Cynthia Bourgeault on “Conscious Love” May 2001 St. Philip Anglican Church Victoria, B.C. #2

Our experience of love with humans is a microcosm or foretaste of the divine love for which our heart truly years and which is connecting us with something deeper even than human love.

Love is something that must be learned. To learn love we must be willing to enter solitude which is the preparation for love.

When you go into love out of your own agenda, you will be trapped in something love can’t give.

When we love from needing, craving, wanting, projecting, we are loving out of ego and boundaries will continue to be operating and we will continue to be hurt and disappointed. To discover love we have to get out of that egoic loop.

The real nature of love is to break down ego divisions which are our prisons. As soon as we get into love we are on a collision course with the egoic self.

For love to be whole we have to find our way to that place of conscious presence within. This is the “hermitage of the heart.” No person can ever fill that place; but it is filled.

You finally fall out of the bottom of your own suffering and discover that it holds you.

When we find our own inner centre, we can go out and love from there.

Love is the transfer of all interests from the self to the other. It touches the final destiny of our lives which is the laying down of ourselves for the other.

“Love your neighbour as your self” speaks to the state of union. You are not you and your neighbour. Your neighbour is yourself.

In the I/I paradigm, we love heart to heart. This is the union of the I with the other. This is a relationship where we have access to the other’s innermost centre. The other’s good becomes my good. The difference from co-dependence is that I/I is freely given. The giving itself is the point. There is a place in us that knows how to give this way and just loves it. As you are able to love in this way you are in touch with your own deepest centre. There is so much dissatisfaction because no one gives us permission or shows us how to get to that innermost place. Given that we don’t know how to get there, the answer is not to stop putting our hearts out there, because then you don’t get to do what the human being is born for.