Connections Magazine Interview
Germany - May 2010
"ama ergo sum" I love therefore i am.
(Our take on Descartes cogito ergo sum -"I realize, therefore i am")
What has love to do with the Essence and the identity of Man?
How important is love for being?
To ask how important is love for being is like asking how important is light to fire. Fire and light are inseparable but even more so are Being and Love. Being is Love. Love is Being. This is the true essence of Self. Self is the true identity of Man.
However this identity has been veiled up until now. We imagine that we are separate. Separate from others, separate from parts of ourselves, and separate from Love. In this separation we declare that "I love," or "I don't love." Either of these choices veils the truth of Love with the false identity of the someone who "loves."
The someone who loves is the one who believes that he or she is separate. In this case, separate from a desired object that we want to either capture, control or do something with in some way. Usually that is why we say, "I love."
"I love you and need you."
"I love you because. . . "
In this true essence is lost. Now there is an "I" a "you" and something called love that can happen between us.
Then love becomes one of "my" objects, which I can have or lose, which I want to get or want to give. All of this is the veiling of Essence, the veiling of Love, the veiling of Being, with the idea of "I."
Who is this "I" that imagines that it can have love or lose love, or withhold love, or search for it?
To properly answer the question let's stay with Descartes a moment longer. Actually, I believe the translation of "cogito" is "I think, therefore, I am." What he is saying is that the other animals do not think, and that thinking first sets us apart, and then through thinking I know myself to be, which sets me apart even further. I am a separate individual named Renee Descartes.
This in fact is the basis of the ego. The ego is the collection of thoughts that adhere to the central thought that "I am." This thought is the root of ego and of suffering. I think the thought, "I am Renee Descartes," I believe it, because it was told to me by my parents and my society, and so I am. Isn't this true with all of us? We all start out with this core thought.
We all were named as we name our pets. In this naming an identity was projected on to us and we all internalized it. This is part of the transmission of parent to child. This is how ego is formed. It has been the basis for our survival as humans for untold generations through tens of thousands of years.
This thought that "I am" and "I am in control. I know what needs to happen," seems to be what keeps us alive. We are afraid that without this thought we will not survive. With this thought that I am my name comes my body comes all of its relationships. Isn't this how we refer to ourselves? My body, my parents, my children, my career, my enlightenment. Who is this I that imagines that it has all of this?
This false "I" is not a bad thing. It is not wrong. There is no problem in each body having one. It is in fact the latest system upgrade for the hardware we call the brain. It has sped our evolution, through speech, culture and thought so that we can now reflect back on ourselves to find the truth of being. We do not need to fight with this false self, or control it. Only the ego wants to judge and control. Merely find out, who is this "I"? Find out by direct investigation and direct experience.
If we instead switch to "I love therefore I am," we are now switching merely the role of the ego from thinking to feeling. This is because "I" never says, "I am love." But rather, "I love you," or "I love this sunset," or "I loved our love-making," or "I love the way you make me feel." This is all egoic identity using "love" as a way to relate to it's objects.
Love is our nature. Even as we imagine ourselves to be a separate "I" this love is the substratum, the ground from where this "I" thought emerges.
Now to declare that , "I am love," is a radical statement of truth. In Sanskrit the word for Self is SatChitAnanda. Sat is immortal Being, our true Self, the true ground of our identity. Chit is empty immortal Consciousness. The Silent Empty Wisdom of pure Knowledge. Ananda is Love. This is Self: Immortal Intelligent Love. If when you say your name you refer to this Self, you are happy, open, clear, filled with peace and overflowing with gratitude and joy.
Instead most of us veil our true identity and instead identify with our bodies as our self. We believe that we are a physical, emotional and mental body, filled with sensations, pictures, sounds, feelings and thoughts; fears and desires.
We then try to work on ourselves to be a better somebody. We meditate or chant or fast or go on quests to improve or enlighten the body-mind. We drop into silence inside, or we look for the "I" and it disappears, or we try to, "just be here now." All of these are strategies of the egoic mind.
Yet, it is not the body that wakes up. The body is inert. When consciousness leaves at death, the body is left to return to the earth. It is the Consciousness that inhabits that body that wake up from the false identity as a body. This is liberation. The jeeva, or suffering ego is now called the Jivan Mukta, liberated soul. This is the end of the spiritual search. It is possible here and now for everyone.
This is the essence of your question I believe. How do we as a human species manifest as Love? While it is an evolutionary leap for humanity it happens on an individual basis. Each one of us, one by one must consciously choose freedom and love. This choice is not mandatory. It is free. Only those who are called will make this choice. Yet it is available for every heart and mind. It is a choice of Love over ego. A choice of freedom over slavery. A choice of ever-deeper awakening from the sleep-walking trance of the personal identity.
The personal identity believes, "I think, therefore I am." In truth it is inside out: I am, therefore I can think, is right-side up. This choice to be free is not evolutionary on the personal level. You do not evolve into freedom and love. It is a sudden irrevocable choice that establishes you right side up.
The choice of surrendering the egoic identity to Love is the rarest choice of a human life. It is the only one worth making as it is the only choice we have.
We either choose to be slaves or we choose to be free. Most of us, now and through out history did not know that we had this choice of Freedom and Love. So humans made the best of it. We survived and prospered, and passed on our lives to our children over countless generations, until now. In more enlightened cultures and times we tried to be better humans and we worked on ourselves.
Now, you have heard that it is possible to be Free. It is possible to be Love. If you make this choice of Freedom, it redeems the countless life-times of suffering that led up to this one. It makes everything that came before worthwhile. It forgives everything.
When you choose Love and Freedom your life is fulfilled. This is an amazing occurrence. To be fulfilled. To be supremely happy and overflowing with love and gratitude, is our birth right if we choose it. It is the end of war, victims, violence and blame. It is the dream that we have for the world, but it takes the courage of your own heart to be it here and now. Each of us must choose it over all. We must be prepared to give everything we believe to be real, to find reality.
Then you are Love and you are the gift the world is waiting for. You are the nourishment of loving without expectation or recognition. You are the wisdom of Silence, the emptiness and fullness of Being, the overflowing heart of compassion. This is your time. The whole world is watching and waiting.
Than instead of declaring, "I love therefore I am," we can say, "I am Love. I am Free. I am nothing at all. I am as I am."
Then your translation of Descartes as "I realize therefore I am," is actually much closer to the mark.
"I realize that I am," is the mark.
This is the end of the search. It is the end of suffering. It is the end of the false identity. It is the end of ignorance running your life. It is the end of living in fear of living and fear of dying. It is the end of talking to yourself to explain yourself and reality.
It is the birth of Silence. The birth of Love. The birth of peace and clarity. It is the birth of yourself. It is the start of true living and the establishment of immortal Being lived through a limited body-mind in service of Love. It is the fulfillment of all longing. It is being home in certainty and gratitude.
Now is the time.
I am Love.