Love is in the air. Love is all around me. It is written in the wind. It’s in the whisper of the tree, it’s in the thunder of the sea.
You can instantly recognize those lines if you are familiar with western music and literature. As somebody more familiar with the eastern way of living, I find it easier to accept those lines without subscribing to their literal meaning.
No, love is not in the air. It’s not written on the tree, nor in the sea. Ask someone who is planning to hang himself on a tree in the open air. Or someone who is trying to calm his heart in the middle of a thundering sea. The same thing becomes an expression of love for some, and cause of death and despair for others.
Let’s take a more common and comparable example. Two persons reach a very scenic place in a perfect weather together. One may become ecstatic, while the other might say, “Well, it looks good. So what?” They don’t enjoy it equally. Why is that?
Ask the scientists, they will say there’s no difference when different people see the same tree or sea or feel the same air. What they see is light reflecting and entering their retinas. What they hear is soundwaves touching their eardrums. What they feel is an external substance touching their skin. These generate impulses in the neurons, which are carried to the brain where an image is formed. So the process is the same, the mechanics the same. Therefore everybody should feel the air, see the tree, and hear the thunder of the sea in the exact same way.
But it doesn’t happen like that. There is something beyond the neurons and the brain. Along with the neuronal impulses and formation of an image in the brain, our mind comes to work. It starts labeling those images: I like it, I don’t like it, I want more of it, I want it to go away, and so on. A related emotion emerges. We feel attracted to it, start despising it, loving it, or hating it. Sometimes we have a mixed feeling and we neither love nor hate.
Simply put, we know about external objects when light or sound waves (or something like that) form an image in the brain. The actual perception happens not in the brain but in our mind, which immediately starts judging this perception. And instantly our liking or disliking starts. When our mind is in the state of liking, we judge things to be likable. And when the mind is in the state of disliking, we dislike everything. Our mind labels things based on its own present state.
So when we say love is out there, it means our mind is in the state of liking things. When it is at peace and ease, everything around seems lovely. It’s our mind that projects love in the air, tree, or sea. Love is in us, not out there.