On True Love & Untrue Love

When we come to the realm of spirituality and metaphysics there are no words more misunderstood, and hence abused than the words love and heart. We attribute the origin of this misunderstanding of love and heart in the context of spirituality to the modern conception of human being as a purely individual phenomenon. Individualism can have no consequence worse than a pure sentimentality which has already contaminated the religious and the spiritual side of man. As a result of this sentimentality, love cannot be understood but as sentimental love which is by no means the truly spiritual and metaphysical meaning of the word. In fact, sentimentality as such constitutes a downward movement away from the Principle; it is in all its modalities the antitheses to effective spiritual realization which entails transcending the individual order and all its defects one of which is sentimentality, the essence of all passions.

All authentic spiritual traditions consider the Heart to be a symbol for the center of integral human being. Heart in its traditional conception has nothing whatsoever to do with the physical organ, nor does it imply sentimental love. In all spiritual traditions this Heart signifies nothing but the Pure Intellect, not to be confused with mind and the rational faculty the instrument of which is the brain. This Heart as the seat of the Intellect, the Divine spark in man, has nothing whatsoever to do with emotions or human sentimentality as such. In short, true spirituality has nothing sentimental about it, for it concerns only the principial truths of a supra-sensible and supra-individual nature.

Consequently and from the traditional point of view, Love which is the principal function of the spiritual Heart, i.e. the Pure Intellect, essentially signifies Intellectual Intuition, the Eye of The Heart, which is the means of direct and inward realization; it is the only means by which man can transcend his individuality, and hence his sentimentality, and obtain a direct knowledge of transcendent metaphysical truths.

Sentimental love comes from attachment while true, metaphysical love comes from detachment, and hence has nothing sentimental about it. Metaphysical love is a direct and logical consequence of seeing all things on an equal footing and from an absolutely detached point of view, not because of a profane indifference but because of a profound intuition into the nature of things as the manifestations of one and the same Supreme Principle. However, since the phenomenal world which is the domain of individuality manifests only diversity insofar as human sensibility is concerned, it is only by means of Intellectual Intuition, the inward realization, that a person can penetrate the veil of multiplicity and see the one Principle behind its diverse manifestations.

Therefore, this Intellectual Intuition which can transcend the sensible multiplicity and grasp the intelligible unity is a necessary requisite for the practice of metaphysical love, precisely that to which Christ refers, which derives only from discernment and detachment rather than sentimentality and attachment. In the absence of Intellectual Intuition love reduces to mere sentimentality, and detachment reduces to mere indifference which is itself but another face of human sentimentality, namely the principal impediments in the way of transcendence and realization.

3 thoughts on “On True Love & Untrue Love

  1. Well said! Language can be very limiting sometimes and also somewhat subjective. I say “love” and some people will understand we are speaking of spiritual intuition, of the heart here, and other people will think of glittery Hallmark cards and little candies. I like how you speak of sentimentality versus discernment and detachment, because without those things “love” itself can take on a very selfish connotation, which really isn’t quite love at all.

    In the bible there are several references to sentimentality, to placing our relationship with Christ before all others, so a man is called to leave behind his dying father, and a daughter to leave her mother, husband, even our own children. I used to think those passages were quite cruel, but from a spiritual perspective they are actually wise and help to protect us from pain, not to cause it. We are attached to those people and rightly so, but as you have said, “Sentimental love comes from attachment while true, metaphysical love comes from detachment.” So to truly know Christ and to know love requires one to let go of those attachments, if only metaphorically and spiritually.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks IB for your this very deep comment. Especially this bible story which is often abused against Christianity by those who cannot penetrate the deeper meaning of words and suffice to the most superficial layer. They must understand, if they had your spiritual-intellectual intuition, that this leaving signifies not necessarily a literal departure but a letting go of attachments and identifications that accompany all our affairs and are characteristics of sentimentality and individuality and belief in separation. If one truly understand that there is nothing but God Himself and that all belongs to Him and Him alone, then one knows that nothing is truly lost as nothing is truly found. It is all Him. This is the true meaning of Christ’s words “My father and I are one.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I would share a similar statement by a Sufi mystic Al-Hallaj, who is still only a river compared to the ocean that is Christ. He said: ‘I saw my Lord with the eye of my heart, and I said: “Who art Thou?” He said: “Thou.”‘

      Liked by 1 person

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