An unedited first draft text from the forthcoming book The Path and Practice of Outrageous Love by Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid
Here is the crux of the problem. The way we usually understand love is what we have called ordinary love. Ordinary love is limited and small. We understand ordinary love to be a human experience. We further limit love to a very particular human experience, that of emotion. We then further limit true love to a very specific and limited human emotion. Usually the human emotion that we associate with love is the euphoric but seemingly fleeting feeling of “falling in love.” Even however, if we expand our understanding of love beyond falling in love we still understand this human emotion of love to be appropriately reserved for family or romantic partners. Very occasionally it might also extend to include a close friend. These are the people who show up on the short love lists of ordinary love. People who love more broadly are alternatively thought to be saints, psychotics or sinners.
Open any book on love and you will find the same answer to the question of “What is Love?” “Love is an emotion.” Love is understood to be an emotional reaction to some form of outside stimuli, person, place, idea or thing. Ordinary love is a reaction. It is a transitory feeling that arises in response to something outside of us. A fleeting feeling of love in response to external stimuli is what passes for love today. That however is precisely what love in its essence is not. Only Ordinary love is an emotion and a reaction. The true nature of love is what we call Outrageous Love.
Ordinary love is not Outrageous Love. Outrageous love is not merely an emotion and a reaction. At its source Outrageous love is a perception and an action. This is but one of a series of key distinctions between ordinary and outrageous love which critically empower your awakening as an outrageous lover. Outrageous Love is a perception of essence. The true lover has eyes to see. Love perceives the essential nature of the beloved and the feeling tone of delight emerges from the perception. That is a critical distinction.
Ordinary love is a reaction. A ball hits the wall and in reaction to the impact bounces off the wall. Very quickly however the energy of the reaction peters out the ball ceases its motion. An emotion is energy in motion, in reaction to outside stimuli. Because it is in reaction, the emotion, energy in motion, comes to a rest. Ordinary Love inevitably withers and dies. The feeling and the power that derive from Ordinary love never last. That is simply its nature.
Outrageous love is an action which emerges spontaneously from the outrageous love which is the very essence of reality. Outrageous Love is the Eros of evolution which awakens in us and as us. It is sourced in a deeper seeing, a capacity for perception and is not merely a reactive emotion which eventually wears off. Perception is a capacity of consciousness that only deepens over time. The more we cleanse our doors of perception the deeper the experience and emotion of love. If we love each other now with only the limited perception that are available to us today, then naturally, after years of deeper of truly knowing one another, our love will grow exponentially in both intensity and depth. Instead of love growing stale and eventually disappearing which is the inevitable trajectory of ordinary love, Outrageous love invites us to a path where love grows ever more powerful, passionate, vital and erotic in the fullness of time. It is only that Outrageous Love, which has the sustaining power to transform both our personal lives and our planet.
I remember sharing this particular distinction around the nature of love in a dialogue I had with my friend, the Dalai Lama, in his home in Dharamsala. He was so excited. He kept saying “beautiful, beautiful.” What he understood that this set of distinctions between Outrageous and Ordinary love would forever change the entire game of love. Being science friendly in that way that he is, he further realized correctly that the concept of outrageous love is not fanciful conjecture but rather emerges from an integration of the leading edges of mystical science, physics and evolutionary theory.
There is not one self that lives in us. The more we engage in the great game of personal transformation the more we are able to access the deeper voices of self that live within us. Just like there is a baby self and an adolescent self which reflect different stages of physical and psychological growth there is an ego and essence self which reflect different levels of spiritual growth. Ordinary love is a strategy of the ego self. Outrageous love is a natural expression of essence. The ego self is narcissistic, mindlessly competitive and contracted. The essence self is creative, outrageously loving and expansive. The move from ordinary love to outrageous love is precisely the movement from ego to essence.
It is no surprise therefore that the core distinction between ordinary love and Outrageous Love appears directly in the patterns of heart wave. The heart has long been recognized as having its own intelligence, independent and prior to the rational mind. Science has now done the Heart Math to decisively conclude, based on over a dozen rigorous studies, that outrageous love and ordinary love literally produce different heart patterns. The heart wave patterns of ordinary love are jagged, crooked and what science has called incoherent. The heart wave patterns of Outrageous Love are sloping and beautiful, what science has called coherent. Love which generates coherent heart patterns yield a series of immunological, neurochemical, hormonal, psychological and health benefits which have been clearly measured and documented. But of course.
The distinction between ordinary love and outrageous love runs much deeper however than even the distinctions between action and reaction, perception and emotion.
Ordinary love or ego love, will neither awaken, transform, nor satisfy us. The only love that can take us home is Outrageous love. However outrageous love at its core is none of the above. It is not merely the emotion of falling of love. It is not merely an emotion. It is not merely human. It is the pulsating, erotic, love intelligence that initiated the great flaring forth of reality that we call the big bang. It is the force of allurement and attraction that moves all of existence. It is the invisible lines of connection that entangle evolves and animate all of reality.
The difference between ordinary love and outrageous love is the whole difference. All the great promises of love are true. But they refer not to ordinary love but to Outrageous Love. That is perhaps the most critical hidden teaching of the great mystical wisdom traditions. It is this realization – shared in different languages – that is the most significant shared depth structure of all the great traditions. Ordinary love will not get you there. Only outrageous love will take you home.
Perhaps the most important three words in written in the great work of evolutionary mysticism called the Zohar are Be’Chavivuta Talya Milta “It all depends on love”. This phrase does not refer to ordinary love. It refers to Outrageous Love. What is the difference between the two? Understanding that difference is the single most important piece of wisdom you can own. It is the change that changes everything, the key to all transformation. The kabbalistic masters expressed this distinction as love before creation and love after creation. Ordinary love is reactive. Outrageous Love is proactive. It does not merely react to other. It seeks out other to love. The Zohar calls outrageous love, Noam Elyon, the “pleasure from on high.”
Outrageous love is the field of love intelligence awakening as you. This field has been known my many names. It has been called the field of holy apples by the kabbalists, the Christ field by mystical Christians, the field beyond good and evil by Sufis and the Zero Point field by leading edge voices in post quantum science. It is the field that mystics have always known and the leading edge of physics is now discovering. In writing Outrageous Love letters the field of outrageous love intelligence that connects, animates and suffuses of all of reality awakens in you and as you. You awaken as an outrageous lover. You live, for the first time, with an open heart.