To really understand love and how and why we dream of it, we need to see how and why love exists and expresses in many ways. For example we have the love of or for a baby; a mother’s love; the love of teenagers; the love of grandmothers and grandfathers, even the love for a dog or horse – or any animal. When we ‘love’ someone we may choose to stay with them as a life partner, but that usually does not end there. Our dreams show us loving many people, for love knows no boundaries and reaches out to many.
I believe if you are a keen observer you will have seen that love is everywhere and is an aspect of life, even the cosmos. Some people will say that an animal only does what it does out of instinct. But we too are largely driven by our instinct – we have sex, we over eat, we fight and kill each other, and we follow leaders, exactly like animals. But of course we say it is different because ‘I love’, as if having an ego somehow makes it so different.
You have to understand that as a human being you are largely a creature of instinctive urges. The urges toward ‘love’ and other instincts are tremendous. Have you ever stopped eating for a few days? Well your feelings about the loved person are as difficult to control as eating – yet many people can do it.
Of course you have every right to move toward a relationship, but be careful, because your feeling of ‘love’ is instinctive and it doesn’t mean it will be exactly as you imagine it.
But consider the bird and its young, working and flying all day to provide. If we saw a person doing that with such energy we would say their love for their children drives them. All nature, according to its condition, loves.
We could even say the sun loves the earth. For a condition of maleness is that it reaches out in space as a mans penis does, to fructify the earth. And a condition of femaleness is that it takes the male impulse into her and nurtures it producing life. In fact the sun is dying as it gives itself to the earth, and its energy has certainly penetrated and brought and brings forth life from the earth.
Of course we could argue about that, but I am only trying to show that sex, opposites in nature, and the giving of one to another is fundamental.
Example: I experienced a huge ocean of love at this deeper level. Whatever we experience of love personally, I could see that it was a tiny part of this ocean expressed in our life. There seemed no need to worry about whether it was one’s own love, whether one was capable of love. This seemed pointless. We are not capable of love. There is no love of or our own. By trying to claim it, the saying I love you, seemed ridiculous and limiting. The love belongs to life, it is not ours personally. Because we don’t own it, there is no need to be possessive. All we need do is to allow it to flow through us. Blocking it creates pain and sickness. And for goodness sake do not put a price on it. Do not sell it! It isn’t yours. If you sell it you will need to repay the source.
To look at the very fundamentals of love in human life, we only have to look at the togetherness of a woman and a man as they move to help to produce a new living being. The man projects into the woman and leaves his seeds. When a seed reaches the fertile female egg it gives itself completely. In fact they die to each other to produce a new being. It is that dying to each other that is the physical foundation of love. The death of one form to allow growth into another form is fundamental. See this wonderful demonstration of love https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gvwHHMEDdT0
Love at the human level
Like seeds planted in earth, mammal females have taken the ‘earth’ into their own bodies, and the seed puts down roots into her fertile body to succour itself – the placenta. Again I am only describing an overall view of how nature and love works. It is a picture of how love works. Whenever we ‘love’ another, we put down roots into that other person and a mutual exchange occurs. This occurs because we are often totally unaware of the experience we take in and how it interacts with us when we love someone. In other words the memories and experience we gather unconsciously change us and are not lost. You have taken in millions of bit of memory, lessons learnt, life experiences along with all the feelings or problems met by loving and living with someone and they are what makes you the person you are. Read this wonderful example, it will show how much we take in from those we love or lived with.
At the birth of the new baby the female creature becomes a mother, and often a wonderful change occurs in a woman’s or in female animal’s nature. A bonding can take place that for human mother’s can last a lifetime. In the male, at the sight of the new baby a similar change can occur, leading him to work week after week, year after years, often for poor pay, just to feed and care for the offspring. That is love and it happens even though in some ways the mother or father is not seen as ‘loving’.
Between the mother and baby something similarly wonderful and mysterious occurs. In our times we have developed a rather strange definition of love. Somehow we have, in our literature and drama, and of course in our personal experience, believed love to be some sort of magic relationship, a sort of soul mate, that if we find, we will live ‘happily ever after’. But in fact few if any of us find such a mate, and ‘love’ relationships are usually only partly satisfying, or often deeply painful.
However, without love – defined differently – none of us would have survived physically or psychologically. And without someone there to meet us, and in meeting give years of their life to supporting and nurturing us during infancy, we would not survive. Not only is the giving of food and protection necessary, but also, if we are to grow into a reasonably well adjusted and happy adult, that caring person, and many others, also need to give a lot of themselves to the new born baby. That is love.
Many people are lost and feel as if they cannot more, are trapped, even by past loves. But in fact the more people we can ‘digest’ or accept as part of our own experience, the more freedom we have. Each person we have within us in this way is a new space, a new area or space to live in.
Example: Then I slowly became aware of a deeper sense of the discomfort. It was a feeling of being stuck in one place and not being able to move. It wasn’t anything to do with moving physically but was as an awareness. It felt awful and I tried to move but couldn’t. The only way of describing it was as if we are all made out of the same stuff – as an example concrete – and as such we filled all space. So the little space I filled could not move because all around was filled by others. I felt really stuck and wondered what I could do, but there seemed no way out of it. Yet I could not believe this was really how things were.
Most of this was spontaneous thoughts and movement through the experience, so that was how I was led to thinking about my cousin Sid again, and his situation of being constantly linked with his mother even after he died. Then I realised that I was linked with Rita, and in feeling that I realised that I could move in at least two positions – me and Rita – because of the loving connection I felt.
Then came a flood of realisation, every person I had loved was another position I could be in; and then I knew all the animals I had loved and even people I had a casual relationship with. But there was even more because in dreams and sessions I had become or encountered amazing things, people, creatures, the alien beings and others. I knew then that I was FREE to go anywhere and be almost anything, because their life pattern was now part of me. Then with a rush of wonder, I realised that the more people and creatures I loved, the bigger I became. See Digest
Somewhere in this giving and supporting of life lies a more fundamental definition of love. Birth demonstrates to us some wonderful things about the mechanisms of love we might take for granted, but that are true at many levels. The forming baby links to its mother through the umbilical cord. This remarkable link brings nourishment to the forming child, and is an enormous self giving of the mother’s being to that of her baby. In a very real way, the umbilical cord is the flow of life. If it were cut without any substitute the baby would die.
So we can define love as the giving and receiving from each other that happens through vital connection. Having been witness to many births a very obvious event is the cutting of the umbilical cord. What is not always so obvious is that the baby almost immediately tries to reconnect. It does this in two ways.
Firstly through the mother’s breast. Through that connection it again receives nourishment, but it also receives in the milk things that help it meet the infections and threats confronting it in the external world. Again, connection means survival. As a new born baby it needs skin to skin connection and a nipple near its mouth for a long time. We see this happen in what are mistakenly called primitive societies. Also having watched dogs and cats give birth their babies are kept close and the mother never leaves them for days. Then gradually they are weaned to being left. That is love. As I said, we have a developed a rather strange definition of love.
Connection means life
At an even more subtle level another connection is attempted that isn’t always achieved. The baby attempts to form a living bond with its mother. In all mammals this level of connection is vital. Without it the baby will die unless it forms that bond with another adult. However, the bond is not simply that of having someone to feed you and protect you from harm. That simply feeds the infant body. But within that body is an infant consciousness, a living, feeling, learning and wonderful being. This ‘consciousness body’ also needs feeding to survive and grow. Babies abandoned and brought up by animals never become a human being. They remain at the psychological level of the animal rearing them. Such connection means a sharing of caring love, of ideas and thoughts, and a way of helping the infant consciousness to find ways to learn, to explore, to be curious and adventurous. See Programmed
So far we have seen that love is a purely physical giving of self to the point if dying; an emotional giving and mutual sharing which involves changing each other by memories and lessons learnt and such lessons are not things we can get rid of but we can digest and integrate them. See digest Also love is also a giving what skills, learning and care that can be shared or given to another as a mother and father, as a teacher, carer, nurse, doctor or spiritual guide. See spiritual
So love always gives and receives. It is often the giving of oneself in honesty, and such giving doesn’t always mean ‘sweetness and light’, but can be sharing of anger, fear or frustration, in a way that actually stays in the other person as a life lesson. And such anger or fear is usually given because one has links of love with the other person. Such lessons of love can survive death as the following describes -
“For I saw, nothing of us survived, in death, except what we had given of ourselves, or been given by others. And of the latter, what gave life was not what we had been given, but what we had allowed ourselves to receive of another.
In this way my new being began, with my dead father near by. And my first awareness was of love in its many forms. The shy love of a child, tender love of a woman’s care, or the passionate love of jealousy, a baby’s devouring love, or the unexpressed love of one who simply sits and waits.” Quotation from Death Was The Loss
The passionate love that often leads to marriage and for people saying, “I loved him/her but they left me. I am destroyed and hurt,” is often our mamma animal self flooding us with hormones that cause such feelings. Or else it is because we have never matured into love. I know it is awful to tell a teenager or a marriage partner who feels they cannot live without the one now gone out of their life that they haven’t matured beyond baby love. But it is mine and other people who deal with relationships experience that we often remain in a baby level of love.
Baby love is completely dependent upon the loved person for ones needs, physical, emotional and social. Great anger, jealousy or pain if the loved one relates to anyone else, is lost, or threatens to leave. In an adult this enormous feeling reaction may also be felt at a time of emotional withdrawal of the partner, even if there is no sign of them withdrawing physically. There is a desire for unconditional love and a need to be always with the loved one. In an adult with this level of love, sex may be a part of the relationship, but the main need is a bonded connection. This is sometimes felt as a need to have the loved person want you as much, or as desperately, as you want/need them. Obviously many people never develop beyond this level. Possibly the greatest fear, that can trigger great anger or an enormous desire to placate or earn love, is the threat or fear of being abandoned. See Beware of Love
Often we make a satellite character of the person we “love”. In other words we try to make them swing around us in the way that suits our emotional and physical needs. Notice how many people have breakdowns, depression, or even commit suicide when their partner leaves them, goes with another person or dies. Those things point to pretty desperate internal situations – in other words the baby level of feeling response.
To grow up and become a mature lover takes courage. Each time we try to possess the other person, lash out at them through jealousy, curtail their life through our fears and insecurities, we need to stop and say, “This is childhood behaviour. I will not let this anger, possessiveness, jealousy or emotional blackmail be perpetrated on the person I presumably love. I will face this and deal with it as a problem in my character, and will not rationalise and excuse it by saying to my partner that I love them. That is an underhanded excuse. It is not love.”
Love for someone can be a strange thing, wonderful but sometimes painful. I have traced love back into the deeps of dreams and myself, and I found that although love has many faces, your mother or partner for instance, it has in the end only one source and it flows through all if we allow it. So don’t be hard on yourself, but let love flow through until it becomes one great love that is everyone – it is Life itself.
So, how about it? How about growing up to love?
“My grandmother told me, that God has given us the gift of love, and that was a special thing, like a gift of the spirit. She led me to the sense that this gift is like a potential. It isn’t something fully formed. It is a rare thing, and difficult in our world to fully live it, to make it real in the physical world. But this is what the gift is for, to make real, to live and let it shine. She said that although we will have to work at it, it can be done, and that this love can bring us a sort of happiness few have.”