Love in Relationship and Divine Love: By Mourad Rashad
While the worldly man is quite free to take full liberties with his feelings, to the extent that he can indulge in whatever affective commitments -that might contradict all common sense- just to gratify his ego’s caprice or whims. The worldly man takes into consideration that he will pay a price in exchange for pleasure. The price paid by that man might be suffering or just giving up some of his comforts whether material or otherwise.
On the other hand, the spiritually-disciplined seeker disdainfully refrains from dissipating his energies through indulgence in such vagaries. Moreover, he is also keen to purge and cleanse even his legitimate affective commitments -such as his love to his parents and family – from the least ego-dependent attachments that might serve as permanent leakage unduly draining his energies for no use.
The word love had been used indiscriminately to denote a very wide range of feelings according to the spiritual maturity of man.
However, due to the fact that man is glamorized with the word love and always trying to experience love he will use the most sublime meaning of this word indiscriminately; even to signify the most trivial feelings of egoistic attachment to any person. While true love means the deferential unrestrained self-giving – on the part of the lover – that transforms his old self-assertive ego into a prayerful caring womb nestling the image of his beloved, which now magnificently and gloriously occupies the whole field of emotional vision of the lover. This sublime sense of the word is manifested and expressed by the love of the mother to her newly born child.
Downward gradation from that almost spiritual experience on the part of the mother towards her newly born child -where the mother is temporarily relieved from the grip of her ego through emotion- the word love is mistakenly used to denote an infinite variety of other feelings. These feelings range from that almost spiritual experience of the true love of the mother down to the stale egoistic attachment. This attachment is wholly dependent upon the derivation of the lover – from the relationship – of some fulfillment of his needs or some nourishment to his vanity. This is expressed and manifested in the lover’s possessive appropriation of his beloved, just to guarantee and secure an uninterrupted fulfillment of his needs or uninhibited nourishment to his vanity.
Apart from the experience of true love which can be undoubtedly described as ego-deflating, all other forms of egoistic attachments -which we term collectively love-, are highly ego-inflating. Why they are labeled as ego-inflating? They are labeled so because they constitute an undisguised source of ego’s gratification either to one party in the relationship or to both. This results that the gratified party/parties become strongly attached to the worldly interpretation of human existence. This worldly and wrong interpretation represents the spiritually ignorant perspective that concentrates on man’s ego as the sole worthy and decisive factor in human life. In such a way –through ego gratification- man has discarded and totally ignored the spiritual teaching that ascribes all human weal to the grace of the Lord God rather than to ego’s merits, qualities or effort.
Now, regarding the statement which says “God is Love” where does it fit here in the above exposition? It is what the newly born child experiences. The mother with that unending immeasurable care and concern in an attempt to bring uninterrupted comfort and protection to the child could be compared to the Love of the Lord God. From the stand point of the child, his mother is his God. When the mother fails to comfort or protect the child, the whole existence will move to carry on the job. If we can return again to the position of the child with his mother, the Grace of the Lord God will pour on us from every possible and impossible unthinkable direction.