Is Love the answer? The obvious joke would be that it depends on what the question is – but that is not really accurate. Love is so universal that in some form it is the answer to almost any question that one can ask, but whether or not you have a true answer depends on what you mean by love. The current popular vision of love as portrayed in hollywood movies clearly does not solve our life challenges, and even the more hippy concept of loving all, or unconditional love does not seem to create a true powerful transformation, only a counter culture that appears to be in conflict with the rest of society – and how can conflict be an expression of love? Interesting don’t you think. And yet as I said Love in some form or other will be the answer to all of the questions, and especially the one I am particularly interested in – ‘What is the answer to the challenges that face us today?’ – the challenges of society, of environment, of modern life.
Everything we ever do is motivated by love. Some actions are motivated by love of self, and so seem to be selfish actions, some actions are motivated by love of friends and family, and so seem more generous, and yet are still limited in scope, some are motivated by love of country, which can be more noble, but in its nationalism can be highly problematic, leading to wars and conflicts. Some actions are motivated by a seemingly selfless love for all others around us. The difference is not in the love – the difference is in the expansion of that love – where is the boundary beyond which our love does not reach? The greater the expansion of that boundary the more great and positive seems the love, but as long as there is such a boundary then every loving action will also be unloving towards someone or something else. If we truly want to resolve our challenges with love then we cannot be at the one time resolving problems in a loving way, and at the same time creating problems elsewhere in the place where we do not consider, and do not love. Even those who seemingly love all, often have trouble loving the system and the nature of society as it is. Who can love the capitalist system, the misguided leaders who are taking us down dangerous paths, and also the person in front of us challenging us in this moment? And who can love themselves as well at the same time. It is not possible to achieve this kind of love while seeing things as separate – we do not have space in our hearts for a billion different loves, but only for one love that encompasses all things. And it is this encompassing love that we experience when we discover the Oneness and connection with all. It is this love that allows us to harmonise with all things, and to bring light into the darkness, joy where there was suffering, celebration where there was struggle. It is this encompassing love of all as one that answers our challenges today. It is different to the romantic love, to the compassionate love, to the dedicated faithful love that we see in common life and fiction, though it has elements of all of these. It has a very particular quality – no longer ‘I Love You’ – a phrase that is said with such serious earnestness, now it has become ‘We Are One’ a sentence that can be expressed with exuberance and joy and celebration as well as with the deepest peace and contentment.