Learning to know love is my intention in the writing of this blog as I explore the question of what is unconditional love, and how can one free up of the mind stuff that propels the limitations of conditionality in the act of loving. I call this the practice of Unconditioning the Heart, as I believe that love is ever present to all, at all times, without condition, and that every heart is capable of love flowing to it and from it without condition. I believe that the conditions we place on our capacity to love and receive love are merely the reflections of limited or unlimited ideas in our minds. It is not my intention in writing this blog to create conflict, adversity, argument, or friction in any of my relationships with my readers or within the readers themselves, however, with that said, the topic on which I dive into today may stir up feelings of discomfort and disagreement. It is from a place of love that I choose to share my opinion.
This week the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been much on my mind. As an individual who is quite distanced from the daily conflict and the cultural history surrounding the current scenario, receiving only second, third, and fourth hand information, I do my best to not make an opinion on who is right or who is wrong, and what the best possible solution would be, as I truly do not know. Yet, as a woman who is the daughter of a Jew, therefore, carrying the matriarchal linage of Jewishness, I will admittedly state that I have an emotional response that leads me to intuitively side with Israel and the people of my ethnic background. Fortunately for me, over the course of my life, I have found many practices to serve my curiosities and expand my perspectives leaving me in a position that is not bound to the dogma of any one view. Rather, I have disciplined myself to the practice of loving without condition, which in its essence does not allow me the room to make many stances of severity and extremism. It is a worldwide stance of extremism, polarity, ignorance, and inflexibility, none mutually exclusive to any one party or nation however, that has stirred this feeling of discontent in my spirit, so much so, that I am writing on this subject today.
As far as I am concerned, extremism is extremism is extremism, war and war tactics no matter how they are being executed or delivered are never justified or rational, polarity never allows the space to fill in the middle ground, and love is never absent.
Of course in this Israel/Palestinian Conflict there are details, and incidents, and history, and behaviors, which through the nature of cause and effect have led to this very dire situation within which a population of people are living in a dehumanizing state. There is no question here.
On the other side of the coin is a population of people who without hesitation would agree with the sentiment that it has never been a good time to be born with the ethnic background that I share with my mother, as history clearly details an endless persecution of our people and bloodlines.
Never mind Palestine and Israel for a moment, if we look at the history of human kind we could say it has never been a good time to be born a human. Throughout the millennia we can see that all nations and ethnicities have been persecuted and forced to live through the most dehumanizing of circumstances in the name of civilization, spirituality, patriotism, family, militarism, and many more reasons that do not serve justice.
It is the argument of WHY humans fight with such force and leave the wake of so much suffering and death that generates anger in me. It is a platform of serving justice upon which injustices are made that perpetuates ignorance, violence, an irrational legitimizing of the ignorant and violent behavior, and a constant state of inhumanity that all humanity lives in.
We know that the situation in Gaza is beyond what any rational person would call humane. However, in relationship to what is humane and inhumane behavior, I question is it humane to boycott Israel at this time as a justified response? What makes bullying Israel’s civilians through an economic act of warfare more just than what their Government and Military are currently doing to the civilians in Palestine? Sure, death is more direct with guns and bombs thus making it clearly inhumane, yet a death of starvation in its essence is more consumed with suffering. Does one wrong canceling out the other make a right?
Who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong? Who in the end get’s to decide the parameters of justice and just cause? What ethnic origin, or political bent, or economic engine has this power? These day’s it’s the one who takes it, by force, using whatever means necessary, yet that does not make it right, nor just, nor humane.
As an American I can look at the military actions of my government for the past decade and see the pursuit of Arab nations. If I were less inquisitive and informed I perhaps would have developed a perspective that made all Arabs and Arab nations Terrorists and Nations of peoples who don’t believe in freedom and human rights. One-sided views are skewed perspectives.
The history of the peoples of Palestine and Israel goes back thousands of years and is many layered, as is the history of the entire human race. If we took the time to step back and look at the entirety of our lineages, we eventually come back to common ground. As the population of our planet approaches 7 billion it is nearly impossible to fathom an Earth with a population of less than 100, however we all started somewhere and that point is a shared place. When we pull ourselves back from our emotional, ethnic, national, religious, and inflexible viewpoints our perspective allows for more understanding, more compassion, more possibility for resolution without retribution.
Humans however, prove to be suspicious of one another, based on our shared history of deception and lies. In our suspicion we build walls of fear and distrust and call them borders, cultural differences, families, and personal grievances that cannot be repaired. In our desperation to keep our identity, our illusions of safety, our egotistic rationalizations of our injustices and missteps we take desperate measures. When we are afraid of being annihilated, with historical evidence that genocide has happened and can happen to any of us, we take the offensive stance first. When we fear being raped because statistical evidence says 1 in 3 women, we are less inclined to offer help to men who look like they could use it. When we fear being stolen from we are less likely to invite strangers into our houses and give to them a meal, a bed, an article of clothing. Historically we have not been given much evidence to support alternative actions for peace and love being met in kind therefore, we do not believe that actions toward peacefulness will be met without force. We essentially and fundamentally do not believe the human race as capable of love and the qualities of love, and that no good deed goes unpunished. We essentially hold a romantic opinion of compassion, empathy, and forgiveness, though in fear of being lied to, deceived, taken advantage of or killed, we withhold these qualities as individuals, nations, and races in the most needed circumstances.
In my opinion it is absurd that any politician, government official, leader in the form of elected, spiritual, or Monarchial, from any nation could call themselves a spiritual being and then condone the use of force in conflict resolution.
There is nothing rational in the acts of warfare, economic, militarized, or gorilla. There is no justice in perpetuating a crime upon another who is perpetuating a crime. There is no resolution in suspicion, separation, polarization, and extremism. There is no love in us versus them, in my people versus your people, in my opinion versus your opinion.
Love exists without condition. We all share this planet, we share the life giving force of the sun, we share the wet of the falling rain, these things exist for everyone no matter their race, homeland, age, or sex. It is the human race that has put conditions on these things. Humans who have deemed some classes of people more worthy of clean water than others. Humans who have deemed some races of people more justified in claiming land than others. Humans who continue to choose where the wealth and synonymously the power will flow with every Dollar, Rand, Pound, Yuan, and Rupee they spend. Humans who continue to grow the population and teach their children what is valuable in this life. It is humans who daily decide what is important, what is humane, and what is just. It will be humans who change that which is not working, that which does not serve, that which does not amount to love.
I pray that the conflict in Gaza, the conflict in Iraq, the conflict in Congo, the Ukraine and everywhere else in the world will be an invitation to the human race to be more humane. I pray that one day all humans will see the qualities they share rather than what separates them as a cause to treat all people as their brothers and sisters. I pray that someday we will know a world of no borders, where all governments make policies that enable and enhance the quality of life for all peoples of this planet. I pray for the day where every inch of this earth is home to every one living on it and honored with reverence and love. I pray for the day when leaders like Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be exemplified in times of conflict, and parents will teach their children how to resolve conflict with respect and love through example. I pray for the day when being self-governed is as valued as being rich and famous.
Unconditioning the Heart and learning to know love as well as ones capacity to love and be loved is an excellent practice for a more courageous, open-minded, and fulfilling life. I know the more I practice loving without condition the more gratifying living is. This means that today I love Palestine and Israel, I love Russia and Ukraine, I love the rapist and the raped. I love the perpetrator for showing me how not to spend my energy, for showing that hate is to great a burden to bare, as I love the perpetrated for inviting me to forgive and care deeply. I love and I allow and I lead by example, loving myself as I am, opinionated and Jewish, inclined to side with Israel and say no to anti-semitism, and accepting that I was once more ignorant and there are others like me who someday will have a bigger perspective but today see only what they see and they too are lovable. I love myself without condition as I love others in the same vein.
Please note that loving without condition is not synonymous with living without boundaries, nor giving and never receiving. To love without condition requires constant presence and constant adjusting in an ever-changing world. To stay alive in this wild and dangerous world and love without condition while attempting to maintain good boundaries in the process is an excellent practice of discipline, or yoga, if you like to call it that.
To live a life of an Unconditoned Heart all you have to do is constantly ask yourself, “How can I bring more love to this?” Then, follow through.
With gratitude for the bounty of peace I live in and the generosity of love I experience daily I offer you my love, without condition, always for giving.