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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Basic Instinct

Unconditional Love

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason; not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an object.”'
Ram Dass

There's a video circulating on social media of two strangers on a subway car. One of them is old, and has no shirt. He seems to be disabled. The other man appears to be a young Latino guy, healthy and robust. He takes off his white t-shirt and tries to hand it to the old man, but that man cannot grasp it, nor lift his arms high enough to pull it over his head. So the young man puts the shirt on him. The young man did not love the old man, but the unconditional love he carries inside him compelled him to act with gentleness, selflessness, and compassion.

Selfless love it hard to find these days. Most people are in the game of life for themselves. We have fostered this world view with our rugged individualism, and “I am master of my fate!” attitude. I'm as guilty as anyone else. We're all looking out for No. 1. But now and then, out of nowhere, a deep well of compassion rises up inside us and we behave in a most unconventional manner—we reach out to a fellow human, or a bedraggled animal in an instinctual way. The decision to act doesn't come from our cerebral hemispheres, it comes from our heart, from our gut. It's not based upon their ability to respond in kind, nor do we assess whether or not they deserve our largess—we just act. That's unconditional love.

Deep down inside, there is an instinct in each of us to love. It extends not only to humans and animals, but to life itself, to creation. Poet Samuel Ullman refers to “the freshness of the deep springs of life.” That's the living water—that's unconditional love. We all have access to it.

                                                         In the Spirit,


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