Love is a Pathless Land
Jiddu Krishnamurti, a world-renowned philosopher and teacher, said that truth is a pathless land. He considered truth to be unconditioned, limitless, unorganized, free of coercion and tradition and ideologies.
Often, people try to organize their understanding into a system, into a creed, into dogma, and impose what they think they know on other people. Those who absolutely believe are stuck in their ideas of truth more than knowing any truths. They’re trapped in their subservience to authority, tradition, to their identities and its familiar symbols.
They perceive the world through fear, prejudice, and limited accumulations of knowledge. “They confuse the menu with the meal,” as Alan Watts said. Lost in the prism of their ideologies. Rather than looking within themselves, they look to externals for meaning and happiness, whether in the form of gurus, religions, political systems, philosophies, self-help books, or teachers. They expect answers to what is limitless, unknowable, and uncertain. They need explanations for the mysterious, but do not dwell in the questions.
Their societies reflect their minds as their minds reflect their societies. If they are greedy, selfish, competitive, and spiteful, then they will create a world of suffering, conflict and war.
It is only through self-understanding from moment to moment, an active awareness of thoughts, feelings, and actions, that there can truly be love.
“What brings understanding is love. When your heart is full, then you will listen to the teacher, to the beggar, to the laughter of children, to the rainbow, and to the sorrow of man. Under every stone and leaf, that which is eternal exists. But we do not know how to look for it. Our minds and hearts are filled with other things than understanding of what is. Love and mercy, kindliness and generosity do not cause enmity. When you love, you are very near truth. For, love makes for sensitivity, for vulnerability. That which is sensitive is capable of renewal. Then truth will come into being. It cannot come if your mind and heart are burdened, heavy with ignorance and animosity.”
To transform the world, one must transform oneself. While people are taught to search outside themselves for meaning in a profession, love in a marriage, and happiness in money, joy comes intrinsically within. Fixating on previous mistakes, hoping for an ideal future, are illusions to what’s transpiring now. As Eckhart Tolle said, “Presence is inner spaciousness.” To be with awareness, experiencing your thoughts and feelings, is to feel the emptiness beyond the symbols.
Then there comes a moment of just being.
No identification, no judgement.
Love blooms in this infinite space.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master and activist, said that people are often stuck by their ideas, instead of knowing their love directly. When someone tells their partner, “I love you,” they focus on themselves and not on the quality of love. The “I” that loves is not separate from everything else, not from love, not from the one who is being loved. Flowers are made of non-flower elements, such as water, sunlight, grass, and soil. The flower cannot exist without these non-flower elements. Likewise, the one who loves is as much a part of the earth as they are of the space within the earth. Their existence depends not only on their ancestors, but on the oxygen and land and sun, on all conditions that arise and fall interdependently.
To love someone is to see them in you and to see you in them. “You are part of the universe; you are made of stars. When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside. Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence. True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person.”
People often cling to ideas of “love” but not to love. They look for security in a relationship. Dreaming of ideals without looking within themselves. Beneath their need their safety, they fear losing what they have. Then they only grasp more until they suffer from what is fleeting.
Love has become a projection of the imagination. Twisted into different definitions throughout the centuries.
But as Krishnamurti said, “Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought… Inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no centre at all. Then there is love.”