I Love You

Not a Chipmunk

Taos Ski Valley, NM—I receive a lot of emails from people claiming to be awake or awakening. Sometimes it’s their ego latching hold of a satori experience, but other times, it’s a true awakening—a dropping away of their personal self.

A couple weeks ago, I got this email from a woman who wrote—and this is why I knew her awakening was legit:

I have developed a form of Tourette’s where I will just blurt out to myself: “I love you!” (And I really mean it.)

When your personal self starts to fade away, when you stop taking yourself and Life so seriously, a connection forms between ‘you’ and all life forms. A connection so powerful that you—very literally—love everything and everyone.

Not some religious or theoretical BS of “love your neighbor” or “everything is loooooooovvvvvvvveeeeee,” but a very real, very intimate and personal love for every living thing on the planet.

Today, I was sitting on my rig’s doorstep, completely one with all that I was seeing, when a chipmunk ran by. What popped out of my mind and flowed directly from my heart (and with a big grin on my face) was, “I love you.” God, how I love you.

It hurts how much I loved that chipmunk.

I love everything. I love you. I love the trees. I love the clouds. I even love the damn cars and trucks roaring by my rig—well, at least I love their occupants.

When your boundaries fade, everything—your ‘self’ included—becomes One. Everything becomes intimately connected, and because love is about connection, and because you feel this very sensual and intimate connection with everything, Love becomes your natural state.

How can you not love everything you feel connected to? How could the feeling of love not be your natural state?

Do you see? It’s not something to be believed or figured out. Love is simply the way you feel—what you experience—when you drop your personal self and connect with everything.

So don’t take this personally—it’s just my nature and I simply can’t help myself—but I love you.

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38 thoughts on “I Love You

  1. oh my god thank you !
    I cryed when I red this, so beautiful
    I lost my son some time agao and I know this feeling
    so thank you so much for writing this

    whit love Margareta

  2. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

  3. Robert Adams used to say that human ‘love’ is misleading because it is mind-made and mind-made by necessity means conditional. We “love” the fuzzy-wuzzy, non-threatening chipmunk and squish the nettlesome gnat. We “love” the mate until we come home and find him in bed with the neighbor (at which point we try to brain him with a baseball bat). The truth is we humans fall all over ourselves talking about our “love” for this or that, but only when it delivers something to us. I don’t think this is the love to which the true masters referred. It’s just another mind-made cocktail, something to numb us out a bit but utterly dependent on not infringing on our egos the wrong way.

  4. @Doug in Clifton: I agree with you, human love for the most part is need-based, which is very different from unconditional love.

    However, Wayne has no idea if I’m fuzzy-wuzzy or nettlesome, since he has no idea who I am. Yet I don’t doubt that his love is real, at least for the moment? hour? lifetime? eternity? he felt it for all of creation, including me, the chipmunk, the gnat, and you. (not necessarily in that order 😉

    Could I be mistaken? Sure. But I’ll take love where it seems to present itself, and give it too, when I can, since they are not really such different things, after all.

  5. Hi Susan,

    The argument isn’t against love. I’m simply saying that ‘love’ from a human mind is just another concept. It comes and goes. We reach a certain age and recall all the blubbering, overwrought declarations of love made at the altar by two people who later attempt to eviscerate each other in divorce court. The mystics tell us that real love does not come and go; that it is not conditional on a ‘feeling’ or ’emotion.’ Many of the love and light crew fall all over themselves in their ‘love’ for, say, sea lions, then turn away in revulsion at a shark tearing apart that living sea lion. Love is just another way of saying, “I’m happy right now.” It’s an ‘experience’ as fleeting as a sunrise.

    If we want to access real love, however, I think we are called to dig deeper, beyond all the concepts and labels and mind-stuff and find that upon which all of those concepts rest.

    I suppose I’m saying that I did my time in the love and light communities. But I grew weary (and wary) when times grew difficult (job loss, cancer, etc.) and nastiness came spilling out in all sorts of manifestations.

  6. Conceptually, I get that, but it doesn’t sound/read like that. When someone says “What popped out of my mind and flowed directly from my heart” was love, then that is mind-based emotionalism, an experience in time. Most of us have experienced that from time to time – seemingly transcendent moments of joy, a deeply felt connection to a tree swaying outside the window, the almost excruciating ‘love’ for one’s own child.

    Perhaps that’s what it’s all about? Temporarily tapping into the good stuff from time to time. But if so then that’s just another human (mind-made) experience. But my understanding from reading Ramana and others is that the non-self doesn’t suddenly ‘experience’ love based on some external phenomenon: it is the natural state, period. If it comes and goes based on an image or sound or feeling, it’s just the egoic dance.

  7. maby put down the spirituel books and set aside the mental discussions ….for a time…listen to nazareth “love hurts” 🙂

  8. Hi Doug,

    I hear what you’re saying. And I agree, need-based, fleeting love is not what the masters refer to when they talk about love. Personally, I don’t know what it feels like to be enlightened, so I don’t really know if the feeling of love is fleeting or permanent once you wake up. I do believe that the love itself transcends time and is permanent, but while we are having this human experience, we can feel cut off from it. That’s the nature of experiencing oneself as a separate ego. I guess the more you can dissolve the ego, the more tapped into permanent love you would probably stay. I’m not so good at it, myself. My cat is fuzzy-wuzzy and I love him for it. Knats not so much.

  9. Susan, I think the point is that ‘you’ can’t know what it is like to be enlightened since the whole concept of an individual ‘you’ falls away. It’s the old issue of ‘killing the Buddha’ if you meet him on the road – anyone claiming to be enlightened is a falsity because it is an impossibility. It’s not something we ‘add’ to ourselves – it is a complete dissolution of the sense of separation since you are already That. Thoughts of love (or hate) constantly pop in and out of consciousness, thereby sustaining the illusion and keeping the imaginary ‘me’ racing about looking for ‘unconditional love’ with a mind that is nothing but conditioning. Again, impossible.

  10. @Doug in Clifton: Doug, what you are describing seems to me to be an ideal – a person who has lost all conditioning and remains in the Oneness state permanently. Something, that as far as I can tell, no one alive has accomplished. In other words, you are sounding distinctly like a fundamental theoretical nondualist.

    I could be wrong, but here’s what I would ask of you, please find someone online who is as transparent as I am and ask them if they remain in the state of Love (or Oneness or nondual awareness) every moment of every day. Then post a link to your comment and his/her reply so we can all see for ourselves.

    If you can’t find someone who is alive and is as open as most other bloggers, then you’ve got to ask yourself, “Is what I believe about enlightenment true or is it just a BELIEF?”

    Thanks. I look forward to that link to your Q&A of with that enlightened person.

  11. Wayne,

    To the contrary, I am arguing AGAINST the idea of an ‘enlightened state’ that can be attained. Oneness/Nonduality – if only from a logical standpoint – does not have room for enlightened and unenlightened states, for someone attaining something. It may feel good to the mind to think it can take certain steps and acquire enlightenment, but that’s just more mind stuff.

    The core of your argument seems to be that your ‘transparency’ as an ‘enlightened individual’ makes your story more accessible to the seeker while ‘theoretical’ nonduality makes it less accessible. But your story is just as theoretical as any other, yes? To you it’s transparent, but that’s a self definition. To the rest of us, it remains in the realm of belief.

    Transparency is not truth.

  12. @Kevin: Is your reply TRUTH or BELIEF? Ask him if he lives in a perpetual state of love. As him to show us his transparency and blog or journal his day-to-day experiences. Ask him if he accidentally ran over a dog, would he remain blissful as the dog suffered. Point us to the link of his response to you. Thanks.

  13. @Doug: Got it. Thanks for clarifying.

    I pretty much stopped calling it enlightenment when 1) I saw how often that term is filled with idealism and 2) when I started grasping the mystical side of Life (the Intelligence behind everything that I often call “Her”).

    I flow between Mortal and Soul and Radiance and Oneness (though I tend to rest in Radiance). None is a permanent state. I even asked Adyashanti if he had similar experiences and related that he did. All I’m doing is relating to my readers my experiences and perspective and thoughts on these states.

    Thanks for clarifying your stance and I hope this string of comments has helped clarify mine. 🙂

  14. Doug, interesting. So is calling it “enlightenment” the problem? Do you think it’s not worth attempting to attain a state of oneness, since it’s only fleeting as long as a person remains a person? Or are you saying that achieving the state of oneness necessitates its permanence, so the state is not really achieved at all, but is just trickery of the mind? If that’s the case, might we be better off just offing ourselves and attaining instant oneness (assuming that’s the case), or do you think the ego serves a purpose, besides just causing us all sorts of misery?

    Forgive me if my questions are naive. I originally just came here for the beautiful photos.

  15. Hello Wayne,
    is your self proclaimed mystical oneness TRUTH or BELIEF ?
    Have you taken time out to actually listen to Ajahn Brahm’s talks before responding to me ?
    I try not to, in your words, BS everything that I might disagree with. Your ego is still very prominent in all you blog. You respond to comments because your audience is limited thus you are accessible and I thank you for that. By the way there is a web site for Ajahn Brahm.
    What level of life do you connect with; the dead bugs on your windshield ?

  16. Follow on from my last comment, try listening to ‘Ajahn Brahm, How To Be Positive’ on youtube and tell me this guy does not live in Love 24/7.
    You will become addicted to his BS wisdom and love.

  17. Kevin, what does it matter what Ajahn or any other saffron-robed speaker says (or anyone else, for that matter, including me)? The only Truth available to any of us comes from within. All else is conceptual. My experience is that most seekers stop at some point and abide in someone else’s words of wisdom, ‘love,’ whatever.

    Others, however, insist on continuing their investigation to find their own truth because it’s the only one we can ever truly know to be, well, true. You have zero idea whether Ajahn or Jesus or anyone else is what they say they are. You might say you ‘feel’ it or ‘sense’ it but do you KNOW it?

  18. @Kevin: Sorry to have offended you, I obviously struck a nerve. I have nothing against Ajahn Brahm, he seems a lot like Tolle or Adyashanti, both whom I have a high level of respect. But that wasn’t my point. My point was about transparency, about seeing not just the teacher persona but his day-to-day life.

    I believe it was Nisargadata who said that if you spent 24 hours a day with any guru, you would find he is just as human as you are.

    The question was raised if Love can be felt 24/7 by anyone. I say that this Love is blocked by conditioning and that no one can remove all conditioning all the time. It isn’t ego (which is really just conditioning) that is the problem, it is identifying with the ego/conditioning which is what blocks the Love/Light.

    Again, I’m sorry if I offended you or your beliefs Kevin.

  19. … I guess what I am saying, is if all the great sages of the past and present blogged their personal, day-to-day lives (were transparent) then everyone would see that they too were affected by conditioning/ego. They may not identify with it, but they still – sometimes, often, occasionally – act from it.

    Obviously blogging about their personal lives would hurt their ratings – but that’s another story. 🙂

  20. Wayne,

    At some point I hope you find the peace you are seeking because it is quite obvious you are consumed by the fictitious story of ‘me,’ but instead of being a plumber or electrician your story calls for an ‘enlightened’ teacher sharing insights into his day to day existence.

    There is no such thing as an ‘enlightened individual,’ thus any ‘transparency’ into his or her life is just more distraction for minds that need anything but.

    I would urge others to take a peek at the Urban Guru Magazine (in the sidebar are 100 wonderful podcasts of nondual messages/pointers. You won’t hear any personal stories about tooth aches, guitar playing, or chipmunk love – just ‘nondual fundamentalist’ pointers that might edge one of those mind-made selves toward the Truth of its own nature).

  21. @Susan,

    My last comment didn’t make it on here so I’m not sure if this will either. I’m not saying ‘awareness’ or ‘enlightenment’ isn’t worth striving for, I’m saying the entire dynamic involving a ‘me’ trying to add something to ‘myself’ is where the seeds of the problem lie. Get beyond the mind-made stuff. As David Carse so poignantly notes, you can’t take ‘you’ with you because there is no you going anywhere. Never has been, never will be. The ‘pathless path’ and all that.

  22. @Doug: All your comments have been approved so far. I have you on a “watch list” (as I do with all fundamental nondualist) as quite frankly I get tired of their absolutes and circular logic (“you’re wrong and I’m right but there isn’t a you or me or anything and it’s all emptiness and…”). I used to be one of you guys, but then I saw through it – you simply won’t wake up via just logic, you’ve got to live it and feel it and only then will you see how to transcend it.

    I know you’re new here – it’s obvious from your comments you haven’t read much of my work – so I figured I’d cut you some slack, but quite frankly, it’s getting a little old and I’ve got more important things to do than argue your belief system (fundamental nondualism).

  23. Your site, your story, and ultimately none of it – your story or mine – matters one whit. As Adams, Carse, and many others have pointed out, “all is well, all is always well and always will be well. Stop worrying.”

    “I” am here through some serendipitous combination of conditioned thought and Web browsing just as “you” are doing what you do. To claim ownership of any of it is silly.

    Enough said.

  24. @Doug: I know you think you know it all, but I was there for 25 years and it got me exactly nowhere. All my fundamental nondualism did was swell my ego with “I understand it! I am sooooo smart!” Twenty five years of that BS “rational” logic. Seriously. All you are doing is running circles around in your head. See my enlightenment transition for a moment by moment of my awakening and of “seeing through” thoughts.

    The seeing through thoughts and the dropping of the personal self, though, were only the FIRST step in the process.

    The nihilism, uncaring, inhumaneness of fundamental nonduality will get you absolutely nowhere. LIVE it. If you aren’t willing to risk your life for it (whose life is at risk?), if you aren’t willing to take some serious action, then you’re just talking out your silly nondual ass. You’re just blowing a bunch of nondual smoke.

    You Doug, are not blogging your life, you are being completely opaque to the audience (go ahead and say it, “Who’s being opaque? I don’t even exist!”). You are giving us zero evidence of your ‘awakened’ state and yet you pontificate endlessly. You have absolutely no more credibility than anyone else who can google “nonduality”. As far as I’m concerned, you’re just parroting the remarks of every other fundamental nondualists on this and countless other blogs.

    You guys all sound alike: “I’m nothing. I’m everything. Nothing matters.”

    Seriously? Is that the way you LIVE.

    Is that the way you live?

    I love David Carse, I love Adyashanti and Tolle. I agree with a lot of what you say on the Oneness level, but totally disagree with you on all the other levels (Mortal, Soul, Radiance). It is those other levels which allow you to interact with others in a “we are equal” manner rather than pontificate your belief system from on high (“I am nothing, I am everything – AND EVERYONE ELSE IS A FOOL!”). Do you see the hypocrisy of your statements?

    It is those other levels, recognized as “limited”, which allow us to be humane.

    If you’re not LIVING what you preach, then you’re just thinking about it and that makes you a hypocrite.

    A koan for you: “If a mugger punches you in the face, do you feel it?”

    Stop thinking about it – it can’t be figured out.

    Stop theorizing about it.

    See it. Feel it. Live it.

  25. Wayne,

    I appreciate the spirited exchange, but you may a number of false assumptions.

    First, I DO blog and very transparently – inspiratus.org.

    Second, I do NOT claim to be ‘awakened.’

    Third, I am NOT a “fundamental nondualitst” (whatever that is).

    Fourth, I DO live what I preach/learn.

    I have (thus far) had an experience opposite your own. I started out in the love and light communities filled with the self-proclaimed ‘awakened’ who urged me and others to ‘feel’ the radiant oneness of being. That is impenetrable and meaningless to me. See, feel and live WHAT? I’ve drunk ayahuasca with the shaman and sweated on mountaintops and vision quested in the desert and I’ve had transcendent moments – but as with you, the ego comes back in.

    All my spiritual journeying came to an end when I discovered nonduality, because it was the first movement (or whatever you want to call it) that didn’t celebrate a particular ego, that didn’t have a church, that basically just boiled down to the simple admonition to perform self-inquiry. That appealed to me because I had grown weary of all the gurus telling me to ‘experience’ the radiance. Again, meaningless to a thought-addled mind.

    So I do self-inquiry. To you it is worthless. I can assure you that it is not. I have gotten more out of it (if such a thing can be said) in two years than I did in the previous 5 hanging out in the woo-woo world. At some point some seekers grow weary of all the gurus and their stories. They realize that the only Truth that is available is their own. This is why I have been saying that it’s great if you want to ‘transparently’ share your story. But it’s YOUR story. Nonduality urges us to find our own Truth, to dig deep or, as Carse says, to “gut yourself” until there is nothing left.

    I am not suggesting you stop posting. You obviously will do whatever you have to do and, really, does it matter? That isn’t nihilism, it’s the truth. Does this exchange matter to anyone reading it? To you or me? Of course not. Your photographs are beautiful, some of your posts are thoughtful and interesting, and if a synchronicity of some kind is present perhaps a pointer or two can be grasped. ALL of us I think have something to offer.

    But I fundamentally disagree with the position that nonduality cannot help. Of course it STARTS with the mind – it’s the only tool we’ve got. And as you no doubt know, nonduality tells us that the investigation must move beyond the mind.

    The Urban Guru podcasts are from scores of men and women who, like you, have had an awakening experience, with one key difference: all of them steadfastly avoid calling themselves ‘awakened’ since, again, there is no such thing as an awakened individual (that’s not preaching, that’s the logic of Oneness – you’ve never really addressed that one).

    So am I to believe you or them? Answer: It doesn’t matter because your truth and theirs are irrelevant to me. I must seek the path that resonates with me and that is nonduality.


  26. See Doug, why didn’t you start out that way rather than the pontificating? On your post Teach Your Children Well you say “I envied news of his beach home in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.”

    See? That’s not nondualism, that’s human. That’s real. You envied. You felt it. It wasn’t all some theoretical nondual BS.

    You’re still on my watchlist, but I appreciate your honesty.

  27. Hello Wayne and Doug in Clifton,
    Wayne, you could never offend me, please read on.
    Doug, assumptions, as you say are folly, please read on.
    My ego requires me to write the following and please do not reply, just laugh.
    You are both correct in your views.
    To live in this world reality I like Wayne; to be prepared for post death I like Doug.
    Now about my beliefs. My many varied, some scary, ‘spontaneous experiences’ demonstrate to me that this is a ‘Divine World’ of ‘illusion’ and that I inhabit an ‘organic robot’. You may have felt this many times Wayne ( 24th May 2012 blog The Glimpse.).
    This life is a game; no free will, just enjoy it if you are allowed to. If you’re fortunate you may experience or sense ‘a watcher’. Yawn yawn…. so to Doug and his, Gnothi Seauton, Know Thyself the path within, yes.
    This has led me to a Gnostic realization of the Eidolon/Daemon/Daemon’s Daemon concept; this is what I am experiencing off and on. Still only very shallowly; not allowed to let go of my earthly ties just yet.
    Once again you are both correct; the Divine and the Non-Divine mutually arise; you need each other to understand what you believe.
    Since we love referring to ‘sages’ why don’t you both try reading/listening to the philosopher Alan Watts; if you haven’t already. No replies, just smile and laugh at the confused writings of an old fool.
    So, thankyou both and everyone for giving forth their views, experiences and knowledge on the w.w.w.

  28. “I’m going to sit the rest of this out and wait for Wayne to post a photo of his goat. :-)” — Susan

    Now that would be sight to see.

    Think he’s named “Scape”?

  29. Hey Kevin,

    Yes, thanks for the chuckles. It IS all rather funny, isn’t it? I mean, when we get around to stop taking it so seriously.

    I spent some time with the late Mr. Watts’ books and video. Didn’t resonate. Everyone is different. The first person to truly resonate – also a ‘late’ (I’m always finding these guys after they die, alas) – was Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart). He never wrote a thing, the book is composed of transcripts from his satsangs. I’m also a big fan of David Carse, though he wrote just a single book (Perfect, Brilliant, Stillness) and disappeared back into the Vermont woods.

    Ultimately we’ve got to leave behind all the teachers and mystics and gurus – the real and the false – and go it alone, right? In the end, who really cares what Jesus or anyone else has to say? So long as this ‘life experience’ appears to be taking place inside my own head (or arm or big toe or wherever) then it’s up to me to work it all out (or not, that’s ok too, right?).

    The other day I ventured onto YouTube to watch some of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” clips. Funnier and more poignant today than they were 30 years ago. The TRUTH may, in fact, lie in those clips.

  30. Having your appendix removed doesn’t help much if you’re suffering from tonsillitis.

    Perhaps those that begin with woo-woo end up with nada while those that begin with nada end up in a lot of woo-woo 😉

  31. kv, No, I don’t think so. I hope my comment didn’t sound snarky. I didn’t mean it to. It was just meant as a small joke, since in another post, Wayne mentioned that people would accuse him of not being “enlightened” since he had a goat (to get). And, as I said, I came here for the photos. It was kind of a stream of consciousness progression, which did not (to me) have a deeper, more ominous meaning.

    I actually love this blog. But it seems every time I post, it gets twisted into something I didn’t intend. So I think it’s best for me to sit things out for now.

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