I like this post about love as the first step to eternal life [5/2012 note: post no longer exist] and will think more about it (it’s from a work of tantra techniques!).
An excerpt from this long essay, which I think offers much to ponder:
“If you can relax, your life will become a loving life.
“A tense man cannot love. Why? A tense man always lives with purposes. He can earn money, but he cannot love because love is purposeless. Love is not a commodity. You cannot accumulate it; you cannot make a bank balance of it; you cannot strengthen your ego out of it. Really, love is the most absurd act, with no meaning beyond it, no purpose beyond it. It exists in itself, not for anything else.
“… Love is not a means. Why do you love? For what do you love? Love is the end in itself. That is why a mind that is calculative, logical, a mind that thinks in terms of purpose, cannot love. And the mind that always thinks in terms of purpose will be tense, because purpose can only be fulfilled in the future, never here and now.”
I guess this means that even purposing to love someone in the here and now, this second, is still a calculation of some sort, a plan to cause something to happen, rather than a relaxing into the love of the moment.
What implications does this idea have for those of us who have dreams of improving the lives of those creatures or landscapes among us who suffer, who are impoverished, who are abused, tortured, excluded? Is that planning and organizing to do good to others not a loving act then? Is being on the lookout for opportunities to do good works unloving, because it’s a kind of purposing, which intrinsically lives in time and not in eternity?
I hesitate to agree with all of this, and yet something in me feels that some part of it is true … I imagine (future-see) a world in which each person only spent time in the moment, fully engaged with, wholly respecting, seeing the divine in, evoking by our peaceful spirits the good from all of reality and the creatures living and dying in the place where we are; and I wonder if living in such a way would obviate the need, desire, compulsion, or duty to purpose something better for the future. I can hear the response, “But we don’t live in that world!” True, there seems to be much to fix, much to improve, many good works to do in the world today, and as it ever was. And, I still wonder, when can we start to live each moment fully without reference to plans and pasts?