“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
― C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Apparently, this quote is “good.” It is a version of “Fake it until you make it.” The word love has to be the most misused, misunderstood and misrepresented as the feeling is seldom felt. If we DO things without BEING those things, we are taught to be dishonest. Behavior can be changed through DOING, but BEING does not change through that. An honest, spiritual individual cannot behave as “if we loved someone.” Spirituality is not the art of conning someone or even worse, yourself. That is politics. Notice that spiritual consciousness varies, so teachings are according to that. Usually there are many levels above that which we usually believe to be the ‘ultimate.’ Thus, by being open to newness our consciousness will be open to understand other teachings.
“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”
― St. Francis of Assisi
It is the FEELING which should drive what is in our lips. In our society, we typically DO the opposite, we talk without meaning that. It is just politically correct to do that. It is in that mediocrity, how our worthiness as unique individuals is lost. We become part of the highly trained collective consciousness where words are important but without the meaning of feelings underneath.
“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”— Saint Theresa of Calcutta
Love is selfless. Thus; to know Love as a non-dualistic feeling, there is no sense of separation from the heart center. What this quote refers as ‘cost’ or ‘hurt’ and even ‘empty’ are words chosen to describe the process of selflessness. In that, ego which is our identity , the “I,” experiences its demise. What we used to be as an identity and protected so much, is no longer there and there is nothing to get a hold of to build another identity. Ego feels in pain. It hurts, it feels like mourning for that identity. The outcome of that process is the expression of what we ARE, Love. As long as we are surrounded by conditioned garments and a great ego, we can only feel the emotion of what we call love (with its duality of hate or fear) which is a distortion of what truly the FEELING of BEING Love is.
Observe that the above description uses words with negative connotation. We can also use words with positive connotation. It depends on the emphasis or highlight the author wants to convey. The reader needs to be aware that any description of a non dualistic feeling or spiritual experience will be using dualistic words and thus making any description incomplete. Many individuals/followers unaware of that, will believe that spirituality is about feeling physical pain or some sort of agony to get to experience the ‘real’ feeling, virtue or idea.