As a dualistic concept, love is the polar opposite of hate. However, we have already seen in Chapter 16 that pure Love is nondual, not dual. Therefore, Love (capitalized) is equivalent to Reality. Being nondual, it has no dual opposite.
On p. 269 of “I Am That” (1984), Nisargadatta says,
"I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. Love says, "I am everything". Wisdom says, "I am nothing". Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both."
On p. 88 of Be As You Are (1985) by David Godman, Ramana Maharshi is quoted as saying,
"Only if one knows the truth of love, which is the real nature of the Self, will the strong entangled knot of life be untied. Only if one attains the height of love will liberation be attained. Such is the heart of all religions. The experience of Self is only love, which is seeing only love, hearing only love, feeling only love, tasting only love and smelling only love, which is bliss."
We saw in Section 23.5 that by inquiring into the true nature of the manifestation we could see that it consists of nothing but pure Presence. Now we see that the manifestation is also an expression of Love. (Stated differently, it is a reflection of Love, and We are its Source.) Because Love is nondual, its expression is also nondual. However, until we become sensitive to nondualistic expression, it may be difficult to see it since it is not a thought or feeling, and cannot be perceived by the senses.
The following practice helps to sensitize ourselves to the Background (see Sections 14.3, 23.4, 23.5), whether our eyes are open or closed:
|Exercise: Close your eyes, go inward and downward, and sense the
Background of pure Presence.
Now open your eyes. Can you still sense the Background?
Being nondual, Love will be seen as immanent in every thing, no matter how it appears dualistically. If we are able to see this, then everything without exception (even suffering!) will be seen as a blessing, and nothing will be seen as a curse.
The above quote by Nisargadatta shows that love practices (such as the practices of Chapter 16, Section 24.2) help us to see that we are everything, while wisdom practices (such as the practices of Chapters 20, 23) help us to see that we are nothing. Heart and intellect must work together. If we understand intellectually but not heartfully, there is no completeness or fulfillment for us. If we understand heartfully but not intellectually, the same applies.