I had the privilege to record a beautiful song called “Let Love Sustain”. My friend, Teri Gamson, wrote the words, and Sterling Smith, friend, composer and pianist extraordinaire, put them to music. Teri’s lyrics are simple and straightforward: “Beautiful voices in the night/reaching the world with love and light. Let peace reign/let love sustain/we will proclaim God’s Holy Name”.
Every religious tradition the world over echoes this sentiment: Let Love Sustain. I’ve been soaking up the wisdom that Wayne Dyer expressed in his thought-provoking book, “There’s A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem”. The spiritual solution to every problem imaginable, Dyer proposes, is – simply – love. But doesn’t this seem practically quixotic? I’ve got to tell you, the more I sit with this idea, I honestly have to say that I don’t think so; I think that practicing letting Love sustain us is the most sure-fire way there is to living a grace-filled, harmonious life, filled with equanimity, humility, and compassion, individually and collectively. And Love, I believe, is another word for God. All-That-Is. The No-thing behind everything.
A Scientific Understanding of Love:
How do we let Love sustain our lives? The question that’s behind this question is: how are we defining Love? I like playing with both spiritual and scientific understandings. Here is a simple scientific understanding: everything is made of energy. Everything. Stars, galaxies, planets. Grasses, trees, plants. Spiders, elk, moose. People. Every physical thing in the universe is made of spinning atoms, subatomic particles, and even “superstrings”. And here’s the Unity of creation: the atoms that make up a star are no different than the atoms that make up our body. And, there are only so many chemical building blocks contained in the universe, and these are found in varying degrees and states throughout everything in the universe, from galaxies to plants to people. In this sense, EVERYTHING is One. Everything is held within this vast energy field. The ancient Jewish prayer, the Shema, says: “Listen, Israel! Adonai is our God; Adonai is ONE”. The thing that is called Adonai, which when literally translated means “my Lord”, is being equated with ONE. My God is the God of Oneness and Unified Being-ness. We’re all in this unified energetic field of existence together, and so the energy that is me is also the energy that is you. There is no difference. “Beautiful voices in the Night, reaching the world with Love and Light” refers, in my mind, to our memory, our deep intuitive remembering, that we are all bound up in this great energy field. We are part and parcel of it, we are One with it. So, let this Great Field sustain us. Hint: it does sustain us, whether we know it or not. Feeling it in our bones, through meditation, contemplation, study, practice and prayer, allows us to more easily Let Love Sustain.
A Spiritual Understanding of Love:
Every spiritual tradition the world over speaks of Love: “You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5); “You shall Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40); “For Love is victorious in attack, and invulnerable in defense. Heaven arms with love those it would not see destroyed” (Tao Te Ching); “Love is a genuine concern for another person’s well-being” (Buddhist). These are but four out of thousands of teachings. Love is a spiritual, invisible glue that binds everyone and everything in the Universe to everyone and everything else. Love is relational, and we must begin by relating to ourselves lovingly. If, according to Jewish tradition, humans are created “b’tzelem Ehohim”/in God’s image, and God is Love, Compassion and Forgiveness (see for example Ex. 34:6-7/The famous 13 Attributes of God), then we can practice every day to be people of Love, Compassion and Forgiveness ourselves. We can always turn back (t’shuvah) toward conscious unification with the Divine when we realize that our egos have taken control, tricking us into thinking that we are separate from our Source and not part and parcel of a unified Field of Being. “Let our love of God and one another keep us in Peace and in Joy forever” (Teri’s lyrics).
Sing Loud and Clear in Praise of Adonai; and surround us all on Earth and in Sky:
Let love sustain our awareness that we cannot possibly be separated from the One who made us, the One to whom we belong. One of the most powerful ways to stimulate our awareness of God and our place in the Creation is to get out into nature. So many of the Psalms speak of the majesty of Creation: “Let the sea and all within it thunder; let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains sing joyously together at the presence of God” (Ps. 98: 7-8); “In God’s hands are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His; His are the seas, He made it; and the land, which His hands fashioned” (Ps. 95: 4-5). I don’t know about you, but when I take a hike along a local trail, or when I walk along the ocean shoreline, I immediately feel a sense of calm, and I feel my connection to the world beyond my own personally created one. My ego assumes a much smaller place in my awareness, and I can relax into my own Being, where, as Wayne Dyer says, I have so much more capability to access my Higher Self. I remind myself to Let Love Sustain me; I don’t have to sustain myself by myself. I can see that God-consciousness is all around me, on Earth and in Sky.
Try It Yourself:
Try letting Love sustain you. When you feel overburdened with responsibility; when you are at an impasse with a friend, colleague or loved one; when you feel like nothing is going well for you in your life, try this. Say the following, out loud or in the quiet of your thoughts: Let Love Sustain me. I am not alone in the world. Whatever appearances show, I am made of the same cloth as the Universe. I am made in the image of Creation. If the word “God” doesn’t resonate with you, drop it. Call it Love, or Being, or Energy. Let energy sustain me. I’m made from the same stuff as the stars. I am not alone. If there is an order to the travels of the stars, then there is an order to my own life. As it says in one of the Jewish evening prayers: “A holy order runs through everything”. If a Holy order runs through everything, then it must be running through me, too. Tune into that. Practice trusting that. We are not alone, and we can indeed Let Love Sustain.