Question: Why do people long for a love that will last until the end of time?
Michael Richardson-Borne: Because they believe themselves and their partners to be finite – they imagine themselves to be two separate objects and then grasp at one another while dreaming they’re both at the mercy of time.
Q: What is so wrong with that?
MR-B: Nothing is wrong – but confusion is present.
In your initial question alone, there are already a number of confusions that make themselves known, confusions that obstruct getting to the root of love – confusion of the nature of humanity, the nature of time, the nature of mind, the nature of story.
Before I go any further, I want to plant the seed that remembering Non-separation clears up this confusion immediately.
When you love while still infused with the stories of the culture of separation, you are in love with a conception of love projected on an object who also believes in him or herself as an object and, thus, empowers you to unknowingly play out the illusion of love that is peddled by a separative society. You aren’t being lived as love, you are loving through a lens that supplies you with a concept of love and your mind attempts to mimic it. Love in the culture of separation is given by mimes and accepted by mimes.
Neither this conception of love nor the lens through which this kind of love is tinted, one which obviously doesn’t work for humanity, are hardly ever questioned. Embedded in separation, love is a murky dictator with love in his grip. And through a sort of underground activity, this dictator, the separate self, manipulates you into believing that love is something that has to be earned or that requires some kind of particular action in order to be considered worthy of a return. This is not love – this is what the culture of separation calls evil.
What do you expect your world to be like when what you think of as love is actually a form of violence, a board game with rules and a code of conduct that makes one deserving or undeserving of what you truly are. You cannot lead a global population into believing that love, the true self, your very birthright, can be withheld and not end up with a confused, anxious, violent society.
Q: You make love sound like a terrible thing.
MR-B: That’s because I’m not speaking of love, I’m speaking of an illusion of love. What I’m pointing out to you is that the culture of separation is subservient to a concept of love – the love that needs no concepts is, as yet, forgotten and remains invisible to the culture at large.
That said, I don’t want to seem like a downer when it comes to love and relationships in our world. What I’m pointing to, in no way, takes away from the alive story of these felt connections. Just know there is a tangible change with the remembrance of Non-separation – a change that loves the individual in a different way. Seeing with new eyes both mutes the particular gaze and enhances the love of the particular in a pure acceptance. “Standing the test of time,” enduring the traps and pitfalls of the culture of separation through effort and endurance, is no longer a concern.
Love is apparently two, in reality, one. There is only one love that will last a lifetime – and it has nothing to do with who you think you are and who you think you love.
Q: Are you saying that love is a social construction?
MR-B: Separative love, yes. And by separative love I mean a concept that the story of a separate self peers through in order to define love rather than allowing it to be lived into the moment, every moment. Can you see where the detachment happens, where the division exists? The starting point of love in the culture of separation is unaware of its starting point. This creates an imaginary fault line that is blindly defended in order to keep the earthquake from happening that would rock the Richter scale of the separate self.
Q: Yes, but how is love a social construction?
MR-B: Well, for example, there is a social construction and acceptance of the story that you are supposed to love certain people more than others. It is expected that your children, your family, your spouse, your friends, maybe the people of your country or race are to take precedence or be loved to a higher degree than “acquaintances,” people you have yet to meet, or people outside of the demographic to which you identify. This partitioning of degrees of love is the accepted and acceptable way to express intimacy as constructed by the culture of separation.
The capitalist mindset believes that love is a commodity. It is something that can be shopped for and shared between two individuals like a milkshake or a pizza. It’s this sort of downgrading of love that leaves humanity confused about how to love one another. Love is thought of, and felt, as an internal feeling rather than the open space of who you truly are. Loving a concept from the point of view of a concept is an immature conception of love. This immaturity dominates the privacy of your personal life as well as the current world stage, leaving your home and the global population continuously teetering on the edge of destruction.
Real love has nothing to do with who’s closer and who’s farther away from an individual’s food chain of love. Always remember, apparently two, in reality, one – because from Non-separation, there are no gradations of love. People are not divided into those who are loved more closely and those who are loved from a greater distance. All objects are reflections of consciousness – so love is given freely in equal measure because one encounter is not separate from the next. The giver is not separate from the receiver. From Non-separation, it is known that being lived by love is something altogether different than being lived as a human being who understands a definition of love that can be brought to life in a world of relationships outside of the self.
Q: Ok. So, from Non-separation, can you describe how two people fall in love?
MR-B: That’s the point – two people don’t. Consciousness cannot fall in love with an other.
Love is apparently two, in reality, one. Two objects of awareness fall in love as the awareness, not as the objects.
Q: People spend millions of dollars per year on therapists in an attempt to salvage their relationships. Is this all just a waste of time and money?
MR-B: I give two votes for no, and one vote for yes.
If you don’t recognize that the separate self is being lived, not doing the living, then there is something on the line, an emergency, something in which to invest. So, from the point of view of separation, it’s not a waste of time and money if the therapy actually seems to be supplying results that the individuals desire.
From Non-separation, it’s the direction of the inquiry that is critiqued. Therapy is viewed as a waste of time and money if the inquiry is about how to bring two individuals into an external unity rather than supporting the realization of unity. No solutions live in the exploration of the external or the adjustment of the external. The only solution lives in the remembrance of Non-separation. If the therapist and/or the partners undergoing therapy do not know this, then the time and money are, in a sense, wasted.
But if you realize you are being lived as a reflection of Non-separation, it is understood that what happens is revealed and the participation in therapy is an expression of what is being revealed – just another movement of the whole. So, it’s not a waste of time and money because what is being revealed couldn’t happen any other way. In this sense, nothing is a waste – rather, everything just is.
From Non-separation, there can still be real investment in salvaging a relationship, but it is understood that this is not separate autonomous action. It is understood that love is apparently two but, in reality, one – no matter the surface happenings that arise as the personal in relationship with a person.
Q: Why do you keep saying there is “in reality one,” when relationship clearly requires, at least, two people?
MR-B: Clearly, yes. But clearly to whom?
Remember, the mind gains clarity about what is perceived as outside of it, but ignores what was before it. It grasps “the apparent” while ignoring the “reality.” It grasps what it convinces itself is “clear” and ignores what makes the possibility of the concepts clear and unclear emerge.
To take this a step further, answer these questions. Ask yourself, can a story be clear about anything? Ask yourself how a story outside of the self becomes clear about what is happening to the individual story you imagine yourself to be? Ask yourself if your relationship with your mind requires two people – and how this relationship with your mind differs from the relationship you have with an “other.”
I’m not intending to be tricky, magical, or mystical. There is nothing spiritual about what I am pointing to. It’s right in front of your face, as grounded as an earthworm – love is apparently two, in reality, one. Love is apparently a behavior of the separate, in reality, it’s Non-separation.
Q: When it comes to love, why do you put such focus on the Path of Non-separation? Isn’t this just a form of pressure placed on people similar to a dogmatic religion?
MR-B: I’m merely being lived into the moment and either your wick will be lit by this fire or it won’t. When it’s time, the fire will burn. Until then, there is a living invitation that invites you to continue to be curious about the story of who you are. This is love. Apparently two, in reality, one.