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Creative Commons License photo credit: nosha

First, a qualification: When I make use of the word “love” in this article I’m not particularly referring to romantic love.

The vast majority of love as expressed by us is conditional. When you consider that we are all deeply selfish because we are ignorant of the manner of our real existence it’s difficult to see how it could be otherwise. Generally most people perceive everything as separate, particularly themselves. The conditioning of our perception by our limited physical senses largely produces this phenomenon. With just a little thought it can be seen that everything is interdependent, including ourselves. True love however is unconditional.

Why You Love the People You Do
Let me show you how I come to the statement that true love is unconditional. Consider someone you love or even a very good friend. If you have a good relationship with your mother consider your mother. For me the love from my mother is a very good example of relatively condition free love. The one condition being I am her son of course. Beyond that I could probably kill 10 people, get caught with a pile of evidence and if I told her I didn’t do it she would believe me and still love me regardless. I am after all flesh of her flesh. There is a very deep connection there.

Now consider what would happen to your love for whoever you chose for this exercise if that person started being abusive to you – verbal or physical or whatever. If they started stealing from you. Started telling other people lies about you. How long would it take before your “love” dried up? What I’m saying is you didn’t actually love that person to begin with. You loved what you got from them. You loved what it was they did for you. You loved the conditions of the relationship. Soon as you don’t like the conditions of the relationship or don’t like what you are getting from the person you magically don’t love that person any more.

It’s not magic because I propose you didn’t actually in reality love that person to begin with. Well, that may be a bit extreme. I think there are always flashes of real love and that is when we are at our best and usually when we feel our best. However they are often few and far between.

Your Feelings Towards Strangers
Now consider a stranger you pass in the street. You probably feel very little to nothing in regards to any particular one of them. But say you are in a hurry to get somewhere for something that is important to you. You’re moving through the crowd of people when suddenly you’re blocked from going any faster by a group of people all walking really slow. Chances are you’ll feel a little irritated at these strangers. They have done something injurious to your self. Remember this is the very self that doesn’t exist the way you think it does.

Now a different scenario: You are walking on the street and someone passing you by the other way looks you in the eyes and gives you a nice smile. You naturally smile back and feel good. You are now also imbued with positive feelings towards that person. Not because in reality there isn’t any real separation between the two of you. No, you feel good towards them because they have benefited your imaginary separate self in some way.

Why is Your Enemy Your Enemy?
Finally consider your enemy. You hate them because of what they have done to your imaginary walled in and separate self. That’s pretty simple. So again it is dependent on conditions. If that person had not done certain things or been a certain disagreeable (from the subjective point of view of your self) way you would not hate them. So you don’t really even hate them. You just hate the conditions, which you then attach to them.

Now consider that every single person in each of the three classes of people I’ve set up here wants just one thing – to be happy. Which is exactly what you want. So they like you want to be happy. On that level this means there is no difference between them and you.

Your enemy should be thanked the most out of all these classes of people because without them having done you injury and so become your enemy it would be impossible for you to fully develop the realization that you are living a conditioned life. In such a state your life is not your own. You are just a product of conditions. Sure you have some causal power to produce your own conditioning but on the scale of things you’re influence upon yourself is minimal.

We all want to be loved, so consider the message of the single most loved figure in history – Jesus. He said love your neighbor as yourself. He even said love your enemy. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, and so on. Considering how we all wish to be loved and the example of the most loved figure in history our course is clear. It’s not hard to see that the most powerful way to receive love is to give it. The more of it you give the more of it you have. When you give it to “others” you give it to your “self”. By giving unconditional love you will attract true love to yourself.

Is Your Life Like Cancer?
The way many of us live is like one of our body’s cells thinking it’s separate from another one of our cells. In one way, it is. But in a more fundamental way it most definitely is not. There is an irrefutably tightly bound interdependence. Thus we are all One. So the potential is there for unconditional love and compassion brought about through realizing the real nature of things. To my mind it is naïve to think that how people function when they cannot see beyond the illusion, which is what most everyone is doing including myself, is the only way things can be. In fact it strikes me as delusional madness.

Incidentally when some of our cells stop communicating with the rest of the body, become selfish and stop doing what they are supposed to be doing as part of the interdependent whole they become what we call cancer and eventually result in the destruction of the whole.

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