Real love – maha metta

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    “How few understand what love really is, and how it arises in the human
    heart. It is so frequently equated with good feelings toward others,
    with benevolence or nonviolence or service. But these things in
    themselves are not love. Love springs from awareness. It is only
    inasmuch as you see someone as he or she is really here, and not how
    they are in your memory or your desire or in your imagination or
    projection that you can truly love them; otherwise it is not the person
    that you love but the idea that you have formed of this person, or this
    person as the object of your desire not as he or she is in themselves.

    The first act of love is to see this person or this object, this reality
    as it truly is. And this involves the enormous discipline of dropping
    your desires, your prejudices, your memories, your projections, your
    selective way of looking …a discipline so great that most people would
    rather plunge headlong into good actions and service than submit to the
    burning fire of this asceticism. When you set out to serve someone whom
    you have not taken the trouble to see, are you meeting that person’s need
    or your own?”

    ——-

    “You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. If you wish to
    see them as they are you must attend to your attachments and the fears
    that your attachments generate. Because when you look at life it is
    these attachments and fears that will decide what you will notice and
    what you block out. Whatever you notice then commands your attention.
    And since your looking has been selective you have an illusory version
    of the things and people around you. The more you live with this
    distorted version the more you become convinced that it is the only true
    picture of the world because your attachments and fears continue to
    process incoming data in a way that will reinforce your picture.”

    The Way to Love (Father Anthony de Mello)

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