WORKBOOK

 

 

Joining in Truth Toward Planetary Enlightenment

 

On Line Course - Addendum for Book: “Not Guilty” 

 

Questions and Answers

 

Q&A IX- Does God love everyone equally?

Join online discussion of Q&A @

groups.yahoo.com/group/joiningintruth

 

Related Reading - Chapter 9 of Not Guilty

(find link on Home page)

IX. Questions : Does God love everyone equally?

  1. If God is love, what else is there? If love is all there is, what is fear? Are all emotions reducible to love or fear? What other emotions are there?
  2. List the different expressions that love and fear take. What form do they take for you personally?
  3. Need love be taught? Why or why not? Do you experience yourself as love? When you love, do you question who you are? How do we become the love God created us to be?
  4. How can love get blocked? What are the blocks that stand in the way?
  5. What is love? What is its origin? When is love real? When is it not? What makes love work?
  6. When do we seek love outside? Can we find it without if we have not found it within? What is self-love? Generally speaking, do people love themselves? Why or why not?
  7. Is it important to love yourself? What form should self-love take? How do we cultivate self-love? Is it possible to love others if we don't love ourselves? Is it possible to love ourselves if we don't love others? When is self-love not really self-love?
  8. What does love look like in relation to suffering? To sacrifice?
  9. Should we love ego? Why or why not? Jealousy, anger…? Should we love suffering or at least be grateful for it? Should we see it as perfect?
  10. What does it mean to love all equally? If you love everyone but make one exception, do you love anyone? If you love one other so totally that you are completely one, is anyone left out? Do we lose our autonomy when if we love with total abandon?
  11. What does monogamy have to do with love? Polygamy? Abstinence? Are monogamy and equal love for all mutually exclusive?
  12. Where does fear come from? Can you mistake a rope for a snake at dusk? Does it cause the rope to become a snake? Do misperceptions cause us to be frightened?
  13. Is fear ever healthy? Can it serve a beneficial purpose? Does fear keep behavior in check? Is love a better solution?
  14. What caused fear to take the place of love? How does fear serve ego's purpose? How is fear overcome?
  15. Is everything either love or a call for love? If so, how do we respond to all situations? How do we respond to fear? How do we respond with love even in an unloving situation? If we mistake the unloving for love what are we doing in effect?
  16. What are love's expressions? Are they limited to softness, sweetness, gentleness…? Can they be firm, hard line…? What is tough love and what is its function? It may not always look loving - how do you know when its love and when its not?
  17. If one's child started taking drugs what would be the loving thing to do? When does love enable? Is that love?
  18. What is the danger of using the teaching that love is all there is superficially? Can you say, “I love you” and not mean it? How is that possible? How can we deepen our love so that it is genuine?
  19. Give examples from your own life where fearful situations were transformed through love.
  20. Can we master fear? What happens when we try to master fear? Why do we fear death? Can we master love? Can we abolish fear? How? Love?
  21. Why is God perceived as fearful?
  22. What did Jesus mean when he taught us to love God above all and our neighbor as ourselves?
  23. Can you be afraid of love? Can you be burned by love? Can you love too much?
  24. Summarize the teachings of love and fear, life application, pitfalls to guard against.

IX. Answers– Does God love everyone equally? YES

  1. If God is love, what else is there? There is nothing else. Everything we experience is either love or a call for love. If love is all there is, what is fear? Nothing, a call for love, an idea of lack. An idea that things could be different from how God created them. Fear is the opposite of love, though love can have no opposite. Fear is of ego. Are all emotions reducible to love or fear? Yes. What other emotions are there? Joy, compassion, goodness, happiness, peace are all reducible to love. Hatred, viciousness, suspiciousness, anger, jealousy, envy, greed, guilt, sadness, loneliness, emptiness… are all reducible to fear.
  2. List the different expressions that love and fear take. There is love for God, romantic love, love for children, love for country, love for all humanity, love for the environment, love for animals, self-love, love for family, tender love, tough love… There is fear of God, fear of death, fear of snakes, fear of heights, fear of the dark, fear of being alone, fear of failure, fear of lack, fear of loss, fear of public speaking, fear of love… What forms do they take for you personally? Love for God, humanity, self, family, romantic love. I pray constantly for the end of suffering asking to be shown, willing to go anywhere and do anything. I love my husband purely and only in a sacred commitment, at the same time I balance my give with integrity and looking out that my give not be taken advantage of. When someone does something that's off, I neither condemn or condone it. I pray to be shown what to do to serve my brother so he will want to be the goodness God created him to be. I live a life of purity, integrity and nobility to the very best of my ability. When I make mistakes I apologize, correct them… When we love completely, fear simply is not part of our experience.
  3. Need love be taught? No. Why or why not? Because love is who we are. Do you experience yourself as love? Yes, although others reactions still affect me at times. When you love, do you question who you are? No, because love IS who we are. How do we become the love God created us to be? Through purity, simplicity, kindness, constant awareness of when love is not flowing and seeing what is getting in the way, being compassionate toward others, giving, blessing, sharing, caring, leading a life of purity and holiness.
  4. How can love get blocked? Fear blocks love's flow. What are the blocks that stand in the way? Projecting guilt, misperception, exchange – you scratch my back I'll scratch yours, looking for love to fill a lack, looking for love outside of ourselves, fear of loss of individual freedom, fear of God, fear of death... We made ego without love, therefore it does not love us, and blocks our experience of love.
  5. What is love? Honoring all as precious creations of a Holy Loving Father, knowing all are equal, no difference, none inferior or superior, love is patient, kind, gentle, selfless, good, noble, courageous, uncompromising… Love is extension, giving and receiving with grace, humility, integrity and gratitude. Love unites, while fear separates. Love expands while fear contracts. What is love's origin? God. When is love real? When the blocks to the awareness of love's presence have been removed. When is it not? When we love in order to get something in return, manipulate, hold a superficial interpretation of love, or hold someone guilty yet pretend to love them anyway under the guise of unconditional love, when its canned, lacking spontaneity or enthusiasm, when its taught or learned. What makes love work? Knowing that all God's children are innocent and deserving of the very best and wanting that for everyone, knowing that the only joy we can hope to experience is in giving ourselves away constantly, knowing the tremendous love that God has in order that He created us in love as love forever, being faithful and true to one partner in a total commitment.
  6. When do we seek love outside? When we do not love ourselves. Can we find it without if we have not found it within? No, that is impossible. What is self-love? Knowing who you are, knowing you are complete and whole within yourself in need of no one and no thing not even God to fill a lack, only needing God and others to enhance your joy, knowing that you are wholly worthy of the very best. Generally speaking, do people love themselves? No, rare is the person who truly loves himself. Why or why not? We have all allied with an ego that convinces us that we are undeserving of love. Ego has convinced us to make choices that are less than becoming of who we are, and if we identify ourselves with our actions we will think ourselves unworthy to be loved, or if we identify with ourselves as our bodies we will not love ourselves for we observe how vulnerable and uncooperative our bodies are and that they will ultimately perish.
  7. Is it important to love yourself? Yes. What form should self-love take? Honoring ourselves so that we are treated with dignity and respect, self-discipline, self-respect, being able to enjoy our own company without feeling lonely or incomplete. How do we cultivate self-love? By giving to others, through noble acts that we can feel good about, through love for God, through asking God to show us how to love ourselves, through loving others. Is it possible to love others if we don't love ourselves? No, true love for others can only come from true love for ourselves; how you respond to others comes from how you feel about yourself. Is it possible to love ourselves if we don't love others? No, for we are all one, and we will feel selfish if we don't want the very best for everyone and strive to uplift and help all of humanity, either on a large or small scale. When we love ourselves we will know how to give to others in ways that do not cause us to feel depleted, we will not give to fill a lack, we will give from a true place and will be rejuvenated from that give. Women have a tendency to give in an unbalanced way. This is prevented when we love and honor ourselves first. When is self love not really self love? When we look outside of ourselves to fill a lack, when we are selfish instead of selfless, self-centered, arrogant, domineering, overbearing, self-indulgent, lacking discipline and dignity. Selflessness is demonstrated by those who love themselves.
  8. What does love look like in relation to suffering? Love cannot bear the suffering of others and does all within one's power to end it for all humanity, turning to God for a solution to the suffering in the world.   When someone is suffering, all he need do is change his mind and the suffering ends, so what we really want to accomplish is that change of mind. We may not know how to facilitate that, but we can be willing to be used in the service of that shift in consciousness. A gentle touch may be all that is necessary, or a smile, or a word of encouragement… To sacrifice? Love knows not of sacrifice. When you sacrifice, you give up something. When you love you experience not loss but gain from every act of giving. A mother getting up in the middle of the night to feed her newborn, does not feel she is being burdened, all she feels is the joy of the opportunity to nurse her precious child.
  9. Should we love ego? No. Why or why not? To love ego is to make it real. Ego is nothing. Ego is also the cause of all the suffering in the world. Ego does not love us – ego loves itself only   - selfishly and callously. Jealousy, anger…? We might try loving ourselves despite these shortcomings and then we should give them to God to heal. Should we love suffering or at least be grateful for it? No, in truth suffering is not real. To love suffering is to make it real. We should look on it calmly and ask God to heal our minds. With a shift in consciousness the suffering is undone. Should we see suffering as perfect? If we see it as perfect, again we make it real. It has nothing to do with God. It is therefore devoid of love. When we love those who are suffering and act to heal the suffering we are expressing love.
  10. What does it mean to love all equally? To know that everyone was created by God equal with everyone else, none more special or endowed with more than any of the rest of us, therefore it must be so today, since God does not change His mind. If you love everyone but make one exception, do you love anyone? No, if you make one exception, you have not understood love, for in order to be love, it has to be for all God's children equally, no exceptions. If you love one other so totally that you are completely one, is anyone left out? No, then you have understood love and all will benefit. True love blesses everyone. Do we lose our autonomy if we love with total abandon? Yes, if we think we ever had autonomy. Love is loss of autonomy, because oneness is real and separation is false, and love unites and makes one. I remember when I first came together with my husband, there was a moment where I knew that I was giving up my individuality and it really frightened me. I now see that was ego trying to prevent the inevitable from happening.
  11. What does monogamy have to do with love? If you love your partner perfectly seeing no lack in yourself or your significant other, having eyes for no other, you have overcome body consciousness, and that is true love. Is love partial if directed to one spouse only? Not if it is pure and virtuous, where two have found their deep heart connection and have become one. Polygamy? Polygamy has to do with body consciousness and has nothing to do with equal love for all and everything to do with misapplying the teachings. Polygamy is for those who want to remain stuck in the world of illusion. Abstinence? Abstinence is the path to God that many yogis and renuciates have chosen though it is a slower path than the householder path. Abstinence is not more holy than monogamy as some choose to believe. Are monogamy and equal love for all mutually exclusive? No, we are asked to love all equally on the level of mind and spirit, and limit intimacy to one man and one woman in a sacred commitment – this is holiness and expresses true equal love for all.
  12. Where does fear come from? Thinking there are others outside of us who can hurt us, thinking separation real, misperceiving, attempting to hide anything – trying to keep secrets, seeing error as a positive assault. Can you mistake a rope for a snake at dusk? Sure, you can project a snake onto a rope. That's how easily we can project what is not there onto others. Does it cause the rope to become a snake? No, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves of our misperceptions, we cannot make them true.   We cannot make someone else guilty, or evil or less than God created them to be. We can see that they are off the mark, when they are off, however nothing anyone does can change who they are. Do misperceptions cause us to be frightened? Yes, until we look calmly, inviting God's love in. Anyone who is not afraid will not use force. When we remember that those who act insanely are really frightened and are making a call for love we will remember to respond with love instead of fear. On several occasion I have responded to anger with a look of surprise or amazement. That usually defuses the anger.
  13. Is fear ever healthy? Sometimes fear can serve to keep us from doing what is dangerous. A child will not touch a hot stove if he is afraid that he will get burned. Can it serve a beneficial purpose? We live in a ‘fearful' world - that is what an unreal world is by definition, so we have to use common sense with how we apply the teachings. If you fearlessly jump off a bridge, without knowing how to swim because you were instructed to be fearless, you may drown. We must always temper the teachings with common sense. Does fear keep behavior in check? It certainly can, though it never really gets at the cause of the problem. It just masks symptoms. Someone may choose not to steal because he might get caught, still there is always the temptation. When he knows who he is, stealing will not even be a temptation. Is love a better solution? Yes, theft become meaningless when we know how much God loves us and look to Him to take care of all our needs.
  14. What caused fear to take the place of love? All fear comes from the idea that we could actually replace God as source. That is both a fearful and exhilarating thought. How does fear serve ego's purpose? Fear keeps us from looking calmly on our mistakes and more to the point keeps us from looking calmly on it and seeing its nothingness. How is fear overcome? Any act of love overcomes fear. We cannot master fear, but we can master love and when we do, fear disappears. When a friend who was hijacked allowed God's love to pour through her, all fear simply vanished instantly.
  15. Is everything either love or a call for love? Yes, if a call for love, it is fear. If so, how do we respond to all situations? With love. How do we respond with love even in an unloving situation? We can ask Spirit to show us what to do. We should be interested in the transformation of the unloving situation for the sake of all concerned. Give examples from your own life. Once a friend was cuffed by her husband. She was told by Spirit to look at him with love until he said he was sorry. She kept looking and did not take her gaze off him sending a constant stream of love in his direction. Finally he apologized and never touched her again. We should not let unkind deeds go unnoticed, but should face them with love and self-respect. If we mistake the unloving for love what are we doing in effect? If you view an unkindness as love and treat it that way, you become an enabler and contribute to making the unreal real. We must always be bright. We can feel whether it is love or not and then we must be willing to do our part as directed by Spirit. We may be asked to part company with a loved one, if they are hurting themselves or us if that serves the whole. We have to be willing to draw the line, take a stand were that is being asked of us, even if its not easy and even if it leads to fearful reactions. Ultimately it will pay off – right actions always do. Some people think they are doing the right thing by responding with kindness in the face of unkindness. For example, a boss is unethical and a worker keeps quiet and lovingly carries on as though blind to what is taking place to hold onto her position – wrong. She should find the courage to speak out, willing to risk losing her job for the sake of integrity, both hers and his.  
  16. What are love's expressions? Giving, a willingness to go anywhere and do anything for the sake of the whole. Are they limited to softness, sweetness, gentleness…? No. Can they be firm, hard line…? Sometimes that is the most loving. If we are firm with a child where appropriate, they will grow up to be happy and well adjusted. What is tough love and what is its function? Tough love positively withdraws support from hurtful acts, disciplines when appropriate, chooses to be non-responsive, non-violent resistance – when directed by Spirit all these responses can be effective tools in collapsing time immeasurably. It may not always look loving - how do you know when its love and when its not? You can tell by the vibration that is being put out. Sai Baba's expression of tough love was received as love because I could tell even though it looked very angry. What are expressions that fall short of love? A pasted on smile, lack of spontaneity, false equanimity, bliss ninny, out of touch with unloving acts, sugary sweetness, false magnanimity, false humility…
  17. If one's child started taking drugs what would be the loving thing to do? Get him rehabilitated, isolate him so he can't hurt himself…When does love enable? When you let others hurt themselves or others without taking appropriate measures to stop the injury or when you let others hurt you. Is that love? No, that is fear, fear of rocking the boat, fear that they will not like you, fear that your interference will compound the problem… Ask Spirit to direct and you will receive guidance that will be effective. We should always keep in mind that we are God's instruments, not his assistants. Let God do the work through us.
  18. What is the danger of using the teaching that love is all there is superficially? We lose our faculty of discrimination when we use teachings without understanding them deeply, we make the unloving real by loving it. Can you say, “I love you” and not mean it? Yes, recently, someone was accusing me falsely while giving me a lift. On parting she gave me a hug and said “I love you.” It felt so lacking in love. I realized that she had set up a block to the awareness of loves presence. Saying I love you could not be received as love because of her earlier accusations. In her mind she was expressing unconditional love, despite ‘my guilt' she was loving me, but her whole premise was faulty, so her magnanimity was false as was her love. How is that possible? She had projected her guilt onto me, so could not perceive me truly. How can we deepen our love so that it is genuine? By taking responsibility for what is ours so that our hearts are pure. Then we will see others accurately and will be a blessing and a joy to be around.
  19. Give examples from your own life where fearful situations were transformed through love: blessing rapist caused him to ask forgiveness and healed the negative effects of that experience. More examples in Ch. 9 of NG.
  20. Can we master fear? No, because it is not real. What happens when we try to master fear? We make it real. Why do we fear death?   Because we think death real and mistakenly think we are our bodies. Can we master love? Yes, because we are love. Can we abolish fear? Yes. How? By mastering love. Love? We cannot abolish love, but we can experience a loveless existence if we so choose.
  21. Why is God perceived as fearful? Because ego wants us to believe God fearful, vengeful, raining hell, fire and damnation upon us, because as long as ego can get us to see that way we won't see it as the cause of all our trouble. Ego wants us to push God away to guarantee its safety.
  22. What is the significance of Jesus teaching to love God above all and our neighbor as ourselves? When we love God with all our heart, soul and strength, we leave no room for loving ego. When we realize the great gift of having been given life, we cannot help but be so very grateful and so very full of love toward our Creator. To love your neighbor as yourself is to know that your neighbor is yourself. How can we love others if we don't love ourselves? How can we love ourselves if we don't love everyone? The two go hand in hand.
  23. Can you be afraid of love? Not of love, but of what we have taught ourselves about love. We have been taught to fear God's love, because we are told it will consume us, which it will. Can you be burned by love? There are those who fall in love, get hurt and then protect themselves from the pain by closing down and determining not to fall in love again. This is due to fear of getting hurt. When we know we cannot get hurt, we will open ourselves to experiencing love, with no regard for safety or protection from pain. Only when we love with abandon can we hope to experience true love. Can you love too much? No, there is no limit to love. If you feel over-extended by love, it was not love.
  24. Summarize the teachings of love and fear. God is but love and therefore so are we. Love is all there is and therefore fear is non-existent. Misperception produces fear and true perception produces love. Love need not be learned, it is who we are. We do need to remove the blocks to the awareness of love's presence. Life application: Be constantly vigilant to when love is blocked and ask to be shown what the blocks are and how to remove them. True love requires a willingness to take a stand when necessary. What are the pitfalls to guard against? Loving the unreal and thereby making it real, fearing God's love and thereby making God unreal, putting ourselves in harm's way since fear is not real,   not taking the teachings to the depth of understanding where they can be meaningfully applied since all that's happening is ‘love.' Looking for love outside ourselves to fill a void. Responding with the same glib smile no matter what – this gives license, does not curb inappropriate behavior and lacks depth. True love unites, heals, abolishes fear and gives without ever being depleted.

 

"Love All, Serve All."  Sai Baba