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you could look for a way to express the new orientation in your life
and find out the implications of the new point of view. You might assume
that the implication is that you have to marry and have children and
stay together for the rest of your life. That might be so, but it might
not; love isn’t dependent on outcomes. You might notice that love is
what really counts in life and that could mean you get a different job,
spend more time with friends, forget about being famous, come out as
gay, or shave your head and go into a long retreat. Both love and
enlightenment are in favor of whatever welcomes more life.
Looking at the implications is what Buddhists call having a practice. Falling in love is the beginning of a practice.
2. Love is Underneath Everything
Here is Tolstoy near the end of War and Peace:
whole meaning of life, not only for him, but for all the world, seemed
to consist only in his love and the possibility of her love for him.
appeared in the bright light of the feeling shining within him, so that
without the least effort, meeting any person whatever, he at once saw
in him all that was good and worthy of love.
I did seem strange and ridiculous then,” he thought, “but I wasn’t as
insane as I seemed. On the contrary, I was more intelligent and
perceptive then than ever, and I understood everything that’s worth
understanding in life, because… I was happy.”
insanity consisted in the fact that he did not wait, as before, for
personal reasons, which he called people’s merits, in order to love
them, but love overflowed his heart, and, loving people without reason,
he discovered the unquestionable reasons for which it was worth loving
—Translation based on Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
implication of Pierre’s discovery is that love is an epiphany and also a
template for how to live, or at least a way of interacting that is
truer and more fun and alive than what went before. Everyone has the
capacity for those feelings, the unreserved release of your heart, the
colors so bright. Meeting and marrying, we are ten feet off the ground,
our hearts beat fast; the moment can’t find a way to end. That’s really
how life is when we are not pouring it into little containers.
comes to the truth not through suffering but through a leap into a
realm in which generosity, kindness, and appreciation are the basement
floor of existence. This is probably the most important similarity
between awakening and falling in love.