“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” —Thomas Carlyle
Love has been a topic of interest and concern since the first caveman bonked his mate on the head with his club and dragged her by the hair into his bungalow-sized cave. That is before she planted petunias and had him build a white picket fence. I say love but I could as easily have said sex, for the two words are often used interchangeably. I am not a psychologist, scientist or talk show host so I am no expert on love. But I have fallen in love a time or two and that should count for something. For what it is worth I will offer my two cents on the topic of sex, love and Universal Love.
First I would like to untangle the arms and legs of sex and love to see if, in fact, there is a difference between the two. Then I would like to contrast sex and love with Universal Love, the goal of every spiritual aspirant on the path to salvation.
Sex is one of our greatest primal drives. I don’t think I can add much to the libraries of information that exist around this topic. Amazing how such a simple, three-letter word can cause so much commotion. For instance, I teach Alternative Healing at Everglades University. When the collective consciousness of a class tends to wander away from the topic at hand all I have to do is write SEX on the board and within 2.35 seconds I have every student’s complete and undivided attention. As they say in the advertising business, “Sex sells.”
Sex is biological. It is hardwired into our brains for the survival of our species. But there seems to be more to sex than a simple pleasure impulse designed to inspire us to repeat the process over and over until we populate the earth. In light of our present over-population predicament, it is a shame we didn’t come with some kind of reset button. But that is another story for another day.
Sex is an intricate part of falling in love. When we see someone who is attractive to us, our senses stimulate our brains to release sex hormones. We become sexually aroused and can be satisfied with just the physical release or we may feel all warm and fuzzy, the precursor to what many call love.
This warm, fuzzy “romantic love” can overwhelm us during the first few months of a new relationship. We may become consumed by the fires of love and, while under its spell, make life-altering decisions like eloping and joining the circus as a husband-wife knife throwing team. (Sorry, I didn’t mean to dredge up my personal history.) Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that out of the physical act of sex we humans tend to experience strong emotions for our partner. We collectively refer to these emotions as love. In fact, sex is a good barometer for how well a relationship is doing. When a relationship experiences difficulty, sexual intimacy is usually the first causality. On the other hand, when things are going very well between partners, thoughts of sex bound unbidden into our minds to quickly find fruition in our bodies. There they stay until the desire is again doused by the doldrums of daily living.
When the emotions of a new love wash over us, we feel like it will never end. We think that we will always feel this way about our partner. But, as anyone who has fallen in love can tell, it doesn’t last. That incredible, bombastic, rocket ride into the wobbly world of love just doesn’t last; it can’t. And here is why it can’t.
Understanding Conditional Love
Romantic love, whether born of sexual union or not, is conditional love. In fact, the term “making love” infers that we perform sexually and then love is produced. Love is a condition of sexual union. But there are many other aspects to romantic love. It depends on many circumstances like beauty, form, functionality and any traits that trip psychological triggers that when triggered, we can hear ourselves say, “I don’t know why I love him, I just do.” The poets and songwriters never tire of extolling the virtues of this lofty love. They might say, “Her hair is the golden light of morning, her eyes soft, luminescent pools of compassion and her smile fills me with the radiance of life.” Or simply, “I like the way she walks. I like the way she talks.”
Conditional love waxes when our partner does loving things and wanes when they don’t. Isn’t it true? The first blast of bliss is slowly replaced by the complacency of a more practical love with time and circumstance. Stress, anger, resentment, discouragement, anxiety, fear, desperation, depression and emotional over-reaction all weaken our ability to love. Despite the loftiest of intentions love embers slowly cool and, in over 60 percent of our relationships dies (if government statistics are accurate). At this point, the drained relationship continues out of convention or it ends and we go eagerly off in search of another partner to fill the empty space vacated by conditional love.
Here is the point. Conditional love is inspired or caused by something: holding a child, caring for a pet, selflessly giving of yourself, caressing a lover, massage, prayer, meditation, even exercise (the “runners high” or “endorphin effect”) or just plain old raw sex. We humans are capable of performing a plethora of actions that create chemical changes in the body and increase feelings of love. That makes love conditional. There is a spiritual saying that speaks to this condition of conditionality. It goes, “What you will get you will lose.” We gain love for a reason and we lose love for a reason. Conditional love is tied to conditions and conditions are always changing. What is born will die. Love born of conditions is born to die.
The Next Level: Unconditional Love
But there is a deeper love that underlies conditional love. We can never recapture the intensity of the first few months of a new love for one single and simple reason. We are meant for something far more fulfilling and important than conditional love. This love is unconditional. It is universal. It is the foundation for all spiritual pursuits. It is practical and primordial. It is Universal Love.
Universal Love has no gender. It belongs neither to man nor woman nor to the union between them. Some say it is of the heart, soft and filled with adoration. It is said that if you love deeply enough you will transcend carnal love, merging with Universal Love. This thinking is often referred to as the devotional path to enlightenment.
Enlightenment is another word for living Universal Love. But I see a red flag whenever a path to universal anything is suggested. If something is universal, like unbounded love, then it must be everywhere all the time, right? If Universal Love is everywhere, where could you possibly go to get it? Wherever you are there it is. A path can’t take you to where you already are.
You see, Universal Love is already there waiting for you if you know how to embrace it. We don’t need a path or a process. We just need to become aware of where we are, right? That is because Universal Love is also where we are. The whole problem of being in Universal Love is not so much a matter of doing something as it is a matter of not doing something. Not doing allows the dust and clutter of our minds to settle out. What happens when the mind settles down? Viola, Universal Love!
The real purpose of a loving relationship is not to fall more deeply in love with the other person. The purpose is simply to become aware of Universal Love. As we have seen, romantic love ebbs and flows with the tides of condition. Krishnamurti, a 20th century philosopher once said that a love relationship is like two railroad tracks, separate at our feet but offering the illusion of union on the horizon. While the promise of conditional love is an illusion the promise of Universal Love does not exist at all. That’s right. Universal Love does not promise anything. It already is complete as it is, at this very moment. It couldn’t be otherwise or it wouldn’t be universal. All we lack is the realization that this is so. Once done, we are done, and the perfection of the present is realized in all its mundane beauty.
Once we become aware of Universal Love, sex and conditional love still remain a part of our everyday world but with one very monumental difference. Anchored in Universal Love, sex and love and family, finances, life and death are no longer separate events. They become part of a symphony. They are notes played on the background melody of Universal Love. Each note, by itself beautiful, adds to the wholeness of the piece. If we know only individual notes we miss the harmony of the work. Becoming aware of Universal Love we become aware of the melody behind the madness of conditional living. And, becoming aware of Universal Love is easy. Here’s how it’s done.
Experiencing Universal Love
Start out in a quiet place and watch what you are thinking. Watch your thoughts very intently; very closely. Don’t judge them or make comments about them. Just watch your thoughts clearly and with focus. Don’t look for anything to happen and accept whatever does happen.
When you watch your thoughts in this way they will start to slow down and become more faint—weaker. Continue watching and they will eventually stop all together. When your thoughts stop you will start to feel some relaxation and good feeling: peace, stillness, love, joy, oneness, etc. This good feeling is what I call a Eufeeling (playing on the word eurphoric). Now, observe the Eufeeling just like you watched your thoughts. Your Eufeeling will then grow in intensity. You will feel more stillness or peace, more at one with yourself. After awhile more thoughts may come but your Eufeeling will always be close at hand. Just watch your thoughts until your Eufeeling arrives, then watch your Eufeeling. What could be more simple? What could be more profound?
Now it is remarkable that just by paying close attention to what you are thinking you can produce a sense of wellbeing, a Eufeeling. This Eufeeling is actually the first glimmer of Universal Love. In time and with practice you will be able to recognize your Eufeeling while you are actively driving, talking on the phone, eating and even while physically sharing love with your partner. Eufeeling awareness adds the missing element to love, broadening and deepening its meaning and intensifying its physical expression. This is how sex and love find fullness in Universal Love. This is where humanity realizes its divine spark. This is where love becomes Love.
Dr. Frank J. Kinslow has been researching and teaching healing techniques for more than 35 years. He draws from his clinical experience as a chiropractic physician, in-depth studies into Eastern esoteric philosophies and practices, and an ardent love of relativity and quantum physics. In 2007, he created the Quantum Entrainment process of instant healing. Since that time, his books and teachings have helped tens of thousands of people around the world. Frank continues to write and teach extensively. For more information visit www.kinslowsystem.com.