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Love or Lust?

We’ve all asked ourselves the question, what is Love? It’s one of the most perplexing of all human experiences. It seems the more we learn about love, the more we don’t understand and continue to learn as humans evolve. The reality is that love can mean something different to everyone. It’s one of the most studied, but least understood, of all the human behaviors.

If you are unable to identify the difference between a love formed from grasping (lust) to a love formed from giving (true love), then you’ve never known true love. True love isn’t interested in what one can get from the arrangement. True love just is, regardless of desires. Romance is rarely a gateway to true love since it’s generally a product of desire. However it might sometimes blossom into such, but more often than not it simply survives through mutual desire which in itself isn’t true love.

I use the term true love in want of a more exact term. In this case, I refer to true love as being the manifestation of the transcendence of duality. Acceptance of one fully and without reservation, without regards to one’s own desires and perhaps even in spite of them and not even out of some vague often unrealized ultimate desire for some promise of the potential of the future fulfillment of desire.

It is this latter form of desire that most often leads one to mistake the two. Lust is often good at hiding itself in a cloak of seemingly altruistic desire. Even if the desire to see oneself as a good person or fulfill one's own sense of obligation to others, it is still a form of desire and is therefore distinct from true love. This does not however make it in any way adverse. I do not believe that desire is inherently a negative thing in itself. If the desire ultimately leads one to positive things then such desire is ultimately positive.

Rather, it is simply a recognition that there is a form of love for another that exists which transcends such things. A love beyond romance and beyond all desires, even positive ones. Only recently have I come to recognize this, because I’ve begun to feel it for the very first time. I have Zen Buddhists and their meditations to thank for this revelation.

I believe that this represents the beginning of my initiation into Keter. I knew I was at the doorway, but I’m only now starting to parse the lessons it has to teach. The first step on this length of the journey started many moons ago, but contrary to my initial speculation, I am not yet at the end but merely at the beginning of the end.

I’m learning more things about the ultimate mysteries of the universe than I ever thought possible but with it, I’m learning about new, more powerful, positive feelings than I ever thought possible. I am as yet unsure of how this will ultimately pan out but I can tell already that it is going to somehow change me very fundamentally for the better.

Em Hotep - Patrick Gaffiero


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