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The 10.000 faces of Love

Consider, for example, a spiritual master who proclaims: "Everything is love." Is that the same love as the "love and light” that's increasingly being preached in the spiritual world? A love that is often referred to as "unconditional”? How does this love relate to the love we feel for example for the man, or the woman, of our life? Or, how much we love our child, a dear brother, sister, or a close friend? What about the love we're able to feel for ourselves? Or for our work, hobby, or nature?

What does love mean to ‘God'? Can we truly feel love for a country, culture or a religion? Are we able to feel love for the truth? And what about loving our neighbours, what exactly does that mean? If we call ourselves "loving," if we "live from love," what are we actually saying? Is it love to stay five feet away from our fellow human being, or are we loving when we don't? And what's "true love”? If true love really exists, doesn't this make the other forms of love less "true”? Is there love during a one night stand? Or when we're "in love"? Or a "love across lifetimes", does this exist? Perhaps we often speak of love when we speak of lust, or a spiritual fantasy?

Love is only one side of the coin, the other side is hate. Love is the constructive side of the coin and hate the destructive side. Both aspects cannot be separated from each other: love and hate are inseparable. From a Taoist perspective, the relationship between love and hate is evident. Taoists embrace the fact that reality is polar, and that everything consists of polarities: pairs of opposites. Black exists by the grace of white. We can only think of something bad, because good also exists. And there's no love without hate. Hate and love are the poles of the same field of tension. In other words: they are inextricably linked.

This is difficult to accept from our polar consciousness. Polar consciousness means that we tend to think in terms of: either/or, it's one OR the other. Something is black, or white. Something is good, or bad. Something is love or hate. We often embrace only one pole of polarity - ignoring the other, as if it doesn't matter. "Everything is light and love" is then the result.

An important goal of Tao training - and of many other mystery schools on this planet - is our transformation into a state of non-polar consciousness, or unity consciousness. From non-polarity - (Wisdom!) - you no longer choose one of the two poles, but you embrace both. You no longer think either/or, but and/and. From this awareness, there's only one conclusion possible: if you say "I love you", you also say "I hate you". In addition to all beauty and good intentions, love by definition also has destructiveness, damage and pain.

So it's an illusion that we can love without hate, without also being destructive. Facing this is challenging, to say the least. Certainly, because the object of our (often unconscious) hatred is the person we call our "loved one", someone we say we only wish him or her the best! This is an important reason why we like to keep the concept of "love" obscure. In this way we keep "hate" at bay, and we don't have to take responsibility for its damage. We can close our eyes to what we don't want to see.

Of course it's not so black and white that everyone is unconscious, when it comes to the relationship between love and hate. It's not without reason that we speak of "love-hate relationships". Any man or woman with a bit of life experience knows that a romantic love affair - or any connection whatsoever - isn't all roses and moonshine. "A relationship is hard work," we hear all too often. Or: "A good marriage really doesn't come to you". What we may now understand better, is what this ‘work' entails exactly: seeing that we ourselves have a share in harming the other - and taking responsibility for that part.

This brings us to what Tao training calls "true love". Where we consider the essence of love as a heart-connection between two beings, true love arises when the two embrace their love and their hate. By perceiving both the sweet and sour side of love and enclosing both poles, Magic can arise in the middle. It is this magic that we can call "true love" - ​​a form of love where hatred is accepted. This is the ingredient of a golden love relationship, or of any lasting, constructive connection whatsoever. A connection that transcends polarity, is not blind to its own destructive force and is good for everything and everyone.

Source of Inspiration: Reinoud Eleveld,


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