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    Thread: Unconditional Love - How the Fuck?

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      Unconditional Love - How the Fuck?

      “Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings.

      By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth... This is the real message of love.”

      ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

      If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth...

      Easier read than done. As I imagine the necessary attitude change in order to love even one person unconditionally, I see why to love one person unconditionally would be to love all of reality unconditionally. I don't have children, and perhaps children are the exception, but it seems like in relation to a partner or a friend, this is true. So much of love seems to be about self protection, like we're only willing to love people as much as they love us. We fear looking desperate, and so act disinterested. Then we fear their disinterest, and wonder if feelings have changed or we snuffed whatever spark brought us together. Then, of course, there's jealousy and possessiveness, which brings it's own tug of war.

      I wonder if it's even possible to love someone unconditionally sometimes. I wonder how. I don't think I feel that way about anyone. Their actions remain relevant in regard to my feelings about them.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Don't confuse loving someone with being in love with them. He wasn't talking about romantic love. You can love a person you dislike severely.

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      I'm not. I am completely aware of the distinction. Hence why I asked how to love. Falling in love seems to be automatic.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Ok, this is going to sound like a total derp, but I think underneath it all we already all love each other unconditionally - it's just that the ego gets in the way and builds up resentments and hatreds that obscure it. The hard part is getting the ego out of the way.

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      I understand the logic to that. It's repeated in much of what I've read. The greeting, namaste, basically means that.

      However, I've been meditating for the last several years, for the last two I've been meditating every day. I've been practicing mindfulness to the point where I see pretty clearly most of the time. But not all the time. Right now, for instance, it's easy. I no longer get road rage like I used to, I'm in control of most of my habits, and I've found a peace deeper than I've ever known.

      But my heart isn't open. I mean I look at people pretty compassionately these days, without judgment. I mostly just try to explain my point of view rather than convince people of things. I've given up most of the bullshit typically associated with the ego. But I don't see myself as part of the universe yet, not really. Not more than playfully, at least. I still feel really lonely, and I'm reminded of this loneliness when I find someone I want to be closer to. I've still got a lot of barriers separating me from people. I could explain these barriers by describing my upbringing but that's not necessary, suffice to say that I feel like I've nearly mastered authenticity. I don't really hide anything about myself from the world. But I haven't mastered real intimacy yet, not intimacy with women nor intimacy with the world I perceive.

      And this is where I say that the quote does sort of relate to romantic love because my romantic interests are what remind me how much I lack in openness. Regarding people I'm not romantically interested in, the desire to be closer does not present itself. I'm fine with the relation as it is. Regarding someone I am romantically interested in, I am faced with all the jealousy, all the "I want" and all the walls I've managed to retain. And all I want is to destroy these last walls. I don't care about whether or not I will "have" someone. I want to know how to love them and break the last barrier between them and me.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 03-12-2013 at 08:11 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Not that I feel I can really tell you anything here - you're far more advanced than I am - but what you're saying is bringing these ideas up, so consider me a mirror reflecting them back to you.

      I really don't think the ability to have a perfect romantic relationship is the same as the ability to love - to love you accept a person faults and all - you can do that without being able to open yourself to them completely in a romantic realtionship (at least I think you can).

      I also think your failings to be able to fully open yourself and be intimate are the remnants of your ego - not fully dissolved yet. It's very hard to love a person who is living through their ego - even if they're trying not to the same as you are - one person's ego has a nasty way of activating and inflating another's. Even just those fragments that are almost gone can swell up and become huge obstacles. And it's a lot harder if you're trying to be intimate with a person who just lives fully through their ego like most do - and a lot of people dont just wear it like a mask and believe it's their true self, a lot of people wear it like a suit of armor and figure hey, everybody is armored up just like me right, so it's fun to hack at each other all the time since we can't get hurt. But they don't realize you're stripped down to your jockeys and socks and so vulnerable in ways they don't understand - they expect you to be fully armored and bearing weapons just like everybody else. But now I'm just talking about a particular kind of person - getting off subject.

      Let me ask you this - do you think all of the most enlightened Buddhist monks are able to fully open themselves in relationships? Do you think a failure to do so is a failure of enlightenment?
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-12-2013 at 08:31 AM.

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      I don't really know what enlightenment is so I can't answer that question, but I would wager the answer is yes. I'm not actually trying to have the perfect relationship. I am no longer concerned if things work out for me and this particular person at all. In fact, oppositely, I've met my final disillusionment. The only thing left for me is unconditional love. Perhaps another way to phrase what I currently seek is an invincible heart. "The world breaks your heart again and again until it stays open." I've gone through more heart ache than I'd wish on anyone. It has practically defined me. It has reached the brink, I've found and lost another one of the plentiful fish in the sea enough times to realize that I cannot find happiness through relationships. But allow my heart to remain closed, and I continue to be plagued by loneliness whenever I meet someone I want to be closer to. There's got to be a way to have the cake and eat it, too. I don't need the relationship, I only wish for action to become irrelevant, for it to be irrelevant whether or not we're together. For me to be open anyways. And staring down this daunting accomplishment, it seems if I can open to one person on that level, and get in touch with the greater parts of ourselves that recognize each other, then I would instantly do so for reality itself. In other words, there is no selectivity regarding unconditional love. The selected target is merely the vehicle of suffering that propels me to this new perception.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      I do understand exactly what you're saying, and I agree - as in the microcosm, so in the macrocosm. Your ability to relate to one subject is also your ability to relate to the universe. On the one hand I kind of want to say the universe is much easier to relate to than a human being, and yet I know that's not true. In order to truly relate to the universe you need to be able to relate fully to a human being.

      But with that we reach the point where I can't help any more. I'm not the person to ask about intimacy.

      ** ***** **

      Could it be as simple, or as cliche, as to say - maybe it's just a matter of finding the right person? Not to imply there's one and only one right person - but I mean a person you can relate to more fully than the others?

      But then it sounds like you're talking more about being able to face your own fears of intimacy rather than making it work with somebody. I suppose if you can do that - completely expose yourelf without fear of the consequences, knowing that it's either going to work with this person or it isn't and the sooner you find out the better, then it hardly matters whether the relationship itself works or not. I mean, in the larger scheme of things. But then of course, timing matters - exposing yourself fully too soon can end things before they even get started (as well as landing you in jail )

      Yeah, it's a thorny thicket, to be sure!

      Ok - and I know you already know this -

      To fear not being loved is to be attached to a particular possible future. All there is is this moment - to be fully free of fear means to enjoy this moment with someone no matter what might happen in the nonexisent future. And whatever happens when the next moment arrives happens - if there's pain there's pain. You live with it - you deal with it as best you can - because there's no other choice. And you keep trying if that's what you want to do - fear no consequences.

      Are you afraid of your death? Have you accepted your death as inevitable and that it could happen at any given moment? If so that should help you to free yourself of fear of anything. I'm spouting Don Juan again here.

      I know - easy to say, right? And keep in mind - it's coming from someone who's too chickenshit to even try anymore.
      Last edited by anderj101; 03-13-2013 at 02:16 AM. Reason: merged

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      READ CAREFULLY.

      First the guy talks to himself.

      And what he means is that through himself he is going to express outwards.

      And he doesen't say's through loving you im going to love everything at the same rate does he?
      Even christ if supposively existed had love to give but it was his friend lazarus that he resurrected.
      And that because he had more love to show for him.

      Show me where he says about "unconditional love".
      In fact certain sentiments to express need nessesairily certain "conditions".

      Children don't love unconditionaly.They love their parents more than strangers.
      And they are egoists and they like it and they are healthy.

      So it is just the law "as the inner the outer".

      And the man who through himself express what he is,he is wise.
      And the man who can't dinstinct when to give what and gives everything to everyone is a cretin.

      Be careful when you're reading something for the traps and the misunderstoods it can carry,which is the most common thing.
      Last edited by tsiouz; 03-12-2013 at 11:53 AM.

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      What an interesting little conversation.

      What is unconditional love? What does it mean? how does it feel? Can it be a fleeting experience or does it need to be permanent in order to be unconditional?

      I don't get this stuff about the ego causing suffering, I kind of do, but then I don't. The ego is the name for a persons self awareness is it not? Well we can be aware of ourselves without it causing us suffering can we not?

      The ego is not a problem, it is over inflated ego... otherwise known as self delusion, which can be a problem. It is the effects of ideas from the outside upon your own ego which is a problem. But if you only ever think for yourself, then your ego will be accurate and healthy. To have no ego is to have no awareness of yourself in anyway, which is a mental deficiency and is surely impossible?

      I can imagine it is possible to completely forget about yourself for a while whilst meditating on the universe or something... but as soon as you move your body you become aware of your body and that you are in a body, this awareness of who you are and what you are is called your ego and it's a perfectly normal and necesary mental faculty which we couldnt have evolved without.

      I like Budhism and all, but I still have a lot of unanswered question when I hear comments like 'it's the ego which is causing suffering'... in my opinion it is not, and I wonder if these people really mean to say 'it is self delusion which is causing suffering'?
      tsiouz likes this.

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      The ego is not awareness, in my opinion. It is the delusion of separation. Awareness resides apart from it.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      The delusion of seperation is not the ego, though it occurs in the ego. For weather feeling seperate from others as we are, or feeling connected to others as we are, it is the ego which is responsible.

      So if you believe you are connected to all things in the universe, that is a part of your ego.

      If you believe you are an isolated individual with no connection to anything, that is also part of your ego.

      The Ego is not awareness, it is the sum of our awareness and perception of the self.

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      Ego is our beliefs in large part, so you're right in saying that if we "believe" we are connected with the whole universe that is ego. Beliefs create an arbitrary identity that stands apart from pure awareness. Pure awareness has no belief, and does not need to define what it sees.

      Classically, we confuse ourselves with our thoughts about ourselves.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Of what do we have pure awareness?

      What if anything is not belief?

      Classicaly we confuse everything with our thoughts.

      I like your picture by the way! interesting. *fused posts
      Last edited by lucidianDreamer; 03-12-2013 at 07:43 PM.

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      We can be aware of our thoughts, we can also be aware that they are only thoughts. That is the step I'm at right now.

      To Tsiouz, I am taking from it the interpretation I choose, I cannot take from it what is intended. And neither can you. I do like the interpretation that he is talking to himself, though. But moving on from Thich Nhat Hanh's quote, I still want an invincible heart. And it has nothing to do with loving all equally, but I do want to be able to love people more than the love they show me. I do want to cross into total vulnerability, because that is how I become truly invincible.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Well yes, our ego is by definition only our thoughts.

      I don't get how it can be thought of as a barrier to nirvana or enlightenment unless nirvana and enlightenment are really about lack of awareness, or lack of thought, regarding self?

      I think it is possible to love all things quite easily. I don't believe doing so makes you vulnerable or is a sign of vulnerability.

      But i'm thinking:
      To love all things and the universe you must also love the habits of all things, the nature of all things. Nature includes anger, greed, selfishness, violence and suffering... In order to love all things then we have to love a ALL things.

      If we learn to love our capacity for anger for example, then wont we indulge anger? and if we indulge anger, wont that mean we are not indulging love?

      Love is not all things is it? it is just a thing. So how can we love all things even if those things include things which are opposite and contrary to love?

      It seems to me that loving all things would be an impossible contradiction. An impossibility.

      Can we love ourselves? Including our tendancies to be selfish? our tendency to be scared or agressive?

      If we love our tendency to be aggressive, then we indulge our agression... if we indulge our agression, then we cannot love the things we are agressive towards can we?

      Wanting an 'invincible heart' is a selfish desire isnt it? which is against the Budhist belief system isnt it?

      Having an invisible heart is not vulnerability, and I do not understand how vulnerability will ever give u an invinsible heart?

      But ofcourse we are all vulnerable, and realising this helps encourage love and empathy for others as we'r all in the same boat.

      Much love.

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      “Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings.

      By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth... This is the real message of love.”

      ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love
      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Don't confuse loving someone with being in love with them. He wasn't talking about romantic love.
      Are you sure?

      It looks like Hanh was referring specifically to romantic love in saying "by living with you". Regardless, I'd say your misinterpretation coincidentally proves more useful than his actual expression in context of this thread's topic. Broadening the scope of who Hanh meant by "you" to cover all persons rather than a single person lead you to make the great point of how

      You can love a person you dislike severely.
      But... Isn't that contradictory to say?

      What's the point of even doing that? There must be a reason why I don't like someone, right? It's just like why I don't stand in a blizzard without any clothes on: it doesn't feel good after a while.

      You can love a person you dislike severely.
      Why does that sound so counterintuitive?

      If we step back for a moment and reflect on or observe from a distance our own lives amidst that of others, it becomes very clear we move instinctively through this world in accordance to our own whims and fancies. The trouble with unconditional love--why it seems so impossible, or, rather, so "how the fuck?"--is that it's truly impossible to attain in the face of what we call romantic love. Traditionally, romance entails exclusiveness. (I know, I know. That is not a rule set in stone: there are always exceptions. Polygamy isn't exactly a modern-day notion; I get it.) Our capacity for romantic love affirms that we have preferences. Even outside of relationships, I think we can all agree that we just find some things more appealing than other things, from different foods to various fashions to genres of music, etc, etc; the list goes on and on. We can be pretty picky, but that's our nature... (not to mention that it's also what we like about each other, or find valuable in each other). And as Mouse from the Matrix puts it, "to deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."

      So, in a world full of so many people with so many different tastes, a world in which reason is unfolding to confirm how we live subjectively (to confirm relativity), where's the utility in absolute ideas like unconditional love? The concept seems to stand far outside the domain of "preferences" and "favorites", and nothing more than an unrealistic ideal, or, better yet, an unideal notion eternally juxtaposing our reality. How is it that we continue to be so "derpy" across millennia, repeating the huge, seemingly contradictory claim that goes something along the lines of what Darkmatters said here:

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Ok, this is going to sound like a total derp, but I think underneath it all we already all love each other unconditionally - it's just that the ego gets in the way and builds up resentments and hatreds that obscure it. The hard part is getting the ego out of the way.
      especially when it's so easily debunked with the points made by tsiouz and lucidianDreamer?

      Quote Originally Posted by lucidianDreamer View Post
      The ego is the name for a persons self awareness is it not? Well we can be aware of ourselves without it causing us suffering can we not?
      as soon as you move your body you become aware of your body and that you are in a body, this awareness of who you are and what you are is called your ego and it's a perfectly normal and necesary mental faculty which we couldnt have evolved without.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      We can be aware of our thoughts, we can also be aware that they are only thoughts. That is the step I'm at right now.

      To Tsiouz, I am taking from it the interpretation I choose, I cannot take from it what is intended. And neither can you. I do like the interpretation that he is talking to himself, though. But moving on from Thich Nhat Hanh's quote, I still want an invincible heart. And it has nothing to do with loving all equally, but I do want to be able to love people more than the love they show me. I do want to cross into total vulnerability, because that is how I become truly invincible.
      First of all it is our personality who carries our beliefs not the ego.this is why our beliefs can bring us to a conflict,because the personality is a mask which just immitates and that mask can lead you to stray away from you,
      From the base of your self,the ego.Our thoughts about ourselves,the false idea we create comes from the personality not the ego.

      You can give an interpretation as you like ,but you need a detachment and a clear mind to see the objectivity of what you're reading.The main reason in which people fail to realize what they are reading is their failure to read carefully.

      "Beliefs create an arbitrary identity that stands apart from pure awareness"

      Now that's true,the problem is located in our beliefs and the identification,but thats a problem of the personality,
      ego doesen't need identification.
      In greek the word "ego" (εγω) means me.just ME.No identification.

      You said it yourself.You wanna love people more than they love you.Which of course can be noble of course if you truly want that,but such a noble intention carries a purpose.
      So i don't see the "unconditional".
      Strong emotions need strength not vulnerability.Don't confuse circumstanses with the base of a sentiment.

      "I am taking from it the interpretation I choose, I cannot take from it what is intended. And neither can you."

      Now see i can.You know why?
      That's because when you're reading a book you have take the possibility that what you understand from it isn't enough and keep eyes keen till you get to the bottom of it.
      So when you're finish with it,either experience time or certain processes gonna get into a filter which is going to give
      you at least a little diamond of clarification.

      And then of course you can place a judjement on it.
      Projected by your ego of course.

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      Quote Originally Posted by tsiouz View Post
      First of all it is our personality who carries our beliefs not the ego.this is why our beliefs can bring us to a conflict,because the personality is a mask which just immitates and that mask can lead you to stray away from you,
      From the base of your self,the ego.Our thoughts about ourselves,the false idea we create comes from the personality not the ego.
      This sounds like only a semantic difference. You use the word ego to mean what OP and I are calling awareness, and the word personality to mean what we call ego.

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      I generally don't agree when people say ego is a bad thing, or that it get in the way of stuff. To me ego is extremely important. Your owe your entire existence to your ego and without it you wouldn't be anything.

      To me unconditional love is about accepting someone for who and what they are. To me, I do not find that a hard thing to do at all. There isn't a single person on this planet that I wish harm on. I don't even want to hurt really evil people. I would much rather a person get counseling and professional help than to hurt them or throw them in jail. It probably comes from empathy, if you can relate to people you can accept them for what they are.
      Linkzelda likes this.

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      No guy ego doesen't mean personality.Ego MEANS ME.

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      Ok, so you refuse to accept that it's only a semantic difference - but still if I go through your posts and replace your Ego with awareness and your Personality with ego, then we're basically in agreement. All you're really arguing about is the definition of a couple of words.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-13-2013 at 01:43 AM.

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      If you didn't have ego you would be suffering from a dissociation disorder. To me you want to be strongly attached to your sense of self, and being detached is a bad thing. I think you can find peace, and love and even enlightenment through ego. By being detached from your emotions you are basically ignoring your wishes and wants and accepting that nothing matters. That isn't a happy state, and it is unnatural. You are denying your self all the things you want in life. In a way you are not even living, you are just there.

      So to me, you want a strong ego. Your ego is you, that is who you are. You want to be happy and live an interesting life and do things. You matter more than anything else in the world because you are you, and no one else could ever be you. You realize that your emotions are a part of you but do not control your action. You realize that some times sad things happen but you accept them as a part of life and so do not dwell on it.

      So I think the goal should be to accept and understand ego, not to try and detach from it like some would suggest.

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      Ok, thanks for explaining that. I believe different people need to live in different ways. For some it works best to live through the ego and accept the emotional roller coaster that comes with that, and for some detatchment is a better course.

      Or as Don Juan Matus might say "If you're a person who likes to indulge and if that works for you, then indulge like crazy!"

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Ok, thanks for explaining that. I believe different people need to live in different ways. For some it works best to live through the ego and accept the emotional roller coaster that comes with that, and for some detatchment is a better course.

      Or as Don Juan Matus might say "If you're a person who likes to indulge and if that works for you, then indulge like crazy!"
      Hm, but isn't that distinguishment of preference the essence of individuality, also known as "ego"?

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