Love and Hate
Living Abundantly (June 1995 - Edited and Added November 2002)
It is a common mistake to imagine that abundance refers only to affluence or material wealth. Living a truly abundant life however, is much, much greater than the measure of our physical possessions. Living abundantly is a product of perception, it rises and falls on the whims of our perception - abundance is a way of being...
Living an abundant life is the natural result of making more and making the most of what we have, what we do and how we are. It must be remembered that living an abundant life is not only a concept that applies to the material trappings of our lifestyle, but also to our state of being.
Living abundantly is a way of life. Abundance is not a tangible or finite resource. We cannot determine that one man's abundance will signify abundance to another. One person's deprivation may indeed be abundance to someone else. We cannot set down conditions or amounts that, once reached, will represent abundance.
Abundance is not only away of living but it is a free, fluid and flexing phenomenon. We might have the same, yet in reality, have more, simply by embracing the abundant lifestyle. And so too, can we make less of what we have, simply by changing the way we perceive it. Similarly, but in a different sense, through a lack of appreciation of our skills and abilities, our strengths, our knowledge and our physical bodies, we can reduce our ability to live abundantly. Make the most of these talents, appreciate our bodies and we will enhance our feeling of the abundant lifestyle, we feel filled with good things - life is a joy and there is nothing we cannot and do not have.
In order to really embrace abundance and to be able to make use of it in our lives, we must gain a realistic sense of what living abundantly really means. As before, it can be useful to examine what it is not, in order to enhance our understanding of what it is. Living abundantly is not a matter of having abundance and clinging to that abundance or regarding that abundance as hard to come by. Nor is it something that can be clung to - for as soon as we try to cling to abundance it is lost. Abundance depends on our state of being and on our response to the abundance, not just the abundance itself. This is why an individual can possess extensive actual wealth, yet still feel deprived.
So for example, if we have a windfall of some kind and we perceive it as an increase in abundance, as soon as we start to become possessive of it, or try to ration it - if we are not willing to share it, then we have transformed the abundance into something else. Living abundantly depends on a consistent positive response to what we have, rather than a few isolated incidents.
Living abundantly - an impression of abundance that infiltrates every aspect of life; created through a consistent natural optimism applied to numerous single incidents, that, when joined together, suggest a direction or an impression of prosperity.
Natural optimism is a trait that we are all born with, yet few recognize it in its pure sense as a useful tool. Optimism is generally regarded with cynicism in our modern world. However there is 'optimism' and optimism. The common form of optimism is a kind of blind or false hope, resulting from a revulsion to a certain range of possibilities, pushing the individual toward one option only, but without a solid trust in a successful outcome, even though this not-trust may be hidden. Natural genuine optimism is different in every respect. Natural optimism is a way of perceiving that is open to all options, but most importantly, it is a natural tendency to make the most of, in any situation and a knowledge that one can make the most of, a knowledge that the outcome will always be positive. It is an expression of personal power.
Natural optimism says that 'the outcome will be positive, because I will make it so". False optimism says "It'll be alright", but all the while dependent on outside influences to make things right and also perhaps, on concepts like luck and hope.
And so, a natural positive optimistic outlook is really about consistently applying our own personal power to our lives to produce a sense of living abundantly. In fact, living an abundant life is highly dependent on making use of personal power. It is this use of personal power that is solely responsible for the sensation or experience of abundance. That feeling of abundance is really the feeling we get from using personal power. And, in a sense then, it is an indicator. If we feel that the abundance comes from somewhere or someone else, we are not feeling true abundance. True abundance is always experienced as something that we are directly responsible for.
This sense of responsibility comes very much into play in the sharing of abundance. Being willing to share our abundance with others is of course, part of the abundant lifestyle. However of equal significance if not more so, is the ability to share in the abundance that exists everywhere, including what seems to be other people's abundance.
When we share in the abundance of other people genuinely, we are able to feel our own power in the situation by regarding the abundance as just abundance and not placing conditions on the abundance through labeling abundance as 'my abundance' or 'their abundance' etc. So, when we share in the abundance of others, we are not giving away our own power by being grateful, but we are reveling in abundance itself.
Without assigning ownership of the abundance, we can enjoy it purely and we can acknowledge our own power in providing the abundance. This is not to say that we cannot appreciate the abundance or express our appreciation of it in verbal terms, it simply means that we are not defiling the abundance by giving the credit for its existence to someone else. This compromises our personal power and destroys the abundance and indeed our ability to enjoy it in a pure way. When we are prepared to take responsibility for the existence of abundance and to make the most of it, we are also prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that come our way to indulge in the abundance that is on offer everywhere.
It is necessary to remember at this stage that living abundantly does not involve thinking to any great degree. Constantly thinking about the indicators and features of abundance will not bring us closer to the abundant way of life. However, we must be prepared to entertain an awareness of our selves and our state of being, in order to appreciate abundance. With this awareness we can then gain a sense of the enhancement that living abundantly brings to our life and therefore, we can make the most of the whole process and feel a natural desire for more, thus keeping the whole thing going.
In order to live abundantly, we must be prepared to let go any dependence on thinking and devote ourselves to trusting. Trusting, a natural by-product of personal power, ensures that even without an actual knowledge of where the abundance may come from, we can be sure that it will always be there. Sometimes it is necessary to remind ourselves that it is not important to know the details of what we desire and how we might attain it, just that we desire it. As long as we are open to our own power, we know that we will have what we want, and that it will be right, it will come from the right source and that we will always have choice about what we want - we can change our mind.
Choice cannot be separated from living an abundant life - the two go hand in hand and are linked with other aspects like personal power and trust. Choice ensures that when we have abundance, we do not have to give everything that we have to other people, nor do we have to accept anything we do not want - but we can if we want to. We are flexible. We are free. Living abundantly is about having what we want and doing what we want and being how we want to be, all the while recognizing that we have choice, nothing can be forced upon us. And through a solid knowledge of the control we have over the abundance in our life, we can exercise our choice with a tremendous sense of the enhancement that we may bring to our experience of life and living.
And so we see, that abundance is more than a measure of amount, it is a feeling, an experience, it is an enhancement, a way of being - it is an entire philosophy - it is, rather wonderfully, a way of life.
Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1995 - 2002. All rights reserved.
Love and Hate (October 1995)
Love is the great simplifier. Hatred only serves to complicate our lives. Hatred however, is so much resisted, that few people would acknowledge the existence of it in their own lives, yet its expression is wide ranging and acknowledging its presence is the only way to be free of it.
Much more than just a tattoo that fits cleverly on the knuckles of both hands, love and hate are the two extremes that can have the most impact on the life of an individual. And just as one is poles apart from the other in meaning, so too is the extremity of the effect produced by love and hate.
One of course must not generalize, it would be inappropriate to say that an individual's life is only dominated by one or the other. Such is the nature of love and hate though, that a predominant indulgence in one will radiate its influence in such a way that it could be seen to imply its own generalization. In other words, if we actively indulge in hatred and allow it to obstruct love, even if an individual feels love some of the time, the hatred will implement its own sense of direction in the life of that person. And it must be noted here that love may not always be acknowledged, which in any case renders it useless to that individual.
Hatred in many ways is a dark and powerful force, primarily because it needs to be. In order to follow in the way of hatred, an individual must expend much effort maintaining the various requirements of hatred. Love, by contrast is an effortless process.
The effects of hatred in a person's life are far reaching because of the necessity for complex networks of illusion, justification and protection that lend the hatred apparent veracity. Hatred would not be the force that it is without these networks, nor could an individual sustain such hatred in the absence of them.
In some sense, hatred could be compared to a large net. In order to ensure its effectiveness for catching prey, any holes must be closed over, in fact the net is more effective if the holes are very small and the netting very fine. The drawback however is that in reality, the only prey the net can snare is the individual who wields it. Such is the massive requirement of hatred that the individual is gradually entrapped by these mechanisms and becomes the victim of their own net. The individual trapped and writhing in this net provides a very appropriate symbol for the person who indulges in hatred, for it is the ultimate in powerlessness. And although the individual may snarl and claw at their enemies through the small holes and feel defiantly strong, in reality there can be no movement and, what is more, that individual is at the mercy of the others around them.
Hatred itself can sound rather abstract but some of the derivatives of hatred can better communicate the destructive nature of it. Because hatred is an effortful creation, it requires a lot of thinking to fight for its existence. The creation of a kind of parallel world maintained by fantasy and where illusion masquerades as reality is essential to hatred. An appreciation of reality is not in itself provocation for the creation of hatred. The truth must be distorted and suitable illusions produced so that the hatred can be justified in the individual's mind. The person's experience must be censored and edited through the processes of selective perception, so that any aspect that may be considered useful to the purposes of hatred can be gleaned and made use of. Other aspects that are not required can be discarded and forgotten, or even twisted into a falsehood.
For example, if an acquaintance is at a party talking to a person or a group of people, the hateful person could wrongly interpret that to mean that the person is maliciously ignoring them, is stuck-up, nasty or a whole host of other false perceptions that fit with the requirement of the hatred. In reality that person is simply being himself or herself and having a good time.
The hateful Individual is capable of transforming anything genuine into something that resembles the contemptible, with or without actual evidence and does so at every opportunity. This gives reason to the individual to be very watchful and to pay acute attention to the things that people do, particularly things that may be interpreted as undesirable, in order to boost the hateful perception of other people. This attention or watchfulness must not be confused with and cannot be compared with, genuine awareness. Genuine awareness is not effortful or compulsive. The watchfulness is so compulsive that it is almost to the exclusion of anything else. In cases like this, the individual must sacrifice their own enjoyment for the sake of the hatred.
This aspect of being prepared to lose out in order to deprive others is a common factor of hatred. The individual does not necessarily harm others, as long as there is a perception of harming others, in the mind of the individual then, the requirements are satisfied. This can only be done as a result of not appreciating. If something is not appreciated, then it can be sacrificed. But there are other implications of this absence of appreciation. If something is appreciated then it is a free agent, it can flow through an individual's life without condition. If there is a need to cling to something, this flow cannot exist and the clinging is so intent and effortful that the individual cannot be open to enjoying it, therefore depriving that individual of any appreciation to be had. If the individual needs to guard and protect and to actively keep others from having what they have, then the restriction is even greater and the whole point of having what they have is lost. Of course there are ways to cope with this.
Intellectual possession acts as a satisfactory substitute for actual appreciation, provided the individual is content to live with the resulting emptiness. There are many people who possess considerable tolerance to emptiness and can shut down sufficiently to it to lead a satisfactory, but unfulfilling life. As long as the 'unfulfillment' is unacknowledged or can be avoided, then life is bearable - but that's all.
Jealousy is probably one of the most intense and alarming aspects of hatred, for it can provide motive for everything an individual does in life and for how they perceive things. It can drive the actions of an individual beyond logic and reason, beyond desire even and into the realms of the irrational and compulsive. Jealousy is essentially hatred of others for what they have. This usually involves a feeling that by them having what they have, doing what they do and being how they are, something is being done to us. This can then motivate the individual to seek revenge in numerous different ways. This kind of revenge is often only perceived by the individual who seeks it, for it is usually a mental process, however, it can carry over into their actions.
Often the most satisfactory revenge is to do to them what they have done to us. This of course in many ways, is the ultimate, but comes with an obvious disadvantage. Having what they have, doing what they do and being as they are, these things being so contemptuous, must result in the hatred then turning on the individual and becoming self-hatred, a most unpleasant experience. So while there is some satisfaction in this kind of revenge, there is a price to pay, self-hatred. Not only that, but it creates even more requirement for intricate patterns of defense, because the individual must then disguise their own hatefulness and must convince themselves that they bear no resemblance to the hated individual. Things can become very complex and confusing indeed.
The individual can end up stifling their own advancement, ruining their own enjoyment and becoming more and more separate from others, closed to inspiration and devoid of a love of life.
Jealousy must exercise itself in a covert way, for it is not a particularly acceptable attribute in our society. Because jealousy must be protected and truth is a natural enemy of hatred, revenge and hatred must be expressed in ways that cannot or perhaps will not be challenged. For example, throwaway comments and criticisms are common expressions of jealousy or hatred, particularly effective in the company of others who do not challenge or question. Of course criticisms do not have to be verbal and much of the time an individual will create the impression of criticisms or will feel critical without actually needing to acknowledge the judgments consciously. However, once again, a demanding requirement asserts itself as the individual must then avoid honest communication and avoid the company of people who tend to be honest or challenging.
As the hatred begins to take on a convoluted support network upon which the individual comes to depend, life becomes more and more restricted. As the freedom of the individual is eroded there is more and more requirement for deception and dishonesty. In fact, it would be fair to say that life loses much of its charm for the individual who is dependent on hatred and jealousy.
It becomes clear how messy an individual's life can become when motivated largely by a requirement for hatred. Love by comparison, seems rather simplistic and not nearly as interesting, for the influence of love in a person's life removes the complexity, exposes harmony and rightness and produces a sense of ease, never experienced in the presence of hatred. Love is the great simplifier and because of this simplicity, everything in a person's life adopts a sense of rightness. The individual with love in their heart rises to any challenge, is unafraid of emotion and moves through life with appreciation and respect. For them there is no compulsive need to avoid the truth, no complex network of clumsy defense. Things are straightforward, there is nothing and no one to fear and the resultant sense of genuine power is fulfilling.
Little more can be said about love, for it seems pointless to go on describing a state that is represented by what is not there. And yet the nature of love is such that the less that is created, the more fullness results. Hatred is such that the more that is created, the greater the black void of emptiness. Fullness and emptiness - two extremes, both representing the very best and the very worst that life has to offer. It begs the question, "Why would anyone choose the way of hatred?" Perhaps not a direct choice, but a necessary requirement for a chosen lifestyle. Perhaps then arises the implication of another question. "Why would anyone knowing about hatred and knowing about love and indeed knowing how to achieve change, still consciously persist in the way of hatred?" Perhaps this is a question we will never have the answer to.
Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1995 - 2002. All rights reserved.
Loving (June 1994 - Added November 2002)
"And when you know me in all things... "
("My love, I must go now, but I will return. In those moments between dreaming and waking you will find me. But do not linger there, for I am in the sun and in the stars in the night sky and I am in the shells you will find on the beach. And when you know me in all things, I will return and we will be together forever.")
With an understanding of the implications of such a concept, you will do your best to find love in all things. In doing so, maintaining a certain simplicity is essential if you are to keep your direction clear and if you are to find reward in this approach. Towards this aim, presented here, is a summary of those most important points which will directly assist in checking your progress with this process.
#1 - You don't have to be perfect. An earnest desire to do what is right far outweighs perfection, assuming it could even be attained. And while the search for perfection can be a useful focus, allowing of oneself when one does not meet these rigorous standards is all important.
#2 - Loving is absolute. You cannot love some things and not love other things at the same time, nor can one feel hatred for some things and feel love for others. The non-selective nature of love is the most significant test of its genuineness. This will prove to be a useful measure of your state of being at any one time.
#3 - Love is a state of being, not a state of mind. Feeling love is an experience. Thinking love can be no comparison for the real experience of feeling love and can prove to be an interference.
#4 - Love is non-specific. Loving is not a matter of defining that which you love. It is an impression of that which you love and is open-ended. Its borders are indistinct. When we seek to love all things, we are not bound to go through a tireless process of defining everything we come into contact with and proclaiming our love for it. Our love for things is implied through an absence of not-loving.
#5 - Loving is an effortless action as opposed to an effortful one. Loving is more akin to an absence of something than a definable force, the implication being that we love naturally and anything that we do not feel love for is created through effortful action.
Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1994 - 2002. All rights reserved.