8/01/2009

Love Thy Self


Dante gazing toward his Beloved Beatrice, who gazes toward the divine Pleuroma ("fullness").

Follow your love to the Beloved. Follow your Beloved to God. Follow God to your Self.

Don't be selfless. Be the Self. Don't be selfish. Be the Self. Be so overflowing with divine Selfhood that your heart includes everybody.

The secret of love is that we never love anyone but the Self. Those who claim to be selfless, loving others but not themselves, are deluded. Every impulse of love arises from the subject, flows out to embrace the object, and returns to the Self as a wave of bliss.

I do not love you for your sake, but for the sake of the Self. You do not love me for my sake, but for the sake of the Self. Thanks to our love, the Self can play in the ocean of its own divine sweetness.

Love is a circle, ever returning to the lover's heart. You complete love's circle by reveling in the radiance of that supreme Lord who is your pure luminous Self. You may call him Shiva or Christ. It doesn't matter what you call Him, as long as you experience God as the sparkling diamond of awareness in the hridaya chakra, the heart center.

Reveling in your heart, the Self overflows with waves that bathe all creation around you. These are the waves of the Goddess Shakti, the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord's eternal partner. When Shiva-Shakti, Christ and the Spirit, dance in your heart and kindle your spine with twin flames of love, shattering every illusion of doubt and limitation, crowning your head with stars, anointing your inmost eye with a vision of boundless sparkling space, which is the space of the Self, the vastness you are: your life too becomes a dance. Innocently, naturally, you heal and nourish everyone in your presence: not because you are selfless, but because you are Self-effulgent.

We certainly find our divine Self in the Bible. But jealous priests suppressed this wisdom. They turned self into a dirty four-letter word. They encouraged self-denial, fearing that their flocks might grow too independent once they tasted divinity within. Just look into the great book. Is the human Self not created "in the image and likeness of God"? Does the great commandment not say, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," affirming that true love of others depends on loving ourselves? Did Jesus not teach, "The kingdom of heaven is within you?"

Union with the Self brings peace, and an end to craving. As you follow your path, you need not be distant from the goal. God is nearer than your next breath. At every step along the way, you can return to Him, rest where He rests in your heart, and delight in your inner divinity. With this very breath, surrender now. Om Namah Shivaya.

True religion is not striving for life after death in some higher world. True religion is resting deeply in the Self, here, where the dance begins....

Om purnam adah purnam idam
Purnat purnam udachyate
Purnasya purnam adaye
Purnam eva vashishyate ('Isa Upanishad')

"This inward Self is full and whole.
Its outer manifestation is full and whole.
Every part created from the whole is equally whole,
leaving the fullness perfectly full and whole."

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