A few years ago I had a 3-day experience of seeing and feeling everyone and everything with what I would describe as unconditional, impersonal love. It was something I had never felt before
in my life, and it was much greater than any of my personal experiences of love for my husband or my family.
It was NOT at all a PERSONAL experience of affection, or warmth, or appreciation, or admiration, or comfort, or attachment, or any type of PERSONALLY loving feeling. Instead, it was oddly detached and completely impersonal, while also being
profoundly immense and all-encompassing and incredibly clear and simple and certain.
at the time were, "Oh, this is what the wise throughout time have been pointing to". This is the experience of the formless, the truth of life, our spiritual nature, and what many define as God... the feeling of the inexplicable energy of nothing and everything,
seeing the perfection of everything exactly as it is, without labels, without adjectives, without conditions. All of a sudden, everything in life made complete sense.
In deep contrast, I could then see how all my past (and current) experiences of PERSONAL love had some level of what I would describe as "pain" associated with them... I was attached to them,
there were needs and expectations associated with them, there were personal conditions and fears related to them. I wanted to be loved in return by those I loved, and I would feel loss or hurt if the person or relationship was lost. I had also applied all
sorts of conditions to any love I may have had for myself.
Prior to this experience, I had
no idea of the difference between the understanding/feeling of the personal & conditional (illusory) versus the impersonal & unconditional (truth). I had no idea how ALL my personal feelings of love included this illusory, personal-self, ego-based,
fearful, painful attachment, and that there was something “other” yet to be experienced. I had no idea that I was already the love that I had needed or wanted (and so was everyone else).
And so I now see (for me) that "learning to love yourself first" is simply a metaphor, pointing to realizing this truth of the impersonal nature of life...
discovering what is meant by "looking within". When we get a glimpse of it in any way for ourselves, we then live and love from some level of awareness of it. We begin gaining less attachment to the personal illusion, and we begin leaning with more faith or
interest toward the formless truth (experiencing the feeling of love without conditions and awareness of the incomprehensible intelligence of the formless energy of life).
On a day-to-day basis, I live entirely in the illusory personal, with only rare and brief glimpses (felt awareness) of this truth of the impersonal & unconditional. BUT, I now know the
truth of it, and I know which direction it's in, and I know the difference in feeling of whether I'm closer to it or further away from it. I can now feel the physical constriction and weight of my personal experience (my personal thinking) versus the complete
freedom and weightlessness of the unconditional.
Personally, my preference would be to permanently
hang out in the feeling of the impersonal & unconditional LOL! But then what fun would that be?! Instead, I get to continue to uncover the infinite levels of my personal craziness (the personal suffering that this human form seems to love sending my way),
and see the joyful humour in it all, and take it all a lot less seriously. The infinitely entertaining roller coaster ride of life!
FOLLOW-UP QUESTION FROM KATHY MARSHALL EMERSON:
I am curious where today you might say you find a passage from any of Syd's writing that is most like what you have experienced and said about
this universal impersonal love.
After having this experience, along with the realization of the illusion of all thought, most of everything I then read or listened to by Syd just made complete sense
to me. I could relate almost everything he shared back to my 3-day experience in some way.
I'm not sure which of his writings would best compare to my attempt at describing the difference between personal love/life
(the illusion) and impersonal love/life (the truth), but this passage from “In Quest of the Pearl” probably comes closest…
“Now, there is a far greater Truth that is impersonal. This impersonal Truth is
found within one's soul and is as steadfast as life itself. This is the TRUTH the wise have spoken of since the beginning of time. This is where they make their stand against all falseness of life. This TRUTH that I speak of is before the formation of thought
or form, and when digested, it starts to unfold the mystical qualities of the world we live in.”
I also related to many of the times when Syd spoke about the impersonal and neutral. He used those specific words, but also
used Mind, the formless, God, oneness, wisdom, the spiritual, the soul, purity, one divine source, the essence, the now (no time, space, or matter), truth, love (Note: I couldn’t find him anywhere saying unconditional love), peace, pure consciousness,
divine mystery, the secret that cannot be told, and many more. From my perspective (based on my personal experience), all of these are simply labels and metaphors pointing to the same formless energy of life that I felt as impersonal, unconditional love, and
realized as “truth”. It’s interesting that all of these labels and metaphors tend to be ones that have less of a concrete form, that are somewhat undefinable, and that are generally without conditions, without judgments, and without parameters