Tell me what Love is.
This question was not one of the original four questions (Who/What /Another/Life) offered in 1968 at the first Enlightenment Intensive. Forest Dalton and Edward Riddle worked for ten years to expand the known boundaries and were responsible, along with Osha Reader, for adding the "Love" question. In the words of Edward Riddle;
"The love question is not quite in the same domain as self, life, and another. Self, life, and another are right there in front of us, obviously a basic observable architecture of conscious life. Love, the subject of most songs, literature, poetry, and movies, is overlaid with tons of cultural baggage. But what is it really? Pursued as an Enlightenment Intensive question, love emerges as a key aspect of all sentience and of all form. And, the result of enlightenment on what love is is that one's life is immediately better. You just love. That is basic to your relationship to all others, to all of life. You may not like the impurities in other's minds, you may not like what they do, you may wish they would understand you as you really are, but you love them. You always have."
"Enlightenment on love opens you to the love that has always existed. And you love the floor and the walls, hubcaps, credit cards, everything. You love all otherness, even the things that you identify with in your own mind. You love your self, the "other" part of "you." And you don't have to force any of it. You always did love. It was just covered up. In fact, its not so much "you love" as "love is."
"Without some love in your heart, which begets patience and tolerance, one who has tasted a little enlightenment can either get really critical of others, can get "holier than thou," or get really introverted and pull away. It's all just TOO much. Love, cultivated and allowed to flow naturally, smoothes the path one takes after the Intensive. Love is the lubricant that keeps the path from chafing. But it can go well beyond that. Work on "What is love?" in an Intensive and realize that there is much more to it than just the feelings, the flows, and the practical effect it has in our lives. Remember "God is love"? The love question goes deeper than we thought. It opens us up to self, life, and another in ways we did not dream of. It opens us to a basic truth about life itself, to the universal urge that is at the heart of every act and event. Love is very basic. A friend, after working on love in an Intensive, remarked, "There is more love than matter in the universe."
"So we added the love question to the Intensive-or some masters did. Some, harkening to the warning of the founder, Yogeshwar Muni/Charles Berner, keep just to the original set of four questions (Who am I?, What am I?, What is life?, What is another?). I've approached adding a new question very cautiously. I don't want to contaminate the Intensive process. The Intensive is a very pure practice, world-class and deserving of respect. It is right up there with Zazen, Vipassana, and other refined contemplative arts. I'm not about to muck it up. But I watched the love question for maybe ten years and saw what happened when people got some enlightenment on love, and one day, it just hit me. Oh! Oh! Love! Of course! And now I don't have a whisper of doubt about it. "
(Thank you Ed Dalton, Ed Riddle, and Osha Reader - all of us in the Dyad community thank you. Your gift has helped our grace, making our lives more open and satisfying. We do love you too.)