What To Do When Love Is Absent?
“I will be the first to admit that I have depended upon my mind almost exclusively and am indeed the poster child for what you have described in ‘I’m Not Loving Enough!’ But, what should we do when love isn’t easily available? You say: ‘The mind is not competent to teach love. When its efforts and judgments drop away, we immediately become more available to the movement of love through us.’ What does it mean to simply let go the efforts of the mind? The reality of such a sentiment is both highly desirable and incomprehensible to me.” – Sean, IL
The dropping away of the mind’s efforts is incomprehensible to the mind, just as love is incomprehensible to the mind. The mind views incomprehension as a problem to be solved through more thinking, but when the mind is presented with what is beyond it, incomprehension is completely appropriate and much better than the alternative of clinging to a belief.
So when the grace of incomprehension happens, it is possible for the grasping after a viewpoint to cease and we might find ourselves resting in incomprehension, not-knowing, no-mind.
Although we’ve been trained to be wary of incomprehension, and to pretend to know all kinds of unknowable things like who we are, what life is, etc., effortless incomprehension allows us to directly experience what is here before the mind’s interpretations. For many of us, we give so much attention to thoughts that we are quite unfamiliar with direct experience, life unmediated by a story about what is being experienced, or who is experiencing it.
This makes love seem like it “isn’t easily available,” because love is not a thought. When all our attention is on thoughts, it can seem like love is absent. We’re so busy attending to the thin dry slice of reality called thoughts that we miss the juicy richness of life. It’s like we’re trying to appreciate the scenery by reading the map.
The mind might still be saying “this resonates, but what to do?” Because the mind still wants to run the show. It wants a strategy to implement and some measures to indicate when love has been reached. This, of course, would just serve to feed the efforts of the mind and put off the fall into love, the fall into wonder, the fall into life.
There is nothing for the mind to do. I often recommend meditation, an invitation for the mind to do nothing, or at least an invitation to watch as the mind tries to do nothing.
When we see the mind trying to think its way to resting or to love, we can have infinite compassion and patience for the whole play, the loving innocent mind laboring in futility to find its way back to the love that it imagines absent.