Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of October 22, 2007

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Local Unity

(Part 8 of 9 in the Inner Work series The Stages of Love)

In local unity the shackles of self-centeredness dissolve, enabling us to merge with another, yet without losing ourselves. We wish for the other what they wish for themselves. Our loved ones joys and sufferings become our own. We become our beloved: separate bodies, separate experience, but one, unified, shared will. We also become fully ourselves: inwardly unified in our own will, yet able and willing truly to share that center point of our life with those we love.

The paradigms of local unity include true marriage and the parent-child relationship. Friendship can rise to this level. If we can love one person unselfishly, then we can learn to love others as well. The difficulties, disputes, and anger that formerly drove us apart, pale before our unity with the loved one. Those forces of separateness and egoism melt in the heart of love. I becomes we. And I am no longer alone.

One perceptual indicator is seeing your loved one as yourself. When you look at your loved one, you see yourself, but not in the narcissistic way of everything revolving around you as the center of the universe. Rather, you see your loved one as an extension of your self, a larger Self that you both share.

All our inner work and all the preparatory stages of love bring us to this oneness with the other. We finally, willingly, let go of our claim to sole ownership of our inner territory and welcome our loved one into that space, previously reserved only for our self. Our inner ground becomes the hallowed ground of love.

Love is not distant and unattainable. It comes naturally and organically. Love is meant for us. It seems ordinary and it is. What is not natural is our previous life of separateness. We need only relax our heart in humility and simplicity, and love will enter.

For this week, notice the degree to which your care and concern for yourself matches your care and concern for those closest to you.


     

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