[Added February 21, 2011]
What is Love?
That question — What is love? — has captured the human imagination since … Well, it’s been a long time.
It’s been said that all great literature is about two topics: love and death. One can easily fathom why. They are the two great mysteries of life.
The greatest minds of all the past ages have taken a stab at defining love — from the Biblical prophets to Shakespeare to the comics we see in newspapers across the country every day. What have they discovered?
They’ve found that we really don’t know.
The best that can be said about the definition of love is strangely similar to what Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography in 1962.
I shall not attempt further to define the kinds of materials I understand to be embraced … but I know it when I see it.
In other words, while we can’t define love exactly, we know it when it happens to us. And even if we say to someone that we’re in love (or that we love something), we all understand.
We just can’t define it exactly, like we can with the tangible things in our lives or even other emotions that we have.
So where does that leave us?
Well, we “know” what love is to one degree or another. We’ve felt it (hopefully!) and we fell it for others (once again, hopefully!). We even understand the “shades” of love that we experience — our love for something like ice cream as opposed to the love we feel for our children. We understand the difference between romantic love and love in a friendship.
We got those things.
Now, what does Mr. Haanel say about love?
Charles F. Haanel and Love
Love plays an important part in Haanel’s philosophy, The Master Key System. According to him, it is essential that we feel it because it is, in one sense, the be-all-end-all. In Week Fifteen, Haanel wrote
11. It is love which imparts vitality to thought and thus enables it to germinate. The law of attraction, or the law of love — for they are one and the same — will bring to it the necessary material for its growth and maturity.
In those two sentences, we discover two very important things.
First, we see that love is what makes our thoughts grow. Without love, our thoughts would stagnate. They would have no “push.”
The second thing we find is that the law of attraction is the law of love. They are one and the same!
Think about it for the moment. What Haanel is saying is that as we feel for something and thirst for its attainment, we will “attract” what we need to make it happen.
Love equals attraction.
In Week Twelve, Haanel wrote this.
19. We find this truth emphasized wherever the power of thought is understood. The Universal Mind is not only Intelligence, but it is substance, and this substance is the attractive force which brings electrons together by the law of attraction so that they form atoms; the atoms in turn are brought together by the same law and form molecules; molecules take objective forms; and so we find that the law of love is the creative force behind every manifestation, not only of atoms, but of worlds, of the Universe, of everything of which the imagination can form any conception.
Yes, love makes the world — and perhaps even the Universe! — go ’round.
Let’s Be Clear About This Love
I think I should make absolutely clear that this love is not the warm, fuzzy, gushing, saccharin love that some think it is.
It’s not loving “unconditionally.”
It’s not hugging trees or blessing every little insect that crosses your path.
It’ not putting on shows of concern and caring and playing like an empath wherever you go.
What Haanel means is that love is life — and life is love. It’s the will — and the enjoyment and the thrill — to live!
Does that make sense to you?
You get that feeling when you want to do something. It’s the feeling you used to get (or hopefully still get) on Christmas morning. It’s the feeling of seeing possibilities instead of fears and dangers. It’s the thrill of moving forward and knowing that each step is taking you on an adventure.
That’s love. That’s life. That’s living.
How Do We Get Love?
Did Haanel supply us with a way to get love if we have none?
Yes, he did.
In Week Nine, Haanel wrote this in point #16.
16. If you require Love try to realize that the only way to get love is by giving it, that the more you give the more you will get, and the only way in which you can give it is to fill yourself with it until you become a magnet. The method was explained in another lesson.
First, let’s look at that last sentence. What was the method Haanel explained?
In Week Three, Haanel discussed the solar plexus and how it works within us.
5. The Solar Plexus has been likened to the sun of the body, because it is a central point of distribution for the energy which the body is constantly generating. This energy is very real energy, and this sun is a very real sun, and the energy is being distributed by very real nerves to all parts of the body, and is thrown off in an atmosphere which envelopes the body.
6. If this radiation is sufficiently strong the person is called magnetic; he is said to be filled with personal magnetism. Such a person may wield an immense power for good. His presence alone will often bring comfort to the troubled minds with which he comes in contact.
We get to this level of experience by thinking constructively and concentrating.
In Week Seven, this is what Haanel wrote.
6. Concentration is much misunderstood. There seems to be an idea of effort or activity associated with it, when just the contrary is necessary. The greatness of an actor lies in the fact that he forgets himself in the portrayal of his character, becoming so identified with it that the audience is swayed by the realism of the performance. This will give you a good idea of true concentration; you should be so interested in your thought, so engrossed in your subject, as to be conscious of nothing else. Such concentration leads to intuitive perception and immediate insight into the nature of the object concentrated upon.
7. All knowledge is the result of concentration of this kind; it is thus that the secrets of Heaven and Earth have been wrested; it is thus that the mind becomes a magnet and the desire to know draws the knowledge, irresistibly attracts it, makes it your own.
Thus, by “losing yourself” within your interests, you begin to make a “magnet” of yourself.
Gt it? Good.
The Master Key Way to Find Love and Relationships
During this episode, I detailed a way — a way that works! — that will help you to find love (romantic or friendly).
Listen to the call and put it into practice. I would love to hear more success stories form this method!
I know that we finished The Master Key System, so there shouldn’t be an exercise.
But I invented one for you to do. Best of all, it’s really very easy.
Your exercise is to…
Are you ready?
Talk to people.
Wherever you go and whatever you’re doing, talk to the people you meet and see. From the clerk at the gas station to the receptionist at the office, talk to the people you meet.
Now, not just quick “Hi, howyoudoing? Fine.”
Rather, look at them and really see them as a person — as a fellow human being. Ask them how they’re doing and then wait for an answer. Smile!
This is what Haanel would call “giving.” You’re putting something out there. It may only be a smile or a kind word or just the fact that you’re acknowledging someone else’s existence, but it might — it just might! — mean the world to someone.
As people, we fall into our own little solipsisms far too easily. We filter out much of what is happening around us as we drown ourselves in our thoughts. We become the centers of our imaginary universes and never bother to see the stars all around us.
Blast out of that shell!
Break that cell!
See the world and all that in it — and all who is in it!
So, just take the time to share a few words with the people you meet and see.
By doing this exercise, you will also be developing within yourself a very powerful trait: courage.
Most people are shy to one degree or another. By speaking with and relating to people, you’ll overcome your shyness and become, in some ways, a friendly, social “butterfly.”
So, go forth and experience the world around you. Interact with it. Have fun with it!
Until next week, I wish you the best of everything.