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Following the Center  - on the trail of Love
-  an article from Insight21

Love is pay-forward and pay-back, at once. . . .


It’s hard to turn away from spirit, and not become egotistic.

Although, the corollary is also true  - that is, without love imbuing one’s spiritual wisdom, another form of egotistic destitution can play out.


What is functionality in an incarnation?

In other words, what is love?  How does it work?  - this heart of life essence, this living business?  What would functionalism look like?

Shall I turn to my center, and strive to discover what love is?


Prayer: Love, what would you have of me?  Here I am, love, what would you have me do?  Teach me, lead me, guide me. Help me to know you, as you are.


One answer: Of those I encounter  - strive to know them, as they are.  Even beyond their own self-awareness.


Love is ever accessible.


Until we evolve further, we can only love to the edge of our development. Yet, love is, by nature, full. Fully evolved in itself.


We can strive to progress in wisdom, or strength.  But love is not the same as these other two aspects of spirit, because love is, by nature, always fully evolved.

          Still, I can embody it only to the extent my own progress, or evolution, will bear.


Love is, by nature, of perfect wholeness, fully developed.  But a human receives the Impulse into the self gradually.


A white horse.  Love rides a white horse.


Ask for love to enter all various activities.  Dancing, painting, writing, relating, sleeping, working, meditating, Qi-gong, ?


Study the sun, if you would know love.


Someone said: “Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”



Love transcends sympathy and antipathy, using empathy as its optimal vehicle.


Love knows what matters.


Let your center guide you, but listen closely because it whispers  - like the wings of an owl in flight.


First Cause.  Creative Forces.



“The older we grow, the more we begin to love the wisdom revealed by life. In the wisdom revealed by life, man forms the seed of his next life as the spiritual core of his being ripens. But the deeds of love are not deeds which look for compensation in the next life. By everything we do out of love, we pay off debts. The only actions from which we have nothing in the future are those we perform out of true, genuine love. It is because men are subconsciously aware of this that there is so little love in the world. A soul must be very advanced before deeds can be performed from which nothing is to be gained for itself; but then the world profits all the more. Love is the “moral” sun of the world. Interest in the earth's evolution is the necessary antecedent of love. A Spiritual Science without love would be a danger for humanity. Without sense-born love, nothing material comes into the world; without spiritual love, nothing spiritual. Creative forces unfold through love. We owe our existence to deeds of love wrought in the past. To pay off debts through deeds of love is therefore wisdom.”

                                                          -  Rudolf Steiner



“Knowledge of spiritual truths helps induce love.”

                                                           -       Rudolf Steiner


Acts of love pay off debts from the past.  Creative forces gave freely from the beginning.  Since then, we owe a debt.

          Love is the continuation of the creative force in the world.

         As we evolve, we come increasingly to a place of willingness to love, despite there being no return for that love.



Feeling lost?  Wondering. . .how is the way forward?

          Love abides, and is there to light the way.  We have only to attune to it.


When I try to portray love, it falls inadequate.  Can the sea be held in a river bed?


Love abides, love presides, is ever present and shows up in full force.


What are some other words for love?

         The Creative Force?  God?  The gods?  ?

          And various qualities that merge, diverge, and re-submerge into the realm of love  - compassion, forbearance, forgiveness, generosity, mercy, imagination, nurturing, creativity, endless depth, challenging, electrifying, uplifting, imaginative, mystery-forming, holding in balance, diamond-forming, all-serving, rising-from-ashes, whole-making, catalyst, instigator, a small bird chirping from the darkest bower, a crystal swan winging over a galaxy-ocean, uncompromising starlight,  ?



Two arenas of interest emerge now.  One has to do with love’s dance with wisdom, the other with love’s consort with power.  (The triad, as treated here  - power, love, and wisdom - comprises the fullness of the All)


1) Humor  - though humor tends to arrive as love in tandem with wisdom, lacking love, it can become malicious.


2) Chi or prana  - tends to arrive as a combination of love with power, or strength.  Power, devoid of love, runs the risk of falling into dangers such as black magic.


Love, embodying humor in the realm of nature, becomes the laughing brook, the wind chuckling through a ripened field, a mischievous raccoon, a trickster coyote, a boisterous chickadee.


Love, embodying power in the realm of nature, becomes a wide range of  aspects  - a small trout flashing the full chroma of its scales in the current of pure waters, a fountain, thunder’s promise, lightning’s instant delivery, or even the whole wide world of the plant kingdom, steeped as it is with etheric energy.



The Sun as an Embodiment of Love


Observe the sun’s effect: evaporative, ripening, infusing fruits with its essence, dissipating haze, heating the soil of compassion, sending pure streams down mountain heights, drawing prayer from the mendicant.

The rising sun is golding the morning, the setting sun becomes an profusion of color painted across the western skies of our soul-hood.


With timeless radiance, the sun gives itself, uninhibitedly, unremittingly, with no expectation of return.  What longer-living, enduring being/thing exists in the natural universe?  It is god-like in its pure-giving nature.

          The sun comprises approximately 99.8% of the solar system’s mass.  So, we could say that 99.8% of the solar system is actively giving itself to life in a loving way.  Also, hydrogen and helium constitute 98% of this mass.  So, even from a material perspective, 98% of matter in our solar system is composed of very ethereal substance! (shall we call it Spiritual substance?)

         The sun is brighter than 85% of the stars  in our galaxy (most of which are red dwarfs, not even visible to the naked eye. . .and, a typical red dwarf has less than 10% of our sun’s luminosity).  We could say that we are well attended by our very own illustrious and benign Creative Force/Godly being.

          Although the sun appears to revolve around the Earth (rendering a feeling for the sun as a being external to our experience), the Earth actually orbits around the sun (rendering a feeling that the sun resides in the center of our experience).

         Thus, the heart is a fitting metaphor for the sun, and vice versa.

          To paraphrase Helen Keller  - To apprehend the most beautiful things in life requires us to go beyond seeing, or even touching, into the realm of feeling, with the heart. 

Our interior, metaphysical, sun reaches out to resonate with the out-pouring of the outer sun.



Nature’s Beings Respond in a Sun-like Way 


Touched by the sun, nature’s beings respond, instinctually, by paying back, (or paying forward)  - without expectation of recompense.

          Birdsong, as we know, serves as territorial communication.  But it also rises in communion with life-giving forces.

         Re-genesis, itself, the will to “perpetuate the species,”  - derives from none other than divine creative forces.  There is no enduring reason for a being in nature to perpetuate its species.  It could just as easily live out its life and die off. The creative force itself presides in sexual union.  Anyone who has experienced sexuality directly, and with an open heart, will concur with this observation.

          Wolf howling may serve communication and territorial functions, but there is also an element of celebration/expression of life force in a wolf’s howling.

Flowering is the most exalted aspect of a plant’s being. There are other, simpler ways to reproduce than the fine-process, ethereal form entailing petals, sepals, and pollen  - the intricacy of blossoms is a creative act rising to a sun-like level, rarefied, far from the other end of the continuum of the plant’s activity in the compacted rooting end of the scale.  This reaching up to greet the sun expresses delicacy, refinement, heavenly aroma, and ethereality.

Likewise, in the mineral kingdom, the crystals and gemstones are akin to flower blossoms. Here we find an embodiment of solar excellence.  When you openly gaze on a gemstone, it is hard not to recognize it as a solar expression.


Crystalline sunrays are stored in luscious fruits.  A swallow’s air-play, in which thankfulness for its ability to fly, overflows into joy.  A maple transforms its life-blood into fine sweet nectar. The bee transmutes the flower’s sun-cache into amber gold.  And, of course, there is the doorway to entire life forms compacted in countless seeds across the plant kingdom. Even the moon contributes  - by virtue of tidal respiration, its role as the animals’ night-long lamp, and in the esoteric nature of its congealing influence on excessively-ethereal impulses.




As a last exercise, let us examine this statement:


“Don't be afraid of showing affection. Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate. Men are more helped by sympathy than by service. Love is more than money, and a kind word will give more pleasure than a present.”                       -  John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury


Let us first appreciate the wisdom in the statement, then dissect it, hopefully, with the same hand of love that embodied the thoughts in the statement:


Don't be afraid of showing affection (also, don’t be afraid to hold off with affection, if it be aligned with Love’s call).  Be warm and tender (when this feels right), thoughtful and affectionate (again, …).  Men are more helped by sympathy than by service (though at times, more by service than sympathy, and very often by empathy rather than by sympathy).  Love is more than money (amen!), and a kind word will give more pleasure than a present (Love has a pleasure-inducing side, and also a more Spartan side.  Our lives, in wholeness, are a weaving of pleasure and suffering. The soul needs both aspects to complete its development.)





End Thoughts:



When our life comes to a close, we shall judge ourselves by our Love.


                                                          -  the insight21 project


The world’s hardness educates towards love: to ever-greater love.  Love is nothing natural.  Love needs opacity in order to shine through it. Only a human being can love.  Angels do not love; they are already everything.  Nothing remains for them to love.

         Only the other can be loved.  Otherness is there so that love might appear.

         If love is there, otherness is no more.

                                                          -  Georg Kuhlewind


I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.

-       Gilda Radner, 1946-1989


Love: A term which has no meaning if defined.

-  John Ralston Saul


We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.

-  Tom Robbins


“And think not you can direct the course of love; for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”

-  Khalil Gibran



“Everyone can be great because anyone can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't even have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. . .You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”

-  Martin Luther King, Jr.


“If I love you, what business is it of yours?”

-  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



“Love has no uttermost, as the stars have no number and the sea no rest.”

-        Eleanor Farjeon



“Love your neighbor as yourself, but don't take down the fence.”

-  Benjamin Franklin


“Love is the greatest feeling, because it can make you do something that seemed impossible just a minute ago, but it can also make you sit in agony, and you can't stop it; the pain is not physical, it's inside you, eating at you slowly, until you see her/him again, and do the impossible again.”


-        anonymous



“Love is like a butterfly  - if you hold it too tight, you'll crush it. If you hold it too loose, it will fly away.”

-       anonymous



“Love isn't about finding someone you can live with: it's about finding someone you can't live with.”

-       anonymous



“The purpose of relationship is not to make one happy, but more conscious.”


-       Eckhart Tolle



“A mind might ponder its thought for an epoch, and not gain so much self-knowledge as the passion of love shall teach in a day.”

-        Ralph Waldo Emerson



“He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.”


-  Ralph Waldo Emerson



Given the above:

If the “beloved object” the seeker is gazing upon is Love, itself?  What then?





Further Resources:



Rudolf Steiner  - lecture, Love and its Meaning in the World:



Wiki-quotes on love:









The foregoing article was written by Josef Graf, coordinator of the Earth Vision project and Insight21   - doorways for the 21st Century. 




photo Courtesy of SOHO/LASCO consortium
(alternate title: The Spiritual Ecology of the Sun)
the Insight21 blog