So many people claim to be seeking love, either for someone or something to love, or to be loved. But, in fact, I find most people run quickly when opportunities for real intimacy develop.
Likewise, so many on Facebook speak about love, but it always seems a bit academic in presentation, such as Rumi quotes, or generic pronouncements, such as "I love all my FB friends." Love is just an idea, it is an imagined conceptual state, sometimes a memory of love, and the person is not really in a state of love, but standing within a concept of "I want to be loving." Rumi takes them close to an experience of love, but love without a real, specific object.
When push comes to shove, with real feelings of love arising for a specific other, and real feelings of neediness and dependency arising for that other, in many of us, a trapdoor snaps down as a protective filter to guard us from the pain of loss and abandonment. The love connection never really happens due to a fearful closing down so that only a "straw-full" of love and attachment passes between two lovers, including that of teacher/student.
I had a conversation with a dear friend this morning who had an interesting observation, about which I feel is truth. She said that the newborn baby is hard wired to shout to the world for its support. "Feed me! "Hold me!" "Comfort me!" The infant exclaims.
Gradually the infant grows up and separates from the dire neediness of the infant, even rebelling from it to reach a valued autonomy.
But she said, and I agree, in us, as adults, there is another kind of neediness felt, almost identical to the neediness for mother, and that is neediness for Self or for God. But, ironically, both Self and God are most easily found in our love for another, whether Guru, lover or a cat, or in Ramana's case, love for a mountain--Aranuchala.
It is so much easier to love another than to love ourselves because really, we do not know ourselves, we do not perceive the Self or the godhead within us. But when we love another with total abandon, foolishly, madly, completely, we immediately grasp that that love we feel for the object, guru, lover or cat, is I. I Am Love! Love and I are one!
At this point, I and Self are one; I Am Self.
As we talked we came to the conclusion that this neediness for God, for Self should never be forgotten and never is transcended. That is, as long as we are in a human body form, the needingness for Self and God, and the need to worship that Self and God in another always continues. We should pray that that neediness remains forever, for it keeps us humble with an attitude of servitude, swimming within an ocean of grace.
Siddharameshwar in "Masters of Self-Realization" makes it quite clear that devotion towards others after realization is what makes the Self happy. Devotion is needed continuously after realization, just as Ramana worshipped his mountain. This may sound "dualistic," but Ramana worshipped a place, Siddharameshwar said we need to be devoted towards others, and Nisargadatta worshipped his guru. The Self discovers Itself and worships itself through our love of others, real, specific others.