thoughts on love and the deed of loving


at the beginning it was the encounter, and all real life is meeting. we are not all one. i and you are not one, and that’s how we can love each other.

if i love you because you and i are one, it is myself i am loving, not you. if that is the case, it is all about me, not about you, and that is egotism, not true love. true love is all about you.

i love you not because you are me, but because you are you. i love you not because of me, but because of you.

all life is not suffering, but all suffering in life originates in the anxiety of the alienation between i and thou. we alienate ourselves from our own inner selves by separating away from the love for each other and from the love of each other. we are not one, we are two, and if we don’t love, we are not one, nor we remain as two, we just simply cease to be.

we are not one. when you eat your bread it is not my hunger you are quenching, when you heal your health it is not my wounds you are covering, when you dance in joy, it is not my body you are holding. you and i share the air we breathe, but each of us must breath it separately because we are two, not one. and precisely because we are not one is that we can feel love for each other and act with compassion towards one another.

there are poor and oppressed people everywhere, and my wealth and freedoms are useless to them because i am not them and they are not me. we cannot hide behind the proclamations of our being one and loving all and therefore not needing to do anything for no one. this is the difficult truth of love: if one person in this world remains poor and oppressed none of us is truly loving.

for love is loving. in other words, love is a deed. poetry is a deed, and god is a deed too. the beauty of these deeds is that they are deeds of the whole-being: we can only do them by being them. we love with our hearts, with our minds, with our bodies and with our presence with the other. we either are the love we love, or we are nothing at all.

it is essential to understand that love loses meaning if it is deemed to be a phenomenon of the realms of feelings and emotions only and not a deed that applies just as equally to the realms of the social and the ecological. love is our deepest feeling and it must also be our deepest deed, for if love is made manifest only between you and me, divorced from society and ecology, it ceases to be a true i and thou. love encompasses all and it needs to be made manifest in the all, love is of the whole being and it lives freely and wholly only in the realm of the whole of being.

you must come to me to be with me. i must come to you to be with you. you must come out of yourself and come to me if you want to be with me. i must come out of myself and come to you if i want to be with you. if i stay within me, how will i ever be with you?

“it’s not good for adam to be alone” said the god of genesis, and gave eve to adam so they could be two, not one. and they became one flesh because they were two, not one. at the beginning it was the encounter between adam and eve, and to love each other adam and eve needed to be adam and eve, not each other and not separate from each other.

i want you to love because i love you, not because i love myself. it is because you are separate from me that i can love you, it is for the distance between us that i can touch you. it is because you have a body that is not mine that you and i make love.

if i start with “me” and from me, i will end up with “me”. if i start with you and from you, i will end up with you and with me.

there is no training for love, we love and that trains us. if we know we want to love, we are already loving. if we are motivated to be compassionate, we already are. now we just need to do it. it is in the deed that our love and compassion become real.

does it make sense to say “i would like to be able to love but i cannot, so i will go to school to learn how to feel love”? if you feel you want to love, you are loving already. only a loving heart feels it wants to love.

does it make sense to say: “i want to love you but i need to love myself first?” if you want to love me, you are already loving yourself, because only love gives birth to love. nothing else does.

there is no denying that loving requires thoughtful thinking and a measure of skills. it is an art. yes, we can learn how to love better, but mostly, we will learn it by doing it, we will learn love by doing love.

and yes, we will fail countless times and fear will paralyze us and tell us stories about the need for teachers and training and skills and waiting and be ready first, and more of the same. fear makes us look for help everywhere except within our own selves and in the eyes of the other. will help always be there when we need it? that i don’t know. does it really matter? no it does not.

every time we fail, every instance our hearts brake, it is a deed of love that caused it. it is ok then. it is ok to love. it is ok to fail. it is not ok not to love. it is ok to love no matter what. if we are saved and redeemed it is by our deeds of love, and so, in a sense, there is no such thing as “no matter what” when it comes to love.

and a good teacher can sometimes help improve our skills, but teachers are irrelevant unless we come to them fully ready and already loving. if you meet the teacher on the road, just keep on walking.

we need to awaken from the illusion that we can be separate. we must be together as i and thou precisely for you and i are not one but two. we must love, because we cannot remain separate from each other and yet hope to ever be the likeness of the source of being.

© Hune Margulies, Ph.D.

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