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Love Thy Neighbour?

The following is a work-in-progress as of early April 2001. I half intend to submit it for consideration for publishing in the next exciting edition of the ERMHA Murmur.

{For those of you who may be wondering what-on-earth the ERMHA Murmur is ... well, stay tuned. It is entirely possible ERMHA may be online one day. I am tempted to say it will be the same day that conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life is revealed to the world but the two events are not necessarily connected. }

If/when I do send it {via the e-mail}, say that it is a work-in-progress and needs a bit more polishing {as do we all}. But I thought I'd send it just in case I get distracted by other matters and forget all about it. I am happy for it to be published as is, if it is deemed suitable. And for it to be used in any way people see fit.

Love thy neighbour. Most of us are familiar with the phrase. It's even in a fairly well-known book called the Bible. We all read those words and nod our heads but what do they really mean? Who is my neighbour? Lift your head from this page and whomsoever your eyes fall upon, that is your neighbour. You may be on a train or sitting in a cafe or one of the spacious & comfortable rooms at ERMHA. Unfortunately, we have chosen to label most of our neighbours as 'strangers' and thus we rarely even contemplate the possibility of loving them.

Our love is usually highly selective - if somebody doesn't push our buttons and is not closely related to us we generally withhold our love from them as we find them 'undeserving' of it. I read an interesting article on the web recently and it mentioned one phrase that has stuck in my mind: 'The love that you withhold is the pain you carry'. The full article can be found here along with some other insights you may or may not resonate with -

So why is it so hard for us to truly love our neighbour? What is it that is holding us back? ... When you explore human behaviour, there really are only two basic motivations for our actions - love & fear. {human history as above} So it's fairly safe to say that a history which includes countless wars, violence, prejudice & injustice indicates that individually and collectively we have often chosen fear rather than love. We continue to face that choice in every moment of our lives.

I hope this little piece I have written doesn't sound like I am pontificating. Far from it - I wrestle with this question every day. I constantly ask myself whether my actions are being sponsored by fear or by love. If someone does me 'wrong', whether it is deliberate or inadvertent, do my thoughts automatically turn to revenge or hostility or animosity? Or do I seek to accept and forgive? {There is an ancient proverb that goes somewhat along the following lines: 'Knowing what to do is relatively easy. It's the doing that is the hard part.'}

More ... there is no shadow of doubt that all of our 'social problems' are caused by a lack of love. We can be our own worst enemies and ultimately nobody escapes the impact ... ?? We are all touched by it in one way or another ...

SAY it is a work-in-progress and many of the ideas contained have arisen from my own personal experience as well as from such reading as 'Conversations with God', 'Emissary of Light', 'The Way of the Wizard' and my various travels in cyberspace. My website can be accessed here - www.angelfire.com/wv/geoall/writing.html

Love from Geoff Allen {in a previous life, I was a client of ERMHA Dandenong. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.}

Then as I walked home from the shops, the following also popped into my head -

So, if there are any people or categories of people you feel you would never bring yourself to love, it is a most challenging exercise to truly ask yourself why is it so? Why do you believe you can love some human beings and not others. Whatever reasons may arise within your mind, try to 'step back' and have a good, long hard look at them and ask if they are really sufficiently good reasons for you to withhold love from these people.

I could finish the piece with a little section entitled 'Everything you ever wanted to know about love but couldn't be bothered asking:

If love is conditional, it's NOT love.

Love does not seek to change the other person.

{Quote from Corinthians? where DID I see that? on somebody's website?}

Love means accepting the other person precisely as he or            she is right now and does not dwell on cataloging the
           changes they would need to make in order to earn our love.

Love is the simple recognition that the same spirit that            dwells within me also dwells within the other person.

{ Admittedly this may be hard to grasp if we focus on the superficial aspects of the other person such as appearance, personality and behaviour. It may also be tough to do while you are labouring under the misconception that we are purely physical, biological entities.}

{ Could also include that definition of the Sanskrit greeting 'Namaste': 'I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you, where lies your love, your light, your truth and your beauty. I honor the place in you where...if you are in that place in you...and I am in that place in me....then there is only one of us.'}

Love does not seek to possess or control or manipulate
           or anything like that.

Love does not make demands or grow tired or weary.
           In short: love does not fade or wear off.

If it hurts, it's not love

At the end of the day, if we don't know how to love one
           another then none of the rest will make ANY difference.

If you find this hard to do, you're not alone. If it were
           easy to do, human history past & present would be very
           different. You might even decide this is all 'crazy talk',
           which is exactly what I would have said not so very long ago.

I also read the following recently on the web:
           "We can tell you the secrets of the Universe and yet it
           would be nothing more than words on paper until you
           take those secrets and use them in your daily life.

{The website in question can be found by clicking here }

It's dead easy to love those who are charming, agreeable,
           pleasant, attractive & charming. There's no great merit in
           that. The real challenge as a human being is to find a way
           of loving the irritating, the withdrawn, the awkward, the
           confused, the abrasive, the forlorn ...

After reading the above list, it is fairly safe to say that
           over the centuries we have used the word 'love' for many
           of our behaviours that are anything but.

A simple definition of love is that you genuinely wish for
           the other person to be happy. {This becomes tricky once
           you realise that it not humanly possible to be truly
           happy without peace of mind and many of our ancient habits
           routinely destroy our peace of mind - hatred, anger,
           jealousy, blaming, judging, labeling, etc}

You may not agree with all of the above but one day you will, believe me.

A few more ideas ...

- People talk bout the Ten Commandments. There's really only one: 'Love thy neighbour'. All the others flow naturally from this one. And all of them are pointless without it.

- Could include that stuff from Gary Zukav spelling out why romance is not in fact love at all. Which is a huge shift for people to accept in a world where movies & fairy stories & pop songs feed us romantic fantasies almost from birth ...

- I need to bear in mind the old motto that the advice we give others is often precisely the advice we need to heed ourselves ...

- Include some stuff about that other simple motto - Love thy enemy. On the surfac it sounds impossible or absurd. At least counter-productive ...

- Could aslo include some of that clipart I used in one of last year's Murmur editions ... using screen capture I could convert it into GIF format ...

Clip of 'angel' type being stitching a heart back together    Ditto with a heart like a jigsaw    Mischievious girls face

That section above about reserving love for those who push our buttons or who are 'family' - if we extend our definition of 'family' to include every member of the human family ... or ideally to every living being, animal, human, insect, bird, extraterrestrial etc ... physical and nonphysical beings ...

I could add that these words come from somebody who for most of his adult life could have in all honesty said the following: 'I'm not prejudiced. I hate everybody.' So, if you think you are beyond help ... think again ...

Many are saying (and I do tend to agree with them) that the only REAL purpose of this level of existence is to provide endless opportunities for each of us to experience love for one another under every conceivable set of circumstances.

Actually, much of this reminds me very much of those dreams from the 1999 THEMHS conference - click here to read them ...

The following quote comes courtesy of A Course in Miracles :

"Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false. Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another must fail. If you seek love outside yourself you can be certain that you will perceive hatred within, and are afraid of it. Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but only from its reality."

A Course in Miracles

Some Links

The following comes from Ultimate Journey :

"Love can't be taught, can't be bought. Love can't be learned. It is generated within the individual in response to an external stimulus. The individual has no control over this generation. Once initiated, it may be layered over or sublimated but never destroyed. Physical death has no effect upon the reality of its existence, as such energy is neither dependent upon nor a part of time-space.

"It is a radiation that cannot be grasped and held onto. Instead it is perceived, experienced as it passes through the individual, who adds to it that additional portion which has been generated by this passing. The energy is thereby enhanced and the individual becomes a constant contributor and recipient thereof."

Click here for more 'Ultimate Journey' excerpts

The following comes from Emissary of Light :

"True, or unconditional, love is unaware of the strange demands you impose on your relationships. Love is the same for all. Your attempts to reserve love for specific relationships and then withold it from others is the very thing that has blocked your vision of love's presence. Give as love gives - just as the sun that gives its light to all who ask, or the sparrow that sings not for the one who listens, but for the song itself. When you give love, love is your reward. When you judge some people as worthy of your giving and other people as undeserving, then it is you who is undeserving; not because you have been judged by love but because you have forgotten love's law."

Click here for more 'Emissary of Light' excerpts

What is Love ?

If you have difficulty with any of this article, try chanting this simple little mantra:

"My little doctor taught me how to
believe in my own beautiful lifetime

[Or this one:'My doctor told me that I was always nibbling. Always nibbling? Nibbling away at the reality of my own lifetime']

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