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Pluto

Pluto

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Dec 27, 2020
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I once tried to make a thread on this subject years ago, but I think I can do a bit better now. The subject is love.

My dictionary's first definition says, "A strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendship." Subsequent definitions expand unto amorous territory.

As fundamental as love is, for example attachment theory in childhood psychology, there tends to be a glaring problem in the human experience. It seems to be always corrupted, a little or a lot, by the association of love with self-interest. Only something useful, stimulating or pleasing gives rise to the feeling of love.

This leaves us with a spectrum of human love. In the lowest sense, we have the realm of objectification, obsessive love, dysfunctional families or toxic parenting. Then, if all goes well, we have healthy families, friendships and relationships which remain reasonably positive if everyone does what they are supposed to. The question is: is that as good as it gets?

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Religion
Religion, like anything man-made, is prone to all the human fallacies of conditional love. Even the behaviour of their Gods is little better in this regard; in fact, sometimes it's far worse. Because we are aiming to explore the advanced echelons of love today, we must leave behind all religions with rules, commandments, threats of hell and vindictive God/s.

Near-Death Studies
One of the most common reports seen in NDE studies is that of an incredibly bright light that would be blinding to human eyes, yet can be viewed without discomfort. It overwhelmingly emanates a feeling of perfect love and finally being at home. Often, experiencers refer to it as God, though note the contrast between their experience and the primitive man-made religious deity believed in back on Earth.

"It was the most unconditional love I have ever felt, and as I saw his arms open to receive me I went to him and received his complete embrace and said over and over, "I'm home. I'm home, I'm finally home."" – Betty Eadie

"The only reality is God and God is love. God loves without limit. God is everything." – Linda Stewart

"So to sum it all up: Life is God: everything that exists. Light is God: what everything is made of. Love is God: what holds everything together." – Kevin Williams (near-death.com researcher)


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Psychedelics and Mystical Experiences
Experiences of so-called ego death, oneness with everything and euphoric love are often reported in psychedelic trips. The most advanced of these appear to deliver remarkably similar insights to near-death experiences. The tragedy, of course, is that these are generally mere experiences which come and go without eliminating the everyday experience of separation. More substantial work is needed for that.

For those who might dismiss these insights, it could be argued that these experiences are a glimpse into ultimate reality. The real hallucinations are those of everyday people perceiving themselves as separate from each other and separate from life.

Mystical experiences are a somewhat similar phenomenon that can occur spontaneously, often during moments of extreme stress.

In a documentary called The Moses Code, film-maker James Twyman interviewed a man who was in New York on September 11 and decided to assist emergency services in the aftermath of the attacks. At night, responders switched on a bright portable light as the search for survivors continued. The man erupted into a state of euphoria at the love being shown by those battling to help their fellow humans, describing it as the greatest bliss and beauty of his life.

Another example was shared by a young woman whose brother had died of an illness at a young age, possibly in his teens. Towards the end of his life, while walking in a park, he suddenly became ecstatic and overwhelmed by the beauty around him.

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Theology
I continue to reference my first ever spiritual book of the '90s, Conversations with God, which offers a theological perspective of love and oneness. It speaks of God as perfect love and the source of all that is. This oneness with everything, including humans, gives rise to the inevitability of universal salvation and the unreality of separation. The Christian God is repeatedly rebuked, noting that its qualities – anger, insecurity, demand for worship, propensity to violence, etc. – better approximate a devil, if there were one.

In seeming contradiction, the book also states that all free choice (there's no determinism here) comes from either a place of love or a place of fear, with no other option. In turn, the book goes on to explain that you can't have light without dark, nor high without low.

The existence of this cosmic dualism enables choice, and in turn experience, which would be impossible in the so-called realm of the Absolute which is our true, eternal home. The realm of the relative is thus not considered real, though has a purpose pertaining to spiritual evolution.

Obviously, love is the higher fundamental choice and manifests, both at the individual and collective level, in more joyous and harmonious outcomes. Putting this primordial theory into practice in a complicated, frustrating and difficult world is quite a doozy of a topic which the book itself, which is now available online, covers in considerable detail.

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Nonduality
Nonduality, which I've covered in detail recently, describes the macrocosmic totality of heaven and Earth as being a single, infinite 'thing.' This insight literally brings it all together. Concepts like enlightenment in Buddhism, Self-realisation in the Hindu tradition and union with God in the Abrahamic religions all clumsily try and describe the process of exposing all separation as illusory.

The process of attaining that state in practice tends to fall into two camps. One emphasises the cultivation of good qualities of indiscriminate loving kindness towards all beings, such as the Noble Eightfold Path in Buddhism, on a pathway to liberation. The other approach strives to fast-track enlightenment by the practice of self-inquiry, immediate experience awareness and dis-identification from the thinking mind. Both tend to have value due to the coexisting contradiction of the dualistic world of appearances and the underlying substratum of the Absolute.

What, then, is love from this cosmic perspective?

Love is the nature of reality despite appearances. For starters, it is unavoidably selfless because there is no self. You wish well for all beings because you are them and they are you. Conditionality or limitation of love is seen as a mere error in thinking. And at an advanced level of understanding, even the world as it is, warts and all, is perceived as whole and perfect. At this level, free will also tends to be viewed as illusory, since again there is no separate self to possess it.

So then, finally, what remains when all is said and done? This:

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whydidthishappen

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May 6, 2024
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Can you do one on fear 😔🫂
 
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Dr Iron Arc

Dr Iron Arc

Into the Unknown
Feb 10, 2020
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All that is great but I think Rick and Morty put it best: "What people call love is just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed."

It's a little bit more than that I admit. I think even platonic love is also a survival mechanism meant to employ strength in numbers as a weapon against greater threats.

When viewed through this lens, love may simply be humanity's greatest weapon against the cold unfeeling nature of the universe since it's the only warmth it has to offer. So it may just be a tool that evolution gave us but it's one we've brought to great heights. Even other animals use love too whether it's to keep their young alive or even to exploit the love from humans to ensure their own survival, much like cats do.
 
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Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
3,670
much like cats do.
Speaking of cats, I was thinking about making a post recently arguing that cat love is more advanced than human love precisely because it is simpler and more pure. I figured that everyone was sick of my posts so didn't go ahead, but the crux of it went something like this:

Every 'ism' that reduces people into dehumanising politics (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, classism, etc... there might be dozens of them if we really look into it) is completely absent. Cats simply love, that's it.

Many cultures have venerated the sun since it takes the love metaphor to the extreme. Shining with no conditions, for all people and all regions of the universe at all times. No monthly fee and no demand for any particular behavioural standards in return. The simpler a love is, the more divine.

I've been trying to meet people recently and I'm painfully aware that many factors outside of my control, like social status, affect how lovable I am. Yet I've probably become more lovable since investing into fitness. It's all absurd, both at the giving and receiving level. By contrast, I have a cat friend who I last saw a couple of months back. She wanted to be with me regardless of my age/gender/etc. and chose to sleep on me. It felt like pure, simple love.

Daddy
Of course, clever people will immediately object. Cats, they will say, prefer warmer temperatures and are thus attracted to heaters, sunlight... and warm-blooded mammals. Provision of necessities causes psychological bonding. I, in turn, am affection-deprived and largely phobic towards humans, therefore this is all just an elegant transaction. I could counterargue that love is what is felt in this situation, but this is unlikely to be convincing without an accompanying intellectual theory.

Let's go further. Marriage is just enhanced prostitution, transacting a man's desire for sex and a woman's desire for money. Parental love is no better – not to mention some of us never had loving parents at all.

This worldview amounts to a 100% materialist interpretation of love, with the result that love doesn't exist at all. It is logical, self-consistent and compatible with the relevant sciences of biology, psychology and Darwinian evolution. It is impossible to argue. That doesn't mean that it is the highest truth.

As an analogy, if someone is asleep and dreaming, they find themselves in a dream world. They are interacting with other dream characters and dealing with dream-world challenges. Everything makes sense within that context. If one of the dream characters spoke of a higher reality that completely supercedes the entire dream scenario, they could be dismissed as speaking nonsense.

Life would go on struggling with dream-world problems, and it would all make perfect sense to take it all very seriously... until the time comes that the entire thing collapses and is seen to have never been real. Similarly, without an openness towards nondual or other advanced perspectives of reality as even a possibility, the debate must cordially terminate at that point.

Can you do one on fear 😔🫂
To a degree, though much of what I say will be derived from the book that I alluded to earlier. The fact that I can do so gives some hint at how many times I read it and how influential it was. I would encourage anyone interested in the subject to take a look; even try scrolling randomly and read just a few pages if you dare.

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At one point, Neale Walsch describes fear as an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. This links in nicely with all the Eastern traditions describing the physical world as illusory; no different to a dream.

Indian philosophy goes into much more detail on this to present logical arguments. For example, one might say that the physical world cannot be another dream because it appears vivid, while dreams are vague. However, certain dreams are rather vivid, while there neurodegenerative conditions which cause the world to appear vague.

Or the argument that the physical world has continuity. The counterargument is that there is nothing stopping people's dreams from having apparent continuity, while conditions like dementia result in tremendous memory issues in the 'real' world. So it goes on, deconstructing an otherwise unquestioned materialistic view of reality.

More to the point, the fact that illusions exist – for example, optical illusions – opens the door to the possibility of us being prone to mistakes. Given that basic beliefs about the world being real, or the identity as the self in the body are so fundamental, the experiential implications of being mistaken about this could be profound.



Back to fear. At the individual level, it a worldview learned from early childhood. It manifests in a lot of the cynicism and dysfunction that we have discussed. Unbeknownst to us, we are actually doing it to ourselves. We can see how basic misunderstandings, like feeling incapable or unworthy, end up manifesting into entire nightmare scenarios.

At the collective level, we are primitive to the extreme. The Holocaust was entirely based on a minority group being feared. The Cold War that reputedly nearly ended humanity was based on 2 groups fearing one another. Everyone is so desperate to avoid death that we create death. This is a fear-based society; it's kind of pitiful. The flip side is that a vast world of better possibilities await, whether or not in this lifetime.

The question then comes of what would a world, or even an individual's life, based on love rather than fear look like. How would such a person navigate practical challenges pertaining to, say, income? It's a whole other topic, but I would again encourage anyone interested to check out the aforementioned book, experiment with its suggestions and give me your feedback.
 
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whydidthishappen

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this is very loveable ❤️
 
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