Tag Archives: special love

Eternal Love Is the World’s Only True Reality

“Every loving thought that the Son of God ever had is eternal. The loving thoughts his mind perceives in this world are the world’s only reality. They are still perceptions, because he still believes that he is separate. Yet they are eternal because they are loving.” (ACIM, T-11.VII.2)

We have all heard platitudes about how important love is to our very existence, but this quotation does not mouth platitudes. We are told that our loving thoughts are eternal, that they are the world’s only reality. Yet as long as we think we are separate, we will be caught in a perceived world. Only when we move beyond perception to knowledge do we reach the reality that we long to find.

Love is God, and we are a part of God, and so we are love as well. While this does not mean that God is an emotion, it does mean something very close to the emotion of love that we understand as holy. It is very far, on the other hand, from the emotion of love that we thrust upon others whom we deem are special to ourselves.

Special love will not last, and for those of us first caught up in romantic love, we need to take heed. The special love that is the first bloom of romance must move forward into the holy love that sees that the perfection we envision is truly real. The perfection of our beloved is the only part of special love that is right and true. And the first bloom of special love does see this clearly.

I often think that talking of mature love sounds so deadly. We are told, in effect, to grow up and love more sanely. But real love is not needed as a test of sanity. The part of special love that is seeing perfection is seeing truly. And then we expand this perfection to a wide scope, and we extend this sight into the future, and then we have the holy love that is lasting.

“Love is the condition of your reality. In your human form your heart must beat for the life of your self to take place. This is the nature of your reality. Love is as essential to your being as the heart to the body.” (ACOL, C:1.3)

We need love. We all know this, but we also feel powerless, sometimes, to keep the loves in our life that we want. People come and go, and loves seem also to come and go.

A true understanding knows that the ones we have loved are never lost to us. That love that we felt is a part of eternity, and eternity means “lasting.” We don’t have to see, speak to, or write the person whom we once adored. He or she may have no part in our lives.

But the loves lives on, taking on a life of its own.

And this early love does not mitigate against later loves. Love, once present, expands the heart so that other love comes more easily, for the measure of our love is what it has done to us. We have changed internally by the very act of loving. And this loving lasts and lasts, making new and fresh incarnations along the way.

We don’t have to worry about being bereft of love. Our hearts simply need to be open to what God has for us. He never departs; he never allows us to feel alone for very long. He knows that we need other people, as we also need Him. And He will supply that need with every heartfelt cry.

Response, Not Responsibility

“Responsibility implies needs that would not be met without you.  Response is given and thus genuine.  It is a natural act of giving and receiving as one.  Responsibility is a demanded response, a necessary response, an obligation.  Response happens from within.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.13)”

Affirmation:  “I will respond to my significant others today.”

Reflections:

1 – Responsibility vs. Response

Here is the distinction made between having responsibility for another and simply giving a response, surely heartfelt, to him or her.  This passage continues the theme of the last several postings, emphasizing how very important these concepts are to A Course of Love.  We do not want to do things for others out of obligation; we want to do so with love, and this love is a response rather than a duty-bound responsibility.

2 – Giving and Receiving

Perhaps giving and receiving as one is such a commonplace part of our religious culture that we aren’t sure what it does mean.  Giving and receiving as one mean that what we give, we receive in equal measure.  The equality of giving and receiving will give us pause for thought.  If we don’t give, we don’t receive.  But I think that first we almost have to have received blessings from God that prepare our heart to respond by giving back–to Him, as well as our brothers and sisters.

3 – Demands

We do not want to do that which is demanded of us–at least, not often.  We rebel, because negative emotions such as resentment enter the picture.  But when our hearts are right with love, flowing over with love, we eagerly give a response from love.  And we do not recognize any covert demand at all.  We are too eager to give, in response to all that we have received.  Love does not keep record books; we give much as we forgive, 70 times seven (from the New Testament).  We respond with a willing spirit, and we respond because God has placed that will to do so in our hearts and minds.  He has first given to us, and with this recognition, we know that we can give and give and give, and yet our own store is forever full.  We do not give out of scarcity ever.  We know no scarcity.

4 – Look to Inner Self

The “within” aspects of this passage emphasize once again that we are to look to our inner Self for the direction that we need.  We look within and see no lack; we are therefore quite willing to respond to all needs that present themselves to us from those who are our brothers and sisters.  We do not respond when to do so would be inappropriate.  But the fact of appropriateness of response is broadened considerably when we open our thoughts to God and His way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to tell myself that You love my significant others even more than I do.  I have said this to myself many times over the past number of years, and I know that it certainly is true.  I can love only imperfectly, but Yours is perfect love.  And You will care for my loved ones.  I never need to think that I have to carry the burden all by myself.

Be with my loved ones today.  May I respond to their needs, without feeling that I have a particular, insistent demand from them for responsibility for their needs.  This is a great burden reliever, and I thank You for these words of Jesus.

Be with me today.  I need You.  Thank You.

Amen.