nondual love: “… The spiritual heart is the doorway to the next plane of consciousness . . . ‘soul land.’…” ~ Ram Dass
Does reality have a loving nature?
It certainly seems so if one simply considers the words of luminaries across traditions and time: from Marcus Aurelius (“… Love is meant to bring us closer to God …”) or Saint Augustine (“He who is filled with love is filled with God himself”) … to … Victor Hugo (“To love another person is to see the face of God.”) … to … Deepak Chopra (“… love reflects God, eternal divine essence …”) or Paul Coelho (“… The more we love, the closer we are to the spiritual experience …”) … or Mamta Sehgal (“… Love is an expression of God, and thus, loving a beloved is like loving God, and therefore Seeking God is equivalent to seeking love …”)
Even in our daily life, all of us, have at some stage experienced (even if momentary) an unbeckoned, surprising, out-of-the-blue feeling of deep overflowing warmth in our hearts … a feeling of inexplicable love that transcends any definition … or …
As Byron Brown puts it in his Preface to A. H. Almaas‘ newly released (Mar 21st 2023) book Nondual Love:
“… a state in which we become aware that we are not separate from the rest of reality, that this reality is permeated by a fundamental goodness and sweetness, and that we no longer feel contained and isolated within the boundaries of our body. We are brought into a direct experience of what is called the nondual world, where there is no subject and object polarity, no separating boundaries of any kind, and no sense that our consciousness has limits. We feel part of a oneness that includes all of reality and from which we cannot be separated. …”
Almaas’ Nondual Love is a deep dive into this love (that he calls Divine Love) … into this “state” of consciousness … and it is the 2nd of his 3 volume trilogy on love …
Thanks to Shambhala Publications, we had offered a substantive preview of the 1st volume, Love Unveiled via a 4-part series in 2020 … and …
Today we begin the substantive preview of Nondual Love that, in Almaas own words, is:
“… the second volume in a trilogy of books on love, in which I aim to present the immediate experience of love on the spiritual path. It is the essence of love that we are concerned with here, love that is a pure expression of our spiritual nature, and I look at the many different ways it can be experienced, from the most easily accessible to the deepest and most difficult …” …
And here’s more from Almaas in a 4+minute video:
Our 2-part series offers excerpts from the chapter Complete Release … which digs into what happens if we explore boundless dimensions …
This series is part of our ongoing Shambhala Publications series that offers substantive previews of selections from Shambhala Publications new and classic titles …
All italicized text here is adapted from Nondual Love by A H Almaas, © 2023 by the A-Hameed Ali. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. Shambhala Publications has also generously offered a free downloadable PDF of the Table of Contents (link is at the bottom of the post).
You can purchase the book at Shambhala Publications or Amazon.
Nondual Love: Complete Release
We’ve seen that when we explore the boundless dimensions, we’re no longer just exploring the essence of the human being and of the soul, we’re exploring the essence of reality, the essence of everything, the essence of the whole universe. And in exploring these dimensions, we begin to look more at where the essence we feel inside us comes from. Early in our journey we discover that we can experience different aspects of essence in our soul, which we refer to as, for example, red essence or strength, green essence or compassion, love, and will. But as we look beyond our own soul, the question arises, Where does it all come from?
As soon as you ask that question you begin to enter the boundless dimensions. That’s because you soon recognize that essence doesn’t come from inside you, say, from your liver or your intestines. But if you don’t know about the boundless dimensions, how else are you going to see it and think of it? You’re going to think it’s probably all because of your hormones. When some people feel the flow of essence, they do actually think, “Oh, it’s just the flow of my hormones or the flow of energy in my body.” And so they never find out what is really there, what essence is, and where the qualities of it come from. But when you experience essence inside you, if you observe the unusual sense of its energy and presence, you recognize that it’s obviously not a physical phenomenon. It doesn’t feel physical, and yet it’s still substantial. So you wonder, “What is it? And how come all this happens?” By exploring these questions, we discover the source of essence, where it comes from. And that’s when we begin to open up, as the soul opens up to the boundlessness of essence. We recognize that it’s not just inside us—it’s everywhere.
And when I say that this boundless essence is everywhere and doesn’t come from the body, remember this doesn’t mean the body should be seen as something negative, something you need to reject or transcend. It’s not like that. We’ve already seen that because this boundless love or presence is everywhere, it is the essence of everything. It’s the nature of all physical reality, so that includes the body. If you’ve only experienced essence as something in your physical body, then you still don’t know the true nature of the body—you’re still thinking of your body biologically, and you don’t know it spiritually yet. When you get to the boundless dimensions and see that your body is made out of your essence, and everything is made of essence, then you know that essence is not just something you feel inside your body. It’s only the limitation of our understanding that makes us see essence as something that’s inside us, or as something we haven’t got inside us and need to get from someplace else.
So essence is here all the time. It’s everywhere, and it’s for everybody. This really is the best news possible. Some people say, “Well, I didn’t know that before. Nobody told me, and I’m mad about that.” Good, be mad. But the point of feeling and understanding your anger or hurt is to be able to connect to the truth that essence is here all the time. If you just continue to be angry, you’ll just continue to separate yourself from it. If you continue to believe you’re a separate, abandoned soul, well, you’ll just stay separate from the ocean you live in. And then you’ll keep on looking for it, searching for what’s right under your nose.
That’s why it’s useful to see things from the perspective of the boundless dimensions. I teach about them because that’s how I see things—I’m just describing the truth as I perceive it. It connects with some people though, and they say, “Yeah, that makes sense.” Not only does it make sense, it also fulfills the heart, it releases the soul, and it cleanses the body. The body then becomes really juicy, open, and full, and we see that the body itself is made out of love and light.
So this is not like some teachings that say we should ignore the body and focus only on the spirit. What I’m saying is that by recognizing that your nature is more than physical and that you are not bound by your body, you open up to this other dimension, which still includes the body. Even if you identify with the body after that, you know that your body is not just physical anyway. And after a while you can’t really identify with it any longer, not because you don’t want to but because you can see that it’s not a separate thing—it’s made out of the same divine love and light as everything else.
And when we open up to this divine love, this nectar that composes the whole universe, we get a sense of its sweetness, its exquisiteness, and its harmony. Those are the qualities of the presence itself: sweetness, softness, a sense of flowing, a lightness, a radiance, and a glowing quality. And the effect it has on us is to bring a sense of release and freedom—complete release, complete freedom, and complete delight. There is a state of not having a care in the world. I mean, why would you have a care in the world if you realize that the whole world is love?
What’s left then is to see the parts of you that don’t see the omnipresent love and work through them. And that doesn’t mean you question the love; you simply question those parts of you that don’t see it—that’s the intelligent thing to do. If you really feel this love for yourself, you’ll begin to see all the places inside you that don’t believe it’s true. And so you ask, “What’s all this about? Here it is, all this love, it’s all around me. How come parts of me don’t believe it?” Because if we really see the love and are convinced of it, if our mind accepts that, then the love will just be there. It doesn’t matter then what suffering there is in you and in the world, because there is always freedom from it. There is always the possibility of liberation, delight, and a lightness of being. And if there is pain, the lightness can be felt as compassion. Where there’s difficulty and barriers, the sense of freedom can become a source of strength and power. But it’s a divine strength and a divine power, so it’s much more potent and has a much greater impact.
I’ve talked about how the presence of divine love and its sweetness can manifest in us as a wanting of it, a yearning for it. It evokes a longing for merging and union. However, we can see now that there’s another kind of longing that is closer to the truth of divine love—it’s not just the wanting and yearning for union but a wanting and yearning for the freedom from care that this love brings. Because that is more what this state is: a condition of presence where there is no care, no conflict, no fear, no insecurity, and no need to worry about anything.
And, here’s Part 2 of this series … where Almaas… shares how own experience of what can happen when divine longing arises …
All italicized text here is adapted from Nondual Love by A H Almaas, © 2023 by the A-Hameed Ali. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.
And, click here for the free, downloadable PDF of the Table of Contents.
You can purchase the book at Shambhala Publications or Amazon.
And, may you practice wu wei … in your daily life – with ease … and …
May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate these unsettling times.