When you’ve been conditioned to believe that we come into life empty and we go forth into the world to be filled, we’re empty creatures. We have nothing. We’re born helpless and hopeless, and yet our lives are molded and shaped by what our parents do to us, what the schools do to us, what life does to us, and how society influences us. We go to school to get knowledge. We go to church to get religion. We go out into the marketplace to get money and to make our fame and fortune, and we look to special people for love.

In this commonplace viewpoint, love is a needed commodity, and it’s so important to us. It’s vital that we find someone to give us love, and if we find that one, then we have love to give, but if we don’t find people that give us love, then we’re empty and devoid of love and that’s what’s wrong with our lives. Love comes naturally to us when we find the right person to love or to be loved by. This is the way our reasoning goes about this consciousness of love, and it’s all erroneous. This isn’t what love is at all.

Life for most people is a long quest for love. We’re always looking for love here and there and everywhere—in experiences, in relationships. “Oh, someday I’m going to find my love. Across the crowded room, love comes into my life.” Life becomes a quest for objects of love, and in human consciousness, I’m sure we all realize that this is where we are much of the time.

Love Is an Inner Power, Not an Object

Intuitively, within ourselves we know that love is an inner power, not an object; that our need is not to be loved. Our need is to love. Within every person there’s a hunger and a thirst to express love, to radiate love, to get ourselves in tune with the cosmic flow at the root of our being, to simply plug in, to turn the lights on, and to express out of the overflow of this inner love a lovingness toward life. We have a hunger for this, but we don’t understand the process, so instead we’re out looking for it somewhere else, while all the time it’s within us.

We need to redefine this thing called love, or rather undefine it, to get it out of the terms of definitions. We’ve accepted the biblical statement “God is love” as if love were a commodity that God has. So God gives it to us, and then we have it, and we pass it along to other people. Actually, it is more a description of what God is than what God does. God is love is expressed much in the same way as God is life, God is intelligence, God is power, God is love.

You see, these are simply abstract generalizations until we know whatever else God is, God is me. Does that surprise you a little bit? Whatever else God is, God is me. I am the activity of God expressing itself as me. God is life, and I am life manifesting as my body temple. God is intelligence, and I am that intelligence in the form of the wisdom of my mind. God is power, and I am that power in the form of my strength and my creativity, my ability to form and shape and build. God is love, and I am that love expressing in and through and as my loving heart.

My Love Is My Attunement with the Cosmic Flow

But I have no love of my own. My love is my attunement with the cosmic flow which is centered in the great heart of the universe. It is not love that is the greatest need in our lives, but loving, giving way to this cosmic flow of love. It’s not the need of being loved by people so that people can give us this commodity. Love is to touch the deep spring of our own nature, turn our own lights on, and be love.

Be what we really are, which was Meister Eckhart’s thought when he said, “Let God be God in you. Let love be love at the root of your being.”

Life for most people is a long quest for love. We’re always looking for love here and there and everywhere—
in experiences, in relationships.

Love has become a great cliché. It’s a plaything of human volition. We talk about it, we sing about it, and it’s all up in human consciousness, all in the emotions, all in the senses, but cut off from the Divine Source, from the divine flow.

This is why we have such problems in our human relationships. As a commodity, I cannot give love to anyone, and no one can give love to me. Now don’t misunderstand this. I can be loving. I can create a loving environment. I can bathe this person in the light of love as I see this person in love, but I do not exchange anything. I don’t feel any loss because I’ve loved this person.

Get Out of a Consciousness of Resistance

We may think at times that we have good reason not to love someone because of what they have done. However, we can never afford to entertain thoughts that separate us from the flow of divine love. Jesus uses a metaphor that is often misunderstood. It’s one of these things that either is taken out of context or else it’s totally overlooked.

He says, “If thy right eye causes thee to stumble, pluck it out. If thy right hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off” (Matthew 5:29-30). I suspect there were fundamentalist fanatics who literally believed that this is what you should do, cut off your hand if you found yourself getting involved with some sort of resentment, but this isn’t what Jesus was talking about.

He’s simply saying, “Stop thinking negative thoughts.” If you resist someone, don’t be so concerned with why he is causing you resistance, but why are you resisting? Get out of the consciousness of resistance. If you’re upset, then it’s because you’re easily upset. Why are you upset? What’s wrong within you? If he has done something, you say, “He’s done this to me. Why does he do that to me? Why does he say those things to me?”

I always say that “to me” is the little fishhook. That’s the barb that hangs you up. In other words, in the first place, get rid of the fishhook, pluck it out, cut it off, and then I ask the question again, “Why did he do it?” Not to me, he didn’t do it to me. He did it. If it’s to me, it’s because I got hung up in my reaction, in my resistance. Why did he do it? If I can see him objectively and ultimately, I can see him lovingly and I can see he did it because he’s confused. He did it because of certain problems in his own life, a feeling of lack of love in his own consciousness. He’s cut off from this inner flow of love himself, and he’s lashing out at life.

If I can understand that, I keep myself free. I cut it off, pluck out the eye, get rid of the limitation in my own consciousness, and then I can say to myself, “First of all, in my love flow and out of that love flow, I can see him lovingly.” It doesn’t mean I condone what he does, it doesn’t mean that I have to let him go free if he’d broken the law. It means that I cannot help the world or anybody and certainly myself if I try at all costs to cause someone to pay the last farthing at the expense of my own self. Then you have two frustrated people. You have two people out of the flow. The important thing is I must keep myself centered, keep myself in tune, and then out of that centering consciousness, I can be an influence. Then I can help, then I can radiate the consciousness of peace to people in the world.

Excerpted from Practical Metaphysics: A New Insight in Truth by Eric Butterworth (Unity Books, 2018).