If possible, please aim to suspend any preconceptions about what two words mean, so you can stay open to what I hope to be able to convey in this post. The two words are: “God” and “Love.” These words can be catch-alls and vague because people mean so many things when they use them. I’m trying to write about a particular experience, not a concept or belief. And I’m not trying to make you believe anything.
If it’s useful to have a sketchy sense of what I might mean by “God,” you could say I’m talking about “That Which Is.” In terms of direct personal experience, including energy, sensation, and emotion, there are innumerable points of access to expanded or transcendental EXPERIENCE.
For some months I have been doing breath meditations from my spiritual teacher. During one practice, I inhale The All Pervading Life in Space and exhale focus on and if possible dialing in the experience of love, then Divine Love, and then God’s love. It takes focus to evoke or pull through the real energetics instead going by concepts or imagination.
I found the “God’s Love” part most challenging. I had lots of reasons to find the words annoying. They didn’t give me access to direct experience. I did not want to make something up. I wanted to bring forth something real. I have experienced the vibration or energy frequency of quite a few different flavors or expressions of divine love such as divine forgiveness, divine compassion, an ever-expanding field of love, and so forth. As for the straight-up experience of God’s Love Itself, I couldn’t wrap myself around that to draw it forth into sensation and experience. I would have scraped the practice if I my teacher was one to blabber about an abstract concept without the energy to back it up. He’s not, and can bring forth all manner of wonderful flavors of Love at will, so I keep trying.
After a period of regularity with that and other practices, I had a spontaneous experience that fit the bill. This experience would have been easy to misinterpret or even to miss, but once I identified it as a direct expression of God’s Love I was in delight:
I was walking around my house about to leave to the grocery store. I might have been singing something. I had been listening to an excellent and engaging but brutal detective novel. My heart was open. I was feeling spunky and talking to myself in my head.
I heard something inside saying, “I LOVE all the villains (in the novel) and all the horrible things they do!” Then I recoiled a bit and thought that I rather hated them, that those sorts of people are in the world and cause problems and agony. But the characters were so well done and so interesting! Then I heard inside, “I LOVE those bad people in the world too. I LOVE everything they do!” And I felt a horror because the things they do are despicable.
But my heart was springing open, so I tested this experience of loving the unlovable, by thinking about the things I have always hated in myself, and in that state I was able to feel, “I LOVE that too!” No matter where I turned “my” attention for about ninety seconds, I felt total and unconditional Love and acceptance.
On later reflection, I realized that this state of being divinely detached enough to feel total Love and acceptance for the worst of the worst, without fear or the myriad of usual human (and necessary) concerns, was a real experience of God’s Love. It was like the sun, shining on All Things without differentiation, yet simultaneously valuing them each in their uniqueness. In that state felt no fear. Everything was what is was in its own right, for its own mysterious, wonderful, awe-full SUCHNESS. Obviously this was not rational or logical or politically correct or even especially human—but it felt absolutely wonderful and it was a lot of fun.
I hope my words convey something real. I find it so annoying to hear this and that about “God’s Love” and be unable to imagine what that might really mean.
I do not believe I could recreate this experience intentionally. Perhaps sometime it will visit itself upon me again. Or perhaps I will have a totally different experience that I fits with the words “God’s Love.” I don’t know. I do not want to grasp or assume or make anything up. I will say, however, that the surprising, totally free, unconditioned, wonder of being able to feel Love not only despite but even FOR all the things that I usually recoil from or judge was like a fresh breath of life-giving air.
Do YOU remember a time when your concepts about something were uprooted by an actual experience?
How do concepts about what you should be feeling impact your ability to experience life?