Love: An Overview


The most crippling disease of mankind is pandemic in its proportions, and it appears to be worsening with every passing year. For want of a technical name, I will refer to it as lack of love. Literally millions of us function on a bare subsistence level of emotional fulfillment which deprives us of any real sense of warmth in our lives. Without receipt of love, we cannot give love; and this points out that love is a currency which must always be kept in active circulation or else we all suffer emotional bankruptcy. Human beings are social creatures, not so much because of the herding instinct of animals but because of the inter­dependency of Egos for the love that nurtures the emotional aspect of their minds. Our psychological make-up purposely was created with this need.


Throughout the world there are vast legions of love-deprived souls who never experience love from birth to death. They may go through all the motions of sex, marriage and child rearing, but it all rings hollow. Their ability to engage fully with life—and life is the interplay of people—lacks enthusiasm and outgoingness, and their life is but a series of struggles with few satisfying re­wards. Striving for power or material gains becomes a substitute for love for some persons, but the majority suffer a malaise of spirit which keeps them from being successful at anything. A sense of unworthiness dogs the person who experiences no love, and this results in depression and defeatism. I distinguish between “experiencing” love and “receiving” love because a chronically love-deprived person cannot participate in a meaningful receipt of or acceptance of love should he later become involved with a loving person who can give and express love to him. The exchange of love requires clear mental-emotional chan­nels of the mutual recipients.


It is difficult to learn how to love and be loved if one enters adulthood without having acquired a loving nature in early childhood. However, many grown persons have determinedly managed to learn how to love. Acquiring this ability is intimately tied to one’s achievement of emotional maturity and mental health. The crux of the problem lies with the fact that most babies are given no love because their parents are incapable of loving. There is a far cry between a woman fulfilling her maternal instincts and being able to love her child. A baby’s body is inhabited by an Ego of thousands of incarnations of experience, and the Ego’s ability to communicate on an emotional level is especially free when he is in the early years of a new incarnation. He is in need of assurance of acceptability and security while in the frustrating circumstance of trying to func­tion through a helpless, infant body. The Ego in a baby’s body is acute in his telepathic perceptions, and his astral awareness is not yet overlaid by physical awareness. An infant, therefore, is very sensitive to the moods of the people around him, and he responds particularly to emotions of love. When instead there are only feelings of impatience, irritation or unconscious hostility directed toward him by his mother, he is set upon a path of lovelessness in his life. It is not enough that parents express good will toward their offspring and provide their physical and educational needs. Real love is of paramount importance to their children, but many “good” homes have none to give.


A child is intended to take in love along with his mother’s milk, and he quickly learns to love in return at a tender age. The emotionally mature, loving mother rears children who learn how to love by example, and they come to expect that the world is a loving place. Such children are a delight because of their own loving nature, which is a reflection of their environment. They are well on their way to becoming capable, confident, outgoing youngsters who will engage with life in a zestful, creative manner and be able to cope successfully with the problems of life. Moreover, these healthy-minded people develop a sense of acceptance of themselves because their successes engender a sense of personal worth as well as the ability to love themselves. When a person is feeling on top of the world, when he can find joy in everything he does, and when he finds good in everyone he knows, then he expresses love in the most expansive terms—he loves God and man and needs not hoard his love. The person who does not enjoy a sense of worth is miserly in his love feelings and must figuratively turn what little love he can engender inward upon his own crippled self for sustenance. Therefore, he is not a channel for God’s love to function through him nor can he be in sympathetic attunement with love flowing toward him from any other source; so, he himself blocks fulfillment of his most urgent need.

We all envy the loving person because he is so attractive to others. How, then, does one learn how to love and thus attract even more love into one’s environment? The key lies in developing self-worth, and this depends upon performing and accomplishing in accordance with one’s higher ideals (rather than the current psychiatric practice of reducing frustration by lowering one’s ideals and demands of conscience in order to satisfy one’s desires without psy­chic conflict), so we are talking about an aspect of emotional maturity again. Acquiring the Great Virtues, being recognized for one’s contribution of skills, practicing love of Christ, and accepting responsibility in serving others are the paths to self-worth and self-love; and these in turn eventually allow one to give love and become an open channel for it. Love supplants fear and hate; and inasmuch as bodily ills, insanity, bigotry and warlike tendencies spring from fear and hate, the loving person is free of these destructive, crippling conditions. Indeed, he becomes attuned to Christ’s work for mankind’s uplift. (06-1969)