QA161 QUESTION: How do I know that I’m loving and that I’m not doing something else, like making selfish demands upon another person or making unreal expectations about the way they should behave, at some level of consciousness below that of which I’m aware?
ANSWER: You do not have to know it. You feel it! If you have to judge it, you already clip its wings. When there is doubt in your own heart about the full genuine force of your love capacity, then my advice would be, do not question the love, question the doubt.
Question the doubt in realizing that there must be a fear in you, so that possibly it is not a completely fearless and therefore pure love. For love is the opposite of fear. And then begin to search for the fear, and you will understand your doubt. For if there is no more fear of loving, there would be no doubt.
Your very doubt implies there is somewhere a fear of love. And in the fear of love, the fear of the love in the pure sense is mixed in with the childish desire for ownership, in the excessive demands, and the insecurity that is always part of this. Therefore, it’s a vicious circle: the more insecure the person becomes, the more the demands grow, and the more the demands and the ownership grow, the shakier the ground becomes on which one rests within.
So it is probably a mixture. You can only know by ascertaining these other aspects, admitting them to yourself, and seeing them and trying to eliminate them through going deep into yourself and understanding yourself better and better. That will eliminate the problem.
QUESTION: I am aware that all my love has been neurotic – completely. Could you tell me if I really love something and I’m not aware of it?
ANSWER: Well, I would say your capacity for love – once you allow it to happen – would be first in a more general, universal, philosophical, all-encompassing way, before you will allow personal love. There the fear is still very great.
So, where you come nearest to love, it would possibly be the love of when you can sense a truth in yourself, when you feel the universal flow of being, in certain meditations. This is where you come closest to love. And in the personal aspects, you are furthest from it.
QUESTION: Do you think it hinders me that I believe that emotionally only women are capable of loving, not men?
ANSWER: Yes, of course. This is such a misconception, and every misconception bars the way to fulfillment, to truth, and to unity within oneself.
QA162 QUESTION: I have a problem, and that is I both hate and fear my father. I’m trying to deal with that and also with the reasons why I’m so afraid to like him.
ANSWER: Now, I want to say that it is very wonderful that you could bring yourself to ask this question. This fact of overcoming fear and shyness brings you closer to the state of liberation – more than you can possibly appreciate at this moment. This is a tremendously important step towards freedom.
Now, I would like to say to you that the child you still are inwardly and you once were, attaches a completely different significance to the good as well as to the fearful feelings. The good feelings seem terrifying to you because they seem, in a different way, so wrong and so shameful. You do not experience this emotionally at all in a realistic way.
The only manner in which you can let the light of realism and truthfulness come into this secluded compartment of your emotional life is to take a chance and let yourself feel what you feel without manipulating yourself deliberately into negative feelings that might not be natural. Take a chance and see what happens.
It does not mean anything of what you fear. You will be able to take such a chance, merely in your own emotions – not having to do anything about it – when you also question yourself. What is it precisely that you fear when you allow the natural good feelings to come forth?
Number one, you will find, for example, that you believe good feelings oblige you into actions that still seem embarrassing to you, or that for one reason or another you reject. Now, in the first place, it is not at all true that a feeling forces one into action. You are perfectly free to feel one thing and not to act accordingly should you choose not to act accordingly.
Do not ever forget your freedom to act can never be diminished by being aware of what you genuinely feel. It can only be increased and enhanced. Conversely, denying what one genuinely feels and manipulating one’s feelings must diminish one’s personal freedom of choice in actions.
If a human being has a lack of free choice and finds himself bound and unable to make choices and act freely, it is precisely because he has manipulated his genuine feelings, and somehow or other made himself artificially feel what he does not feel. This is due to this misconception that feeling obliges actions that he feels are perhaps embarrassing for him.
Now, this would be a very important misconception that exists in you. Once you can clearly see that you believe unconsciously and sort of emotionally, “Yes, if I allow myself good feelings, I would have to make friendly gestures toward him, immediately following such a recognition in me.” Well, it is not true.
You can act quite as unfriendly as you do now if you choose to do so. You are completely free to choose any way you wish. But do not lie to yourself. Because by lying to yourself about your feelings, you damage yourself in many, many ways. So that would be one misconception.
There are other misconceptions which you will find to be so, when you look at these feelings. It will then become easier and easier to sort them all out. The negative feelings here are a safeguard against positive feelings. You do not dare to let the good feeling come, partially because you think you have to act accordingly.