It can rarely get better than Percy Sledge as he belts out about the woman he loves!

What’s this thing called love?  We talked about lust and love earlier and we shall talk about it again. What does love mean?

Does love mean the same to a man and a woman? Ask any woman, and she will say, no way. It’s about romance and candles, and emotions and  blissful life to a woman. Some men may agree, but to most it’s a quick fix, perhaps repeated often.

A man is usually in love with himself, rarely the giver. The woman, on the other hand, gives readily.

Some wise men divide life into stages of 7 years, makes sense actually. The fist 7 years as a child, we are fully dependent, in love with ourselves. The next 7, we open up and explore a bit. From 14, we become adventurous, without being fully independent. Our hormones drive us. At 21, we ought to become independent and steer the course of our own lives.

Hindu scriptures structured life in 21 year periods. The first 21 years were to prepare for the life ahead by studying under a mentor. At 21, one generally married and moved into independence.

In this age, things happen faster. Hormones do not wait for laid down rules. With information available in cyberspace and other media, even preteens have very definite ideas of who attract them sexually. They create a template or a model in their minds about a future partner and go in search of that partner.

Unfortunately, people aren’t templates of one’s mind. People behave differently from templates that one can control. Reality veers rapidly away from the template.

It’s like this. Let’s say we love the color green. In the distance we see something that looks like green and we rush towards it. As get closer, it does look a bit yellowish, but we still move forward hoping we are wrong. When we come close and it’s too late to turn away, we realize that it’s more a dirty white, nowhere near green.

This is how we fall in love and marry. We fall in love with a template of green and marry into a dirty white reality. Have you ever wondered why it is that we always fall in love, and never rise in love? We go down, never up.

Love as an emotion, is directed outwards, based on a template, and never a reality. Such love demands.

Love, as an inner energy, is always directed inwards, not seeking. Such love gives without asking.  The trick lies in converting the emotion to inner energy. Meditation helps.