Copyright © 1979 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.
Love shows the way and lights the path; love is the flowing forth of the permeant light, the Buddhic splendor, the Christ light, at the heart of the universe — that love which, working in gods and men, teaches us to know beauty when we see it, especially inner beauty, to recognize greatness and splendor in others, from knowing the greatness and splendor in our own inmost being.
Love is the cement of the universe; it holds all things in place and in eternal keeping; its very nature is celestial peace, its very characteristic is cosmic harmony, permeating all things, boundless, deathless, infinite, eternal. It is everywhere, and is the very heart of the heart of all that is.
Love is the most beauteous, the holiest, thing known to human beings. It gives to man hope; it holds his heart in aspiration; it stimulates the noblest qualities of the human being, such as the sacrifice of self for others; it brings about self-forgetfulness; it brings also peace and joy that know no bounds. It is the noblest thing in the universe.
“Love ye one another” — a beautiful saying this, for it is an appeal to the very core of your nature, to the divine within you, to the inner god, whose essence is a celestial splendor. The essential light of you is almighty love.
Love is protective; love is puissant; it is all-penetrating; and the more impersonal it is, the higher it is and the more powerful. It knows no barriers either of space or of time, for it is nature’s fundamental activity, nature’s fundamental law, and it is the universal bond of union among all things. It will not only eat away the obstinacy of the stoniest of human hearts and dissolve the substance of the most adamantine of human minds, but it will slowly infuse its life-giving warmth everywhere. Nothing can bar its passage, for it is the very life-essence of the universe. For all beings and things are one, ultimately, all rooted in the one Life, and through all flows the steady, uninterrupted current of almighty love.
Love is the great attractive power which links thing to thing, human heart to human heart; and the higher one goes in evolution, the closer does love enwrap its tendrils through all the fiber of one’s being; or, to change the figure of speech, the more does the human heart expand with love, until finally it embraces in its folds all the universe, so that one comes to love all things both great and small, without distinction of place or time. Oh, the blessedness of this feeling, of this realization! It is divine; for love, impersonal love, is divine.
Personal love is but a reflection of it; and personal love is fallible, because the ray is so feeble. Anything that has as its motivating cause the desire for personal benefit is not true love.
In personal love the veils of personality begin to thicken before the inner eye, because personal desire collects and thickens into one’s aura — the surrounding psychic atmosphere — and condenses it, and this it is which causes the thickening of the psychic veils, obscuring the inner vision and understanding. The essence of true love is self-forgetfulness, and to this rule there are no exceptions.
If a man’s heart and mind are filled solely with a personal love, then he loves this but he does not love that; he loves something over there, but he does not love some other thing here, or vice versa — in other words, his love is limited in direct ratio with its personal character. That is the kind of love that is not wholly true, that is limited.
Impersonal love is lovely, beautiful, and has no trace of the things that we all dislike. It is always kindly to everything and to everybody — to beings and things both great and small; it is intuitive.
Responsibility, trust, confidence, love — these indeed bring happiness, strength, and joy. But you will not understand these grand qualities nor truly feel them if your heart is filled with purely personal limited feelings and thoughts. Your heart will not have a place for them, will not contain them if it is filled with merely personal things.
For personal love is never responsible, has no sense of responsibility. It cannot trust; it cannot truly confide; it cannot utterly give, because the “I” is there in strength all the time and its one thought is: for me, for me, for me. This is the trouble in the world today, and all troubles and sorrows will cease in large, large, large degree when men and women can love each other impersonally, when men can look upon their fellow man as a human hero, and when women will trust their own sex, which they will do when they have this vision — the vision sublime.
It is precisely this selfish personal love which has brought sorrow, suffering, and misery into human life, just as impersonal love cleanses and purifies and makes men’s hearts glad.
There is something beautiful about a human heart which can give itself without thought of recompense or of the pain that the giving temporarily may cause the giver. That love which is given without thought of or for self, which has no frontiers and no conditions, is divine. True love is impersonal always.
Love is peace; love is harmony; love is self-forgetfulness; love is strength; it is power; it is vision; it is evolution. Its power so expands the inner nature that slowly you become sympathetic, because you become at one with the entire home universe in which you live and move and have your being; and because it is harmony itself, and because it is of the very essence of the core of the universe, you become at one with the divinity in the heart of all things.
Impersonal love is divine. It illuminates the heart; it broadens the mind; it fills the soul with a sense of oneness with all that is; so that you could no more injure a fellow creature than you could do a wrong deliberately and willfully to some thing, or to the individual, that personally you love best on earth.
Love is mighty. It is the greatest thing in human life, because it is the greatest thing in the life of the gods, of which human life is but a poor and inadequate reflection. One’s whole nature pours out its glorious stream of sympathy for all that is. Life becomes ennobled from the very beginning, and you see before you, even on those distant horizons of the future, complete understanding of everything, with everything, and a reunion of all entities and things into one consciousness, wherein hatred, strife, disunion, misunderstanding, will have vanished away.
A faint reflection of this love is the love of one human being for another — very faint it is, but it is at least the beginning of self-forgetfulness. But once the soul is illuminated with impersonal love’s holy splendor, then you truly live.
Impersonal love asks no reward, it gives all and therefore gives itself. Love is an illumination. Love is inspiring; it opens the doors of the mind, because it cracks the bonds of the lower selfhood hemming in the god within. When you love impersonally then the divine fires flow out, and man becomes truly man.
Love is a mighty power. Perfect love casteth out all fear. He whose heart is filled with love and pity never knows what fear is; there is no room for it in his heart. Love all that lives and you then ally yourself with invincible cosmic powers and you become strong and spiritually and intellectually clairvoyant. You will never fear anything in proportion as your heart is filled with love and understanding, because love — perfect love — bringeth understanding. You will then never fear poverty; you will never fear death.
You can overcome fear by visualizing to yourself actions and thoughts of high and noble courage. Think of yourself as doing courageous actions. Study and admire courageous actions in others. Study and admire courageous thought in others. Grow to love courage, so that you follow it. Then you become it and fear will vanish away like the mists of the night before the rising sun. There lies the secret of overcoming fear: it is to use the creative imagination.
These are practical rules of ethics, practical rules of human conduct; and oh, the pity that mankind has lost sight of them! Men will be ruled by fear just as long as they love themselves; for then they will be afraid of everything that is going to happen — afraid to venture, afraid to act, to do, to think, for fear lest they lose. And they will then lose. “That which I had feared has come upon me!” It is always so.
It is the great men who do not fear, who venture, who act, who do — for they are the doers; and they are also the thinkers of the world; because in either case they have no fear. They love the things that they do. Therefore they have no fear.
The strong man is he who loves, not he who hates. The weak man hates because he is limited and small. He can neither see nor feel the other’s pain and sorrow, nor even sense so easy a thing as the other’s viewpoint. But the man who loves recognizes his kinship with all things. His whole nature shines with the beauty within him, expands with the inner fire which flames itself forth in beautiful and symmetrical thoughts, and therefore in beautiful and kindly acts. His very features will soften and become kindly; he will not be feared; he will not be hated.
Impersonal love is magical; it works marvels; it will break even stony human hearts. Nothing, not even hate, can withstand its passage. Follow the ancient law: hate not. Conquer hatred by love. Requite never hate with hate, for thus you but add fuel to an unholy flame. Requite hatred with compassion and justice. Give justice when you receive injustice. Thus you ally yourself with nature’s own spiritual procedures and you become a child of the cosmic life, which thereafter will beat in your own heart with its undying pulses.
Be yourself, and expand your sympathies; touch with the tendrils of your consciousness the hearts of other human beings. What delight to feel, as it were, the inner and electrical quiver that your own soul experiences when you have touched the heart of a fellow human being!
Let your heart expand with the divine energies latent within it: love, compassion, pity, understanding of others, kindliness, the vision of beauty in the light of love, and of love in the light of the beauty that itself emanates.
Be kindly; refuse to hate. Let your heart expand.
Another step which leads to the pathway of divine love is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the movement of the heart which will lead you to make the first step on the upward way; it is in truth one of the steps to divine love. True forgiveness requires strength of character, real manhood, real discrimination, and intellectual power; it is the refusing to bear resentment, to nourish a grudge, to cultivate hatred; and forgiveness means also to cleanse your own heart of these vile and degrading impulses.
Here is the illustration: you have been wronged. Which of these twain will you do: nourish resentment, cultivate hatred, bide the time when you may pay back in the same coin, thereby increasing the trouble and heart agony of the world by double? Or will you say: No, I will forgive; I myself have laid the way open for this, for I myself in the past have brought this pain upon me. Unhappy man who harms me! I will forgive him.
The evildoer knows not what he is doing. He is weak. He is blind. Whereas he with a forgiving heart sees and is strong: for love forgives all things, and the reason that it does so is because it sympathizes, it understands. Understanding brings insight.
Learn to forgive; and forgive when forgiving is needed. Not the mere lip-forgiving, when there is no temptation upon you to hate, but forgive when forgiveness means calling forth the strength in you. Love when there is a mean and selfish impulse upon you to hate, because loving then shows spiritual exercise which means strength and grandeur within you.
This is very strengthening for you in your inner constitution. The effort and the result pacify disputes, allay distress, stimulate trust and kindly feeling; and to him who sincerely and successfully forgives there come a peace and a consciousness of strength which nothing else ever can bring.
Forgive and love your fellows, and let that love which fills your heart with its holy light and illumines your mind with its divine splendor, let it go out to all that lives, without bounding it, without laying frontiers for it; and your reward will be very great. For love is not only evocative of love in other hearts, but it is very elevating to yourself. It brings out not solely the beautiful things in the souls of those whom you love, but it develops your own faculties and powers.
Forgive and love; and you thereby place your feet on the pathway which will lead you direct to the spiritual sun which rises eternally with healing in its wings. Forgive and love; and before you know it, you will feel the sweet influence of the Buddhic splendor — the Christ spirit — stealing all through your being. You will then become a beneficent power on earth, not merely beloved of your fellow men, but a blessing to all beings. You will then be making a beginning in the proper use of the sublime faculties and powers native to the god within you; you will understand all things, because love is truly clairvoyant and is a mighty power.
Learn to forgive, for it is sublime; learn to love, for it is divine.
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