It does not take much looking to see that much of what makes us who we are, personally, comes from whatever each one of us loves or prefers. In other words, our identity depends greatly on our most intimate associations with other human beings, as well as with ideas, beliefs, and things.
There is nothing wrong with our particular loves, except for the fact that they are generally exclusive, and that exclusiveness constricts and desensitizes the sense of being a separate person they help generate. It is the small-mindedness of "me, us, mine, and ours" that, creates the "other," (with his or her own "me, us, mine, and ours") as well as the indifference or outright contempt and hate that are also part of who we are.
The person that emerges from and is sustained by a particular set of loves and preferences is equally determined by negative associations, that is, by whatever stands in outright opposition, contradiction, or simple contrast with his or her loves and preferences. Thus, the love that generates and sustains personal identity is almost invariably made impure by its coexistence with indifference and hate, and this impurity spreads wide, it touches everyone and every thing. Our unquestioning acceptance of this strange mixture of love and hate at the very core of our being is responsible for all the chronic division, antagonism, and grief suffered by the human race at every point in space and time. The world is what it is because we are who are.
Our personal participation in this situation does not strictly constitute a moral issue because we are born into it. No one is exempt from a general mindset that makes everyone seem distinct by the record and on-going experience of exclusive negative and positive identification. A psychological reality made separate and presumably unique by its likes and dislikes, its particular associations and disassociations, is necessarily vulnerable, and so must work incessantly to protect and enlarge itself and what it cares about. And the larger social reality of humanity is, of course, the net outcome of the quantity, and especially the quality of the relationships that relatively different personal manifestations of this general mental system engage in at any given point in time.
This chronically fragmented and largely dysfunctional psycho-social configuration is all we are, all we have ever been, and future generations will continue to endure fundamentally from the same mental constrictions and social aberrations unless a critical number of individuals somehow manages to transcend the habits and fears that protect our particular sources of personal identification. That means you and I.
To announce the possibility of a free, open, and healthy mind implies the existence of a form of love that is not just vastly different, but completely other than the multiple and exclusive affections and disaffections from which we all presently derive the same absurd sense of being separate and unique psychological entities.In fact, the divisiveness, the love-hate ambivalence, and all the other limitations of our familiar sense of being human would dissolve in the manifestation of this greater love.
All this may sound like yet another one of the many pie-in-the-sky religious theories that have been an especially virulent vector of human divisiveness and hostility. But it is not.
The all-inclusiveness of life is an ever-present expression of love, not an idea or a wish. The broken-up and alienated mind cannot comprehend the integrity of life, and the heart hardened and desensitized by its exclusive commitments cannot yield to its impersonal embrace, but this does not mean that this love does not exist. It only means that the mental record of exclusive commitment and experience that generates and sustains the conceit of separate existence is blinding us to its otherwise undeniable and infinitely generous presence.
The all-embracing love of life is all there is, and if this is not evident it is only because our exclusive attachments are still dulling our faculties with the overbearing demands of exclusive thoughts and emotions. The love of life —not the love of “one” for life, but the lovingness of life itself— can easily encompass and transform particular relationships, but the latter are generally unaware of their boundless source in life, and therefore also of the reach of that love in which there is no room for separation.