Most people have a hole in them. A giant gaping hole. This hole is bigger than our physical self. I had one. This hole, I have realized, is the gap between who I really am and who I was pretending to be. Most people do not even know that they have a hole in them, but the hole shows up in their lives, in its mild form, as discontent and in the more extreme form as a dis-ease.
Some turn to self-destructive behavior such as drugs, alcohol, gratuitous sex and violence to escape from this unease, still others, chase after fame, fortune and pleasure. This unease is a call to come home, to realize who we truly are and to dwell in our true nature. There is nothing that we have to become. All we have to do is to accept and love ourselves for who we are. Not love of a narcissist, but an all-inclusive love, a transcendental love (agape).
This hole or emptiness is not detectable by any instrument. It will not show up in an X-ray or MRI. It is even hidden from us, it reveals itself to us as a feeling, as if something is lacking in our lives. We look to external objects and experiences to fill this hole, without realizing that this emptiness is in a dimension outside of space and time. There is nothing in the material world that can fill this emptiness. This emptiness is larger than all that exists in space and time. This emptiness is bigger than the universe.
This emptiness is love, it is transcendental love. It is our true-self pining for itself.
“Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits – and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire! “
Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam
This love is transformative. For mystics like Mirabai, in India and St. Teresa of Avila it was the love of God that consumed and transformed them. Mirabai, was a fifteenth century Indian princess, who renounced her princely life and went against the traditions of that time to devote her life to Lord Krishna. Her poems are of love and devotion to Lord Krishna.
Life in the world is short,
Why shoulder an unnecessary load
Of worldly relationships?
Thy parents gave thee birth in the world,
But the Lord ordained thy fate.
Life passes in getting and spending,
No merit is earned by virtuous deeds.
I will sing the praises of Hari
In the company of the holy men,
Nothing else concerns me.
Mira’s Lord is the courtly Giridhara,
She says: Only by Thy power
Have I crossed to the further shore.
This all-encompassing love, call it love for God or self-love, is what it takes to fill the emptiness inside us.
“Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self.” Victor Frankl, Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor.
“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung….
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
All you need is love, all you need is love
All you need is love, love, love is all you need”
[i] (Mirabai, n.d.)