The Return to Love

corona virus love Jun 10, 2021

February 14, the day officially designated for love, will soon be upon us. I facetiously like to say that February should be designated the “month of love” and as the shortest month of the year, it should not be too taxing for us to focus on love for 27 or 28 days out of the year. By the way, by focusing on love I don’t mean hearts, flowers and chocolates but you know, real love— whatever that maybe. However, this year I feel we need to designate 2021 the year of love – – the return to love.

Hindsight on 2020 has taught us many lessons but maybe the most significant is how much we have been suffering in modern society from the lack of love. Especially since the advent of the New Age in the year 2000, we in the west have become increasingly more isolated. The cult of individualism has led people to their own silos of existence and even so-called social media designed to connect people has become yet another arena for lone personal pursuits.

In its darkest iteration, individuals hiding behind the anonymous façade of their computer screens have turned from humans into “trolls” who find it easy to lash out at others without fear of consequences. Recent generations of children are growing up worried about self image in front of an unknown audience and the effects of cyber bullying are unprecedented.

80 years after the social revolution of the 1960s and the sacrifices of leagues of activists, champions of social justice and freedom fighters, we are still battling systemic and everyday racism, sexism, misogyny, socioeconomic disparity and the list unfortunately goes on in this new millennium. Political correctness rules the day in response to lobby groups of people crying out for justice and reparations for their particular causes.

COVID-19 has not only put us all in our corners of the universe to reflect on ourselves and our lives, but excavated the corruption, oppression, injustices and horrors, both personal and societal for which we have to account. Yet, the obvious is still not obvious to many who hunker down in their corner and wait for “normal” to return. In the name of love, what is normal? And do we really want what was considered normal a year ago to reinstate itself as our modus operandi?

This global halt of business as usual, regardless of race, religion, culture, gender, age, sexuality, economic status or anything else, is the great equalizer in many ways. As we attempt to live in highlighted, magnified separation from one another, surely we can take time out to contemplate connection, communion, community and the very fabric of our being and lives.

In rebuilding the world after the catastrophic events of a second world war, the younger generation in the 1960’s seemed to know what was necessary to grow humanity in ourselves and the world to come. The resurgence of ancient spiritualities and mysticism with their emphasis on unity, oneness and the actualization of our humanity, became the impetus for mass social reform. As the Beatles sang, “All you need is love,” “I want to hold your hand,” and John Lennon proposed a new anthem for the new age with “Imagine.” Yet, today, Marvin Gaye’s poignant and soulful “What’s going on,” and “Mercy mercy me” seem more appropriate for our time.

Like the proverbial fish in water, we remain oblivious to the grace/love in which we were forged and in which we swim. Long before COVID 19, our egos spread the virus of narcissism which has mutated into widespread epidemics of anxiety, panic, addictions and suicide. The antidote to these pandemic ailments surely doesn’t reside with the ego, rational, critical or analytical mind which we have turned into our New Age God and religion. Science has not been able to measure, quantify and prescribe a formula for love. Yet, the force of love is arguably the greatest force in human life.

No one has been able to define love fully, despite all the research, stories, poetry, music and movies which have expounded on the subject. Philosophers, have categorized love into its various expressions: spiritual or universal love, familial love, sexual love, romantic love, pragmatic love, platonic love (friendship) and self love. Yet, love exits beyond such categorization, a force unto itself and a force to be reckoned with if we become attuned to it. Love permeates our lives like a mystical fragrance, known, unknown, ultimately elusive.

Mystics believe Love is part of the Great Mystery we call God. It is the Source and the Substance of all creation and the very fibre of our human being. So, it is possible to know love through our inner journey to know ourselves and our own deepest mystery. We are made in love and we can choose to live in love. It is all around us and in us to give and receive according to our individual capacity. Now might be a good time in our human evolution to expand our capacity to love. Then come together in love.

Warm regards,
Nur Ambreen Ihsanullah

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