Ego on love, love on ego
The #1 goal of Zen Buddhism is to minimize suffering. This is why Zen loves to talk about the ego because it is our main source of suffering........even and despite when love between 2 persons is involved.
Without our ego, love between 2 people, will be in theory, pain-free, eternal in intensity and duration.
There will be no expectation, no grasping, no trade and no subconscious conditions.
We would likely love everybody. No need to pick and choose based on what our ego is looking for.
The reverse is also true, that is we wouldn’t see any reason a person shouldn’t love us.
In an hypothetic ego-free relationship, flaws and individualities would not be an obstacle nor threat to the other one.
Ego-free unconditional love does not exist because what we are looking for is mostly driven by our inner personality and this inner self is programmed by our ego....... that we like it or not.
We fall in love because we are expecting benefits from the relationship and not harm.
We are giving something that we think we have to offer in exchange for receiving something else that we are expecting from the other one. Pretty tricky trade.
Thanks to our ego, the scope of our love is not unlimited and we pick carefully, consciously or not, whom we will share our love with.
Our ego maintains a tightly guarded inner circle that we open only to somebody that, we think will be a good match and make us happy.
During loving relationship between 2 human beings our ego, unfortunately, will open the door for potential painful events.
Unfortunately, when we first fall in love, we are, in a figurative way “blind if not insane” thanks to our emotional surge.
Example: you are texting to someone you are crazy about and are expecting a quick reply.
You will, unconsciously, time how long it takes for the reply.
Anything more than a few min. and you may start second guessing the love.
This is painful and this is a game of the ego but has nothing to do with love.
Genuine love is not painful. On the opposite, it brings mutual joy, compassion, assistance, patience, sharing of good/bad times, and many more.
As far Zen teaching is concerned, these are a few ways that our ego turns love into pain and we have to be mindful to the traps such as:
Ongoing demands and high expectations, attachment and grasping, growing self-centered behavior, poor control of negative emotions such as anger and lack of tolerance, etc.
As we say in Zen:
“When love between 2 people becomes a permanent meeting of 2 egos that cannot be controlled, pain is around the corner.”
Quote from Eckhart Tolle:
“ What is commonly called “falling in love” is, in most cases, an intensification of egoist wanting and needing. We become addicted to the other person, or rather to our image of that person. It has nothing to do with true unconditional love, which contains no wanting and no expectation whatsoever.”