Thursday, June 17, 2010

When love comes with a knife | on soul-mate and broken heartedness

In the Name of the Loving One, The Majestic, The Glorious
may all songs of praise be unto Him, for allowing the lovers simply to be, and further celestial praise be unto Him - for He, out of His Love allows the love-intoxicated 'fools of God' to taste paradise-bliss here on this very earth



1.
Call of Love

Those whom Love has not chosen as followers,
do not hear when Love calls.
- Khalil Gibran, Broken Wings

"Man's proclivity towards his primordial nature - that is true love,
And when Love calls, we shall hear..." - ABNIZAR

2.
Love comes with a knife,
not some shy question
and not with fears for its reputation!

Love is a madman, working his wild schemes, tearing off his clothes,
running through the mountains, drinking poison,
and now quietly choosing annihilation.
- Rumi

First of all, contrary to popular belief that love is all about romanticism, elated feelings and happy emotion - love often comes so violently and sweeps our heart chamber - emptying everything, sparing nothing and leaving our heart and mind in total ruin. As some poet who knew well such effect said, "stay away, stay away, stay away from the lane of love." This is because love is not always about what we desire or whom we want, but often it is about an all transforming experience of the heart, a revolution which once we experience, we never remain the same person as before. It changes the whole quality of our being.The more deep the experience of love is, the more of the fiber of our being is affected.

Echoing the truth, the great beings who were real lovers taught: "The quest for Love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for Love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for Love, you start to change within and without."


In human sense, love, even though whirls around someone, even though as human being we can only experience love in its basic level by falling in or feeling the magnetism of love for someone - after all, the other person in this case is not the end or the final goal, but a mean or a vehicle. The purpose remains as the transformation of our being and the goal is the process itself, which is love.

Khalil Gibran offer us the following wisdom on the way and goal of love:

And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

For many this is very hard to understand and even for the mind to accept when all it sees when in love is the beloved. But please know that in human experience of love, the other person's role is to holding a form. We are soul-beings who are shaped in form and hence need other forms for our engagement. Even the form of this planet earth is made so that we, humanity can bear the beams of love - according to William Blake. In the dualistic love affair the other person is the vehicle through which the experience of attraction is given. Harsh as it might sound, but infact it would not be wrong to say that compared to the gift of the experience of love (the experience itself is a function of the heart and formless), whereas the vehicle, the other person is like an idol. To understand the truth in it, observe the human predicament of immature love. The moment the lover is disappointed, the same very idol which was idealized, fantasized and worshiped becomes the idol to be hated, cursed and to be forgotten.

3.
The predicament

Psychoanalysts and psychologists will tell us that all too often when we love somebody - we don't accept him or her as what the person effectively is. We accept him or her in so far as this person fits the coordinates of our fantasy. We mis-identify, wrongly identity him or her, which is why when we discover that we were wrong, love can quickly turn bitter; the same person we think we love become the most hated person and even can turn into violence. Some even goes on to saying that there is nothing more dangerous, more lethal for the beloved person than to be loved as it were for not what he or she is, but for fitting the ideas / ideal of the person who claim love. In this case love is always mortifying love: love destroyed and void of its  organic texture and vital quality. But sadly the whole world knows more about this kind of love, not its transcendent edition: the love of Divine Fire.

4.
The Fire of Love

The heart is where man's connection with the Divine lies. When man ignores his soul's desires and he lives solely through his head, his intellect and his physical being, he does not truly live. Because to ignore one's soul is to ignore one's very reason for being. But there are many who live this way. Many who think that intellectual superiority is an achievement. That a life dedicated to intellectual enlightenment is much better than a path dedicated to spiritual elevation. Oh what folly. Humans fall for the trap they set themselves. Whether they bask in intellectual glory or swim in an abundance of spiritual enlightenment, they have fallen into a deep hole filled with self glorification. A hole which they have dug up themselves.

For life, my friends, is quite difficult for most of us, too complex for the complex mind but yet it is so extremely simple it defies reason. Love is the key to everything. I know the word Love has been much abused, maligned beyond recognition, commercialised to the extreme, bandied about by careless utterances of "I love you" by people who have no idea what "to love" means. Only one love is true - that is unconditional love. That is the love that God shows us. There are many who argue that God loves us with conditions:-

* that we are faithful to Him;
* that we pray 5 times a day;
* fast during Ramadan;
* go to Church regularly;
* slaughter cows;
* don't slaughter cows; etc.

Why do we place these human thoughts onto God and attribute human feelings onto Him? Is it because we cannot understand Him, grasp even the concept of God, unless he is similar to us? Human. Should it not be us who should strive to be more like Him? And that is why I say that the closest thing you can experience with the Divine is through unconditional love.

Unconditional love does not mean self sacrificing, abuse-me-all-you-want kind of love. It is a strong love. A brave and courageous love which says:

I love you - as you are. You don't have to love me back. And I love you enough not to let you abuse me.

You are only capable of achieving this kind of love if you love yourself. So that is why we love falling in love. That feeling of euphoria, the breathlessness, the whole magical experience that makes one feel special. But then suddenly you find yourself tortured, all your insecurities raise their ugly heads, surfacing at this inconvenient time, exposing your flaws to your loved one. Will he still love me once he sees me like this? Once he knows me as the person I really am? Warts et al.

Do we show our ugly side just to test the other's love or does it surface in order to allow the love you feel for each other to heal them? It is a mixture of both. The love you feel makes you more confident to allow the "ugly" side of you to surface as you trust the other person to love you no matter what. Unfortunately this is the time and part where it gets too hard for both parties to continue on. The euphoria is gone. There is an element of unpleasantness. Hard issues to deal with. All is not honky dory. It feels like hard work. Those afraid to carry on are afraid of deeper feelings. Its too scary for them. Uncharted territory. Dare they venture into the dark beyond? Where will it lead them? Are they strong enough to survive this journey? Together? Will they still be together at the end of the journey?

Well let me tell you this. Your soul made you fall in love. You, the physical and thinking side of you, enjoy these feelings up to a point. Its like a drug that makes you happy - until... it starts making you miserable and you decide to amputate your feelings like a gangrenous limb and cut the source out of your life. And this is where you fail to listen to your soul... You go on seeking the initial euphoria of falling in love, not understanding that the feeling will not last - it is whimsical and fleeting, its purpose is just to attract you and lead you to real love - the love which will lead you to Divine Being. That, one day you will wake up and realise you cannot even remember the name of the person you so obsessed over when you realise whom your soul was really searching for. A return to Divine Being.

So do not be fooled by this intoxicating spell of being in love. It is God's way of attracting your attention, lulling you with the ebbs and flow of the tides of Love, then thrashing you against the rocks till your bones have splintered to many thousand pieces and your flesh has smashed to pulp ... and all that remains is your stubborn heart, still beating, lying on the rocks, unrestrained by the complicated web of your thoughts and unshackled from the chains of your intellect.

That, my friends, is how you will feel, at the end of this journey. You, the physical self, would have died, before the hour of your death is due, and all that remains is your soul, shining in its true beauty. By then it does not matter if your are still together with the initial object of your desires, of your love. You understand that what is most important is the Journey. And that you fell in love with Love in the first place.

You can argue with me till your face turns blue. And I will say to you - the only union that is sacred is your union with God. You belong to no one and no one belongs to you. The only unfaithfulness is your unfaithfulness to God. And your only binding vows are to Him, your Creator. There are no conditions attached to His Love for you. There are no obligations attached to Divine Love. We have created all this to measure our worthiness and yet God measures not our love. God loves us is the only true statement. We love Him may not be a true statement as we may not have the capacity nor have we evolved enough to have the true knowledge and understanding of how to love Him. Those who say they love God have made an untrue and arrogant claim. Only God knows, who truly loves Him. It is in His Mercy that He allows us to experience this state of being. The state of being in love with each other. The state of loving each other.

And so, here is the dilemma many of us have been through. The thrill of falling in love, the anguish of loving a person you cannot have, the pain of acknowledging to yourself that you love this person and the fear that you may never feel this way about another person again ... that one day, because of this fear, you will settle for something less. Something and someone who will not make you feel like you are being thrashed mercilessly by powerful, angry waves of love against jagged rocks. One day you will settle for less. Maybe that is why people call it "settling down". What they mean is that you have settled for less.

- Sharifah Sazita

5. 
Disappointment in one way love?

The kind of love in which the love is not reciprocated by the other, or sometime which is coined as 'one way love' - even then love does its work as it should. It transforms the heart, it transforms the being of the lover. If the lover, when the other person is not reciprocating or not acknowledging or not conforming to the expectation of the lover - and immediately if that turns the feeling towards that person bitter, sour or if a sense of disappointment engulfs the heart - then know that this love is actually is still at a very immature level than transcendent love.

So instead of focusing and worshiping the idol, which in this case is the other person, love should be freed from its lesser reality. Yes the human partner is wonderful to hold, to sing to, to love, to embrace, to rest on his or her bosom, to dance with, to walk hand in hand - but after all, even that will come to an end, but love will remain. The kind of love which loves the person this moment, and the next moment hates the same person with all its might - is exactly the kind of disappointment and suffering that goes on mostly in the world in the name of love.

Someone asked, "Can you define what is one sided love? If anyone love any human being from all soul, his/her every desire, every feeling is for the other, then how the other person never understand the love? How is it possible?

One sided love is love which flows from one heart and the reciprocation might not be visible or one person loves another person - but that love is not acknowledged from the other end. One may wonder, why we fall in such embrace in the first place? Why such fuss?

"The true purpose of rain clouds is not just to give rain, but to give birth to flowers and fruits in you garden of delight." Yes even though the first thing you see from rain clouds are rain coming down, yet what you do not see are far more magical. The whole feast in the garden of delight where all the plants and trees takes in the water drops, mixes with divine elixir and produce such alchemical transfusion to produce the varying hued flowers, fragrance and fruits of sweetness - which ultimately is the destiny of the rain cloud and all the drops that it carry in its pregnant state.

Like that you may only see and feel the broken-heartedness when the so called "one sided love" happens. You may only see the object of this love not responding or turn away from you, but in reality the alchemical has process already started when that love energy arose in your heart and that is much much more important than being together with the person, and as it happens in many cases, everyday getting disappointed and eventually love turning into sour after-taste since the other person can not keep up with the fantasies and loaded expectations. And also the interesting paradox is that we only grow in our pain and in denial of what our ego demands and in separation in far greater degree than its opposite. 

Its inevitable from our every day reality that in every human love affair that if the transcendence of the purpose of love is not made aware (and if ego is not under good management), no matter how much deeply two persons fall in love, when they are together, often time the disappointment, the bitterness, the idealize picture gets shattered and no time in human history we are seeing this more pronounced than our time. There are no short of real life stories when there is a love affair that goes on for 2-3 years or 5 years and when the two are together, living under the same roof, they get a divorce or separation in one month or in weeks or even days. Why is that so? Didn't they think they love each other so much?

So when there is one sided love and your ego is telling you cant live without this person, o how wonderful really it would be to be with this person; and if life's unfolding leads you otherwise, don't punish your mind by feeling betrayed. Trust in the wisdom of life and know that you are given what is best for you. Know this with certitude because that is a token of your faith in the unfolding of the divine hand.

Always be grateful for the love and do not complaint in the one-sidedness of the love or when the person of love is not making life journey with you. "Everyone has a direction to which he or she turns to" - says the revelation, and the directions of the lover and the form around which the love came,  the beloved might have very different directions in life individually. One should remain grateful for love, only for love itself because its a gift and extremely helpful in human being's growth. Regardless how we perceive the end result of the love through our short-sightedness, love alone is reason enough to be thankful. And one must not feel bitter if the person loved is not to become a life-partner because that's the destiny and the life does what is best for us. Have patience in face of such moments.

"Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful for not only what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.

Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to, is better than the one to come?" - Elif Shafak

6.
Even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you:
The broken-heartedness

"The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new Self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain." - Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love

In human love affair, the pain of separation in love, the feeling of betrayal and disappointed in the so called "one sided love" is like the pain of child-birth. That pain, the fire of love burns away our old self and gives birth to a new being with more pristine vision, wider view on life and expansive capacity of the heart. Infact the heart is given wing with love.

Broken-heartedness is nothing uncommon for the heart to experience. For people of the Path, the experience of broken-heartedness is all too familiar. Many are actually whirled into the vortex of divine love from the height of their broken-heartedness in human love affair. The paradox is quite common that God will give the love for a human being, then the human being (who was the locus of love) is withdrawn, the union is made impossible and through all of this drama, the lover is drawn more close to the Real Beloved while made to journey into the arid desert of broken-heartedness.

"Even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secret of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart."
- Khalil Gibran

Only Hu knows the Secret of His doing and what gift He hides behind after He takes away the loved person. But know that He is al-Karim, the Generous Giver and He is always giving. All our experiences in life are His gifts that evolve us. Broken heartedness is nothing uncommon to those who come to Love Him and seek Him, because in the pain of separation from temporal, Hu gives us an opportunity to know again and to realize the truth that 'inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un.' - 'truly we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return'. Undertsand this statemetn with all your heart that 'we belong to the Divine' (li-llahi), which is saying, we are His beloved, thats why  in reality we only belong to Him and to no other, and our soul's return to the Real Home is also He.

7.
Trust your life and His unveiling of your self, 
and His mysterious way of giving your soul wings


"God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is a fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture." - Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love

The way of love is not a subtle argument.
The door there is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling, they're given wings.
- Rumi


8.
The Enclosed Circle of Love

Shaykh Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee of Golden Sufi writes in this book, Circle of Love, "The mystical path is a journey from duality back to unity, back to the pre-eternal oneness that is hidden within the heart. For the Sufi this journey is a love affair that begins on the level of the soul and is brought into consciousness through the grace of the Beloved. Sufis are those who love Him for His sake, and who have come to taste the sweet oneness of this love in the very substance of their being. This love draws us back to Him, back to what always is, to the eternal moment which does not belong to time.

Walking the path of love is a circular journey in which we discover what was always here but hidden under the veils of illusion, under the coverings of the ego and the mind. Stepping onto the path is stepping into the closed circle of love in which "the end is present at the beginning."


May all our soul-calls to our soul-mates, may all our blessed heart-aches and broken-heartedness help us realize the greater truths in life and to reach us more close to the Station of all stations, the Real, the Beloved ItSelf.

- Sadiq Muhammad Alam


# Recommended Readings & Download Link:
1. Paradoxes of Love by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
2. Circle of Love by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
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