A Fluid Presence that Can Come Up in Any Situation
This deep, dark red pomegranate aspect of your being is a fluid presence that can come up in any situation, depending upon whether your passion is free. When you're involved in a passionate engagement, or passionate activities, your whole organism pulses with excitation. Not just excitation that is tingling and excited and vibrant. This excitation has a fullness and full-blooded sense to it—the fluid presence is like a thick syrup that is full of consciousness and made out of consciousness. It also has a power and strength at the same time, so it has an excited, alive quality to it. And when you feel that passionate ecstatic love, it feels as though the very center of your heart wants to be at the very center of what you love. There's a spontaneous draw, pulling you from the very depth of your heart, so that your heart wants to be nothing less than 100% with what you love. In fact this magnetic pull is felt throughout your whole soul as it is being pulled toward what you love.
Love Unveiled, pg. 239
A Very Expressive, Very Demonstrative Kind of Love
Of course, passionate ecstatic love is so full and so explosive that it tends to be a very expressive, very demonstrative kind of love and that might bring up other issues besides the deep one of annihilation I described. To experience pomegranate love requires a kind of surrender of control and decorum to the inner force of the heart. So you might get shy and embarrassed about expressing this passionate love or even about showing it because you might look as if you are really drunk and out of control. People might think you're silly, right? So you might feel bashful, you might get self-conscious, you might have difficulty allowing others to see this intense heart movement. It takes a great deal of trust before people can show this kind of love towards each other. It is as if you are completely baring your soul but not in the sense that this baring leaves you vulnerable and naked—that is something on the surface. This is baring your heart to its fullest depth, baring your love completely, and showing all the vitality of your love, your zest, and your passion.
Love Unveiled, pg. 240
Getting Closer to the Beloved
Of course, the heart is full of happiness and joy when you experience this kind of passionate love. And the soul becomes intoxicated. This is the state of mystical drunkenness. Rumi and other Sufi mystics talk about the wine, the dark red wine. When the soul drinks that wine, it gets intoxicated. But you don’t become dull, you become ecstatic. You lose your mental power, but not in the sense that you do something dumb or inappropriate; instead, you become opened, surrendered. No longer do you try to scrutinize your Beloved to find out if the Beloved is good or trustworthy; you give up the whole effort to discern and you simply jump. When we’re feeling this type of love, we don't melt inside; it's more like we’re being eaten by acid from within, but deliciously so. I would describe passionate love as both intensely sweet and intensely powerful. It is an intensely dissolving love, and the more of it there is in the heart, the closer we get to the Beloved, because that love burns us up deliciously from inside. It dissolves the thickness, the occlusions, the calluses, that keep us from union with our Beloved.
Love Unveiled, pg. 209
How and Why Do We Distance Ourselves from Passionate Love?
Another thing that stops passionate love is any kind of castration of will. The will becomes castrated when you feel hopeless about coming into union with what you love. In this situation, your experience of feeling hopelessness in childhood because your mother or father didn’t give you the love you wanted becomes a position of the ego that castrates your will, and you cannot openly feel your passionate love. Then there are the defenses against the libidinal object relation. This is the object relation of wanting the wonderful yummy other person or breast and getting frustrated because you can't have that. So either the person defends against her passionate love in order to avoid feeling the frustration and disappointment of not getting the love object, or else she distances from her passionate love out of fear that her feelings will drive the other away— meanwhile feeling frustrated with the unavailable object. Another barrier has to do with narcissism, with its accompanying shame and self-rejection—especially if you want to avoid being called narcissistic because you were seen to be passionately in love with yourself. At some point there is no way around this issue as you become more and more aware that what you most love is inside you, is what you are—the Beloved. A third major issue that will stop you from experiencing your real passion is the Oedipal complex, and its primary fear of guilt. This is the barrier we will look into in more depth to see what it can reveal for us in our work.
Love Unveiled, pg. 217
Passionate Love Arises as You Realize that True Nature is What You Are
When you're feeling love for yourself—not in the usual sense of being self-inflated but seeing your own preciousness, your exquisiteness, your beauty and aliveness, and loving it intensely—then you're experiencing your essential nature. You’re not experiencing an ego manifestation. With false narcissistic love, you usually want your ego manifestation to be reflected. But here, you’re recognizing your essential nature and because it is who you truly are, this pomegranate love arises as a result of the process of self-realization. Passionate love toward your own self arises as you realize that true nature is what you are, it is not just an experience you are having. When you experience the boundless dimension of Pure Presence—and recognize that presence as who and what you are—passionate love for yourself appears in a surprising form. Here it is love for the Beloved, but you and the Beloved have become one. Yet the passionate love doesn't disappear; it's still there, completely mixed and co-emergent with true nature itself. This is true nature being totally in love with itself, but it doesn't feel like somebody loving somebody. Love is arising without a self or an object. You are true nature, and you are pervaded by this wonderful pomegranate nectar—zesty, passionate, lovingness and sweetness and ecstasy. That's when God becomes ecstatic. What had been loving the mystery, or loving the other as an expression of the mystery, now becomes self love, because the mystery is who we are.
Love Unveiled, pg. 247
People, Genuinely on the Path, Burn with their Yearning, their Passion
Passionate love appears as a burning in the heart, a fire that takes over your soul and burns within it like a flame. People who are genuinely on the path burn with their yearning, their longing, their love, their passion, just like the mystics in all traditions. They do not take a utilitarian approach to life: “I have a problem with my job and I have to solve it” or “I have this childhood issue, so let's get to the bottom of it and get it over with.” No, that’s not the feeling or the attitude of somebody who is truly on the path. If you are truly on the path, you are passionately in love, even though you don't know exactly what it is you're in love with. So if you’re having a problem at your job or any other practical issue, you don’t ignore it, but you approach it within the greater context of your passionate search for truth and for the Beloved. You might not know precisely what or where it is, but you know that someplace in your heart is what you love.
Love Unveiled, pg. 204
The Most Delicious, the Most Exciting Love Possible
So passionate love is a fullness and an intense sweetness, but not intense in the sense that it's too sweet; it’s intense with a sweet tartness. The taste is what you experience when you eat a pomegranate or drink pomegranate juice. That’s why I call passionate love the pomegranate love. It's fluid, like a nectar, so the presence is of a dense liquid, sweet and tart and very pleasurable. If you have ever seen or tasted thick pomegranate syrup, you know that it’s a very dark red. Passionate love is actually a mixture of red and black, made into one quality. It has the strength and power of the red and the black qualities of essence, but it also has a zesty type of sweetness. So, passionate love is the most delicious, the most exciting love possible, but it's not gentle, not delicate. It's powerful, it's strong, it's fiery. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that in passionate love, we experience an intensity of appreciation and passion, and it also feels like desire. It's a passionate, intense desire, but it is not a needy desire. It's a wanting, a loving wanting, but not a needy wanting. You’re not sad or melancholic, you're just hot for it. The world can't contain you. You're bursting with excitement, but the excitement has an ecstatic quality. Whatever you love, you love to death.
Love Unveiled, pg. 208
When the Beloved Penetrates You, as a Light Penetrating the Whole Soul
That's why it's very important for us to be able to be in touch with the pomegranate part of our heart because when it loves, through its loving, we disappear. Pomegranate love has such an intensity, such an ecstasy, that when it is felt towards the Beloved, the love itself unites you by erasing you. When I say it erases you or dissolves you, for many people that sounds terrible. But that's not how the experience is actually. Merging love also brings a dissolving of a kind, where you melt, sort of soft and smooth, just like the melting of butter. But passionate love follows a different path to unification, in the sense that, as you approach the Beloved, the Beloved penetrates you, as a light penetrating the whole soul. That light transforms the soul into the nature of the Beloved—turns it instantly, intensely, passionately into its own nature. And that transformation of the soul into the very nature of the Beloved feels like an annihilation because the nature of the Beloved is an absolute, mysterious kind of nothingness or absence.
Love Unveiled, pg. 237
Why Does the Narcissistic Person Want the Passionate Love of the Other?
Narcissism is usually described as self love or self adoration and extreme narcissism is when somebody loves themself or loves their own body passionately. That's usually how it's defined, how it's seen, but actually when we're dealing with narcissistic issues, although there's a sense of self-reference and a sense of pre-occupation with the self, there is in fact a tremendous need for self support. Narcissistic people are not actually people who really love themselves. It may appear on the surface as if they demand other people’s love because they have such high self-esteem, but the narcissistic person wants the adoration and passionate love of the other precisely because they don't have it for themselves.
Love Unveiled, pg. 246
You Want to be Eaten Up, You Want to be Consumed
Okay. Passionate love is not exactly a merging. In passionate love, you want union, but it's more that you want to be taken over. You want to be eaten up, you want to be consumed. People who want merging don't want to be consumed; they want to be held and to experience that sweet, melting, tender, gentle type of goodness. In passionate love, on the other hand, you want to disappear in an intense explosion. So they're different qualities—both there, both real—and they both reflect a desire to connect with the Beloved.