When I was about eight years old, I had an overwhelming crush on a young lady of about eighteen or nineteen at the time. It is what many of us have experienced when we say we are sick in love. I recall once during those days refusing to eat and sitting outside under a tree for hours! I was so young and was in love. At age seventeen I experienced the same overwhelming feeling with a girl much younger than me. It was an intense feeling, yet mixed with pain, competition, desire and inner turmoil. If I was asked back then I would say I was deeply in love. At thirty, I experienced this same feeling again; a greater dimension of passion, endless desire, pain, rivalry, confusion, tears and misery. Again if I was asked back then I would say I was in love.

All these years, I have been growing. This growth has been slow and steady (growth is painfully sluggish, especially growth in consciousness). More than a decade ago, I began to know a different kind of love. I encountered this love in my mentors; very matured and elderly women who I am in awe of and respect deeply. The love I have for these women and still do is what I can best describe as sacred or possibly divine. What I mean by sacred here is to convey the description of what one thinks to be too precious, of extreme fragility in consciousness and far above the mundane that we long to preserve and treat this aspect of reality with utmost respect and even reverence. Because of these relationships, my orientation about love began to change. It began to dawn on me that love at its peak can only be experienced when two people whether man and woman or humans of the same sex access being. What Abraham Maslow termed ‘being love’ is an experience that is too divine to begin to describe here in words. Yet it is only possible when the parties involved are both evolved i.e. have found themselves and awakened to heights of awareness and emotional and psychological maturity. At this level, love then is not just a matter of passion, chemistry, physical beauty, taste or sophistication but the depth of quality of being. I believe other kinds of love are at best transactional, probably limited to passion with shades of insecurity hidden somewhere, laden with a potential drive for conquest. The power of the kind of love that I write about is a mirror in both parties of the highest aspects of ourselves; our virtues, our sincerity, our singleness, our integrity, our sacrifice, our suffering and our sense of meaning. It is this kind of love I believe is stronger than death. Love therefore to me cannot be found in externalities. As one comes to learn quickly, charm is deceitful but essence is affirming. While religion teaches us to love our neighbour as ourselves, perhaps one can say that love will find its opportunity when it gets a mirror of itself in essence; in being.

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