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The Art of Self Love PDF Print E-mail

We already have access to the type of love that transcends mortality - it is the love that poet's lament about, that brings tears to our eyes and that fills the soul with bliss.

This is not the romantic, hormone-induced love between two people, but the love for Self. Before you think that I have completely lost the plot, let me explain. When I talk about Self love, I am not talking about vanity. This has nothing to do with how beautiful or ‘hot’ I think I am. It is not about the bow-legged muscle-head at gym who is totally smitten with his image in the mirror. This is about real divine love that has nothing to do with our egos. However, our reality dictates that we are stuck in maya (or illusion), and as a result we can only process things through the instrument that we were given, namely our body. And of course this body comes fully-equipped with all its filters and perceptions which give rise to our conditioning and it is through this conditioning that we perceive the world. Is what we experience real? Well the answer is that it is “real” to us but is not necessarily the truth. Due to our limited perceptions, we are under the impression that we are somehow incomplete and this is what gives rise to our suffering as we fill up our days with meaningless pursuits that we think will fill the emptiness and make us feel ‘complete’. And through this pursuit we look for another person to ‘make us whole’, to ‘feel loved’ and to fill this void which has been created due to ignorance of our true nature.

Falling in love with someone else is really just an awakening to this true nature and the love that we think that we feel for this other person is actually love that we have for our Selves. Thus we are caught up in the notion that this deep all-empowering love actually comes from the other person. In the early stages of the relationship we are totally smitten with this other person. We put them on a pedestal believing that they are ‘the one’. We are giddy and drunk on love until this very same person starts leaving the toilet seat up and leaves his dirty laundry scattered all over the floor. Our irritation escalates as this behaviour continues, and after a year that intense love has faded to occasional feelings of bliss. And when she starts using the headache excuse to get out of intimacy, we start to believe that the other person no longer loves us. And after a year and a half we come to the realisation that we have ‘fallen out of love’. And thus we are heart-broken and tearful and start the process all over again just so that we may find Mr/s Right and fall in love again.

Meanwhile Love was just consciousness experiencing itself and formulating its knowledge in terms of the experience of an object (which in this case was the other person). And whilst we are caught up in this notion, believing that the love actually comes from outside of us, we shall always suffer this fate. So what if we could feel this bliss and experience the high of love all by ourselves, is it really possible? If we wake up to our true nature it is possible. And that does not mean that once you have ‘woken up’ that you don’t want to be in a relationship anymore. Quite the opposite – it means that you are coming from a place of wholeness, and that you don’t need the other person to make you feel complete anymore. Thus you are free from needing to please or to be pleased all the time so you can just enjoy the relationship for what it is, and ultimately that means companionship. Someone to share those special moments with – to watch the sun set over the African bush together without needing to do or say anything. Just enjoying being in one another’s company – that’s real love.

And I know you are going to ask me how to achieve this – how to awaken to your true nature. Well that is an entirely different story and one that will take many months/years/life-times to explain. All I know is that I have been fortunate enough to meet the right combination of people throughout my journey who have all lent themSelves to my growth. One of the greatest gifts in my life has been the teachings of the Vedic Scriptures. These are the oldest scriptures known to man-kind and were thought to have been written about 10, 000 years ago in Sanskrit. The Veda’s are not religious writings; in fact the practice of these scriptures known as Vedanta literally translated means The Nature of Reality. I would recommend this precious life philosophy to anyone who is interested in learning about their true nature.

I was introduced to a wonderful master on this subject and thanks to him, have managed to expand my knowledge and to lift the veil on my ignorance. However this is a work in progress, and whilst we choose to live in this lifestyle, we will encounter many stumbling blocks due to the ignorant way in which we Westerners exist. But I suppose that is just part of the learning, as very few  of us would be able to give this all up in exchange for an enchanted life on paradise island.

If you are interested in learning more I would suggest buying the book How to Attain Enlightenment by James Swartz or log onto

Article written by Laura McDermid