This is the second in a series of six articles being published during 2007 which may also be viewed online



In Part 1, we looked in a very general way at how the principle of love unfolds. In this part, we will look at the effect of it on the individual and how we can take steps, in a very practical way, to generate the highly beneficial effects of love in our own lives. Love, let us be clear at the outset, does not require love. It is often said that there is a human need to love and to be loved. The requirement to be loved is a psychological one that comes from our own weakness or error of perception in thinking that we are separate from everything and everyone else. Love, on the other hand, does not need this “me” for expression. The point of this is that when we love, fully and properly, the thought of “I” and “me” simply doesn’t arise. Love is an expression of selflessness, not an expression of need. How do we develop selflessness and what benefits arise from it? Think in terms of energy. Each of us is a complex pattern of energies. At the physical level, when we are feeling good, our energy is full and we feel vibrant, radiant even. At the emotional and thinking levels, the same is true and it is also true that how we are thinking and feeling affects the physical body. We know this from experience. The “feel good” factor arises from this radiance of energy. When we are selfless, not thinking of “me”, when the concern is for others in a truly selfless way (as opposed to a concern with a vested interest – “if x is OK, I’ll feel better”) then our focus changes. As we focus less on ourselves, our energy radiates more. To put it another way, thinking in a selfish way turns our energy inwards and constricts the energy channels in our body. On the other hand, thinking or acting in a selfless way allows the energy channels to expand, ease or dilate so that the energy flows freely. In truth, each of us experiences a mixture of selflessness and selfishness; the trick is to increase the former. The first step in increasing selflessness is to develop generosity. The second step is to desist from being judgmental. If we can encourage ourselves to be more generous (no matter how generous we might think we are now) we start to let go of any tightness around the heart. Whether generosity is through the giving of money, our time or just our presence and listening fully doesn’t matter. We’ll notice, probably, when circumstances arise which cause


a little constriction. Feel those tight points and try to let go. “All that I give, I give to myself,” is an old affirmation but so true. If we open ourselves up, then, just like water through a tap, the energy of abundance will flow through. Not being judgmental is often difficult. All of our media, whether written or broadcast, encourages us to be judgmental. Whenever we criticise someone’s behaviour, we reinforce the view that we are separate from everything else and that we are somehow better (or worse) than others, and so we strengthen the protective shell around us. Can you imagine what the sun would be like if it turned off its heat and light every time someone upset it? It’s a ludicrous thought but that’s how we are as people. The love and the warmth that are our nature to radiate and share, we ration according to our judgment and feelings. But we don’t need a protective shell any more than the sun does. By being non-judgmental, we free up so much energy. Our health improves because problems of health arise mainly as a result of our internal energy system being out of balance or congested. By being generous and non-judgmental, we encourage the flow of energy. The next stage in developing selflessness and generating love is to generate the desire for others to be happy. It’s relatively easy and normal (though not for all people) to want one’s family members to be happy but it’s much harder to develop that same desire in respect of people we don’t know very well or at all or perhaps don’t even like. That’s because we are so used to discriminating, but we can gradually overcome that tendency. A good way of starting is to develop or deepen the desire that our loved ones will be happy and then to extend it to those we don’t know so well. Gradually, we will start to break down some of the “crusty” constrictions in our energy channels. We will start to feel freer and happier. We will start to radiate more energy and uplift people. Sometimes we’ll find that we can’t do it; we might be tired, feeling under the weather or suffering in some way physically or emotionally. That doesn’t matter. Those periods are natural – just as natural as clouds which float across the sky and obscure the sun for a while. The important thing is to increase the trend of selflessness, to increase love so that we can say when we look back over a period of time, “Yes, I can see that there is an increasing trend of loving in my life.” If we can do that – or rather if we will do that – then we will start to manifest our real nature. The radiance of being, our true inner state, starts to make itself known. If we can achieve that, we are fulfilling our life’s purpose. Andrew Marshall - April 2007