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Document: 4, January 2, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
You have each wondered how Love applies to the extension of your nervous system, and you’ve wondered why I speak of Love so rarely. My silence on the subject is for your benefit. Everyone “knows” what Love is. Everyone says they’ve experienced it. The idea, the word, is so pervasively familiar that none can comprehend that it is impossible to speak of Love.
The idea of Love throughout literature and religious dreams reflects a true potential in man, but the reality of it is possible only above the Line. At the ordinary level, what’s accepted as Love is just another picture of the tensile forces between humans, of energy exchange in operation.
At the ordinary level no one is capable of the Love envisioned in humanity’s dreams and aspirations. And that is not a condemnation of man’s condition or an expression of pessimism. Only the understanding available above Line-Level reveals the nature of real Love. And each of you must find this for yourself.
Until you know what Love is, you can attempt to willfully use ordinary positive emotions. First, you have to ignore any claims you may have about what true Love would be. And you must learn that whatever positive feelings you hold for someone, you also feel the apparent opposite.
One of the most immediately observable areas of twin-bladed emotion is the attraction between the sexes. It’s common to hear someone say, “I can vaguely remember when I first met my wife or husband. We felt great passion. It was surely close to Love, but I lost it. I guess I married the wrong person.” Whatever happened, the day of great passion seems to be gone. This shift has a biological basis. It has to do with the continuation of the life of everything, the continuation of the Life-of-Life itself.
Anyone with the insane desire to activate the higher areas of his nervous system must attempt to study Love free from the prejudice of opinion. You should discover that the very people you say you love, you also constantly hate. And this is true for everyone. From this new found objective viewpoint, you’ll See this natural conflict for yourself, and understand why at Line-Level people are incapable of Love. Within ordinary, binary consciousness, love and hate are simultaneous; one does not exist without the other. It’s not that man is depraved or doesn’t try hard enough, but rather that real Love cannot be experienced at that level of consciousness.
The vague knowledge that love and hate are tied together squeezes through common knowledge. Religion, for example, claims, “We, the church, do not hate the sinners; we hate their sins.” One beauty of the mechanical mind is that such statements sound just right, so people accept them at face value with no idea what they really mean. “The gods do not hate thieves and murderers, they just hate what they do.” But, what a man does is what he is.
(Remember: things are as they are, not as they say they are, including Life itself.) You cannot separate what a man is from what he does. Only second class gods operate on the basis of, “I do not hate sinners. I hate their sins.” If you could truly Love your children you could not say, “Well, I don’t dislike my children, but I do dislike their behavior.” Their behavior is them.
Anything resembling true Love would be based on extraordinary understanding beyond any contemporary knowledge. Specifically, you’d realize that you are not responsible for the behavior of those you love and cherish. You simply play the role assigned in your relationships and in your perception.
Only with extraordinary understanding can anyone remember that his children, his spouse — and indeed, the whole world — cannot help what they do. But, of course he cannot help what he has been or done either.
If you allow this to remain mere theory, you may as well be back in church, imagining you know what Love is. Because if you would aspire to truly Love, you’ll have to learn what it is through experience. You can’t say, “I know my wife doesn’t mean to drive me crazy. I realize that no one is responsible for his or her own behavior, but if she’s late once more…” You can’t continue to complain about the behavior of another person. You should have observed that the closer you are to someone, the more intensely you feel these complaints. You imagine you can tolerate a world of fools, but you immediately mutter, “I’ve been living with this person for twenty years, and every day I’m forced to wait because of thoughtless tardiness.” You can’t analyze it, but it’s just stickier when you are dealing with someone close to you. Every nuance of behavior assumes global significance. “Who cares if the whole population of Albania is full of idiots? Who cares if someone threatens to bomb our borders? I am living in the house with a person who can’t even remember to come home on time! I can’t tolerate it.”
It’s easy to join a church and suddenly assume you know what Love is. But the beauty of trying to activate the higher areas of your nervous system is that it is Real Growth — thus its constant difficulty, uncertainty, the constant movement required in your “struggle.” But I ask you: what kind of real growth could it be if all it took was a 5-minute dousing? One great benefit of this “struggle” is that you cannot continue to nourish your greatest, most immediate complaints: the energy normally spent there must now nourish a brand new frontier in your nervous system.
Look again at your relationships with those closest to you. They seem to have an unparalleled emotional impact on you. “Yeah, I’m worried about a nuclear war, but I’ll tell you what really burns me up. It’s that man I live with leaving the lights on after I tell him how much money it wastes.”
Take your psychological hands off that person. Just treat them as if they can do no wrong. You must disregard any complaints you may have with them. Cherish the person closest to you as though your very life depends on how you treat them. And by life, I mean any possibility that you can activate your nervous system above Line-Level consciousness. Treat them as though they are a god, as if they can do no wrong. Do not put your hands on the other person psychologically. Do not argue with them. Every time you put your mental hands on them, every time you think a complaint about them, you bleed the very energy required for your own Vertical growth.
All ordinary suffering is an illusionary battle, wherein you only assume you know the enemy. And while any ordinary suffering consumes energy for growth, the closer someone is to you, the more your suffering over him or her can become your quagmire. You are fighting the worst invisible enemy in the world. If you had any understanding, you would See that the very qualities you complain about are, in fact, the qualities that attracted you to begin with. And, if you want to See something, you’ve got to quit grabbing and kicking at it.
In this extraordinary effort, you must unravel what’s closest to you, rather than wrestling with theoretical ideas, such as, “I’m going to try to stop worrying about whether or not Martians will attack.” You have to wrestle on the level of, “I will quit complaining when he or she leaves the lights on.” You will come to understand that the annoying behavior attracted you to that person. If you want to continue to live only at Line-Level, and you want to continue to suffer, keep complaining.
Keeping your hands off someone is a trick upon a trick. You must cease having complaints with that person. You must cease having complaints with anybody. And you must become aware that you are putting your hands on another person every time you give attention to the thought, “Why did she do that again!” Do not talk about the person’s behavior or attempt to explain it. No profit lies in the attempt to psychologically analyze who’s at fault. I don’t care what complaints you imagine you have with someone. Each time you express hostility toward them you might as well be taking a knife and stabbing yourself, bleeding precious energy. You’re driving yourself away from any possibility of extending your consciousness. There is no justifiable way that anyone involved with This Thing can express negative emotions. Being hostile towards someone is being hostile to your own potential. And you can’t do that.
Although this is not the ultimate Aim, to whatever degree you can keep your hands off someone, to that same degree you are closer to real Love than any ordinary human. Just by ceasing to react to someone close to you — who has the immediate, passionate ability to make you react negatively — you are closer to the reality of Love than all of the world’s great religious leaders ever imagined.
Note: This is also known as “The Love Paper”