The Path of Pure Love
About ten years ago when I used to attend all kinds of medical conferences, I vividly recall the final slide of a presentation from a leader in nutritional medicine. Having given a brilliant dissertation on an integrative approach to chronically unwell patients, he then stated that the most important medicine was actually LOVE.
And then a few years later I first met one of my dear mentors Dr Pee Tek Chan who was presenting at an acupuncture conference, and in the same way he spoke of opening the heart and connecting with the deep presence of Pure Love which is at the core of all healing work.
For some reason, however, I had never heard the word love mentioned in medical school. Not even for an instant. Anything this left of centre would have been deemed unscientific and way too subjective - as if we were giving up on the rational science which was crucial to saving people's lives, so instead they would die smiling.
I remember, however, that when I first came across Buddhism in my early 20's - landing in a share house with a Tibetan Lama who was also a brilliant philosopher - I realized with a shock that the Buddhist view of reality was for me actually far more scientific than anything I had come across in my school or university education - which included modern physics, maths, psychology and neuroscience. And this view clearly showed us how LOVE was really the centre of everything, not just something to be dismissed as irrational or blind faith.
How is this so?
The direct knowing of Pure Love, according to the highest spiritual teachings, is actually the Ground of our Being. It is the essence of a myriad enlightened qualities which are inside us right here right now, yet temporarily obscured in the same way that clouds obscure the sun. It is also similar to a magnificent treasure buried deep underneath our home, which most of us have no idea about because it doesn't actually tell us it is there. Although it is mostly hidden, we can catch a glimpse of it when we gaze into to eyes of someone we care about deeply or see a dear one for the first time after a long period of absence. This is like a shaft of light streaming through the clouds, and when we surrender to this our thinking mind literally stops.
The good news is that we are able to part the clouds or dig for the treasure by following what we may call a path to awakening... and of course there is not one path but many paths - with many different layers of subtleties, depending on how thick the clouds are or what we need to dig through to reveal the treasure. Then we can awaken to what we call the 'Fruit' - the actual living experience of unchanging, infinite Pure Love which nothing can destroy - which is when the full brilliance of the sun is revealed or the sacred treasure is unearthed. We realize it has always been there as the Ground of Pure Love, and that Ground and Fruit are inseparable.
How then, you may ask, could this be scientific?
When we ruthlessly question what is real in the 'reality' that appears to us, we quickly learn that nothing actually exists in and of itself. Bodies, arms, chairs, forms, sounds, thoughts, feelings, traumas, concepts, beliefs and ideas - including the idea of nothing and also the idea of awakening - are all illusory - they simply do not exist when we look at them closely, even though they do appear in a way that can be useful for us. Yet from the perspective of one who sees directly how everything is in fact illusory or empty, there is only Pure Love. This experience of Pure Love is bursting with qualities such as openness, fearlessness, clarity, infinite compassion, bliss and indescribable beauty... and a sense of not needing to strive as everything is already accomplished. Pure Love is thus empty of everything other than itself, which is simply burnt up in its brilliant, all-consuming flames.
Logical reasoning leads us to this Ground of Pure Love, the testimony of realized saints and yogis from all spiritual traditions leads us here, and even the understanding in physics of the unified quantum field points us to this insight - as we see in the work of trail blazers like David Bohm and Nassim Haramein. This is why I believe Pure Love is truly scientific!
Imagine a world where we all knew in our hearts that Pure Love was our deepest truth, and that this one truth united all of us as one family so we could all walk a Path of Pure Love. Sadly there is much fragmentation and bias we need to overcome to make this vision a reality.
On the one hand there is the widespread materialist view that science and technology has or will have all the answers, and we simply need to trust and submit to the inevitable evolution of artificial intelligence and other technologies which may one day plug us into a virtual, interconnected reality much like a giant supercomputer. We can then feel we are taken care of when this 'supercomputer' expertly manages challenges such as climate change and future pandemics. Although some of this technology may be incredibly beneficial to many people, this view can put us into a position where we are enslaved by an external force, rather than being able to move freely from our innate connection to Pure Love.
Then there are many of us who sincerely embrace spirituality, yet are caught up in some kind of fixed belief where we are answering to some kind of external authority such as a particular church or guru who may not ultimately have our best interests at heart. We may also be stuck in the idea of original sin, or on the flip side may be caught up in notions that 'all is one' or 'we are already awakened', which make us vulnerable to what we call spiritual bypassing. An example is when teachings say that there is no path to awakening or merely a 'pathless path', leaving us in a place of complacency or even laziness if we feel there is no inner work we need to do... or perhaps in an inner state of conflict, frustration and even shame that we aren't actually feeling 'awakened' right now. In holding this view, we are bypassing the calling of Pure Love to show us the nitty-gritty of how we can purify, heal and integrate trauma and conditioned patterns as we unveil the original purity of who we really are.
Finally, there are some of us who proclaim we do not hold any dogma or doctrine and are deeply skeptical of any systematic or 'religious' approach to spirituality - 'I do not have a position or belief, so how can I be at fault?'... or 'There has been so much corruption, so how could any system by trustworthy?' Yet in holding this view we may unwittingly be following a doctrine of non-believing, or following a system which identifies faults with everything... and actually holds us back from feeling, realizing and embodying the truth of Pure Love.
Yet... Pure Love doesn't discriminate.
So whether we are atheist or anarchist, New Age or materialist, Christian or Buddhist, we can all be united in the knowing that Pure Love is our deepest nature - so we can truly set aside all pride and prejudice. We can then work with our spiritual or non-spiritual leanings to unveil this deepest nature in whatever way is most aligned with our values and deepest purpose. We then become courageous servants of Pure Love, rather than slaves to any kind of external authority. Yet we also revere authority when we know it has our best interests at heart. Blocks and deeply held biases may well come up along the way. However, we can learn to trust that this is simply part of the inevitable process of healing our individual and collective trauma as we part those clouds or dig beneath the ground in search of our hidden treasure.
My deepest wish is that all of us who are called to walk the Path of Pure Love will unite, regardless of colour, creed, background or belief. Then collective transformation will be possible, science will be able evolve freely to support us on this path, and what they call a Golden Age - sometimes called Shambhala - may well be round the corner. Then as we support one another in this, healing trauma will be much, much easier.
We may even start using the word LOVE in medical school!
If you feel inspired by this blog, I encourage you to share it with people you know and love.
* Note in writing this blog I wish to acknowledge being inspired by the teachings of Jacqueline Hobbs, Dr Pee Tek Chan and Khentrul Rinpoche.