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Love and Life

Love and LifeEdited by Marco Ferrini

Throughout millennia, people have wondered on the goal of life, the meaning of love, death, pain. We have all personally experienced that lack of love makes one lose enthusiasm for existence, and gives rise to personality disorders and pathologies, even serious ones. Those leading a suffering life, in a state of perennial conflict, oppressed by negative feelings, have often not comprehended the global importance of the feeling of love.

 

Their position does not allow them to develop love to its fullest, to experience the highest degrees of joy and intense collaboration, as well as the sublime feeling that comes from sharing. Wat pertains to life is dynamic; love itself is a radiant feeling, potentially capable of infinite expansion, enjoying the same nature of happiness, just like knowledge and consciousness which are constantly evolving. Modern Western man has attained technological well being at the cost of strenuous effort: he has reached success and conquered enviable social means and positions, surgically built almost perfect bodies, yet he risks losing contact with himself and his most important necessities. What is the point in being beautiful and owning a lavish car or a costly villa when the will of life is lost? Depression is a phenomenon concerning growing numbers of people, so much so that this disease is turning into an actual epidemics. Scientific studies state that by 2020 depression will be the second most spread pathology, today being the fourth. The culture we daily make reference to is saturated with forged, superficial, dangerous concepts which make us form seekers, wealth boasters, love mockers, faith disdainers. This way we become moody jugglers, always in need of stimuli and excitement, new promiscuities in precarious balance at the risk of life, without even feeling alive, unfortunately.

Love cannot be fully experienced without being centred in oneself. All emotional problems are connected to a distortion of the Sense of Self. The combination of several thought distortions generates new elements also harmful to psychic balance. An ancient proverb says that two mistakes give birth to at least three, as the third mistake is the damage caused by the union of the two. The retrieval of a higher consciousness can only happen in the context of a serious, deep, honest quest, inspired by our most evolved nature, capable of dedication, sacrifice and idealism. Crucial existential subjects like birth and death, disease and pain only find full significance through the experience of love. Love, which makes up the very nature of the soul, is for the being a sphere of expression which is not different from life and gives sense and value to life itself.

According to Bhakti-vedantic science, incarnate life is a continuous flow of births, deaths and transitions: along the troubled journey of the being in the world, images and masks of the personality follow one another. There is not a moment when our consciousness does not experience the rise and fall of thoughts and emotions. Like sea waves forming and breaking, this continuous, uninterrupted flow distracts and separates humans from the perception of their innermost nature. Identification with one’s body, thoughts and emotions is such a strongly felt immemorial custom, that one would barely recognise oneself, were this identification lost. Yet nothing is farthest from the truth. Thoughts and emotions bind us to a distorted image of our identity and their continuous mutations oblige us within the limits and conditionings of a transient personality, which essentially does not belong to us. Life in its essence is immortal, but once the being comes in contact with matter and incarnates in a body, it is also forced to come to terms with death, with physical dissolution. Every child, if questioned on existence, will never consider dying, only living. Adults, who are already heavily conditioned, see the child as a naïve and inexpert being. Instead, children have an intuition on life which is closer to reality, as by its intrinsic nature life is eternal, transcending space and time.

In the study of Indovedic Psychology, we discover that we are carriers of a psychic structure which is not born with the body but precedes its birth and takes part in its structuring process, by moulding the body according to the mental model. Even so-called structural defects, or genetic errors, rest in the psychic structure at the basis of the nervous structure, which then determines the physical body. The body is like a robot and its controls are placed in the encephalon, the cerebrospinal structure with more than a hundred billion neurons, ready set after few months of life in the womb. As follows, the program which organizes the nervous structure is the first to penetrate the matrix cell and only later do body organs develop. Positivistic schools would like to trace the propensity to love back to cerebral chemistry rather than to higher subtle tendencies, which are prior to the somatic structure and lead to harmony, agreement, acknowledgement of the other. Humans are much more than the physical body in which they live and travel. Only some psychophysical components fall under our sensorial observation and make up our sole empirical experience.

Vedanta, Yoga and other works of Indovedic tradition describe the spiritual essence of the being (atman) and its two macrostructures: mental and physical, which together represent the instruments for the atman to operate in the world. At least on the anthropological level, the incarnate being is composite, because biologically it is a body object of empirical experience, a psychic structure which moves the body primarily through the nervous system, and a spiritual, eternal and immutable essence which, during incarnation, uses the psychophysical instrument to interact with sensory reality.

This knowledge has been handed on by all great traditions. In Bhagavad-gita for instance we read: "Know that what pervades the body cannot be annihilated. Nothing can destroy the spiritual being. The physical body is certainly destined to destruction but the spiritual being is incommensurable and eternal, therefore have faith in the continuity of life. He who believes the soul can perish has no real knowledge because in truth the soul never dies, the soul is unborn, eternal."  Bhagavad-gita II.17-19