Taoism for the Modern World
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Love: Burning Passion or Heart Choice?

  1. A developed human is meant to have a self that is 1/3 emotion.
  2. There are healthy and unhealthy manifestations of love.
  3. Healthy love is a fusion of processes and does not come from a starvation of love.

What does Taoist Love Wisdom Tell Us About the Best Source of Love?

Healthy love comes from a fusion of emotion and choice, in which the two act in concert with intuition.  This interaction creates an emotion that comes from the Complete Self.

When people have an unhealthy love, it is because the love comes from both/or either ignoring choice or being starved of emotion at some point in their history.

The most common source of ignoring choice come from humans being creatures of choice that are conditioned to distrust it by Society.  As a result, they are conditioned to distrust their own nature and the thing that would give them the greatest power to be happy.  We can see this distrust of choice clearly at play in the modern era of romantic love.  Keep in mind, much of what I am saying here doesn’t work in earlier cultures with arranged marriages.

In the modern era, love as a blind emotional craving is favored over the power of choice–the choice to be with someone.  The choice to work on a relationship.  The choice to build and form a connection with a given person.  The thought underlying the distrust is that because the choice to work on a relationship is conscious a person could change his or her mind consciously, and the partner would be left up the creek.  Let’s dig into the thoughts of distrust:

  1. Everyone outside the teen years knows that emotional craving is neither long term, steady, or consistent.  It is much like an addiction that promises much but in the end robs you.  However, the promise of emotional craving is enticing, and people that fall for this enticement will fall for any stronger enticement when it comes along.  We see in the craving why Taoist practitioners regard love as an illusion.  Emotional craving is a promise of permanence and intensity that will not be met.  In other words, love that is the product of craving is an illusion–an unhealthy form of the bond.
  2. The thought that choice is impermanent.  Choice generally defies impulse, and provides the greatest counter to momentary impulse.  In other words, it is as opposite as you can get to impermanent.
  3. The thought that choice comes from the intellect or runs counter to emotion.  Choice does involve thought, but it is not an act of the intellect.  Choice is an act in which the parts of the entire being act in concert.  We and all things are constructed of a force of the universe that we call choice.

People that are unfamiliar with the feeling of universal love, and don’t realize that they are always connected and always loved, and people that have a distrust of choice are always going to form clinging or abusive relationships.  To an experienced Taoist, it looks like someone hording a closet full of air; there is plenty of air, and you can’t store it in a closet anyway.

If you are the hoarder, you need to build calm (i.e. the collected destressing, releasing behaviors typical of meditation) and let yourself spiritually progress.  In this manner you’ll stop behaving desperately and foolishly in your relationships.  You will start to recognize the value of working on your relationship behaviors and that the time of the relationship outside of blind craving is still good time.

Warm Regards,

Taoist Master Signature

Master Mikel Steenrod
Keeper of the Gate of Man and Heaven
Lineage Holder of the 4 Ascendant Tradition

Click to examine the 3 types of love and an overview of Taoist love wisdom.

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