Spectrum of Love
Rather than dealing in black-or-white absolutism, it is helpful to think in terms of spectrums, dimmer-switches, gradations, nested and interconnected qualities and processes. Love is like that.
A powerful book I recommend to all, Suketu Mehta's This Land is Our Land, deals with the problems of racism and immigration. An Indian-American, he talks about an eventual solution through love -- that is, intermarriage -- while also celebrating difference and the co-creative effects of distinct cultures and identities as they mix and mingle. Rigid boundary-thinking is part of racism; blending cultures however is a gradual affair, not an opposite pole to which we have to scurry. He mentions the vibrancy of Jackson Heights, in Queens, NY, a neighborhood rich in varied cultures, cuisines, languages, skin colors -- and low on crime.
In the Romans passage above, as in David's "Spectrum of Love" chapter (to be found on pp.99-104 of Working with Subtle Energies, which in turn is to be found here: https://lorian.org), a continuum is given, a way of reaching along a spectrum of inner experience. Each step is intentional and co-creative, in the sense that we have to both do it and welcome it. (I like so much that Paul starts with standing in grace, as in David's Standing Exercise).
Next Tuesday, we'll apply the various elements of the Spectrum of Love (perceiving the other, acknowledging, honoring, appreciating, caring, etc.) within the format of the Sharon Salzberg metta meditation, familiar to long-time members of the group. That is its own spectrum, in which we direct a kindly gaze first to ourselves, then to someone who is easy to love, then to someone indifferent to us, and on to someone difficult to love. With each of these, we'll run through David's Spectrum of Love gestures, rather than the traditional four wishes (happy, healthy, free of fear, free of obstruction).
Well, this may sound complex in the telling. In practice it is not complex -- it just takes some doing.
Such exercises help us to know ourselves and other beings as spectrums, processes, continuums, and aspects of an interconnected totality, since a person or entity is itself no fixed thing -- more like a river with its changing sky, its visiting wildlife, its unfurling revelations.
All blessings to all,