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John de Ruiter Podcast 252

John de Ruiter Podcast 252

Love is Not an Experience Love is What You Are

When: May 10, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Where: ,
What is love? How do we find it? Do we really need it? In this dialogue the questioner asks John to explain his statement “love is not an experience, love is what you are.” In response, John expands on the different kinds of love and how to go beyond the surface and discover a deep and subtle, unconditioned love not based on experience or need.
“A conditioned love is a love that is rooted in experience, rooted in feeling, whereas an unconditioned love is rooted in you being what you really are. It is a still, quiet beingness.”
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Podcast Transcript

Love is Not an Experience Love is What You Are

Q: I came in and I saw the flyer out front and I saw that the subject was about love and that your book was about that. It is a subject very much at the forefront of my mind. I have never experienced a love relationship. It is the thing that I most want in my life and I think I need to know more about it on a much deeper level. The statement on the flyer said: “Love is not an experience: love is what you are.” Actually, I did think it was an experience, so clearly there’s a message in there that is deeper than what I know, and could teach me something.

John: What you can do is to consider deeply opening to not needing to be loved, deeply open to not needing love from someone to you, and also open deeply to not need to love someone. As you are really quieted in that, you begin to open and realize a depth of love within that is other than you’ve been looking for. In no longer needing the kind of relationship to love that you’re accustomed to, it can be easier to realize a level of love within that’s most quiet, deep and subtle: that isn’t driven by emotion and is subtler, within, than feeling. So then your whole relationship with how you relate to love as an experience relaxes. As that relaxes and you remain quieted within, then what you really are – which is love – opens in you.

Love is intrinsic to what we really are. As soon as we’re focused on wanting to be loved, needing to be loved, or wanting and needing to love, then we begin to turn love into something that is other than what it really is. We equate love to something that we identify as an experience. As an experience, we create a container for it and we confuse what love does to that container for what love is.

When you hold or see a newborn baby, the emotional conditioning of love isn’t present there yet so the baby isn’t going to be loving to you. But as you are really quieted within and you’re met by what is in the baby, the baby doesn’t see your self or your personality. The baby isn’t comprehending your relationship with life. The baby doesn’t comprehend your idea of love, but there is a beingness present: there is a presence within the baby that reaches into you. That presence is love.

Or, when you lie down to go to sleep and you are almost asleep, everything else is gone and what remains is love. It’s not an experience of love. It is a most subtle, quiet love. It’s more like a deep, unnamed kind of restfulness that is fundamentally nurturing to you. It’s the same as what you really are.

Q: Is this to say that all the people who are having love relationships should not be having them because that’s not what love really is?

John: Love is there, but then it’s more of a surface form of love, such as an emotional love – a love that’s based on a strong feeling. It’s not devoid of love but it may also not be a profound love or an unconditioned love. There may be a felt kind of love in a love relationship but there might not be the depth of love that goes as deep within as what we really are. An experience of love between two doesn’t mean that the love that’s present is unconditioned.

Q: Yes. It seems to me that most love I’ve experienced has been conditional and that created a problem. I understand that part of what you’re saying.

John: Begin with whatever measure of love is there for you with anyone and then, in the midst of your recognition of that love, be quieted and gentled in your heart. Right there, love deepens in you. As you are quieted in it, the love that’s there in you is less conditioned. When you are most deeply quieted within so that your sense of love isn’t based on an experience but on what you’re deeply, quietly knowing within, there it is not conditioned.

A conditioned love is a love that is rooted in experience, rooted in feeling, whereas an unconditioned love is rooted in you being what you really are. It is a still and a quiet beingness. An unconditioned love is what you’ll easily notice when you’re out in nature and you’re just quietly dropped within, and your whole sense of nature shifts because you’ve shifted out of your conditioned self into a quiet beingness which enables you to resonate with the beingness of nature. That beingness is a love unconditioned.

In whatever relationship you’re in, relate to what you realize when you’re quieted in the midst of nature and you have that shift within where your sense of nature opens. The way that that moves in you shows you how to be to those who you’re close to. So, quietly being that way within, in the midst of your interaction with others, is love. That can come into a strength of feeling but it is the quiet depth that reaches you the most.

Q: A couple of times it seemed that you were equating love with separation from feeling: that emotion and feeling were somehow not to be involved or was an artificial concept.

John: Love isn’t first a feeling. Love is your authentic beingness and you’re able to feel it. When you do feel it then you regard love as a feeling. As soon as you identify with it as being a feeling, you become dependent on the experience of that feeling for you to be able to register love. That, then, reduces love to a feeling and separates love from its own depth.

Love that moves from the innermost outwards manifests in your body, in your feeling, in your emotions, in your thinking: it floods everything. So, in that way, you can experience love and you can experience it fully, while, at the same time, love is not first an experience. Similarly, you are not your thoughts yet you are able to think. You are not, first, your feelings yet you, awareness, are able to feel. Thinking and feeling belong to love.

Q: So, when it comes down to what love actually is, what I got was, primarily, your characterization of it as beingness, and this beingness is a deep inner quietude and serenity that precedes and is more important than outward love. Did I understand that correctly?

John: Yes, and as love moves, love moves right through to the surface. Love, on its own, when you, awareness, are relaxed, naturally manifests in your feeling, in your emotions, in your will, in your thinking and in all of your body. In that way, love is like the sun that comes up into all of your forms. It’s easy to see in little children where they’re still in their innocence, where they’re not being loving yet love so beautifully radiates through them. It shows in every little part of them. They’re expressing it: it comes through them without their understanding of all of that.

It’s like the difference between what comes through the eyes of a newborn and a baby that’s several months old where love is already really coming into manifestation. It shows in their feeling. It shows in their body and their face. In a newborn, the love that’s there is so deep that it’s almost alien – ‘alien’ as in foreign to how we relate – so the love that’s there is more like love: deep and clear but love without a face … yet present in the baby’s eyes. It’s the difference between that and a few months later where there’s so clearly love that has a face. It’s no longer just in the eyes. The communication of love opens into the rest of the face, so love begins to fill the baby’s nervous system.

In a small child that is still in its innocence, you easily see the blossoming of love, where they’re able to be in the deep quiet of it or the full expression of it, where you can see a whole spectrum of love.

Q: What do you mean by ‘spectrum’?

John: Where you can see it in its depth and quietude all the way out through its strength of expression, where the love comes through so much form – love in form – or, still within that small child, love with so little form where, because the child is still in its innocence, it has the mobility to move as love with so little form all the way through to love that has so much form.

Q: By ‘form’ do you mean its body or its actions and expressions of emotion or will?

John: ‘Form’ as in a depth of feeling without a strength of feeling. So when such a child just simply looks at you, you’re deeply moved by what’s in those eyes without there being any overt expression of love and yet, in your heart, you are so deeply, quietly touched. You’re touched by the love that’s there that doesn’t need the strength of form to show, and yet it’s able to move through such strength of feeling. It can manifest through the most superficial feelings and because the child is still in its innocence, the love is still unconditioned.

It’s a little bit like the difference of presence in the trunk of a tree, and the presence that’s there out into the limbs, the branches and then all of the leaves. There, there’s a broad spectrum of presence. Love can be in you like the trunk of a tree that seemingly doesn’t even move, or it can come all the way through: all the way through to your leaves that interact so delicately with the environment. We’re able to be in all of it.

The difficulty is when we identify with the experience that’s most strongly felt, particularly when we want to have that experience again, and even more so when we want to have that from someone else. Then we hold others responsible: holding others responsible to love you.

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