You say we should deepen our love. How are we to do that?
I think perhaps you did not quite hear what I said. What I said, or meant to say, was ‘may our love be deepened’. This is a prayer, a request for something that I cannot bring about for myself. Love is not something I can generate or command.
In our work, there are four transformative energies that humans can participate in—sensitivity, consciousness, attention and love. Each stands successively above the other. Love is the highest of them, beyond everything that we can manage or control. Love has the power to change us fundamentally, to redeem, even to resurrect. By comparison, all other agents of change are diminished.
Love is governed by its own laws and answers to no one. Nonetheless, there are certain actions which may help to bring love into us, if we are courageous enough to wish for this.
Can I remember the feeling of being loved? Perhaps this memory can be quickened by attention, enabling me to call upon love with a similar voice.
Love is received in the heart, the organ of feeling. An open heart, a broken heart, accommodates love; a hardened, embittered heart does not. The suffering and sacrifice of ordinary life can reliably supply all the heartbreak we need. Can I accept it without resentment or self-pity? Can I patiently clear away the psychic structures, needs and identifications that define me? They take up room that is needed for love.
Can I reduce my need for other things?
Can I make myself attractive to love? Love seems to prefer the humble, the simple, the sincere, the unassuming, the undemanding. Observing self objectively, I may come to these qualities naturally. Knowing self reduces self-importance, which love does not favour.
Can I learn to care for someone more than myself? You may think that caring comes from love but I think it is often the other way around. Learning to care for another brings you to the doorstep of love. Making another more important than yourself is agonizing but potent magic.
Consider that you may have access to a feeling that can introduce you to love. Compassion and longing may serve although they lack the risks that accompany love. Some of the ancient heart-gestures that are now all but lost may also bring you to love, such as glorification or adoration. If you somehow have access to these, you are well on the way.
The greatest love is love of the Absolute. Love of others can be a preparation for this love. But love of the Absolute is also unlike any other love. This love is found through the experience of being loved unconditionally, as only the Absolute can love. It begins with being seen.
One more word of advice: accept no substitutes. Sentimentality is not love. Affection is not love. Know love by its combination of pleasure and pain, sufficiency and insufficiency, sorrow and joy.