What is love?

WHAT IS LOVE?

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

     Last night, November 4, 2021, I wondered why I am not God realized, yet. I have studied religions and have their teachings at the tip of my fingers. Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Christianity, Islam are religions that I studied. I have also studied what folks who want to distinguish between religion and love call spirituality. So, how come I remain as I was all my life, egoistic.

      I have always known myself to be egoistic. I strive for total independence and individuality and if you tried to tell me what to do, I would bite off your head. I accept no authority and direction from any man born of woman. I have been so from my elementary school days, and everybody knows it and if you want to live you had better not tell Tom what to do. Let him figure it out was what folks around me would say rather than dare tell me to do something. I am still the supreme egoist that I have been from the moment that I was born on earth.

      So, how come I have not transcended the ego despite making a heroic effort to understand God, as much as it is humanly possible?

     I laid on my couch thinking about this issue. Around 11 PM I recalled that a gentle lady that I occasionally run into when I went to a certain religious group, two weeks ago, texted me and asked me to read a passage from a book called A course of love. She said that something in her told her to tell me to read the passage. I picked up the book from my bookshelves and tried to read it and put it away.

      A few years ago, a friend had asked me to read it and I bought it and tried to read it and could not penetrate it. It is written in the same manner as A course in miracles, in running verse; its sentences are opaque and not easily understood. You must think about every sentence and paragraph before you understand them, if at all.

      I prefer to read simple prose that requires no interpretation (when you interpret something you inevitably project your own thoughts to it). So, I told the nice lady who asked me to read a passage from A course of love that I tried doing so and am not in the mood to engage in interpretations of what the book is saying.

     I spent three decades trying to understand A course in miracles and I am not about to embark on another journey of trying to figure out what a book’s convoluted and hifalutin metaphors are saying.

     This evening I reviewed my marriage and my relationship with my ex-wife and concluded that I was not a loving husband. In fact, I did not even know what love is!

     I know ego rationality and try to do the right thing as judged by reason, but I do so from an emotional distance. I have never consciously set out to do harmful things to people but, nevertheless, I am not a loving person. Why is this so? And what is love, anyway?

    This book that says that it is a treatise on love and how to think and act from love might help me to finally know what love is and, more importantly, live love?

      I picked up the book. A course of love and began reading it. I read it until 4 AM. I wrote the below observations before going to sleep at a little after 5 AM in the morning.

     Here is what the book is saying and what I know to be true. On earth we are separated selves; each of us identify with his ego, separated self-housed in body. Each of us came to the world to seek maximum independence and individuality, which is what separation is all about.

    But in separated selves we feel lonely. Unable to live as lonely selves, this is because our true selves in God is joined selves, we seek attenuated joining with other people, we form a pseudo union with people, a kind of union that allows us to retain the individuality we crave and that led us to come to earth.

     A course in miracles calls this type of union special love relationships; here, folks retain their independence but seem to join with each other but retain the option to walk away from the false union at any point in time.

       A union that you can leave was never a union; a love (which is what union is) that you can leave was never love.

     On earth we do not have real love, real union; we have substitute love, replacement love; we also have substitute selves; in heaven our real selves are unified selves but on earth we have false, separated ego selves, which are replacement of the unified self that God created us as.

     Whether we like it or not, we try to join other people. We have relationships with other people. We marry and have sex and in sex obtain a kind of union with our sexual partner, but that is ego-body mediated union, not real union, not real love. You can have sex with a woman that you do not love, men do it when they have sex with prostitutes.

     We do seek ego attention; we want other people to pay attention to us, tell us how great we are. No human being likes to be ignored by other persons.

     The motivation for attention seeking is sense of loneliness and desire for joining with other people, albeit joining mediated by the ego and body. In seeking other people’s attention, recognition etc. we retain our egos and use our egos to ask them to love us. This is not real love but ego false love, for one still maintains one’s ego intact.

     Love is union; to be in love one must completely let go of one’s desire for ego separated self and attachment to body and stop one’s ego chattering, as I am doing in this writing. One must keep quiet and let one think from a non-ego state of mind.

WE THINK AND ACT FROM THREE STATES OF MIND

Thinking and acting from the ego and body

Thinking and acting from the Holy Spirit

Thinking from God, Unified Spirit Self.

       Love requires one not to think or act from the ego separated self but to think from union with God and all his creation.

     When one thinks from God one transcends separation, one no longer identifies with the ego and body and parks one’s mind in union with God, and at that level every creation is formless. God is the formless oneself and one mind that we all share.

     One can think from the Holy Spirit; this requires one to still be in ego separated self and body but think from what is good for all of us on earth. Here, one is doing what serves all of us not just one. This is a kind of love but is not the real meaning of love.

     In Holy Spirit directed thinking and living one forms what A course in miracles calls Holy Relationships, a kind of relationship that transcends ego, special love relationships but is still done in forms and has not attained God/heaven’s formless relationship. In God, haven we are one shared self and yet are infinite selves.

      Holy Spirit based relationship, aka thinking done from one’s right mind, makes us less insane, but we are still insane for we still see with physical eyes hence see a separated world. We live in purified ego but have not transcended ego.

    Initially, and still so in eternity, we live in God; we are extensions of God; in God we are unified with God and with all of us; whereas we still have selves but all of them know themselves as one with other selves; there is no distance and space and time in heaven; all are one shared self.

      In this sea of union, we had the delusion that it is possible for us to separate from God and from each other. We cannot do so. Unable to do so in heavenly reality, we sleep and dream that we are separated from God and from each other.

     The physical universe is the dream of separated selves; in it we forget our unified selves and now see space and distance between us. God is no longer able to relate to us directly.

     God, therefore, created the Holy Spirit and relates to him and he in turn relates to us. The Holy Spirit is the God in the temporal universe, he is in our right minds; it allows us to think, dream with our ego separated minds but if we ask him, he corrects our thinking by making them serve public good.

     The Holy Spirit does not destroy our ego thinking but purifies it and directs us to God, to union, as opposed to the separation that the ego seeks.

     Where the ego asks us to defend our individuality the Holy Spirit asks us to defend union. Where the ego asks us to hate people the Holy Spirit asks us to forgive them.

     Forgiveness leads us back to loving all people, including those who harmed our egos. We harm each other in dreams not in reality; in reality, heaven we remain innocent, loving and cannot sin or be guilty.

      In God we live in formless, spiritual light and do not see with our physical eyes, we see with spiritual eyes and know ourselves as one shared self and mind, and we feel perfect peace and joy. In God we know that we are eternal, permanent and changeless.

       There are those who have experienced God, unified self in what Hindus call Samadhi, and Buddhists’ call Nirvana and Zen calls Satori; here, people have jettisoned the ego self and returned to the awareness of our shared oneself and one mind. They are now illuminated and enlightened to our real self. They are said to be God realized, and since God is a self, they are Self realized. They are characterized by peace and joy.

      In God one’s interest is the interest of all sons of God and God; one’s will is the will of all people and God. One has given up the illusion that one can have a separated will and interests, one has solved the authority question by returning to living from God’s will.

    Some God realized persons are Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Rumi and many others. These people have given up their ego separated selves and now live from egoless, unified spirit self, what we might call the Christ Self, the Buddha Self, the Krishna Self, in Igbo spirituality the Chi (God) in us.

     I understand these things at the rational level but have not experienced God, Self, so, why? It is because I am still living from the ego; I am still not a loving person if the meaning of love is living from our joined self.

     Something must be done. I must stop thinking and behaving from ego hence transcend fear and anger and live from the peace of God. But when is that going to be? Now!

      I can no longer give me the excuse to live from ego and live-in illusions, delusions, hallucinations and see our world that does not exist and see people in forms that do not exist; in truth all of us are in one formless, shared unified self.

AFRICANS AND ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE EGOTISTS

       Only God knows that Africa needs to produce one God realized person to help Africans turn their lives around. At present Africans are egotists, they screw each other and then deny responsibility for the evil they do to each other and the attendant poverty in Africa.

     They sold their people into slavery, to Arabs and Europeans and deny responsibility for what they did and instead blame the Europeans they sold their people to and do not even blame Arabs to whom they sold more Africans than they sold to Europeans.

    The story of the Prodigal son teaches us that the prodigal son accepted his mistake of separating from his father and decided to correct it by returning to his father, to union.

     The point is that we must accept our past mistakes and correct them and return to love. Africans made a mistake in selling their people to all buyers. They must first accept that mistake and make amends for it; they must ask African Arabs and African Americans to forgive them for that sin of selling their brothers.

    Africans are like the children of Jacob, Jews who sold their brother, Joseph to Egypt and had to go to Egypt during famine in Israel to go eke out a living.

     Misgoverned Africa is the land of famine and Africans are flocking to America to go eke out miserable living in the land of Egypt (America), the land where they sold their brother to.

     Africans must make amends for slavery and until they do so Africa must continue to be the laughingstock of the world; nothing will work for Africans.

     (If you like authority then let me assert one, I am the Igbo high priest of Amadioha. So, pay attention to your spiritual leader; I do what seems to you crazy stuff by leaving my training in science to talk metascience because I am performing my spiritual function for you, a function my family members have performed for you for hundreds of years.)

    I am Igbo; in Alaigbo, a breed of vicious Igbos called Aro used mercenaries to roam around Igboland, capturing slaves and selling them to Europeans at Calabar and Bonny. Having sold their people and made life miserable for all Igbos by capturing them, making them live in insecurity, imagine kidnapping your people for four hundred years, the level of fear and PTSD you cause in your people, well, these criminals sold their people and deny ownership of their criminality and blame the white man for their dastardly crime. They are like contemporary Nigerians who engage in 419 frauds to make a living and then blame those they stole from by saying that they should have been careful and not be swayed by their frauds that they would put money in their bank accounts. Listen, stealing is stealing and cannot be explained away. If you steal you are a criminal and ought to be punished.

     Worse, Aro Igbos, like other African slave sellers have nothing to show for their incredible business of selling people; Arochukwu is as primitive as any other Igbo town. At least, white folks used slave labor to accumulate capital, wealth with which they embarked on the industrialization of Europe and the Americas.

      What did Igbos and Africans do with the money they got from selling their people? They bought expensive French wine and liquor and drank themselves to early death (good, they all need to die, for the wage of sin is death).

      They are a pathetic and evil people who need to be flogged until they bleed to death. They are despicable and contemptible human beings; there is nothing admirable in them.

    Admirable persons work for our collective social interests. Unless you work for public good you are devilish and must get out of my space.

CONCLUSION

      What is love? Love is living from union with God and all people; in love one does not see other people as others but as one with one; one does what is good for all people.

      In heavenly love we live in formless selves, selves that permeate each other, and cooperate with each other; but on earth where we live in forms, bodies and see space, time and matter separating us, love is to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.

     The Holy Spirit is not another person; he is part of us; he is our mind that returns us to unified state whereas the ego is the part of our minds that see itself as separated self and is motivated by self-interests in opposition to other peoples good.

     Nigerians are the most self-centered human beings on planet earth; they do not work for the good of all but seek only selfish gains. We must teach them to transcend their childish egotism and work for public good and from there move on to returning to God.

    In God, they live in harmony with all selves as one shared self.

    I hope that this essay enables you to think about love and dispose you to return to love, to our eternal union with God and all of us. You know that you are living in the attenuated love given to us by the Holy Spirit when you feel relative peace and joy; in total love, the type that obtains in heaven, God one is perfectly peaceful and happy.

    But, if as I said, I have not experienced oneness with God, how do I know about God and his heaven? Good question.

     Folks have always told me that I am overly intellectual and understand love from an intellectual perspective but not from an experiential perspective. At least, I know my weakness and I am working to overcome it.

     What does love mean for you? Are you a loving person? When was the last time that you truly saw another human being as one with you, see both of you as sharing common interests, and work for your mutual good; when last did you help other people not just your bloated ego?

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 5, 2021

REFERENCE

Mari Perron. (2014). A course of love. Nevada City, California: The Center for A course of love.

The book, A course of love, is 675 pages. I should be done reading it by the end of November. Then I would know what love truly is. Stay tuned!

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