Notes on the nature of love

Chapter VI

We will have noticed that in our human condition on Earth we constantly have to exercise two widely different response attitudes. We can describe these as the personal and the impersonal. In the everyday processes of collective living we have developed an acceptable collective behaviour pattern in which the unconsciously agreed values of society are expressed. We use this aspect of our nature while we are fulfilling all those public requirements and duties which make up such a large part of our lives. These impersonal responses are concerned with average attitudes towards politeness, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and most of our business and work situations. The personal aspect of our nature is reserved for the more intimate and trusted areas of our lives, within the narrower limits of our family and friends. The extremest form of personal behaviour is only expressed to a very few indeed. It is generally concerned with the most essential aspects of our Being which we have briefly mentioned before; the sense of being ‘real’, and the sense of that reality being ‘valuable’. These personalised and impersonalised forms of expression are not only reserved for the lower ego level of our Being, but will also apply to the Spiritual Essence nature of our Individuality, which is the nature in us which can receive the Great Gift. So the word personal is rather confusing in this respect, and it may be better if we try to think in terms of its ultimate use as in the ‘individual’ and ‘collective’ aspects of the one Divine Life, which is the main concern of our discussion.

So here is yet another spectrum of understanding to be considered by our Creator in the design of His University and its curriculum. This spectrum has at one end of it the responses and values appertaining to the uniqueness of the individual, and, at the other end, the responses and values appertaining to the collective; with a continuous blending of these two extremes between. And we are here introduced to another very important decision which our Creator had to reach in regard to His responsibility towards His children and pupils. We have been led by much of religious thinking on Earth to the belief that our love for our God, in the individual sense, was the only way to eternal life in the Divine Society. But, if we look closely at this, we will see that, here again, our Creators hands were tied. For, if He made the ‘personal’ love between Himself and His children a condition of their obtaining everlasting life, then this would be an improper pressure placed upon love and friendship, which may well force it into a distorted and unwholesome attitude. It is over just this most tender and intimate relationship of real loving friendship that our responses must be most completely free, or else the great treasure is once again lost. But if we now realise that there is another area o Divine Reality, which is not represented to us by the Person of God, but rather by the impersonal Divine qualities, we can see that it is possible for us to reach a state of ‘impersonal’ integration with the one Divine Life in respect of the collective features in it and in us. In this way, the impersonal in us can love and unite with the impersonal in the Divine, thus giving a real and valid choice to ‘the way’ in which we endeavour to enter eternal life. This spectrum of approaches will then free our Creator from the abuse of His friendship, if it were the sole condition of our survival.

This is not to say that our Creator will not be sad in each case when His friendship is not noticed and valued, and is thus by-passed. But He must accept this as another equation of the total reality of Being in which His work has to be accomplished. In these cases, where individuality and friendship is not chosen as ‘the way’ to eternal life, but eradication of individuality or the Divine Ego is considered to be the highest achievement, the entity, while being harmonised back into the Absolute, may, nevertheless, be brought forth again in some other scheme of creation in which the presentation of ‘personal’ value is done in such a way that it is then chosen. For, while those who see the value of the friend can also appreciate the impersonal aspect of life, those who see the way to be impersonal find it very difficult to appreciate the more personal end of the spectrum of life, and they are thus inclined to lose sight of the creativity and on-going purpose behind our Creators motivation.

We are now beginning to build up a complex picture of the various equations and spectra of Being which our God had to take into consideration when He planned to give us all that it was in His power to give.

 The spectra of....

Love

1. Self-oriented.................................................. Other-oriented.

Love

2. Maintenance................................................... Growth

Knowledge

3. Correct........................................................... Incorrect

Education

4. Sixth form downwards................................... First from upwards

The Way

Individual (Personal).....................................Collective (Impersonal)

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The equations of....

Love

1. To the degree that we live according to this nature we enter eternal life.

Reality

2. As children or friends, we are only real so far as we are not programmed but

allowed free choice.

Freedom

3. We can only be free if we are somewhat removed from the immediacy of Our

Creators Person.

Individuality

4. We can only gather the full strength of individuality in an environment which

is resistive.

Potency

5. The greater the resistance the spirit can withstand, the more potentialities may

be drawn out of its nature.

Friendship

6. ‘Deep’ friendship can only exist between individuals who possess a ‘deep’ set

of characteristics.

The Full Cycle

7. The whole gift requires us to be acquainted with evil, to recognise it and be able

to overcome it.

The Balance

8. The curriculum needs to limit freedom of error, which accumulates as evil, to the

extent that we can overcome it if we wish.

Staff

9. The correct staff, who can teach the whole curriculum, can only arise out of the

mixing of the sixth formers and first formers whose experiences are

complementary parts of the whole.

If our conjectures and propositions about the problems facing our Creator whilst He was designing this Day of Creation are correct, then we perceive that there are truly tragic and heroic qualities required, together with an open inconclusiveness, which are very far from the ‘all powerful’ and ‘pre-ordained’ model we have tried to understand up to now. We can see that the whole university needed to be designed in such a way that there would be a curriculum laid down upon which both sets of pupils would continue to work until opportunities occurred through which our Creator could introduce the ‘extra-curricula’ activities which were nearest to His great hope and desire. But the openings for these higher understandings could only come if the initiative of the pupils provided it. Thus we see that the concept of Creation which we are looking at would be designed to respond to original individual efforts on the part of those engaged in it, which could alter the conditions and outcome at any instant. It is just here, again, that we are facing up to a real living God, who is capable of real, living responses and wishes us to be creatively responsive too. Instead of an enormous immutable, monolithic construction, we can begin to expect that creation is a delicate and responsive, plant-like life, which will go on feeling monolithic to its pupils so long as their attitude is monolithic too. But the fruits of creation may be few and relatively insipid, or many and richly flavoured. The responsibility for the production of the one or the other must be made real, and must depend on how much of our own reality each of us can win for the good of the whole.

As for the teaching staff, we can imagine that it would be possible to prepare them, to some extent, for the task they had to face, but as we have said, this preperation would be carried out in the higher classrooms where there would be no experience of what hindrance, opposition and misunderstanding could mean. As for the evil which accumulated error might produce, such encounter would come as a terrible shock to beings who were reared on sublime beneficence and love. In order for these members of staff to mix closely with the lower level of pupils, they would need to become accustomed to a heavy and difficult vehicle of consciousness like the one their pupils were to use, and this would ‘filter out’ much of the immediacy of the Divine qualities and, after a long term of use, it may cause a considerable degree of forgetfulness.

The staff of the university would seem, to the pupils of the first form, to be of two types, those who came and mixed with them in a physical form and taught and explained things to them day by day, and those who, more rarely, visited the physical classrooms for some specific purpose, who would be wearing a non-physical form, whose visit would be very brief. This latter type of staff we have now come to call Angels, and the former have been referred to variously as prophets, men of God, teachers, gurus and masters.

It appears that, since the original curriculum was laid down after the schoolrooms had been manifested, error has indeed mounted up on Earth to the extent that our whole atmosphere and the bodies we inhabit, are far more dense and difficult to manage than at first. Thus we have arrived at a situation which has made life for the pupils and teaching for the staff very difficult, but, at the same time, has fulfilled many of the requirements, explained in our summary, for the giving of the ‘whole’ gift by our Creator to his children. The tension is so great, between the highest and lowest on Earth, that it is indeed capable of drawing out of us those extra strengths and individual motivations which will enable us to comprehend the eternal value of ‘the friend’, and the endless creative context of Divine friendships between one another and our God. To put a simple word on this, the mixture of the ‘soup’ of experience is so richly contrasted on Earth that it now possesses, at least for a while, the necessary potency for making the ‘jump’ in our understanding directly into the Creators great wish for us. The degree of intelligence, initiative and individuality is strong enough in many people for them to realise the factors which alone could be sufficient in the highest planning of our Living and Loving God.

It is also possible that the very love and tenderness of our God will, itself, bring a limit to this state of tension and suffering. So although He knows that He is very near to meeting the strong, leathery, craggy, wise and affectionate friends He longs for, He will again tie His own hands by trying to alleviate these temporary and very potent conditions. Whilst one side of God’s nature will be glad that the ‘spiritedness’ of our spirit exercised its initiative to the extent that it has tried to become too independent and self-sufficient, the other side of God’s nature will suffer compassionately with his children and pupils and will, in some way, work to defuse the extremity of the tensions and pains until they can be approached again with more understanding, making the tensions acceptable and constructive. In the meantime the chances are that sufficient of God’s children will have become His Friends to form the nucleus of teachers and understanders capable of reading His whole heart, and able to explain it to others. Whether there are other places in the university which have provided the necessary complex of conditions for this understanding will remain to be seen. But, since so much depends upon just the right attitudes within the freedom of the pupils, it is a possibility that the situation is a rare one.

And so we step from the consideration of the conditions which our Creator faced before creation began to the consideration that He planned His teaching system in such a way that it could ‘change gear’ from a lesser one to a greater one whilst it was in progress and that the conditions have become ripe for such a change.

To summarise the foregoing:

1. The personal and impersonal relationships available to us.

2. The spectra and equations of Being.

3. The Responsive Universe in which we can win much or little for the good of the whole.

4. The accumulation of error on the part of pupils and staff, leading to the thick ‘soup’

of experience.

5. The potency of this ‘soup’ may be sufficient for it to provide the jump required to reach

into God’s whole longing for us.

6. If we succeed in ‘changing gear’ in our sense of purpose, we may well influence much of

the rest of the University.

 

 

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Chapter VII