I will do a short review for the understanding of the rational mind. Most of the time we believe that the opposite of love is hate. That is the main idea that comes to mind when we think about this question. However, we have heard spiritual teachers say that the opposite of love is not hate but fear. Most of us need to delve into this idea to try to understand where it comes from. It sounds nice, interesting, we adopt it because the great thinkers have said it, and then we repeat it without having the slightest notion of why it is so. We try to find associations so that it makes sense. This is not very different from everything that we adopt in beliefs, ways of seeing life and so on. We are thought repeaters without understanding the reason for our beliefs. Although it sounds harsh, it is simply reality. Then, among the alternatives that we can offer ourselves, we could study the philosophy that leads us to the understanding of that principle. However, nothing will be totally clear until we have an inner experience itself. Why inner? Because it is the only place where things can really be cleared up. So, let’s start by “analyzing” what this “inner” idea means.
The inner world is a place/state where we connect with many things, mainly emptiness. This emptiness refers to the origin of our existence. If we start from the understanding that the body is made of systems, systems are made of organs, organs are made of cells, cells are made of atoms, atoms made of subatomic particles and so on, we come to realize that everything is empty, and that is our inner most nature and origin, that emptiness. Going inward, among other things, is connecting with that space of inner energy in which all possibilities move through silence and perception. Many things happen when we go within ourselves. We run into feelings, thoughts, sensations, all at the same time. If we can relax enough, we can stop feeling the body and remain in the emptiness. We can see the apparent darkness and the activity that we nurture with our attention. On that process, suddenly we are only “consciousness” that observes, that perceives. Going inward is like going up or down in an elevator through the levels of consciousness. It is like going from the sensation of the skin that covers us, going through feeling the heartbeat, the peristaltic movement of the intestines, the entry and exit of air, the recognition of any physical pain all the way to reaching the vibration of the atoms and its subatomic particles. We enter the limitless world within. Only mental conditioning limits us. We have everything in ourselves, it is a matter of knowing how to access. Not surprisingly, the great teachers also say that the answers are within us. Depending on our level of consciousness and the state of mind that we achieve by looking internally, we can access anything and everything.
Now, we can return to the idea that only by going inside can we clarify the concepts that we hold. Many levels move that do not need to be pigeonholed. They just are what they are. There are people who want to call the different levels of awareness dimensions and that’s fine, only it’s better not to limit yourself to the concepts so that the rational mind can adapt the understanding of a reality. Although it can help, what we need is to be inwardly connected and open to perceive the movement of the energy that moves within. This will take us down many paths, some will be healing, others painful, others liberating. Much of this inner process serves only as fertilizer for deeper awakenings that come to us lucidly. Lucid experiences can be recognized not only by the power and clarity with which they happen, but they make a difference in the state of consciousness. Nothing can beat the lucid experience of inner awareness as it leaves us with a profound realization.
How do you get to that realization? With patience, discipline, perseverance, hope, decision, will and freedom. Normally we don’t know what we are going to find. Only by doing the inner work, clearing the clutter, healing, letting go of the unnecessary, we are going to lighten the process so that, at the least expected moment, one of those lucid experiences arises that clearly shows us what we did not know. We can take up a practice, meditate, go on a fast and choose to believe new things. If we do not allow ourselves to break our image, we will not be able to expand or be ready to receive revelations because we see when we are ready to see. The only thing we can do is what is within our power to prepare ourselves by doing the same practices or integrating new options to expand the horizons of consciousness.
To understand why fear is the opposite of love and not hate, we need to understand the origin of fear, which is born in duality, and it separates us. In this dimension we recognize ourselves as individuals. Our spiritual essence is repressed, and we do not consciously recognize it. This separation, which makes us mortal, stimulates our instinctive reflex to defend life and our physical, mental, and emotional integrity. Furthermore, our daily life is based on fear: fear of losing something or someone, fear of something unwanted happening, fear of falling, of not having, fear, fear, and more fear. Fear is the most abundant feeling in humanity and stimulates practically all negative feelings from anger to hatred. Obviously, it also stimulates caution and prudence, even if they are stimulated by fear. It is so impregnated in our lives that we do not realize that we live with fear in our noses.
We also need to understand what love is. We have a general notion stimulated by the affection we give and receive. We experience it as a feeling towards someone or something. We say that there is a fine line between love and hate precisely because we experience love as a feeling and that is why we believe that hate, is its opposite. From that feeling, yes, it’s the clearest opposite. But what is love? at least the love that we seek without even knowing? There are many levels of love, but what the masters refer to when they say that the opposite of love is fear, it is a love that transcends duality, that does not look at the separation between us. It is a love in the consciousness of unity, and that is what we seek without knowing. There is no fear there, there is only unity. We reach that love by raising our consciousness and we achieve this through inner work. We need to integrate and align the personality with the soul. We need to work on our ego so that it allows the light of the soul to emerge. When we unleash the ego, we manifest the darkness, when we align it with the soul and allow it to have more presence in our daily lives, we manifest the light.
So, if we start by repeating the concepts that we hear, even if we don’t understand them, we need at least to research, not only in the philosophical or sacred books but mainly in ourselves.
Reaching that level of love is quite possible, it just requires our inner work.