Is it possible to love ourselves, to love all of ourselves, to love even our flaws (our addictions, our compulsions, our quick temper, our various failures and disappointments)? Is it possible to love this broken and imperfect world, to “love our enemies” as Jesus said, to love the murderers, the rapists, the child molesters, the school shooters, the perpetrators of genocide, the factory farmers, the polluters, the Ponzi schemers, the thieves, the deceivers? Is it possible to love someone who viciously murders your child, your elderly grandmother, or your beloved dog? Could this be the real heart of the spiritual path, this journey from the separative contraction of anger, hatred, resistance and opposition to the spaciousness and open heart of unconditional love? Could this be what enlightenment and liberation and waking up are really all about?
I’m certainly nowhere near being able to love all of the things I mentioned, and I’m definitely not always as kind or as big-hearted as I would like to be, but I feel this shift from being contracted, closed-down, tight, separate, self-centered, in resistance or opposition to what is “other,” fighting to survive as “me”—to being truly open and awake and fully embodying the interdependence, seamlessness, boundlessness and fluidity of life is really at the core of what all this nondual, spiritual and religious stuff is all about. It is what actually matters. It is where the rubber meets the road, as they say. It’s easy on the pathless path from Here to Here to get side-tracked into philosophical speculation, experience-mongering, the search for pain-relief, and even into dogma and fundamentalism in all its many forms (some of them very subtle, so don’t assume that’s something that applies only to rabid Christian and Islamic fundamentalists or Orthodox Jews). What really matters to us? What do we really care about? What do we really want?