What is this thing called Love?

It is a formless construct, an emotional expression – yet we feel it long before we think it. Now, given that feelings are an expression of our thinking in the moment – where does love come into such correlative equation? Love is beyond thought – surely there can be no other explanation for it!
Well, in order to make things a little bit clearer by degrees, perhaps I should take two perspectives – the temporal and the eternal, and by eternal I mean spiritual. Now, for the purposes of drawing these perspectives, I believe it is best to examine the French philosopher, theologian and cosmologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 – 1955). His most famous quote is probably the one that sets the temporal and eternal apart ~
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience
we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
This assertion runs parallel with my view that what we do and how we live, love and pursue happiness sits well on such a structure. It explains the concept of Universal Mind as being on a spiritual plane, and supports the notion that every one of our experiences is brought to life through the power of Consciousness, and that the meanings of all of our experiences are interpreted and conveyed to us through the way we harness the power of Thought.
This is the Inside-Out view of reality.
And within that view of reality, Love is very much a spiritual experience, with no harnessing of Thought behind it.
Of course there is, in our modern popular culture in particular, a much more Temporal interpretation of Love – and this is where confusion starts to spread like wildfire. For the things Temporal of Mankind – the day-to-day-ness of humanity shall we say – Love is used as label to mean many more things.
“God Loves You.”
“I love playing football.”
“The child loves her puppy.”
“She loves her boyfriend.”
“Mum, we love you.”
“I love living by the sea.”
These are all different expressions using the same core word, love. Yet the usage is, for want of a better word, lazy. There are many alternatives, other interpretations and synonyms that we could use instead, and if we did then perhaps the word Love would not have been devalued so very much through the 20th century.

Even some dictionaries describe Love as:

Deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment, devotion, adoration, doting, idolisation, worship, passion, ardour, desire, lust, yearning, infatuation, adulation, besotted-ness, etc.
The list of synonyms just grows and grows.
I’ve read elsewhere that it is a friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Linguistically, Love is both a noun – a love for something, someone – and a verb – I love this music, I love that person.
Of course, in the written or spoken word we can take the simple phrase: “What is this thing called Love?”
And change this phrase around in a number of ways, and for several instances a comma comes in handy also.
What is THIS thing called, Love? Or perhaps:
What IS this thing called love? Maybe even:
What is this thing CALLED, Love?
And so on …
However – and taking a deep breath here – in truth, the above discourse merely illustrates my point, in that what I really mean about Love is that it is an essential part of our being Spiritual Beings having a human experience.
To underline this here are a couple more quotes from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:-
“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfil them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.”
“Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world … Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.”
And then there are the poets, from whom I will draw just two examples cross the vast panoply of artistic expression. Above all, I would invite you to notice the
mention in these two of the Soul.
The poets, above all, seemed to grasp the notion that deepest, truest Love is eternal rather than temporal; it lies within the Soul; it abides at the level of Spirituality:-
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the
breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God
choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
~ Elisabeth Barrett Browning (1806 – 1861)
How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin’s bow,
which draws one voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke  (1875 – 1926)
The Sufi mystic, Rumi, also had a thing or two to say about Love.
Finally – I would like the last word on Love to be my own.
In the midst of the “Journeys with my Guide”, which was an odyssey I experienced through some eight weeks in the autumn of 2016, were episodes of a sometimes inexplicably profound and insightful nature. I was awakened one night at around 4am by whatever mystery there is to these things – and I felt compelled to write down what had come to mind. I hadn’t spent hours in thoughtful reflection or turned a whole field of thinking over in my mind.

This entire narrative came from Out of the Blue. I wrote concertedly and steadily until I knew I had written all that was there for me to write. Then I returned to sleep for the rest of the night. The words, which I read the following morning, seemed at first not to be mine but rather had flowed through my consciousness and onto the page.

Love is not a thought that leads to a feeling.
Love IS
Love is not a sense that leads to a sensation.
Love IS
Love is not a word that can describe what it is.
Love IS
Love is just not what we think it is because …
Love IS
Just Love
We are born knowing Love and as we grow we believe that what we are surrounded by is Love – For THAT is what WE are.
Yet if what WE are surrounded by IS NOT Love then we may start to drift away from OURSELVES because we are Love and THIS surrounding us is not Love.
As we go through life having drifted away, we may re-encounter Love and be drawn back towards it – thinking it is just so very familiar though we may
never know why, and understand even less so.
Then there comes a day when we see the signpost that points to “Home” – and we might be struck, or see everything bathed in a white light, or hear the summoning clarion call, or hear the softest of whispers louder than thunder. And if we understand and follow the signpost we start to get the real answers to every question about Love we have ever encountered. And every step of the way leads back to Our Selves and back to Love.
And so it is that the truth becomes clearer. And we may laugh, or we may cry, for it matters not which – we are just back with what IS.


And what IS … is LOVE.