Love – The Fourth Level of Ecstasy

It seems to me that it’s essential to know about love.

Love comes in many forms.

And to not love is to not live.

Many people talk about meditation and self-discovery, bringing themselves to higher levels of consciousness.

Yet they seem—for all their knowledge and ability, for the various terminologies that they can utilize in descriptive discussion—to not know very much about love.

So this evening I’d like to place you a little bit ahead of the game, if I can.

Now, other people have talked about love. As a matter of fact, I have spent my whole life studying love. Love has been the only thing that’s ever really excited me in this world. Even in school, I was drawn to the study of poetry, which usually dwells on the topic of love.

Love is

Love is the ability to extend yourself beyond yourself and become perfect.

Love is light.

In the inner worlds,

Love is


Love has fascinated humankind for as long as we have been,

I really don’t suppose that I can add anything to what’s been said about love. Books have been written about love. Plays, poems are filled with it.

It seems to me that

I have a disease. I fall in love with people very easily.

I say that it’s a disease in that it has a certain pathology that we can follow and observe, and that sometimes it’s painful and sometimes it’s almost destructive in a way.

But maybe sometimes diseases have their place too. Maybe sometimes they cause something in us to fall away so something new can spring into place.

Love is not reasonable.

If we could assign it to the reasonable world, it would not be useful.

Love is something

It is the only thing that I know of that will do that.

All of the various forms of self-discovery, ranging from Zen and Tibetan tantra on through Christianity, Buddhism, whatever it may be, all of them are based on love.

While in some forms of self-discovery, love may not be discussed a lot, it’s understood to be the basis of all spiritual and religious practice.

When a civilization, a race, a people, a society, when they lack love, they are soon destroyed.


Love comes in two forms, higher love and lower love, or let us say advanced love and the beginning of love.

The beginning of love is self-oriented. The natural model, as Fromm has pointed out in his book, The Art of Loving, is the child. The child loves him or herself. This is not a bad kind of love; it’s a very immature, basic, beginning love.

If we were to graph the development of love, this would be the beginning, when we just come on the chart with our line.

The child is only concerned with itself, with its pain, with its pleasure, with its feelings. If things don’t work out, the child will be unhappy and cry. When the child is happy, it smiles.

There is no regard for others, only for the fulfillment of the self, one’s happiness and one’s unhappiness. This is self-love.

At a certain point the child grows up a little bit.

That’s love in a slightly more advanced form. The child is now looking beyond itself and wants to do something for someone else.

That’s love.

Of course, there are gradations. The child will then want to receive something in return.

In the very first stage of love, there is only concern for the self—my happiness, my unhappiness, my pleasure and my pain.

In the second stage of love, the pattern moves beyond the limited self, and we love someone else, but we need a return.

It’s a business deal, it’s an agreement.

Naturally, this love is vulnerable because if we expect something and we don’t get it, sometimes we’re not happy.

Now, had you been able to love in a more advanced way,

Had you been able to love a little bit more deeply,

There are very few people who love this way.

It’s a wonderful ideal and you can do it, but very few people love this way.

In the first stage of love, “Love seeketh only itself to please,” as the poet William Blake said. In the second stage of love, we move into contractual love, where we give something and we receive something back.

The first stage of love has very little happiness in it. The second stage of love has more happiness because we’re concerned with the other, not just the self.

In the first stage of love, one is only happy when things are going well. And even then, happiness is rather shallow.

In the second stage of love, there’s a deeper love. There’s a recognition of the other and that the other is worth loving and worth giving to. But there’s still a claim check. We still expect something back in return, and that love is vulnerable.

In the third stage of love, we love selflessly.

We give just for the sake of giving and we love just for the sake of loving.

If you can reach the third level of loving—that’s a wonderful thing to do, you’ll be happy in love.

But of course,

That is the

We see that love manifested normally

In the soldier, we see the love of country. When you are willing to go onto a battlefield and risk, or perhaps give your life, to defend an ideal, knowing that you may not live throughout the day, the sensible person would say, “Listen, lock me up, do what you want, at least I’ll be alive.”

In the parent—ideally—we see love, [but] not always. It’s strange, but there are many parents who really don’t love their children at all, who are more interested in their own welfare than the welfare of their children.

I, myself, was very fortunate. I grew up in a family in which, while I’m sure it had its difficulties like most families do, there was never any question about love. If anything, there was sometimes too much of it.

But there are many, many homes in which parents simply don’t love their children. They don’t make any sacrifices for their children.

They’re not willing to go and work extra hours so the child can have something nice to wear, attend a better school. They’re more interested in their own vacations, in their own holidays, in their own state-of-the-art living.

It seems to be a rather backward way to be, and there’s not much happiness in it.

But ideally, what we see, and sometimes it’s [done] practically, is the love of a parent that’s a self-sacrificing love.

Even in the animal kingdom, we see that a mother bird will give her life to protect her young. It’s a basic nature to love one’s child.

In the lover we see self-sacrifice sometimes. When someone is—Shakespeare loved this—when someone is inundated with love, infatuated, they’ll do ridiculous things.

There’s a kind of intoxication, there’s a beauteous love in which the identification becomes so complete—Petrarch, in the Italian sonnets about the idealization of love, was so caught up in the idea that nothing but the beloved exists, and of course,

So your love for Gwendolyn or Bernie is a reflection of the divine principle itself and should be appreciated as such, and is sacred as such.

All three of these types of love come together in the love of a spiritual teacher.

That is to say, if l can use an example that most people are familiar with, Christ is, in the West, known as an incarnation of love.

The idea was, simply, that here was this guy who attained self-realization.

Yet, this being,

Of course, the popular line is, “He died for our sins.”

It seems to me that’s an honest but simplistic way of looking at a very magnificent act of self-sacrifice.


And he didn’t have to. He could have walked away.

But he didn’t.

We see it in all spiritual teachers, in all real spiritual individuals. It’s one thing, when you’re still bound by the three worlds, to love.

It’s another

But let’s descend, for a moment, from this lofty world of love, this highest ideal of self-sacrifice, and come down to a more basic, common level of living.

This is why Gandhi appeals to me. Practical man.

It seems to me that love begins where you are.

That it is first necessary—if we go back to the basic level of love—

It’s very hard to love yourself if you’re not truthful.

It’s very shallow to not take the trouble and time to discover your own beauty and perfection. It’s really not much of a life, very superficial.

In self-discovery then, we admonish people to take the time to discover themselves. This is done in a variety of different ways.

In other words, the suggestion is that

Of course, we won’t recognize that if we’re superficial, if we hide behind the mask of ego and illusion; we won’t discover who and what we are because we’re selfish.

It takes self-effort to inquire of the self.

It takes energy.

It takes commitment, and that

Pain spurs us forward.

We are in pain, we’re uncomfortable, we want to get away from that condition, so we’ll do something to get away from pain, anything to get away from pain.

Once we’re away from pain, though, we won’t necessarily go any further. We’ve eliminated pain, that’s enough. Now we’re happy.

Love, on the other hand, will not stop at that point.

Love will continue on.

So in self-discovery, in the process of self-discovery, pain will spur you on.

That’s as far as most people go with self-discovery.

But the true spiritual seeker is motivated by love. They seek union with God.

They realize that

Everywhere we look, we see opposition, juxtaposition, pairs of opposites.

But in love, we go beyond separativity. We’re not standing back, watching the movie; we go into the movie itself.

Love is union.

Only in that union, be it on

is there release from the bondage of the three worlds;

Only in

I personally don’t talk about love too much. This is one of the few talks I’ve ever given on the subject.

I could take you up to Colorado and show you the Continental Divide and say, “Look at the beauty of the Continental Divide.”

There is nothing that I, as an individual, can do to add to that beauty. I am insignificant. I am nothing. My job is only to help you see that beauty.

Now, if I brought you up there, and we went up to the Continental Divide, and you saw these majestic mountains that are covered with snow, up at 14,000 feet, a world beyond what most of us experience in our daily life, just in terms of natural beauty,

Or, after years of living this way, your perceptions would be so dulled that you wouldn’t even really see on a basic, sensory level what was in front of you!

You would live in such a world of illusion that when you looked at it, it wouldn’t mean much. It wouldn’t touch your heart. You’d be dead.

In self-discovery then, what I as a teacher do, or what any teacher does—we can’t make it more beautiful, we don’t need to.

But what we do, is teach you how to look again.

Or, if you’ve never learned,

Life itself is complete beauty.

In every stage there’s beauty because

As long as

it need not be



That love is eternal.

In self-discovery, it is our intention—the intention of spiritual teachers, of those of us who have climbed these mountains and seen them—to come back down from the mountains and say to you,

But you must see it. And to see it, you must clear your mind.

Your mental conditioning —

your mental conditioning

You are capable as an individual

There are definitive, scientific methods for doing so, which we call “self-discovery.”

There are many of them,

But rather,

What a spiritual teacher does is radiate consciousness and light and create substantial changes in the structure of your being to allow—with your self-effort, patience, perseverance, and dedication—allows you to see eternity.

While there are certain meditation methods and techniques, that’s

Ninety-eight percent of the study

Not simply in the sense of a one-shot transmission, but by

Every day, if we take a plant and we put it in the sunlight, if the sunlight comes every day, the plant grows and develops. Without light, the plant does not do well. It needs it for its photosynthesis, to create food.

In the same sense, you as an individual need the light of God to grow. Now, true, the light of God is available everywhere.

But most people don’t access very much of it.

So when we want sunlight, we go outdoors and we find it.

If you want the light of God, you go to someone who is imbued with it, who is one with the light of God, who radiates it in every action, in every way.

And if you are with such a being, it’s catching. It touches you.

Now, you can go to a beautiful place. You can go to see the Continental Divide, to the ocean, wherever it may be. But you can turn your back on it, even though you’re there, and not see it. You can be so caught up in the maya or the ignorance and frustration and illusion that you will not see the simple beauty of perfection.

The spiritual process, then,

Because only love will have the power and the velocity to hurtle you beyond your own imperfections,—imperfect ways of seeing, that is.

The way you

You could read all the books in the world about love and not learn anything about love.

But if you live with someone who loves—if you watch them, if you observe them—

That’s why the simple self-sacrifice of a man two thousand years ago—who gave his life out of love—still changes the lives of so many.

People give their lives every day, in battle and just in life, working for their families. So why should what one man did two thousand years ago create such an impression? Why should the Buddha and his life create such an impression? Why do religious leaders create impressions that last beyond all the politicians, all the Nobel laureates?


Because of their love.

Because the actual potency and strength of their love is so great, that it makes an impression on the universe.

Because something in us recognizes that and responds to that and it’s not necessarily conscious. We know it to be true.

So you, in your life, need to bring about a revolution, a silent revolution. It’s a revolution of love. And you need to start in the first stage, self-love. You can’t skip it, but you can do it in a more mature fashion.

You must accept yourself and discover yourself and discover that there’s someone in there who’s worth loving.

That’s you, your spirit—

The actual spirit of your being —

Once you come in contact with that animate spirit within yourself, you will fall in love with it.

Not in an egotistical or self-centered sense, but simply,

When we meditate, this is what happens.

But still, there are forces in the universe that make it very difficult to do this.

There is

In order to love ourselves, we need encouragement, we need examples. So we try and associate with those who have succeeded.

If you want to learn to be happy, go find the person you know in the world who’s the happiest and spend time with them. If you want to learn to make a fortune, go find someone who’s made a fortune and apprentice yourself.

Whatever you wish to learn in life, go find that person whom you consider to be the most successful and be with them, and you will learn.

The real things in life that are taught—are taught inwardly, not outwardly.

If you want to learn to be very successful financially, the way you’ll learn is not so much by learning a formula. There are lots of books that have been written that can tell you investment formulas. But the person who used those formulas or who invented them had more than a formula. They understood something.

They had a certain energy, a certain strand of kundalini. When you’re with that person, when you’re around them, it touches you. It enters you. You can recognize it, and it’s within yourself and you can bring it out.

When you study at a university with a great professor—and I was fortunate enough to have many—if you observe them and not simply what they say—but what they are— you will learn a great deal.

I was very fortunate. I had one professor, Dr. Charles Owen at the University of Connecticut, and he was a Chaucerian. I spent a great deal of time with him, not only in class but I participated in a special group he had of honor students who would come over to his house just because we all fell in love with him. He was this marvelous old man.

He was an old scholar, but he had an animate spirit, he was alive.

I used to go, and we used to study certain archaic books, which I really didn’t have much of an interest in, to be honest with you. But he was fascinated by them, and I was fascinated by him. So I was willing to put up with the books—for him.

I loved to be around him. There was something in this man, some deep truth that touched me.

I would sit and listen to his lectures on these old texts and I would study them, just so we could be together, because what interested me in him was what he was, his essence. That’s what I fell in love with, and that’s what I responded to, and I wanted to be like him.

I felt a goodness that I responded to, and I fell in love with it.

I told you before,

I had many professors like that as an undergraduate. In graduate school, the man who directed my dissertation, Louis Simpson—who’s a poet and a marvelous scholar—I took as many courses with him as I could, because I fell in love with him.

In other words, that aspect of eternity that reflected in him—

That happened to me many, many times in school. I met these wonderful professors, great souls, in other words. It didn’t really matter to me what they were teaching, whether it was Milton or Chaucer or Shakespeare or botany or biology or biochemistry. It didn’t really matter.

I wanted to be around them because I recognized a great goodness in these souls, and I apprenticed myself to that goodness and I studied them.

I learned what they said. I passed their examinations. I wrote the papers. But what fascinated me was them.

And by affixing my consciousness to them, I gained something. I didn’t do it to gain something, to be honest with you, I just fell in love and found myself doing it.

Love creates a bridge, a bridge between peoples, a bridge between nations.

It’s necessary in self-discovery for us to contemplate the meaning of love.

We take an individual who’s very successful—I read a story in the Los Angeles Times not long ago about a fellow who made himself several million dollars.

But his life was empty. He’d succeeded at doing what most people want to do. This article went into long descriptions about all the different automobiles he had and homes he owned and places in Switzerland and all this sort of stuff.

But once he’d done it all and he had achieved everything that everybody thinks will finally make them happy, he found that he wasn’t happy.

So then he began a long search to find someone to share it with. He suddenly realized, having gotten it all, it really didn’t do it. So he went through this long process of placing ads, I guess, in places to find the ideal woman, someone he could love.

Finally, after many years of searching, he found her, and they married. And they’ll be happy for a while. [Audience laughs.] Well, everything is just for a while, but at least it’s working for him at the moment.

In other words, finding this person animated his spirit, and he feels more alive than he did before.

You see, the great mistake we make is, we mistake the object of our love—and love.

We think that it’s the thing that makes us happy.

It’s not the thing, it’s the emotion we feel for it.

That’s what’s so great about love. You’ll find someone and you’ll say, “I could never love that person.” Someone else will find that person to be the most adorable person in all the worlds. Well, somebody’s wrong!

Well, actually, no one’s wrong, everyone’s quite right.

There are people in cancer wards, who are dying very painful deaths. They’ve reached the point where even the morphine doesn’t stop the pain completely.

And they are happy.

They are happy because they love.

In their minds, these sometimes simple people, basic, down-to-earth people, found something that makes them happy.

It’s the love of others, even in their darkest moment.

Well, a great secret that we learn in self-discovery is not simply to love people and plants and physicians.

But to love

It’s a hackneyed phrase, it’s written all over church walls and in books. But it’s amazing, people hear the phrase, but it doesn’t mean much. “God is love.”

What does that mean?

To love is to be God.

Not God as a persona—as a being, perhaps—

In metaphysics — which is the applied study of meditation — we realize God through love.

That love may cause us to follow the path of Zen, we may practice discrimination, jnana yoga;18 we may do karma yoga, work for others; we may practice mysticism and study power, but all of it, all of those applications and processes, are motivated by love.

Without love, there is very little.

Now, naturally, we learn in self-discovery that love can be a very painful experience.

For a person who’s in an earlier state of evolution, in their early incarnations, it’s enough to go out and love and have a family, have relationships.

When we become attached to something, when we lose it, it’s terribly painful.

In self-discovery, we learn to love without attachment.

To just love, to realize that love is eternal, as is everything. Then we don’t get hurt in love. That’s a higher type of love. It’s an unconditional love.

You can’t just do these things. There has to be something that brings you in touch with some part of yourself that you are not yet in touch with. When you come into contact with that part of yourself, you will begin to love.

These are fine ideas and ideals, you may embrace them, and this little talk may inspire you for a short time to love more deeply. Hopefully it will. But it won’t last. Your inspiration won’t last.

It won’t last unless you find some way of being in touch with that part of yourself which you are not yet in touch with.

That’s why we meditate.

When we meditate and stop thought, or at least slow it down or at least feel we’re separate from it, we clear the air and we can feel and see the deeper parts of ourselves. Not necessarily with our conscious mind, but it happens.

We slowly come to consciousness, in the short span of time that we call life. We experience a waking. We wake to life in new ways.

As a spiritual teacher—as one who teaches others to love, hopefully by example—I observe a great lack of love, in the world that we live in.

I don’t find this discouraging.

Rather, I think that it’s the age, it’s the time, and that rather than being discouraged by the lack of love in the world in general, you should be encouraged by your own ability to love.

My ability to aid another in self-discovery—aside from just the quantum energy transfers that occur when I meditate with people—

Now we’re getting into the basics of self-discovery here.

All spiritual teachers try to create an experience of love. This experience of love varies from teacher to teacher and from lifetime to lifetime, [and varies] according to the evolution of the teacher, and of course, the evolution of the people they work with. But I’d like to give some gross generalizations that are usually fairly true.

A spiritual teacher tries to ignite love in someone. Now let’s understand what the teacher is. The teacher is someone who’s climbed the high mountain, with a great deal of effort, with a great deal of ease, however it was for the teacher. The teacher was not always a teacher. There was a time the teacher was a student. The teacher climbed the mountain as a student, and after a great deal of effort and time and incarnations, reached a point that we call self-realization.

There are many teachers.

Very few, in any of the three worlds, are self-realized.

Self-realization is a very, very rare thing.

There are saints, sages, spiritually advanced people.

But a completely self-realized individual is very unusual. There are very few of them.

When someone has attained self-realization, it means that they are no longer human as we know human to be, or perhaps they are human for the first time. It means that they have, in the absolute ecstasy and union of love, attained the highest truth. They live that truth; they can no longer be separated from it. It means that their ego, their personal motivations, even the higher motivations have been lost in the ocean of love. They are willing, eager and conscious to live whatever is truth because love cannot be separated from truth. They no longer have individual desires or motives. Or, as Ramakrishna said, desire passes through the teacher, through the enlightened one, as smoke does through the thin air.

Enlightened people experience desire, as it’s part of the multiplicity, it’s part of creation. But it does not create an effect. As smoke passing through the air leaves no residue in the air—the air is clear—whereas with most persons who are not enlightened, when smoke passes through them it’s like smoke passing through a building. The smoke will pass and it will leave soot, it will leave residue on the walls.

To be enlightened is to be the clear air, is to be not one particular strand of consciousness, not just nirvana. It’s to exist as an endless, changeless being who is always new and who can exist in any plane, in any level, and yet is beyond change.

It’s a curious duality.

Teachers who are at that stage of evolution, few though they may be, or even those who are just fairly along the way, who perhaps had thousands of incarnations as a holy person, and while their self-realization is not rounded yet, they are quite advanced—these individuals go about the teaching process.

There’s a great book, of course, called Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which in my estimation is worth rereading occasionally because what this little silly book about a seagull does, this little parable, is trace the spiritual teaching process, which is very simple.

Something in you sought light. You found it. You became enamored of it. You gave everything for it, without wanting anything in return, or even if you did, you kept wanting it.

You yourself passed through the stages of love in your self-discovery. At first it was just for yourself and your happiness. Then you became aware of the existence of God and others, and you did things for them, but it was contractual; you wanted something in return, and that was happier, but also more frustrating. Then you passed beyond that and you only had selfless motives, and then you had no motives at all.

So you went through the four stages. You attained knowledge.

But then, that wasn’t enough, you see.

The fourth level of ecstasy is taking that knowledge and sharing it with others, if that’s what’s truth. Or, if that’s not truth for you, to not do that, to always follow the will of God or eternity and to unite yourself with that will at all times, in all places. There is nothing else.

And if it makes you a fool in front of others, to play the fool. If it makes you a hero, to be the hero. In other words, you’re a slave of God. There is nothing else for you anymore. You’re not interested in the opinions of others, in winning their favor, in courting their money.

If that’s the will of God, you’ll do that. Even if others say terrible things about you and say, “Well, look at that spiritual teacher there, he’s seeking money or fame.” Some spiritual teachers have done that because that was the will of God. But it doesn’t matter. What do you need people for? Why do you need places? Why do you need press? You realize that all things in this world are transitory; none of them last.

God is eternal.

You have founded all of your realization upon that fact. You have merged with the light of God, so nothing matters anymore. You don’t need anything, you are everything. Yet, if that everything manifests itself in and through you to do a certain thing, you are more than happy to do it no matter what the expense. Which is why, of course, Christ could die on a cross or Buddha could live to be very old.

Sometimes living is equally painful as dying.

But you go where the company sends you, joyfully, because what else is there to do? You’re free. You’re willing to give up that very freedom that you worked so hard for and go all the way back to the beginning again. For love. Risky business, loving that way.

A spiritual teacher, then, tries to ignite the flame of love in others because they realize that that’s the very nature of existence, and that’s the only thing that brings happiness that lasts.

The love that most people experience is better than no love at all. But it’s a rocky road, that love. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Sometimes more down than up. But at least it’s better than nothing. It’s better than the nebulous, sterile state in which we don’t love. That’s death, not even a pleasant death.

You try and ignite that love, any way you can—by example, by instruction, by meditation.

Now, of course, the great advantage that the self-realized person has over one who is just inspired, a saint, someone who has had great visions of God and tries to tell others, is the self-realized person has power.

When they meditate with others, anyone who has any psychic perception can see them surrounded by glowing lights. They see that there’s not a body there; they see them disappear, they’re invisible; they see nirvana or various forms manifesting through them. They see the universal form of God, whatever it may be.

The visions will vary according to the level of awareness of the audience.

But a spiritual teacher who has attained enlightenment, when they meditate with one person or a group, or even with someone who’s not physically present, thousands of miles away or in other worlds, has the ability to channel what we call the kundalini energy, consciousness itself, to others and elevate them in ways that that person would not be able to do themselves for many, many lifetimes and advance them spiritually. The teacher does this, of course, out of love. Because it matters to them that someone else can be happy.

You see, love is so simple. Even in the most advanced beings, it’s really the same.

You just care about somebody else and their welfare. You want them to have a nice day. After you’re enlightened, it doesn’t change. It adapts new forms.

So a teacher then will strike out into the world, and sometimes strike out—but they will form a community. The community may be a few students, it may be hundreds, it may be thousands. But the principles that are involved in the community are always the same.

The study makes it necessary for it to be the same.

The teacher has reached the point of enlightenment. Or, perhaps, you don’t have an enlightened teacher. Perhaps an individual has a teacher who is only partially enlightened. A teacher can go into samadhi but is still subject to a great deal of illusion, but is certainly far more advanced than most people are.

The teacher will try to inspire others. The teacher will have to deal with the public, initially, to encounter students.

This is called “spreading the dharma.”

Even after one has many students, most teachers will continue to deal with the public even if they don’t want any more students because they want to advance others in any way that they possibly can.

The role of the teacher, then, is not simply to deal with their own individual students but to advance anyone they possibly can, in any way.

Yet they have specialized missions sometimes.

A teacher will normally divide their time between dealing with the public, dealing with their students, of which there are two types, and between their own meditations and their own adventures. There are really four elements.

A teacher has two types of students—very close students and what we’ll call general students.

A teacher can only have very few close students at any one time, perhaps a dozen, only because there are so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a year and so many years in our lives.

By close student, we mean someone with whom you spend a certain amount of time physically.

In order to bring someone to enlightenment, it is necessary, at a certain stage of their development, to spend time with them. To teach them on an individual basis.

A teacher has to spend a certain amount of time with an individual to do that, and you can only do that with a very few people, let’s say, perhaps, a dozen.

You just wouldn’t have the time otherwise; there aren’t enough hours in the day, literally. While an enlightened teacher is able to inwardly communicate with thousands of people simultaneously, still, there remains the need to physically interact with students.

An enlightened teacher … well, let me give you an example. As I sit here tonight addressing several hundred of my students, I am also communicating with some of my students who are not here, inwardly—my students who are in San Francisco or non-resident students in other parts of the world.

Right now there are dialogues taking place on other levels of attention between myself and them. But my students who are with me tonight need the actual physical experience of sitting in this hall, listening to me talk and experiencing, more importantly, the energy that’s radiating from me at this time, that’s entering their subtle physical bodies and helping them to store power, bringing them through a variety of different transitions. Each one is going through different transitions, which is why they sit here and put up with me.

It really doesn’t matter to them essentially what I say; hopefully it will be encouraging.

But I’m transferring consciousness to each one.

Consciousness transfers in a special way in the physical presence of a teacher, in a way that it really doesn’t long distance—unless a person is very spiritually advanced and has a very close connection with a teacher.

If you’re very spiritually advanced, if you’re quite close to enlightenment or in that ballpark, if you have a close connection with a teacher which is love, then it is possible to experience exactly the same energy transfer at any distance.

But that’s very unusual.

That’s why it’s necessary to come and see a teacher in person.

People in India and in Tibet would travel thousands of miles just to see a teacher, to be within a hundred yards of them. They’d travel on foot to be there for five minutes when the teacher came out to give a short discourse because they knew that to be near a holy one, an enlightened one, was so beneficial, so much prana, energy, came forth at that time, that to be in the physical radius of that energy could cause their whole life to change, their consciousness to change, their level of meditation to change, and that after they went away from that experience they would be different.

They would experience an epiphany. A metamorphosis would take place in their consciousness and being.

Of course it would take place not simply because the teacher was there, but because they were at a level of attention that drew that.

The teacher could be out in the street and people could be passing by, and while a certain radiation emanates from an enlightened being that touches all—those who seek it, who admire it, who love it, will draw more of it.

And it will cause them to evolve spiritually, to become more conscious of what they are.

So, as I sit here this evening, there’s a “correspondence course” taking place between myself and each student of mine—whom I love—otherwise I would not accept them as students and work with them and absorb their karmas.

There is a correspondence course taking place between myself and my students who are in other locales.

There is a correspondence taking place between myself right now and members of the public, persons who have come to recently see me at one of our public meditations. When they leave the room, the correspondence doesn’t end. Sometimes that’s when our dialogues begin, that’s when it gets fun.

Right now, I feel a number of people who will never be students whom I’m corresponding with inwardly. I’m corresponding with friends I had years ago. They may not be consciously aware of that, but I help them in their daily life, some of my teenage friends when I was growing up.

They don’t know what happened to me. They have no idea that I attained liberation or anything like that, but I help them. They don’t need to know; I can help them anyway, effectively, inwardly. I can send them energy and light and help them in their evolution.

There are people I feel in other parts of the world who will never meet me or hear my name. They are probably better off. But I help them inwardly. I feel their souls seeking light, and I help all who come.

They don’t have to physically come.

This is not because I am so great or so wonderful, it’s just the way it works. I’m not particularly great nor am I particularly wonderful, yet I’m capable of doing some very interesting things because I am no longer a single individual. I have merged with a force that has infinite powers and possibilities, and it works through me as it does through any fully enlightened being, as it works through all beings, in one way or another.

But naturally we can do amazing things with it as we extend ourselves into the superconsciousness. We are no longer human in the sense that we’re not just capable of the actions that human beings are capable of. We can do impossible things—impossible from the eyes of those who still don’t know their own limitlessness.

So a teacher starts to teach. They go out, they give some talks. The Buddha gave his first talks, and three or four ascetics became his first disciples.

They recognized his enlightenment. They knew before, [that] he was not [enlightened], and then something happened. He went through this incredible transition.

They saw he was enlightened, and they became his first disciples. Over a period of many years he collected thousands of disciples. Many became his students. Many didn’t become his students but whenever he was in town—he traveled a lot—they would go and see him, listen to his discourses. Some tried to kill him; there were assassination attempts. Some hated him. This is par for the course.

The story is the same, is what I’m suggesting. There’s an archetype working here.

The story is retold again in time after time, land after land, world after world, but it’s really the same. When you understand the active principles of it, it becomes fun to participate in, and you do better at your participation.

A teacher, then, has two types of students. One type of student is a close student. The other is also a close student, but not in the sense of physical proximity. Now, the close students rotate a lot. What I mean by that is this—let’s say a teacher could be with maybe 12, perhaps 20 close students at a time.

Rarely is that number achieved.

As far as I know, it’s never been necessary in the history of spiritual teaching—in this world—for a teacher to turn away someone who could have been a close student because all of the slots were filled.

There’s not that much aspiration in this world.

So you should never feel as an individual that your teacher is turning you away because they have too many close students. That’s nonsense.

There’s an inviolable law that when there’s a want for light, there’s a fulfillment.

That is, when you reach a certain level of understanding, a teacher is provided, and when you’re ready for a close association, that association is provided. That’s taken care of for you. So never feel, “Oh gosh, my teacher has so many close students, I can never be close.” That’s not true!

If you have a real teacher, an enlightened teacher, that’s not true. The teacher will immediately recognize that it’s your time and you will be placed in a closer proximity. But that happens to very few people at a time. Only because very few people want that.

Now we enter into humor.

You have to have a good sense of humor to understand this part of the talk. Because it’s very funny.

People do not want to achieve liberation or be happy.

This is the basic guideline that they teach you in spiritual training school, as a spiritual teacher.

You must recognize that people love misery, they love to feel sorry for themselves and they definitely don’t want to be enlightened.

If you don’t know that, then you will not succeed in spiritual teaching. That’s the first thing they tell you at boot camp, in the higher worlds. They’re not interested.

You’ve got to do something to interest them. Don Juan in the teachings of Carlos Castaneda makes the same point. He says you have to fool people into seeking knowledge.

People will not do it of their own volition.

Now, then of course, you have the spiritual teacher who says, “Well, that’s absurd. How can you fool anyone? There’s just love.”

Such a teacher is either not being up front, they’re speaking metaphorically, or they’re not very advanced.

It is necessary to engage a person’s attention and show them the benefits of self-discovery versus the detrimental effect of their current lifestyle.

In other words, you’ve got to make a person aware of how miserable they really are, and show them how happy they can be. Otherwise, why should they seek this nebulous goal called “self-discovery?”

And the lengths that a teacher will go to do this are unbelievable! Now this is where it gets fun.

As you know, I recommend frequently many different books. But very often I recommend the books of Carlos Castaneda, particularly Journey to lxtlan, Tales of Power and The Second Ring of Power. From my point of view, it’s not important whether the characters in these books ever existed or not, because I find the spiritual principles in them to be true.

There are some great stories in them, particularly, I think, in The Second Ring of Power, about how don Juan and don Genaro found their apprentices—they’re in the school of mysticism so they call their students “apprentices”—and what they went through to fool their students into seeking light.

They’re well worth reading. Perhaps I myself someday will sit down and write some of the experiences that I’ve had [Rama laughs] with some of my students. I don’t know if I could print a lot of them because no one would believe them. But some of the things you have to do to get people to be happy are remarkable.

You have to engage someone’s attention, first off. The person is locked into maya. They’re miserable.

But they don’t sometimes even know how miserable they are because they don’t know what happiness can be, because they don’t know what love is—yet.

So you have to attract their attention, and there’s a variety of different ways to do this. Ramakrishna, the great spiritual teacher in India, at times used to go on top of his house and yell out for students to come.

This is called, “Indian advertising.” [Audience laughs.] Hey, it must have worked. He found some good students, who later started the Ramakrishna Math.19

However, what most teachers do is not so much to climb on top of the house and yell—and Ramakrishna, of course, was doing this, too—but you meditate within.

When you sit down and you do your daily meditation, you reach out and you look inwardly and see who is available.

You just send out light.

Then you do whatever seems appropriate physically to make yourself generally available. Some teachers are extremely inaccessible. They feel that’s the best thing. They feel that their teachings are for very few so they make it intentionally hard to get to themselves.

Some teachers are very accessible. They advertise a great deal, they go out into the public.

But while they may be very accessible on a simple level, if they’re advanced teachers, doubtlessly they are very inaccessible in terms of physical proximity.

There are different forms, but essentially they’re the same.

A teacher will have an initial contact at some point with someone. But my point is, it always happens inwardly first. Before you ever meet an advanced teacher, they have somehow traveled inwardly along the astral planes to you, and they’ve probably been in contact with you for perhaps many years before you ever met them physically.

Of course, in some situations, where the teacher has had many incarnations, in my own case and other cases, many of the people I work with I’ve worked with in other lifetimes. What happens is—you come back, you reincarnate, your own realization returns after a number of years and spiritual transpositions, and you encounter your old students again and perhaps new students too. You reach out inwardly and find them. You move to the place where they are.

In my case I moved to California because I knew that many of my students from past lives were in California. I could see that.

So I changed location because I knew it was easier for me to go to them than for them to come to me.

I travel now. I’ll go to a city, a school, and give a lecture, because I can feel someone there. Whenever I give a lecture series someplace, it’s because I inwardly see first that there’s someone there who is waiting.

Whether they’ll show up or not, I don’t know. That depends upon many factors.

The initial contact is inner. But then there has to be a secondary contact, which is outer. So you go and give a talk. Perhaps you advertise. You’ve had initial contact with the person and if they follow that stream of light, life in some way will open a door for them. Someone will tell them that you’re coming to town, they’ll see a poster, read a newspaper about you, something will happen. Maybe they’ve read a book of yours.

Then when they come and meditate with you, if you enter into samadhi, if you’re absorbed in the superconscious, they will feel that and it will change their life.

Their whole life will begin to shift, from their first physical contact with you.

Sometimes their immediate reaction is to want to run away because they realize inwardly that the transpositions their life will now go through will be remarkable, but in a way it will change everything. Part of them has grown very attached to a certain way of life, people they associate with, careers. Everything is going to go topsy-turvy now; it has to, because they’re remembering who they are.

The king had a daughter—the king and the queen. The daughter was stolen by a roving band of flamingos out of her crib. The flamingos took her to a small island. They raised her and told her that she was a flamingo. They taught her various arts that only flamingos know, secret flamingo arts. And she walked around thinking she was a flamingo. One day, as fate would have it, a great spiritual sage was traveling through the astral planes, and he saw the little island of flamingos where this young girl was. He saw a delightful opportunity to confuse everyone. So he manifested himself in the material, on the island, in the form of a flamingo, naturally, because she would only listen to a flamingo because she only spoke flamingese. [Audience laughs.]

The sage approached her, and he explained to her that she was the daughter of a great king and queen and that she came from another kingdom. She listened, and of course the light of knowledge dawned and she left with the sage, and they married and lived happily ever after.

Not really. No, what actually happened was that she went back to the kingdom and realized that she had a lot of money because her parents had died and she led a flagrant but happy life. [Audience laughs.]

No, not exactly, I’ll get the story right yet, be patient.

What happened was, as I think the legend goes, she suddenly realized that she was not who she thought she was. So she decided to walk on two feet instead of four, and life was different. She gave up flying.

Anyway, at some point when you run into your spiritual teacher, you realize you’re not a flamingo. That’s my point.

You begin to change. Suddenly you realize, something inside you knows that you’ve been slumming.

Your soul has not been living up to its highest destiny. You’ve been slumbering and now you begin to awaken. But naturally, there are parts of yourself, your mental conditioning, your attachments and so on, that will fight this process, so then the battle begins within yourself, between the old self and the soul.

The spiritual teacher engages in warfare and uses all the light and powers that he or she possesses to aid you in that battle, but still, it’s up to you.

You can be a very advanced soul and not follow the higher call and miss it for a lifetime or many lifetimes. That happens quite frequently.

You have to decide what you want to do.

Now this is where love comes in, because if you love, if the light of that contact has triggered something on subconscious levels, then that love will compel you to leave your current comfortable or uncomfortable but attached lifestyle and to take up something new. To begin again in a new land.

The land need not always, of course, involve changes in your physical lifestyle. Very often it does. There’s no set change. But it involves large, substantial changes in the way that you lead your life, how you spend your time, what you think about, all this sort of thing.

Then, if one is drawn, one applies to become a student of the teacher. You say to the teacher—we don’t do it quite the way they used to do it in Japan and India and Tibet—but in effect you’re saying, “Please accept me as a student. I seek knowledge, I seek light, I want to learn how to love.” Whatever it may be, we’re not so formal in the West.

And we begin this marvelous process.

Now, at that point you enter into a general pool of students, and the teacher will begin to work with you inwardly and outwardly, according to your level of development. What you need at the time, the teacher will provide, if you’ve got a good teacher. Because the teacher is interested in one thing—your progress.

The teacher will do whatever is necessary and will hold back nothing for you as an individual.

But you must have faith in your teacher. If you don’t have faith, you shouldn’t study with a teacher because the process won’t work. That faith will only come about through love.

The spiritual teaching process is a process of mutual love.

Without that love, very little can happen.

You should recognize that the reason you were ever drawn to a teacher initially was out of love.

You might have thought of beneficial reasons, categorical reasons, logical reasons. But to be honest with you, it was an inner motivation of love. Your soul fell in love with that being, just as I used to fall in love with my university professors. I’d put up with anything. I’d study old, archaic books that I didn’t even have an interest in just to be around them because I was in love. That’s what makes love so great—it takes us beyond what we desire, which is what binds us, and it leads us to something higher. It causes us to change and do things we would never do. Love knows something; it knows about self-sacrifice.

What a spiritual teacher—what I have to ask you to do is unbelievable. It’s impossible. I have to ask you to become perfect, to change yourself through thousands of personalities in one lifetime. To give up everything, to accept everything. To do things that no reasonable person would do, to become a saint, a sage, an enlightened person eventually.

The only way you will ever do that is if you fall absolutely in love with God, truth, yourself and your teacher.

The student-teacher relationship is very important to understand because it’s very difficult for most people to love God. God is an abstraction for most people. Even when you meditate and feel God, you may love God then, but once you stop your meditation and you go out to work, you’ll forget about God.

You must think of God 24 hours a day in order to attain enlightenment or even to make serious spiritual progress. That’s where the teacher comes in, spiritual friends come in, spiritual books come in. You have to aim your consciousness at light. You have to access it more and more all the time. It starts gradually but increases as you progress, and there’s a beauty and an ease to this progression.

The teacher is a surrogate … for God. The teacher is someone who has merged themselves—melded themselves—with the light of eternity, and it’s easier for you to focus on them than on the unmanifest. The teacher is pointing.

They’ve got their finger out saying,

But all the time the teacher is putting you on, completely. It’s not over there, it’s right in front of you, it’s right within you.

So then we begin this wonderful dialectical process of self-discovery that drives everyone up the wall; that turns you inside out; that brings into effect every emotion, emotions you didn’t know you had, every ability; that tests you at every moment; that gives you everything and offers you nothing; inverts you—the process of self-discovery, which is surely not my topic tonight. That’s our constant topic.

But my point this evening is that it seems to me most people haven’t doped out that the most important factor in their self-discovery, other than making friends with themselves and making friends with God, is making the relationship between student and teacher work, and that it only works because of love. You can’t buy it, although people try sometimes—if it’s a real teacher.

You can’t fool a real teacher. You can’t impress them with your qualities and abilities. The only thing that impresses me—to come down to the brass tacks of the situation—is love.

It’s the only human quality that impresses me—love in its pure form or love as selfless giving. That’s the only thing that impresses me about a person.

The only reason I want to work with a person is I see that they have some possibility of manifesting a higher love. The only reason I ever work with a person at a closer distance is because they lead a life of self-sacrifice, and they have a great deal of purity that has been won through continuous love in this and other lifetimes.

It seems to me that there’s a terrible misunderstanding between us.

It seems to me that I love you a great deal, my friends.

That’s how I feel. I don’t feel students—that’s of course the arbitrary relationship but I feel friends, lovers.

But it seems to me that you don’t understand yet that the real fun of the whole process is loving, and that the only way you can move into the higher spheres of attention—unless you were an incredible meditator, you were spotlessly selfless, you were completely motivated all the time—is through the grace of a spiritual teacher.

So say all the holy books, and they’re right. That grace, if you want to call it that, comes about because of love. In other words, the teacher doesn’t sit back and say, “I have billions of dollars I’m going to give out to my favorites.” The teacher is Impartial City.

What the teacher does is simply observe who accesses what.

The teacher wants to give consciousness and light and love to everyone.

The problem is not that, the problem is that people don’t take what’s there. The reason they don’t take it—they’re afraid, they fear light, they have mental conditioning that prohibits them from being what they truly are, you know, the reasons are endless. But what really prevents it is that they don’t love.

What I’m suggesting is that when you sit down and meditate with myself or any enlightened teacher or when you just meditate directly on God or on your inner self,—whatever form you want to use, spiritual teachers who are no longer in the body, OK—you’re all trying to access light.

The only way that light can enter you is when you love it, and that’s a fact.

Enlightenment takes many forms. Yet in an individual being it manifests through a series of qualities. So different teachers are different incarnations of different things, and the qualities, we give names to.

Vishnu is the quality of love.

In the Hindu trinity, there’s Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Love is preserving and persevering.

In other words, the aspect that they call Vishnu is that which wants to hold life and keep it alive because of love. Love is in all the aspects—Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. These are names for a cycle, a circle. But Vishnu is the aspect of love.

So when I say to you that I’m an incarnation of Vishnu, what I mean by that is not that I’m particularly high and mighty. I’m anything but that. I’m nothing, if anything. I’m not even sure that I’m nothing because that sounds like something. Your particular teacher named Rama, the quality of his soul is love.

Some teachers, the quality they are is power. That would be, let’s say, the Shiva quality. You see, there are different names. We as human beings like names for things that are really un-nameable. But the particular method that I use in teaching is love. The one thing anyone can learn from me is how to love. Love is self-giving, with discrimination and detachment, yet with rhapsody and absorption.

The reason I took the name, Rama, is that Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu, and the very strand of energy that I have been in this and other lives is Vishnu, is love. I use the word Vishnu because it has a very deep, somewhat forgotten meaning, which is love of a certain type. I am an incarnation of that love, as each of you is an incarnation of something.

You see, when I say I’m an incarnation of Vishnu, people immediately want to think that I have elevated myself to godhood. I don’t have to, I am a god. So are you. We’re all gods and goddesses. I have no more God in me than anyone else does, I’m just aware of that. So when I say I’m an incarnation of Vishnu, please don’t think that I’ve placed myself on a pedestal.

That’s not true. It’s a way of trying to express in exact spiritual terminology a point to you. That is to say, I’m an incarnation of love. That is to say, that what I am is love. That’s the aspect of God that you see through this being that we call Rama. You could go to another enlightened teacher and you’ll see another aspect, or perhaps see the same aspect.

There are currently 12 fully enlightened teachers in this world. Each one manifests a different aspect. The aspect that I am manifesting is love. Others have manifested it before, others will again. You don’t have to be fully enlightened to manifest that or any other aspect—it’s the quality of the soul. A person who wants to learn about love will be drawn to me. Someone who wants to learn about power will be drawn to one of the other of the 12. Someone who wants to learn about knowledge will be drawn to another.

Now all of us, all 12 of us, are more than capable of teaching all of the aspects, and we do. But let us just say that each one of us is a string on the lute of eternity and that each string has a certain note, a certain quality.

Therefore, the students who will be attracted to us will be those who seek to work on that quality, either because they’re very good at it or because it is the thing that they are the worst at, that they need the most.

In other words, you’ll seek your opposite because you need that to complete yourself. You may have learned all of the other qualities and perfected them, but if you have not perfected one, you will not attain God realization.

I deal with two types of students, either those who have a very deep-seated knowledge of love, which are few, or those who in all of their lives have ignored love. You have come to me for karmic discipline, as it were, or karmic illumination, depending upon your point of view. The one thing that you have overlooked thus far in all of your lives is love. That’s why you’re here with this guy. He is here to teach you about love and self-sacrifice. That is the course I offer.

Now, as a dialectical teacher, as you know, I’ve had many lives where I’ve taught Zen and Tibetan Buddhism and mysticism and many other things. Because of all that experience, I teach in many different modalities. But the theme that unites them, the theme that I live by, the theme that I attained realization through in this life and in other lives, is love. It is not the best theme. There are others.

Naturally, I’ll say it is the best because I’m biased. But I can accept that bias and accept that it’s one way of talking.

So love, then, is the central theme. We’ve named our spiritual center Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the incarnation of love.

But it’s a curious thing that you will see so many of my students have trouble, more trouble with love than anything else. You should understand that the reason is that that’s the reason they’re here. They have been drawn to an incarnation of love, one who loves more than anything, beyond reason, beyond sense, because they need to see someone who can do that and feel that with their bodies and with their spirits. Because that’s where they need work. Or, you will see a second type of student who has done this for many lives.

In other words, I have graduate students who have developed this ability to love and they want to finish and perfect it. Those are the students you’ll find that I spend a lot of physical time with because they at this time need that.

Then there are most of my students who don’t know a whole lot about love. Poor, poor things! You don’t know what fun love is. I will remain inaccessible to you until you learn how to love.

Love is an exacting teacher. It includes everything in life, which is why I teach Tantric Mysticism. Because Tantric Mysticism is the love of life.

So, as an instrument of love, as an emblem of love, since I practice the way of love exclusively, yet I find the way of love integrates with every form of self-discovery that I know, it’s the tonality of this particular study.

Then I know that your ability to work with me successfully is based upon your ability to love, and you’ll find that the more you love, the deeper the connection will be between the level of meditation I can do, and you.

I can sit absorbed in samadhi, radiate light, but it won’t reach you. Only a certain amount will. Oh, a certain amount has to; it’s just pure radiation.

But the real ability, which I have, to transform your nature and your consciousness, is strictly in your hands. In spite of all the things I can do, all the occult powers I have, still everything I do is based upon your ability to love.

When you love light, you love God, you love your spiritual friends, your family, myself—that ability to love opens a doorway, a channel, through which I can then do my magic.

The more you love, every time you can love more, the more I can do for you. The less you love, the less I can do for you, even though I want to.

You see, I have a disease, I fall in love with people because love is my way. It’s the only way I know. It’s not sensible, it’s not logical. But love makes demands, too—upon us. It discriminates.

The kind of love of which I speak is not necessarily a maudlin love. It’s not a love that professes itself through vast phrases and adorations. It’s a love that involves discipline and self-sacrifice. It’s a love that will turn people away if necessary.

Sometimes I ask some of my students to leave. Now then, you say, how can you say that love is your principle quality when you do that? Well, I can say because it is my principle quality, I do that.

Because when you love someone you always do what’s best for them, whether it makes you happy or not. That’s love, friends.

And you do it with caring and exactness, beyond exhaustion, beyond limitation, beyond life and death. Complete commitment. Unswerving.

That’s the way I love.

You always do what’s best for the other; and you take the time and trouble to find out.

It’s not your self-imposed ideas, but rather you meditate until you see what is right, the dharma. And you practice that always.

So I work with an individual as long as it’s helpful to their growth, and when it’s no longer helpful, when I see that what they need — what is dharma — is for them to be on their own, then I do that. That’s love.

Love is not admiring yourself in the mirror of humanity and having millions of people come to you and profess their love and adoration for you. That’s not love, that’s self-indulgence. [It’s] sick—from a spiritual point of view—for a teacher to do that.

Love is quiet commitment.

Love sustains and holds this creation into place. Without love, without the Vishnu aspect, it doesn’t stay.

The Vishnu aspect is no more important than the Brahma or Shiva aspect. That is to say, creation, preservation and destruction. These are the three aspects of change.

Each is unique, each is as important as the other. But it is the preservation aspect that is life. It is love that holds the universes into manifestation.

So then, this education process that we are engaged in … is love.

What I can offer you, is by example. I don’t tend to talk about love too much because I think that one lives it. If you talk about it too much, it’s just words. People then seem to believe that what you talk about is what really is. There’s no way to express it; you live it.

What I can teach you is how to love!

You have come to study with a being who knows how to love, who’s an emblem of love, an incarnation of love, who’s stuck with it, and that’s all I know how to do.

But again, that love is not going to necessarily take the forms you think it should with your understanding of love.

It takes millions of forms—and it’s formless—and it leads to God realization and to a rather lovely, sometimes painful but happy life.

You should start to think about love. Because you’re with me for one of two reasons. Count ’em, two. [Rama laughs.]

Reason one is because you’re quite good at loving and you want to learn more. The other reason is, it is the one course you have either not taken too far, or done well with. You’re in here because you’re a beginner. You’re in Love 101. You’re in remedial love. You have not done well with it in other lives, as a matter of fact you moved in the other direction and I am your bad karma. I am the grim reaper. You get me.

In the Marines, they have something called “motivation.” When you don’t do well, they send you to motivation. The sergeant there motivates you. [Audience laughs.]

So I am motivation—for those of you who do not know how to love.

For those of you who are just beginning, I am the voice of inspiration. Love and be happy. Love and be free. Love carefully. [Rama laughs.]

For those of you who are advanced in the study of love, who have done this before, then naturally we have mutual recognition and admiration.

For you I am not the study of love, I am love itself.

You seek to merge with me, and I with you. There’s a decorum and a formality and a dignity to do that. Then we get involved with spiritual etiquette. Then I teach you the higher points of living a life of complete and absolute love. That’s where the real fun begins.

So I’m either motivation, inspiration or beautitude,21 depending upon where you are.

But all of you who follow this path of love will find out that love

When I say the “path of love,” I mean the quality. On the path of love you can study Zen; Tibetan Buddhism; mysticism, which is the path of power; jnana yoga, which is discrimination—any of the traditional or nontraditional forms.

It is not the form, when I say the “path of love,” it is the motivation.

Therefore, I adapt love into all the different paths. But within each terminology we see love, within each meaning.

You have come to learn to love. It can be easy or difficult depending upon your mood. But I can tell you that my ability to act on your behalf is based strictly upon your ability to love.

If you wish to do well, if you wish to learn from what this vehicle can offer, then I suggest that you begin to consider love, whatever your level is.

Begin to think about how you can love more and how you can open your heart.

But again, not in a maudlin way, not in a sort of phony, flaky way where you talk about it a lot, but how you can live a very quiet, simple, efficient love that will grow and become bigger than the universe itself. Then you will be absorbed in God and there will be nothing left but eternity, and then that will do as it will.

Whether it manifests in forms and you reincarnate again, whether you go beyond incarnation, is irrelevant because you’ve become the self.



This is what I do, this is what I teach, this is how I live.

It is of use to you; that is why you’re here. As long as you’re here and as long as we’re working together, you might as well understand what we do and why. Why you’re here. You should be able to decide which of those three categories you’re in—one is not better than another—because each one who pursues this path of love will attain immortality, will go beyond the finite and the bound worlds, will go beyond the samsara.

Whether it’s because you didn’t do well at it before, well, this time let’s get it right.

That’s my position. That’s why I’m a teacher. I love people who make mistakes.

That’s why I’m in the teaching business.

That’s why I incarnate as a teacher. I enjoy that. As long as they have a good and cheerful attitude, I love people who make mistakes because I enjoy watching them learn and helping them, assisting them. I find it a beautiful process.

So if you’ve had terrible trouble with it, maybe you finally found a good teacher … because I understand.

Incarnations of love are extremely compassionate, you know.

If you’re a beginner at love, then, pleased to meet you. I have a good friend, who I think you will become very close with, called love, who will do everything for you and make you very happy.

I’ve had quite a bit of experience with love. So I’ll share my experiences with you. I’ll share my life with you, my meditation with you. My meditation is love. It’s an ecstatic meditation, as is all higher meditation.

Or if you’re advanced in the ways of love, then I’m happy to show you the fine points. Great! Now I’ve got someone I can work with a little more closely. I’ll show you the higher etiquettes of love—complete self-sacrifice with no thought of the self whatsoever, complete absorption in God.

When it’s time for you to become one of those closer students, I will be the first to walk up to you and say, “Hi, it’s that time now.” Until it is, I’m doing everything I can for you. If I were to do that and spend more time with you on a physical basis, it would interfere with your spiritual progress. You’d get all confused. I have plenty of room. I’m only working these days—since I started this process of spiritual teaching, I’ve worked with maybe, what, 30 people closely. Sometimes just for a month or two. That was all they could take. That’s all they needed. Now they have to go and make changes in their life.

You see, you work with a person closely and you give them as much as they can take.

So let’s say, suddenly, I called you up on the phone and I said, “Hey, let’s go on an adventure, let’s meditate.” For a while we work more closely. But then a day would come when I’ll say to you, “OK, thank you.” Then I won’t call you for a while.

It’s because you’ve reached a point where I’ve taught you all I can teach you in your current form, and now I have to wait to see what you do with it. When you grow with it and you move to a higher level, then I can teach you more. Until then I have to wait. If it’s six weeks, six months, six years, I’ll wait. I’m patient. If you’re trying, I’ll wait.

There are many people—again, I’ve worked with about 30 over the years—who I don’t see now at all. They feel very bad sometimes. They think I don’t like them. They don’t understand. I called them all into the room the other night. I read all their names out. Those are all the people I’ve worked closely with, either inwardly or outwardly … in a certain way.

Bur most of them I never see anymore, because they need time to work it out now. I gave them the best I could, and now we work inwardly. You know, they come to meetings, we see each other, we talk, we chat. But they don’t need that close contact until they reach another level. They’ve been given their homework assignment. When they’ve done it correctly, then it’s time for another assignment.

There’s a lot of turnover among that small group. Always.

It’s very easy to get in it. All you have to do is love, totally. I’ll know immediately.

And sometimes a person is in it for a day or a night. I just see them for a day because they reach that moment, and I recognize that and I call them up, and I say, “Hey, let’s spend a day together, let’s spend an evening together,” because at that time they’ve reached that moment. Then they feel very bad because I don’t call them for a month or two, or maybe ever. They shouldn’t feel bad. That was the night they were in—or the day they were—in their highest consciousness. I saw that they were ready for the higher teaching at that point at a close level, I called them up.

Now, they shouldn’t feel frustrated when we don’t see each other because it means that we had our moment. If they use that moment, they now have developed a connection and they can draw inwardly in a way they never could before. If they get frustrated and mad at me or at themselves, then they’ll lose that connection. The time we spent together gave them a deeper connection to draw more light.

I’m available inwardly to everyone all the time. I do not love—this may seem strange to you—but I do not love any one student more than another.

The student I’ve worked with for many, many years whom I see every day, I do not love that being any more than the first one who just joined.

That’s how love is, you see, it’s impartial.

But while one loves all equally, you spend time with people according to their need.

But the love is universal. If you don’t understand that, then obviously you don’t understand love yet.

It’s universal. There’s enough for everyone.

But at the same time it’s precise, it’s not sloppy. It gives each what they need, according to their need. Sometimes people think they need something that they don’t need, or they don’t recognize something that they need. So it’s the job of the spiritual teacher to administer properly, with justice, but more than justice, with love. If I used justice, you’d all be dead. [Rama laughs.]

So, the karma that you throw at me when you don’t like me, if I just let it come back, you’d all be destroyed in no time.

But as an incarnation of love, you put up with the flack until it becomes detrimental to a person. There’s a time you can’t turn it back.

When a person is very destructive, when they hate you tremendously, even though love is your aspect, you have to disassociate yourself from them. Many spiritual teachers have done this. They have disbanded their whole community because everyone got angry with them.

All their students got angry. The teachers had to ask them to leave because the karma at a certain point—you can’t stop it, it has to go back to the person, it’s intensified, and it hurts them spiritually. Then, it’s better not to be their teacher.

It’s a deep matter. There are many sides to it. We won’t see them all tonight.

But my message is very simple—love each other, please. [Rama speaks softly.]

Love each other. These are the nicest people in the universe, here, because they’re here now and they’re all interested in love. Love each other. Accept each other. Don’t expect perfect people. There are none.

Discriminate, follow your inner voice, be unattached when you must be unattached, or if you find yourself hopelessly attached, then at least love.

Don’t judge others, don’t tell them how to live their lives.

Concern yourself with your own love.

Become absorbed in love, but not a sloppy, maudlin love. You don’t have to profess it or tell people. Sometimes it’s fun to do that. But live it. Be consumed in it. Meditate on love.

And then bring that love into whatever practice appeals to you—into Zen, jnana yoga, mysticism, selfless-giving, it doesn’t matter, it’s all the same family. But bring love into your actions.

If you want me to be able to help you at all, you have to love me as I love you.

The more you love me, you’ll find the more this consciousness is with you. It’s not my consciousness, it comes through me. It’s eternity. I have no consciousness anymore. I am eternity.

The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you’ll gain more of what’s here for you. I am powerless to aid you unless you love. And that’s the truth.

So now you have an inside secret that can save you 20 or 30 lifetimes.

You are studying love. You are on the path of love with an embodiment of love. It is where you are supposed to be at this time.

If, sometime, you feel that this is not the teacher, this is not the study, love is not the way, then find another way. I’ll love you anyway.

If I have to make that decision, if I see that’s right someday, then please accept that with an even mind, knowing that I love you and I made the right choice because I love you. I don’t know how to do anything else but love.

It amazes me that people can come to our meetings and not understand what holds the whole center together, why we all give everything and never hold back. It’s because we love madly and wildly, the few of us who do that. We give everything for the study because there’s nothing else, because when you love, you love completely. You can’t hold back. That’s why we’re free.

Be patient with yourself. This takes time. You must learn to meditate and to love. To give and to love. It takes time. There’s no rush. But begin to explore your heart. Don’t be afraid to discover yourself. What you’re going to find is really not so horrible. You’ll have to be honest with yourself. You’ll have to admit your jealousies, your selfishness, your anxieties, all the parts of your being that limit you. You have to become honest in love.

Love is terribly honest. It’s not blind, not the kind of love that I know.

But it forgives, it understands, and it engenders new life. Such is the way of love and the path of love. It’s a lovely path, I think. I follow it, walk it, and it takes me to very lovely places. I see beauty everywhere and love everywhere. Even in hate I see love, even in hate.

So try to love each other. Begin in your spiritual community. Then spread it to the world. Don’t expect others to love you. Don’t expect to be understood. And be discrete in your love.

Don’t profess it. Love quietly. It’s the best. There’s less ego problem that way.

Don’t tell others how to love; let each find their own way. Help when you can, but don’t be so self-knowledgeable that you know the way for everyone else.

I’m the teacher, and as a teacher I’m only a student, to be honest. I just follow love, and wherever it directs me I go—without shame, without fear.

However it wants to express itself through me, I am that.

I know nothing else and need know nothing else, except that that is God. Everything else is beyond words. It is the meditation we do, the samadhi. It is nirvana. It is absorption beyond all these descriptions and ideations. It is the eternal light of existence.

That’s all there is—timeless, birthless, deathless, immortal.

We are the strands of eternity. We are existence.

These words are just a little weight around your half-sleep to make you remember that you’re a flamingo. No, you’re not a flamingo. You’re a queen, aren’t you, or a princess? I forget, it was a story from a long time ago. If you meet a flamingo, you might ask them.

17. Same as mantras.

18. In spiritual self-discovery, jnana yoga is the path of discrimination. See The Wheel of Dharma, Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz, p78-81, and The Lakshmi Series, “The Yoga of Discrimination.”

19. The legal and administrative organization founded by Ramakrishna’s disciples to carry out his spiritual teaching.

20. In Hinduism, a yuga is a time period of hundreds of thousands of years, part of the world cycle of four yugas. We are in the Kali Yuga, the fourth and final yuga of the current world cycle.

21. Rama could be saying “beautitude” (having a beautiful attitude), or “beatitude” (a state of utmost bliss).