BY REV. ERIC BUTTERWORTH
When you’ve been conditioned to believe that we come into life empty and we go forth into the world to be filled, we’re mpty creatures. We have nothing. We’re born helpless and
hopeless, and yet our lives are molded and shaped by what our
parents do to us, what the schools do to us, what life does to us, and
how society influences us. We go to school to get knowledge. We
go to church to get religion. We go out into the marketplace to get
money and to make our fame and fortune, and we look to special
people for love.
So in this commonplace viewpoint, love is a needed commodity,
and it’s so important to us. It’s vital that we find someone to give
us love, and if we find that one, then we have love to give, but if we
don’t find people that give us love, then we’re empty and devoid of
love and that’s what’s wrong with our lives. Love comes naturally
to us when we find the right person to love or to be loved by. This
is the way our reasoning goes about this consciousness of love,
and it’s all erroneous. This isn’t what love is at all.
Life for most people is a long quest for love. We’re always
looking for love here and there and everywhere—in experiences,
in relationships. “Oh, someday I’m going to find my love. Across
the crowded room, love comes into my life.” Life becomes a quest
for objects of love, and in human consciousness, I’m sure we all
realize that this is where we are much of the time.
LOVE IS AN INNER POWER, NOT AN OBJECT
Intuitively, within ourselves we know that love is an inner
GOD IS LOVE AND I AM THAT LOVE
power, not an object; that our need is not to be loved. Our need is
to love. Within every person there’s a hunger and a thirst to express
love, to radiate love, to get ourselves in tune with the cosmic flow
at the root of our being, to simply plug in, to turn the lights on, and
to express out of the overflow of this inner love a lovingness toward
life. We have a hunger for this, but we don’t understand the process,
so instead we’re out looking for it somewhere else, while all the time
it’s within us.
We’ve been misled to a large extent by psychological teachings that
claim the greatest need of man is to be loved, that somehow suggest love
is a commodity rather than a cosmic process. We simplistically suppose
that our lives lack love because we have not been loved enough, so it’s easy
to put the blame on our parents, on our teachers, on our environment. The
fact that our father mistreated us and our mother did not love us becomes
the reason for all of the scars and all of the problems in our life. It’s so easy to
get into this kind of shallow, psychoanalytical conclusion, which is simplistic.
Furthermore, we need to unlearn the error of thinking of love in this sense.
We need to redefine this thing called love, or rather undefine it, to get it out of the
terms of definitions. We’ve accepted the biblical statement “God is love” as if love were