieth century extolling the merits of self-inquiry.

At first the statement comes across like one of those if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods Zen mindbenders, but spend a few moments with it and it may dissolve into a valuable insight.

Tug on the word ‘you’ and the statement begins to unravel. You, as in ego. Krishnamurti was saying that love can only exist when the ego is not around to muck things up.

Few of us would object to such a selfless concept of love. Similar observations by acknowledged subject matter experts like St. Paul and Kahlil Gibran lift our lips into hopeful smiles during wedding ceremonies. In those moments of stillness we contemplate the endlessness of human possibility, but only seconds later we are contemplating the endless flow of free beer at the reception. It’s as if such grand visions of love are too hot to hold, or perhaps too unattainable to sustain our attention.

And anyway, who are St. Paul or Kahlil Gibran to lecture anyone about love? The dudes weren’t even married.

For better or for worse, we view love as easily acquired treasure. This is because we define it as a feeling, rather than as the shared experience Krishnamurti hints at. We can’t wait to report the news of our surging feelings to friends after a third date with our latest admirer. And three dates later we want to throw open the window and broadcast our feelings to the world. Something inside us has been switched on, and it’s a marvelous feeling that’s hard to describe. Eventually we all find the same word for it – love.

But is a feeling that any randy seventh grader can experience really what the world needs more of? If this is love, it is not of the selfless variety. It is all about us, and hooray for that. But feelings come and go, even the rapturous ones, making this kind of love as easy to fall out of as it is to fall into. Is this ephemeral quality evidence of love’s sublime mystery? Or is love, the feeling, too flimsy a structure to stand on its own?

Divorced from feeling, love loses its conventional charm. When it’s not being rented out for wedding ceremonies, the concept of love as a shared state of being is considered the property of ascetics like Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Far from romantic, it is a state in which the ego loses its grip and one’s identity merges with those around them. It is love without a speck of self-gratification; in the absence of ego, there is no self seeking any reward.

Love exists, according to Krishnamurti, because we no longer do.

As inspiring as this selfless model of love might be, who needs it? The old model works just fine. That is, until it breaks down, which it does most of the time when you consider the hefty divorce rate and then guess at the number of burned out marriages. Add to this the legions of lovers meeting similar fates outside the borders of marriage and we have what might be termed an epidemic if it were a contagious disease. And yet somehow none of this dissuades us from hopping aboard the same rickety jalopy for another perilous ride.

A more abiding state of love awaits those disillusioned by one too many hapless joyrides. We need not shave our heads or abandon all earthly pleasures to enter this transcendent state, but we must discard the notion that love is a self-fulfilling venture. Love and ego cannot coexist. Like light and shadow, they cancel each other out. For love to appear, you must disappear. You must give yourself so completely that no trace of you remains. Love arises in the space created by your absence. Love is where you are not.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • No Availability


    Oh dear, dear sticking to their religious beliefs put a pair of hotel proprietors on the wrong side of the law yesterday when judgment was given in the Bristol... Read more

    By  Judithmiddleton
  • Love Cocoon

    Love Cocoon

    Recently, whilst speaking to my best friend, I couldn’t help but wonder about the level of seriousness in her relationship. It really made me think about how... Read more

    By  Juliez
  • Mozaic Cafe and Delicatessen, Ashton-u-Lyne

    Mozaic Cafe Delicatessen, Ashton-u-Lyne

    Last week we received an email inviting us to try a new Moroccan and Lebanese cafe in Ashton. This was new to us. We've not really eaten or cooked Moroccan food... Read more

    By  Eatouteatin
  • Dad Project No. 2


    We have one large wall in our 'TV room'. I didn't want to hang artwork or pictures on it but wanted something to hang there to break up the wall and possibly... Read more

    By  Happylivingdesign
  • Dad Project No. 1


    There is seriously nothing better than a retired parent(s). My dad retired a couple of years ago and in between breaking up old concrete in his basement,... Read more

    By  Happylivingdesign
  • No. 11: Newsflash


    Days to go: 49Yes that’s just seven weeks at it’s full speed ahead at wedding HQ over here! I’m really busy with work too – so rather than a full on... Read more

    By  Claire
  • No. 12: Musical Favours

    Musical Favours

    Days to go: 45 We spent last Friday evening putting together everything for our favours. 1. Small piano and guitar place card holders to be displayed alternatel... Read more

    By  Claire