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by David Truman

What makes Universal Love TRUE, is passion.

Universal love is God's elevator that can carry you to the heights of heaven. And lots of people try to take that elevator. But often, the elevator is stalled—because the power is out. When what people call "universal love" lacks passion, it becomes little more than a concept.

But here's the thing: Love without passion is a bird with clipped wings. It's passion that gives love clout, and makes it work. Think about it: How loved do you feel when the minister says, without emotion, "I love each and every one of you in this congregation"—or when a Buddhist monk says, "I love every sentient being"? Compare that to the experience of being personally, passionately loved—the thrill of knowing that your beloved loves you and wants you, and brightens up each time they see you. And what about the experience of passionately loving someone?—the inspiration and excitement that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and stay up all night. It's a different world, and the difference is passion. Passion gives love power.

Where do we find the passion that would make universal love effective? Generally we find it in personal love, because we can identify with personal love in a way that we can't identify with universal love—at least not at first. Personal love turns us up and tunes us up. In the process, it awakens psychic awareness, raises consciousness, and enlivens the body/mind. So you see, when we speak of personal love, there's much more to it than meets the eye.

If universal love is an elevator to heaven, personal love is a stairway to the elevator. When you're in love, you find that personal love is a fire that can't be contained: it becomes universal love naturally, automatically. When you love your beloved strongly enough, your love overflows and goes out to all. The springs of heartfelt, passionate love are so bounteous that they fill the heart to overflowing. And that overflow is agape. You fill up your heart, and then you fill up the world.

The stairway is blocked

With their overflowing love, people in love bring heaven to earth. And that's great, because surely, we need heaven on earth. If everyone were in love, what a wonderful place earth would be. Just imagine!

Now imagine a society that's almost completely deprived of personal love. Imagine the misery, the hellish quality of such a society. You don't really have to imagine it. When you look around, you can see it—and you can feel its effects. Because that's what we have, pretty much. There are little spots of love here and there, but overall, even when the flowers of personal love appear, they are soon overshadowed by the weeds of selfishness. Almost always, personal love gets diverted and inverted.

Tragically, selfishness has given personal love a bad name. People have seen much failure in what is called personal love—so much ego junk in it. The ego's reactions within personal love have created such strong associations between love and unlove that people have come to feel that love is UNlove, abuse, abandonment, etc.

As a result, many people try to go directly to universal love, skipping personal love. But there's a serious problem with that: as I've said, without personal love, universal love is out of reach or very weak. What about that?

The elevator to heaven is out of service. That's because the stairway that leads to the elevator is blocked off by fear. People have grown so suspicious of personal love that they're no longer doing it. And now they're stuck in a spiritual backwater. All over the world spirituality has become dry, almost heartless, simply because it lacks the heart-passion that only personal love can give it. People need to see, real universal love is personal love on steroids, and is not, in fact, impersonal or non-passionate.

Keep the selfishness out

For God's sake, and for the sake of the love that God is, we must clearly distinguish between love and UNlove. Never think that the disasters created by ego are about personal love, or about love of any kind. Instead, recognize the truth: Ego's reaction—against love, and against the joy, brightness, and expansiveness of heaven—is the problem. Not love, and not personal love! The problem is ego becoming selfish in the presence of the treasure and pleasure of love.

Seeing that, forget ego. Renounce selfishness. That way, people can love personally and naturally, and not fear that their tendency to do so is a crime, a danger, a problem.

How is anyone to find heaven on earth if they cannot express personal love, and at the same time keep it unselfish? A woman's strong desire to love personally with great passion can create heaven on earth, but fear often prevents the expression of her powerful love. And a man will try to love universally, and maybe have some success, but he'll fall far short of heaven if he does it without much passion. Without passion, everyone is locked out of the real fire. And as I've said, no one will find the necessary passion until and unless they invest in personal love to the point where a bright fire awakens and burns brightly in them.

Let love consume all

To bring love back into power, we need passion-fire. Desperately. With passion, love can live and burn like a wildfire all over the world. Love has the power to convert this world and everything in it. Love can burn down all the hate, and plant beauty in its place.

So please try this: Cultivate personal love in your heart until you find yourself in heaven. Then stay there—stay in love. Don't go with the selfish tendencies, ego's backlash reactions. Don't let ego interpret love selfishly and thereby convert love from something generous to something selfish (and UNloving). Instead, climb up to heaven, and this time, stay there.