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The Very ‘Essence’ of God

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Conversely, of course, in any discussion about the true nature and significance of love it could be argued that love can never be an aspect, attribute or essence of God, because it necessarily requires a state of dualism: a subject and an object; a lover and a beloved. On the other hand though, the language used by Baba in the Discourses might suggest otherwise. For he constantly relates love, particularly ‘Divine love’, to ‘God’ in a way that suggests it is fundamentally above and beyond duality and the multifarious trappings of creation. Words such as infinite, eternal and divine are constantly used in relationship to ‘love’ implying that it is essentially unified, and that any perception of it being otherwise is a misunderstanding of its true nature and essence:

‘It is only when God’s love is viewed in the limited context of forms (which arise in the interim period between the appearance of the illusory universe of duality and its merging) that its infinity seems to have been impaired…The experience of limitation in love arises due to the ignorance caused by sanskaras…’ (p.399)

Again we have a connection here between love and the ‘limitations’ caused by sanskaras, as is also the case, as we have already seen, with consciousness. And this quote seems to suggest that love has an existence transcending the ‘interim period…of the illusory universe’, and that its reality is as an ‘infinity’ beyond limitation and duality. As, perhaps, do the following:

‘One thus has God as infinite Love, first limiting Himself in the forms of creation and then recovering His infinity through the different stages of creation.’ (p.403)

‘God descends into the realm of illusion because the apparent duality of the Beloved and the lover is eventually contributory to His conscious enjoyment of His own divinity… God has to suffer apparent differentiation into a multiplicity of souls in order to carry on the game of love.’ (p.116)

‘Divine love is unassailable to the onslaughts of duality and is an expression of divinity itself.’ (p.9)

It could be said then that love is presented by Baba in the Discourses as a contributing factor to the development of consciousness and the process of God ‘knowing Himself’ consciously, and not just as some enchanting by-product of the whole process of evolution and involution. I would even like to go one step further and suggest that love and consciousness may at heart be one - that is, aspects of the same ‘essence’ of God.

Subsequently, the question might arise as to how love - if it is to be considered the very essence of God - finds a conceptual place alongside those aspects commonly identified with His ‘Beyond’ and ‘Beyond-Beyond’ states? In short, should love also be considered one of God’s ‘latencies’ (those aspects that Baba suggests exist in God before the surging of the Whim - but latently so - for example: God’s trio-Nature and trio-attributes; consciousness; the Om point and the Whim itself), or is it only an aspect of God that emerges with the surging of the Whim and is therefore non-existent prior to this, even in a latent form?

What we can say, perhaps, is that from the Discourses it appears clear that ‘love’ is an essential feature both of the illusion of creation and of the Reality that comes with God-realisation. The same also could be said for ‘consciousness’. Furthermore, the relationship of ‘love’ to God is presented as perhaps having a different quality to that of His other aspects and attributes: more as an ‘essence’ rather than as pertaining to a ‘nature’.

In summary, the opening quote of this article stated that ‘In the Beyond state…God is eternally love’. This seems to my mind an unequivocal statement equating God with ‘love’, both prior to and beyond the dualistic boundaries of creation. In other words I feel that Baba wants us to understand that without a doubt,

‘God and love are identical’ (p264)

and that

‘love, as the reflection of the God’s unity in the world of duality, constitutes the entire significance of creation.’ (p.116)

And finally, the thought struck that if love did feature as God’s ‘essence’ in some divine way in the original Beyond states of God, then it might do so in a quintessentially different manner to that of the other latencies that make up God’s ‘nature’. If so, then this could make the whole concept of the ‘original’, ‘non-conscious’, ‘unbounded absolute vacuum’ of the Beyond-Beyond state of God ever so slightly more palatable. Avatar Meher Baba, ki jai!

Wayne Smith

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