- Created on 09 January 2012
I consider a letter I received asking three essential questions about the Self as a New Year's gift. Here they are along with my responses.
1. Why is love the fundamental and most important need of the Self?
2. Why can only love of God fulfill this need?
3. Why can't our unconditional love and compassion in relationships with others fulfill the need of the Soul?
I could give a one sentence answer to each one, but without a philosophical foundation, those answers might appear trite or mediocre. So onto a little exposition.
For clarity's sake, the terms Self, Consciousness, and Spirit on this blog are used interchangeably to describe the same thing. What is that "thing"? What is Consciousness? A simple definition:
Consciousness is Energy.
According to Bhagavad Gita, consciousness is spiritual energy. There are two energies in the world: material energy and spiritual energy. Nearly all our studies, inside and outside of universities, focus on material energy: gross or subtle. We study technology, nature, plant and animal life, or the mind. In every case, we're studying material energy.
We need to understand spiritual energy to understand Consciousness, or the Self.
• Spiritual energy is eternal, full of knowledge, and happiness.
• There are two types of spiritual energy: the Self and the Divine
By definition eternal is immutable or unchangeable. Therefore the way we experience spiritual energy now is no different than spiritual energy's eternal state.
Since we are individuals, the Self is eternally an individual.
Individuals, people, need love. Matter, or material energy doesn't need love. Love exists in the realm of personality and individuality.
Therefore the first question I received is a valid existential question: Since we are individuals we need love. But why?
Why is love the fundamental and most important need of the Self?
Spirit is eternal, full of knowledge, and bliss. We must be surrounded by, and immersed in, all three of these aspects of spiritual energy to be grounded in wholeness.
Of these three the human need for happiness is the strongest. Knowledge offers a type of happiness and the concept of eternity can give comfort. But these alone cannot give bliss.That commodity is only available in relationships. In relationships with the Divine and the unlimited spiritual Beings, our brothers and sisters we live with now in this material world.
Relationships are emotional bonds. The supreme emotion is love. It is so powerful that when it is expressed in its most exalted state, unconditional love, God bows to it, is captured by it. Our nature is a reflection of the divine's nature.
This is who we are. This is the Self. We are servants of unconditional love. We seek it endlessly, we desire to give it unlimitedly. Until we achieve it, the Self remains restless, searching, unsettled, anxious, unsure. That state of Being is impossibly unhappy.
Does this help? Is there something unclear? Thank you for asking such wonderful questions. Up next, answers to the other two questions.
From my heart to yours,