This appeared as ‘Haiku of the Day’ on an internet site: The following two quotes are offered as further exposition – the first as a great new definition of love and the second as a 30 year favourite:
“Love is ‘no separation’ and in consciousness, at rest as pure awareness, and in motion as the manifest universe, there is no separation. This consciousness in all modes is God, Allah, Brahman, The Void, The Tao … call it what you will,” – Colin Drake (A Light Unto Yourself p.39)
“…the undivided mind is aware of experience as a unity, of the whole as itself, and that the whole nature of the mind and awareness is to be one with what it knows, suggests a state usually called love.” – Alan Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity p. 130).]
As you can see the writer describes ‘Love is no separation’ as a great new definition which made me ponder whether it is indeed a new way of describing love … especially considering the 30 year old quote he follows it with!
It also made me want to flesh out the idea to give it more substance. To achieve this we need to start by defining ‘Love’, which I am going to give as ’empathetic attraction’ (for or to). Then its various names, associated with different types, will indicate its nature in terms of strength, commitment, attachment, etc.
This definition ’empathetic attraction’ implies being attracted to, and thus wishing to be in the presence of, one with whom one empathises. So that this means being attracted to someone with whom we can identify and so ‘fully comprehend’. This gives the clue that to attain universal love (agape) we must be able to identify with everyone we encounter. To do this we must be able to view every person as of the same essence, pure awareness, and thus realize that there is essentially no difference between oneself and anyone else. In this case we can fully comprehend the essence of what it is to be human without needing to fully comprehend everyone’s individual character traits.
This implies that there is no separation between oneself and another. From this follows that one would naturally treat others as oneself (or as one would wish to be treated by others) … which is itself a pretty good definition of brotherly (universal) love.
It could be argued that this (agape) is the ‘coolest’ form of love, but can this definition of love as ‘no separation’ be applied to all forms of love, especially the ‘hottest’ eros which is ‘passionate and committed’? To consider this I can only rely on my two personal experiences of being deeply in love. In both cases I longed to be with my beloved at all times … in a state of ‘no separation’, and was only happy when in her presence.
This is borne out by literature, drama, films and pop-culture all of which emphasise this aspect of ‘love’. So if ‘no separation’ can be applied to the coolest and hottest forms of love I would argue that it must also be applicable to all forms in between.
At the experiential level once awakening has taken place then there is a deep feeling of not being separate from one’s environment or any other being. In my case this has been accompanied by being ‘in love with existence':
The best way to describe the feeling that accompanies all of this is as being deeply in love with a beloved who is always present, both within and without.
It was even accompanied by some of the physical symptoms I experienced the first time I fell deeply in love, a deep throbbing of the heart, queasiness of the stomach and an overall glow and sense of well-being. (C. Drake, Beyond the Separate Self, 2009, Halifax, p.183-184)
So based on all of the above I posit that ‘Love is no separation’.