“What is it that motivates most people? Wanting to take. Wherever they go, they look for what they can take. They study, work,marry and come together to take; they always think along these lines. The reason why they give off no light, warmth or life is that they have become used to taking. Even in love, when a man and woman seek each other out, they are more often thinking only of what they can take or gain from, the man wanting to draw from the woman’s vitality, and vice versa. And when there is nothing left to take, they part. You will say, ‘But when they come together, they give each other something!’ Yes, but only all the better to take; each thinks only of getting something from the other, of greedily, selfishly and unscrupulously drawing from them. Well, that is not what love is. Love means giving something to the other’s heart and soul – whether an impulse, or life, or inspiration – so that they may blossom and go forward in light and joy. “
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
I received the above quote in my email box the other day from the folks over at Prosveta
, the publishers of Aivanhov’s work. It got me thinking in light of the fact that the holiday season is upon us and I see the Salvation Army volunteers out in droves collecting donations at practically every street corner while busy shoppers ignore them completely. I started to wonder on the nature of really giving selflessly and how truly rare that is. I think some people give with the expectation of getting something back even if they don’t admit it openly, whether it’s for karma points or to make themselves feel better in general.
Aivanhov’s quote is essentially about giving joyfully, no hang-ups, no “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your’s”, not even the hint of reciprocity. It’s about feeling so rich and so full within yourself that something in your spirit is so joyously full that it is about to burst through the seams of your being any second now, that the most natural thing to do in a situation like that is to share that overspill with other people and the easiest way to do that is by giving, no expectation of return, you just give because it makes you insanely happy to do so.
The 2 of Cups from the Tarot. Psalms 23:5, “My cup runneth over”
Admittedly getting into such a state of mind and staying there is rare and hard. I remember that line in C.S Lewis’s Narnia book, “Prince Caspian”
when Lucy Pevensie awakens in the middle of the night and sneaks off into the forest while the others are sleeping, because she thinks she may have heard Aslan the Lion calling her. Finally she sees him and “She rushed to him. She felt her heart would burst if she lost a moment”.
The late Pauline Baynes’ illustration of Lucy finally seeing Aslan in the forest.
That intensity of feeling which induces that deep impulse to give without reservation is in some ways, from the same source as genuine true, love. It inspires the same generosity of spirit. It somehow makes you feel bigger and better without even trying. There’s no acting, phoniness or anything contrived. It has a definite ripple-effect all around you.
The Grinch’s heart grew 3 times over when he realized it was better to give than to take.
I think the polar opposite is not only the faux-benevolence of the Christmas season (why no such generosity for the other 364 days?) , but even the modern dating scene.
Here’s a comical riff on boyfriends and girlfriends these days by Matt Groening of Simpson’s fame. Funny, clichéd, trite, I know but you want to know something…there’s some truth here and I’ve even witnessed some relationships with people like this.
I think most types of relationships which pass as “love” these days are either based on fear, economic self-interest, co-dependancy, infatuation even obsession. None of it is very honest or healing for that matter.
Maybe I’m naïve and far too idealistic, but I think real love heals and makes you healthy and whole. It makes you feel better about who you are and makes you think and feel better about the world. There are no questions in your head or heart. No sneaking suspicions. You just know.
The clincher is that no miracle boyfriend or girlfriend is automatically going to bring that to you, unlike what popular culture would like all of us to believe.
It only shows up if it’s already there inside of you in the first place.
The ultimate power couple.