Where is the Love?

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

The one true and lasting gift that the hippies tried to give the world is precisely that which has been offered by every wise or holy man or woman to ever walk the earth – the gift of love.  Love as a conscious choice, love as an ethic, love as a way of life, love as the antidote to fear, hatred and violence – love as a way to walk lightly on the earth.

We have been offered this gift over and over again and have yet to accept it (at the societal level anyway).  While individuals may live lives that are guided, motivated and made full by love, the larger society rejects it in its short-sighted obsession with getting and spending…as do governments as a general rule.  It gets in the way of their business.  It clashes with the fear and loathing.  One cannot afford to love those upon whom one would prey, and predatory government is apparently the natural order of things.  

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.

from William Wordsworth’s The World Is Too Much with Us

The U.S. government is in fact actively opposed to love.  The FBI has for decades spied on Quakers, hippies, student organizers, civil rights activists, peaceniks and other such ‘dangerous radicals’.  Apparently they feel threatened by anyone who opposes hatred, bigotry, violence and war.  Witness their campaign against the man who wrote All You Need Is Love.


The trailer for The U.S. Vs. John Lennon:

The concept of love has been mocked and ridiculed for so long by those who lack it that it is hard for us to even discuss love openly – at least not as a serious social issue or national policy (God forbid).  Look at how they mocked Kucinich for daring to suggest a Department of Peace.  We are besotted with militarism in this country, which is based on fear and hatred and fueled by the black-hearted greed of war profiteers.  There is something false, shameful or naïve about love (or peace) they would have you believe, purely the stuff of fairytales and romance novels…when just the opposite is true.  

“Love is the most powerful and still most unknown energy in the world.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

And that is why they fear it so.

Love is a profoundly powerful form of energy that we can each generate within our own hearts.  It is a choice.  It is a way of facing the world.  It springs (I believe) from the most basic appreciation of life and existence.  I think it can also be argued that nothing good ever occurs without it.  In a world such as this, someone has to care enough to make good things happen…and such caring comes only from love.  


I have long admired the Berrigan Brothers.  At the March 19 demonstrations in DC, I met Phillip’s widow, Liz.  I hugged her and told her how much I had always loved and admired her husband.  She thanked me and shared that Daniel is very frail.  So sad that these brave warriors for peace should die without seeing peace come to us all.  They sacrificed all their lives to make it happen.  Shame on the rest of us for not helping enough.  

Love is what made their sacrifices possible.


If you are awed by your own existence, if this universe fills you with wonder, if you feel reverence for life, if your heart feels compassion for the suffering millions, the profoundest response to our existence that any of us are capable of is love, sweet love.

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.

It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

I Corinthians 13:4-8

Love never fails – but it is not easy.

Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies.

Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.

For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called “love.” Love is a choice — not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity — a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.

Carter Heyward, Passion for Justice

Love is a conversion to humanity – and as an added bonus, love is free.

There was a deep connection between the hippies and the Beatles, and their message was all about love.  They were sort of spiritual gurus to my generation.  We were buffeted by the same winds.  We all went through the same changes and their music formed the soundtrack of our lives while their ethos illuminated our paths.  Their awakening was our awakening…and vice versa.  They were, perhaps more than anything else, prophets of love. I consider All You Need is Love to be John’s greatest song, and as George lay dying, his last three words on this earth echoed the oldest message there is, and one we still need to hear…”Love one another.”

All you need is love

All you need is love

All you need is love, love

Love is all you need



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    • OPOL on May 20, 2008 at 15:42

  1. sharing a quote from Martin Luther King:

    I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.


    • srkp23 on May 20, 2008 at 16:12

    the love you take is equal to the love you make …

    Peace, friend. Thanks for this. I’ve been a bit bluesy over here, and this message of and for love warms me up.  

    • Robyn on May 20, 2008 at 16:29
    Art Link

    Painful Separation


    Love is hard to give…

    and harder still to take

    Life is hard to live…

    unless it’s lived for Love’s sake.

    –Robyn Elaine Serven

    –July, 1992

  2. You’ve brightened my day (again) – thanks!

  3. not to believe that love is the answer. Didn’t Jesus say ‘love thy enemies.’ Love is nurturing not destroying and I reject the concepts, that spring from hate, greed and fear, that pits us against each other and nature.

    We are stardust

    We are golden

    And weve got to get ourselves

    Back to the garden


  4. for the wonderful essay, it reminds me why I speak up and why it’s important to not give into despair but to continue to do the best I can to act in love.  

  5. Not war!

  6. We have to hold on to the idea of love as a powerful, active force for humanity that demands a great deal from us.  Love is hard, rewarding work, not some mushy nonsense for 14-year-olds.  How necessary for those in power to sell this lie!

  7. It’s a Proust quote that I’ve always loved, from Swann’s Way:

    Later on, when, in the course of my life, I have had occasion to meet with, in convents for instance, literally saintly examples of practical charity, they have generally had the brisk, decided, undisturbed, and slightly brutal air of a busy surgeon, the face in which one can discern no

    commiseration, no tenderness at the sight of suffering humanity, and no fear of hurting it, the face devoid of gentleness or sympathy, the sublime face of true goodness.

    • DWG on May 20, 2008 at 21:57

    Thank you, OPOL.  I love your heart.  

  8. and thanks for the breath of fresh air!  The news has been feeling overwhelming this week…


    In case anyone needs instructions….I found this and thought it was cute

    wikiHow : Love


    • RiaD on May 21, 2008 at 01:34

    You are the Best!

  9. Why its here… pay it forward, everyone!

  10. So might your art/essays be, OPOL.  This one’s very powerful and very seductive.

    I was intrigued by the Poust quote cited earier in the comments.  Sometimes in my overly ardent advocacy for the environment (it used to be poverty law for health and welfare benefits for low-income folks, now it’s for protection/survival of the planet),  I think I sometimes go around with the too-earnest face.  Fighting polluters is hard business.  It was good to be reminded of the softer side of love, compassion for all livings things, in your essay and the great music.

    Now it’s back to the garden, again.

    • RUKind on May 21, 2008 at 06:20

    From day to day

    just letting it ride

    you get so far away

    from how it feels inside

    You can’t let go

    cause you’re afraid to fall

    till the day may come

    when you can’t feel at all

    Comes a time

    when the blind man

    takes your hand

    says: don’t you see?

    got to make it somehow

    on the things you still believe

    Don’t give it up

    you’ve got an empty cup

    only love can fill

    only love can fill

    lyrics by R. Hunter, Comes a Time, music by J. Garcia

    • geomoo on May 21, 2008 at 19:00

    So said Cornell West on Bill Maher.

    I’m sorry it took me so long to get to this beautiful essay.  I awoke today thinking along much these same lines–considering how ridiculous it is that professing a commitment to peace is cause for alarm from the government.  My theory is that the vulnerability and lack of control love demands is very frightening to most of us.  To the extent that we work through the fear, we are rewarded with rich lives of connection.  Those who choose to honor the fear rather than the love devote their lifetimes to trying to prove that they made the right choice, that love doesn’t “work.”  The very obsession with love by those who would reject it is evidence of the inexorable power of love.  We humans cannot turn our backs on love, even when we try.

    Although written as a love song to an individual, I’ve always felt Hey, Jude resonates with the same energy of universal love as All You Need is Love.

    Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad

    Take a sad song and make it better

    Remember to let her into your heart

    Then you can start to make it better

    Hey, Jude, don’t be afraid

    You were made to go out and get her

    The minute you let her under your skin

    Then you begin to make it better.

    And any time you feel the pain, hey, Jude, refrain

    Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders

    Well don’t you know that its a fool who plays it cool

    By making his world a little colder

  11. …but oh so wonderful.  Love! Sigh!

  12. I have zero replies to any comments on any internet forum since May 21.  Technologically feasible is the concept of IP cribbing.  I put stuff out on the internet using my IP address which is then intercepted dutifully by AT&T.  It then goes to underground NSA room 4591A and they generate a mirror of the site I selected.  See in this way people are really not allowed to talk to other real people, especially people like me.

    Hey, we are a society in which even our software says Seig Heil.  Yesterday upon installing a program my computer told me

    “The trust relationship between the server and this workstation has been compromised”.

    Funny thing, when I told the computer to got fuck itself and install the program again, it worked.

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