The force that enables our existence is love itself. Flowing eternal, penetrating all without disturbance, love is infinitely faster than light and responsible for shaping the stars, planets and space itself. Nature’s canvas offers a multiplicity of egos. They each draw this love unto themselves to form themselves through the love of the ego. There is nothing right or wrong about this, it just is. It is, in fact, (the ego) that is among the first love derived from the all pervading love force that the maker imbued existence with. Unrequited love, perhaps? An unwelcome gift for the creator`s beloved?
Most things have the capacity to contain this love and be conduits of it. Humans have, perhaps, the greatest capacity for both.
This first and foremost love of attachment to the self is vital. Without it, existence would have remained void. Take a ship built of nails and wood. Every little part built through the love and care of the makers that built it. And the sails themselves made of threads carefully woven one to the other. In this way, even a ship is the collection of love provided by its designers and makers. Even if the makers were slaves, they built the ship out of love for their own life, their wellbeing, or that of their families. Even those that nurtured and grew the trees, from which the wood was derived, extended their love to this vessel. Everything has its beginning traced back to love. We are like that ship. Made diligently by the love every cell in our body feels for us when it collects and transforms the matter that we consume into flesh, bone and blood. Each cell lives and dies for us with unconditional love. The least we can do is love them back, lest their love be also unrequited.
But like that ship, our sails can trap the winds of love from our environment to initiate or further our movement and progress. Love is the spiritual energy that enables all things to materially be and then to further become. This is why too little love will kill you and expressing it beyond your capacity will destroy you.
For all things in existence, once movement is manifest, it is able to draw from other matter and expand itself in the physical realm. The universe is a collection of egos large and small; one consuming another to increase its reach and power.
The love of self is the love of being, of maturity and fruition. This is why when we die we must renounce the love of self because death is the ultimate tax collector of all our love amassed. If we are honest, however, death is also among the greatest motivating forces encouraging us to love ourselves and others to the greatest of our ability. There is no way to have this life without the final payment of death. Life itself is merely us taking turns basking in the love that pervades all things; hold it in our hands and body for a small while and then letting go of it. The more love we take, the more the world benefits from our death. The more we give, the more the universe mourns our absence. Love of self is vital and necessary and to a large extent, desirable. But if our love is only focused on the self it will be very difficult and painful to let go when our time comes to let go. If we focus our love on nothing and everything such to detach ourselves from ourselves, and our life, letting go will be effortless, nay, even a joy. While, yes, there is much value in this realization, too many spiritual teachers see this as the only lesson worth teaching. It is only half of the truth. In fact, I believe it is the easy way out. Abandon attachment so that you can abandon suffering? Yes, it will work, but then you might as well jump off a cliff. Why have a life of you intend not to live it?
Becoming a conduit of love rather than merely a recipient, has its challenges for while outwardly expressed, it may also be intended solely for the self. A politician loves its constituents but only to the extent they reciprocate as requested. If the politician does not receive this in return his love could easily turn to hate and then we’d see his love of others was really just a love of the self. True and pure love has no attachment to the self. Your beloved becomes a recipient of your love without any conditions set upon them. This love is rare even when aimed at a deity for still then we expect our prayers to be answered, or heaven itself rewarded to us. The selfless love, despite its magnificence, is dangerous for it often is not reciprocated which means the love with which you water your own garden is now solely directed elsewhere and will likely cause your own being to atrophy and, in time, wither and perish. If the ego wishes to fully love another ego, by definition it must renounce itself. The ship must surrender its sails so the wind can blow even stronger on the ship beside it. If a man or woman had the capacity to love selflessly without harming the self, they would endure for an eternity. This is why all those things that endure are only those that give selflessly, like the heavenly bodies, stars, and planets, a rock even. When you learn how to become a source of love for others, you will feel the power of the universe flowing through you and become an agent of the creator yourself. From this love of others comes sacrifice and sacrifice is the surrendering of the self ego love, for the ego of another self. It is voluntary surrender. So on one extreme we have those that amass the ego through their own love and selfish love of others. These are often people that rise to places of power, prominence and authority. This is the maximization of the ego love. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the renunciation of self to fully love others, this was the example told in stories of the likes of Jesus and Socrates.
True love is resignation of the self such that something new comes, for it is only through selfless love that we allow the love force that pervades creation to flow through us without resistance. Were it not for the unique reverberation produced by our being, it would not even be recognized as coming from us.
Happiness and balance can be found somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Love others but love yourself also. How will you continue to love them if you are dead?