Fragrance is commonly associated with the sense of smell, but at the higher octave of existence has a far more profound influence on how we experience life on earth. The fragrance of love is the essential purity at birth, which is why we enjoy inhaling the sweet innocence of the newborn baby. This pristine state of love has never disappeared; it’s just that we’ve become distanced from its restorative power.
From an early age the fragrance gradually begins to lose its original purity and becomes the odour of self, the demanding and wilful entity that usurps the authentic being of love. The self is the repugnant stench, often apparent in public places where the garbage of the world spills out onto the street. Anyone living in the countryside knows the difference between the inoffensive aroma of fresh manure and the odious mix of chemicals in industrial fertilisers. When I was a child I recall passing a pub and being both intrigued and repulsed by the smell emanating from the place. It wasn’t the waft of the hops in the beer but something intangible that was ingrained in the surrounding atmosphere.
The place of birth is highly significant. The natural scent of the earth in the immediate environment is registered deep within the developing emotional body, and people are often drawn to geographical places which reproduce these original feelings. This is because in the early years, and often at the end of the life, the senses are extremely alert and function in a heightened state of receptivity. In everyone the subconscious impulse is to connect with that which replicates the warmth of the mother love and the security of the womb. At the spiritual octave the impulse is to reunite with the original state of being. The sensual world is an amazing production of creative genius but, try as we might, we’re always separate from the things we love, even the object or person we cherish the most.
Physical lovemaking is as close as we can get to reach another, but usually only for a comparatively short time. However the fragrance of love is an enduring state and a way in which the seemingly impossible union between man and woman can be bridged. For a man there’s nothing to compare with the fragrance of the female, which edifies his consciousness as a quality of pure beauty. Every part of her is a facet of living art and man’s deepest desire is to merge in the flesh with She, for only then is he complete. When man inhales the essence of a woman there’s no doubt that her fragrance is more exquisite than the most aromatic flower. Being in nature or the garden is a natural restorative of our finest energies and unifies the senses in a similar way to physical love. But to me, as a man, nothing compares to the privilege of being able to inhale a woman’s breath, touch her skin and embrace her body in love. To a woman, man emits a masculine fragrance she adores, which communicates his authority and virtue. This fragrance of man is not dependent on physical strength or worldly position, but determined by his power to love.
Everybody on earth in their deepest centre desires to make love; everything else is secondary, since the truth is that we are born to love. Today’s world with its poverty, war and greed exists because people have forgotten how to make love, except to make babies and, in most cases, engage in sex as a palliative to the pain and unhappiness of existence. A man or woman who has turned their back on love sometimes emanates a sterile aroma, rather like a rose that has lost its beautiful scent. But the bouquet of a woman is love, which is always there waiting to be acknowledged and revitalised. She will often use perfume to make herself more attractive to man so as to enhance an aspect of her mystery. However, the more she’s in touch with her love, the less she’s inclined to mask her natural emanation as the female principle. The more a man or woman becomes sensitive to the fragrance of nature, the less the need for artificial enhancement. Woman can be deeply touched by a man’s sensitivity to love when, for example, she sees him inhaling the fragrance of a rose. This communicates to her that there is a deep appreciation of the female principle and the potential for him to reach her in love.
Although the sense of smell is highly acute in human beings, the fragrance of love has no discernable attribute, but is registered at a level of the psyche before life takes form in the senses. What’s not usually perceived is that love is the unified sense of sense, which means it’s the direct experience of all the five senses operating simultaneously. When two bodies make love, the sheer pleasure is a sensual fusion that unites the normally separate senses of sight, touch feeling, smell, taste, and hearing. Another name for this is the mysterious sixth sense, which is no longer differentiated but a unity of being beyond the concepts of time. In an attempt to replicate this source of original love, manufacturers of perfumes and scents busily experiment with exotic fragrances of nature and, more recently, synthetic reproductions with ‘headspace technology’. Recent developments, especially designed to keep pace with ‘high tech noses’, include essence of racing cars, computer hard drives and a claim to have produced the scent of financial papers!
Human beings exist mostly on the edge of themselves, looking outwards towards the hustle and bustle of the objective screen of existence. This lopsided perception of reality produces a fragmented and distorted view of things, which results in being unable to be at peace for any length of time. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many to enjoy the natural pleasure of being in a body; the distraction of the times and electronic pulse of the world is too overwhelming. However, there’s always the opportunity to be more still and acknowledging of life, even with the busiest of schedules. But, above all, it’s gratitude to the unknowable One beyond existence that immediately connects the being with the ineffable fragrance of love.
The space between the earth and moon symbolises the subconscious realm and represents everything that can be known and described by the human mind. In relation to the inner journey, the orbit of the moon prescribes a perimeter of mind that is the gateway to the immortal state of life. Beyond the lunar orbit is planetary space and the realm of the unconscious. For an individual consciousness to reach this place of stillness and silence is a climacteric in the spiritual process. On the way, many cherished notions and concepts have to be discarded. The inner descent back through the accumulation of emotional past is made alone, but not in isolation of one’s fellow man or woman. However it’s often the way that those closest to an individual are left behind until such times as they consciously begin their own journey of self-discovery.
The lunar influence on human behaviour is particularly significant for anyone engaged in the quest for self-knowledge. All emotional attachments occur within the space represented between the earth and moon. The further the descent into inner space, the greater the freedom from attachment. The moon’s effects are very powerful, especially in the formative years when first impressions are registered by the developing mind. Encouraged by parents and those in the immediate environment, the intelligence of the child struggles to remain connected to the natural wellbeing within the body and is drawn outwards into the external world of stimuli. With the child’s growing dependence on memory and imagination, a substitute world is created and, in time, complete identification with the emotional self.
At the start of this cosmic journey it’s necessary to gather the speed of ‘lift off’, as my spiritual master Barry Long used to say. This is because the pull of the world has to be exceeded in order to pass through the earth’s atmosphere into outer space. In the early stages there can be a feeling of being ‘spaced out’ until the body system adjusts to the new octave of being. In a similar way, the physical bodies of the astronauts are subject to unusual symptoms due to the absence of gravity within the spacecraft. As the inner process deepens and the distance from the earth increases, there’s a greater sense of freedom and the knowledge of the intrinsic goodness of humanity. However, interspersed with these positive qualities is the unmistakeable presence of something immense looming in the dark.
The presence of the moon is initially disturbing due to the effects of its mass, which creates an energetic field incomprehensible to the rational mind. As a cosmic symbol of the female principle, the moon’s true essence is often twisted by the human psyche into an object of superstition and fear. In astrology the lunar principle, when emphasised in an individual’s horoscope, can indicate a predisposition to remain in a secure environment and maintain a familiar way of life. The impulse to break free and live spontaneously is often hampered by fear of the unknown. The moon that we see in the sensory universe is not real. What we perceive is a formal projection by the brain, which reveals very little about the true nature of the moon. The astronauts who landed on the moon were no closer to perceiving the mystery of the lunar principle than anyone on earth.
The close proximity of the moon creates a drag in time that bends the gravitational waves of the sun, our closest star. This brief interruption of the direct trajectory of light is present in all planets that have a moon or other orbital matter in close rotation. This diffusion of light intensifies the space between the planet and moon that parallels a dual evolutionary process. As life on earth became established, the lunar principle withdrew as an active function and willingly surrendered its vital essence to provide the medium for terrestrial life to externalise. We’re now entering a phase of cosmic evolution whereby the moon is imperceptibly coming to life to support a lunar culture of its own. However to undergo such a major shift in planetary consciousness will necessitate a redistribution of the moon’s vital essence. This will involve a radical change to life on earth and coincide with world-shattering events that will revolutionise life on the planet as never before.
As the moon reflects back the primordial past of our animal heritage and the instinct for security amongst the herd, the sun dares us to break the lunar attachment to reunite with the radiance of the solar being. The sun is the symbol of light, the brilliance of life within everyone on earth. Man, as the projective principle in existence, replicates its ceaseless giving in whatever he serves in the world as the demonstration of his love. Sometimes on the way back there can be a breakthrough when the intelligence merges with the consciousness behind the form. In a profound inner perception I was taken beyond the solar system and behind the appearance of sensory space. In that other place, which can be called the timeless, there’s no separation of objects or distance as space and time. The dimensions of being are immeasurable compared to our partial observation of life, and impossible to describe in conceptual language. This direct experience of reality reveals, beyond all doubt, that the universe is energetically present within every body, as all the great masters throughout the ages have declared.
Beyond the solar system is an octave of life that has transcended the cycle of life and death. Deep within the unconscious of everybody is an idea that represents our authentic spiritual identity. It’s this mighty power that sustains and guides the living life in the outer world. The purpose of life is for this spiritual being to enter existence and to be realised in the world. The pain and pressure of the divine life is the meeting place of spirit and matter as the resistance of the individual is assailed by outer and inner forces. It’s not the spiritual being that causes the pain but the conversion or transformation of the wilfulness of the emotional self to love. As the emotion is wrung out, the residue is energetically recycled in an extraordinary way. Through the light of the spiritual beam, the negative emotion is dispersed beyond the orbit of the moon. In this rarefied space emotion is purified of its negativity and converted back to love. This is an aspect of the after-death process that happens unconsciously after physical death, or while alive as the conscious surrender of unhappiness.
The next phase of human culture will take man beyond the moon, first to Mars and then to the stars. Wherever he goes he will never find another paradise like the earth. Even if the planet were obliterated, the essence of the earth as the core of his spiritual identity would remain as vitally active as always within his being. The truth of life is realised through cancelling membership of the global human mind club and relinquishing the pain of existence. The truth is that man and woman are born to love and are immortal beings of immeasurable profundity. The power and glory symbolised by the universe of stars and planets is the mystery of life’s becoming. Each of us, in the living of our lives, contributes to the never completed picture of the divine masterpiece within the eternal mind.
Maternal love represents the finest expression of selfless devotion. As the earth bestows abundance to all, so does the mother serve the child and those in her care, replicating the impersonal love inherent in all the species. At every level of existence, maternal love bonds the baby with the mother, often at an extraordinary level of intimacy and affection. Even the female crocodile lovingly cradles her young in jaws that can crush bone. To observe such tenderness often invokes a deep connection with the intrinsic goodness and sweetness of life.
The mother bears the pain of childbirth, which she endures as an action of selfless love on behalf of another. In this intense physical and emotional process, a woman experiences the trauma of creation as life struggles to enter existence. At birth the baby is reassured by the lunar elixir that is the sustenance of the mother’s milk. The ‘moo’ of the cow, as all dairy farmers know, is an instinctual utterance of the creature’s lunar nature. The space of the solar system symbolises the universal womb, which is forever pregnant with the idea of life. Birth and death, the beginning and end of earth existence, is a passage in time from one womb to another.
Within the physical womb there’s a far more profound interaction between mother and foetus than is commonly known. The womb generates a highly sensitised space charged with the creative power within the fresh infant body. From conception the developing embryo is sustained, not only by life but by the consciousness behind the form. The embryonic life form registers everything that is being experienced through the mother’s mind and emotions as a direct communication; the normal exchange of words is unnecessary due to the absence of distance between the two beings. The exchange between mother and child begins to make her flesh glow with a golden radiance. In fact, some women become so identified with this exalted state of pregnancy that they’re willing to undergo all of the pain and trauma of childbirth to experience it again and again. Physical love is the endeavour to reach once more this divine union in the sexually mature bodies.
In many cultures the mother is venerated as the matriarch of the family. Once, the light of the mother reflected a different glow to that of the father. Just as the external moon is a reflector of the rays of the sun, the mother’s light was softer and infused the space of the home and environment with feminine passive power. The maternal love created an ambience of purified space through which she was able to nurture her children and protect them from the forces of the world. The children were raised in love and truth, and instructed from an early age for the time when they would have to leave the family home to become a fully integrated being in their own right. This ensured that the emotional attachment between mother and child was minimal and that neither would suffer as a consequence of being separated, either physically or in death. This honouring of life united each member of the family in the consciousness of love, which was the immortal state of the original family circle.
All women symbolise the mother principle, regardless of whether they have children of their own. From an early age young girls instinctually cradle their cuddly toys, primarily to retain a connection with the original comfort and security of the womb. Even young boys are not immune from replicating the powerful maternal feelings within the body. Despite the enormous magnet to stay within the family orbit, the life cycle of an individual is a gradual depersonalising (in varying degrees) of the emotional identification with the personal relationships in the world. The living process is arranged in such a way that the challenges and hardships encountered provide the means to gradually detach from the need of experiences that no longer serve the life’s purpose. For a woman the menopause is a climacteric that can relieve her of much of the stress and tensions gathered in the earlier life. In this she has the opportunity to enter a new phase as the impersonal mother earth who, in her wisdom of love, is now able to serve her broader family for anyone in need of her guidance.
Whatever the relationship anyone has, or has had, with the mother, there’s always something to be acknowledged and for which to be grateful. For example, in bearing the pain at childbirth she served even if shortly afterwards, as sometimes happens, she had to abandon the child. Although she may have been racked with pain and unhappiness, she did her best and could do no more. But even in ordinary families who profess to love one another, the acknowledgment of the mother often becomes casual and mostly superficial. In some instances, the family degenerates to a robotic household of reactionary beings who have no values beyond their own personal desires and petty concerns. However, in most people’s lives the love for the mother is extremely strong, even though there can be emotional disturbances that surface periodically which are difficult to resolve. These emotions can linger, even after the death of the parent, when the son or daughter reflects on past behaviour or actions that make them judge themselves in having failed to live up to some ideal or saintly virtue.
Perhaps one of the greatest tragedies of the modern era is the absence of any real knowledge of death that not even the most brilliant scientific mind can address with any reality. Life as living in the outer world is the obverse side of death. When the world is removed, either temporarily in dreamless sleep or finally in death, what remains is life without formality. The dead are no longer visible to the living, but retain a presence where any emotional connection that can be established provides a medium to communicate to those they are concerned with. The contact usually fades in a relatively short interval after death; but where there has been love and not just emotional attachment, the presence endures and becomes a facet of an individual’s spiritual identity. The power of love communicates to the dead as well as to the living. This makes it possible to put right any unresolved emotional conflict concerning the mother, or indeed anyone else. All that’s required is to connect with the love of that person and release inwardly any guilt, anger or resentment. This self-healing action has the power to dissolve any impediment that would prevent that being from going on into the mystery of life beyond existence.
Image: ‘Mother and Child’, Julius Gari Melchers
My own spiritual journey has been, to a large extent, the exploration of space – inner space. Another name for space is mind. As space is everywhere and in everything, so is mind. This can be called the impersonal or Divine Mind. Within the all-encompassing Divine Mind is a personal mind conditioned through the experience and impressions gathered since birth. This mind is filled with information and worldly impressions which give a personal perspective of life. Multiply that by seven billion minds, all with personal drives and ambitions, and you get the enormous collision of forces that externalise as the human condition of poverty, greed, injustice and war.
Space pervades everything on earth and beyond to the most distant nebulae. Without it everything would be a solid mass of substance with no space for life to exist. The brain creates space and objects simultaneously, reproducing with incredible complexity the idea of life through the creative genius of sensory perception. Unable to assimilate reality as original unity, the brain is compelled to divide the incoming light of spiritual power through the differentiated senses. Although a seamless system created for the projection of life in sense, there’s an infinitesimal gap between the time taken to perceive an external object and for the brain to confirm energetically the idea behind the form. To compensate for the time delay the original size of the object is reduced, which creates the appearance of space.
Inner and outer space are the two hemispheres of existence and function as the two aspects of the unity of Being. However, the exclusive focus on the external world puts an enormous strain on the wellbeing of an individual. Arising from this inner tension is the drive to find something permanent to assuage the insecurity of being in a divisive world. In fact every negative condition that torments human beings is the consequence of being disconnected from the natural space or wellbeing within the body. The spiritual process is the depersonalising of the mind and emotions of its selfish content and blind ignorance of the greater good. To do this involves a leap of faith, not in belief but in self-knowledge, since to connect with the spiritual idea is to transcend the rationality of the personal mind for direct experience of reality.
The stillness of mind determines the speed of intelligence and depth of perception. A restless mind is identified with continual thinking and unable to be still for long. Someone more conscious can pause to interrupt the momentum of the mind to perceive a deeper significance of the circumstances in the life. As a man or woman perseveres with mastering the wandering habits of the mind, intelligence speeds up and the reality of space is accentuated. When intelligence descends deeper into the psyche there can be a sense of expansion or translucent shapes of vivid colour. Sounds can be audible and aromas can be sensed that have no earthly counterpart. There are many things that are beyond description, but all part of the mystery of the journey home.
Ultimately, the perception can literally ‘look through’ the final objective screen of space and be amazed by the creative process before it takes form. Space is the last layer of materiality to be transcended as a spiritual practice; it’s the closest sensory form of life to nothing. The greatest truth every spiritual master has declared throughout history is that the highest spiritual realisation is nothing. We live and have our being in space and, through grace, are able to realise aspects of this miraculous mystery, either while alive or at death. For some rare individuals the unconscious is realised in the living life as a state of uninterrupted knowledge through the mystic union with God or the Source. However, for everyone, the unconscious is an ever-present reality which can be experienced in a subtle way when, despite relative harmony in the external circumstances, something inexplicable is deemed to be missing. The normal reaction is to engage as quickly as possible in some external activity and dismiss the intimations from within – that now is the time to turn inwards. But for someone who is ready, the journey into space has begun.
Making love real means making love with purpose as a conscious practice. For over twenty years the focus of my life has been directed towards discovering a deepening love of the mystery within, and through making love in existence with my beloved partner. I’ve been given every opportunity to do this through grace and the inspiration of the spiritual master Barry Long, who gave me so much and asked for nothing in return other than to be true to life and love. I’ve also been in the privileged position of speaking to thousands of people (mostly women) in my professional life, often at a profound level regarding their relationships. In many cases, the difficulties experienced were when partners no longer shared the intimacy and connection in love they once had; or else had cut off altogether from love, preferring to go it alone rather than face the same heartache and disappointments again.
There’s nothing to prove in love or truth so as to convince another of its validity. Something either resonates inside as the truth in one’s own experience, or else it doesn’t. Love is a mighty idea but a simple one too. Everyone yearns to love and be loved; but often there is fear and a reservation due to past negative experiences. In real love there is no choice. But what usually happens is that the likes and dislikes of the person get in the way; and the choice is inevitably wrong, despite the conviction that this time things will be different. What’s not commonly known is that the purity of love within the body, left to its own devices, attracts the perfect mate every time. The wanter and the chooser of the personal self is the only problem.
Sex and love are not the same. Every woman knows this, but so often will take a chance on a new relationship, even though the warning signs are clearly visible. Man as a rule is looking for sex, while woman longs for love. Man is more sexually aggressive than woman due to his male hormone testosterone, which triggers his animalistic drive for procreation. Woman is always ready to be loved by a loving man. It’s sex she fears, and rightly so, since sex without the reassurance of love is violent. Man in his endeavour to physically love woman, when approaching orgasm often becomes so identified with the intense pleasure that he becomes possessed with the craving to consume the partner in his frenzied passion. His bodily movements become jagged and hard; and should a woman ask him to stop, he’s likely to get angry and in extremes he may be physically aggressive.
Transforming sex into love is the greatest challenge anyone can undertake. On a worldly scale it would be like attempting to climb Mount Everest without oxygen. The task is almost impossible – but not quite. Developing stillness and conscious restraint from sexual promiscuity reduces the animal aggression to some degree. But converting the base animalistic drives as the process intensifies can be profound and terrifying in equal measure. Sex is natural, and the physical side of making love is not the problem; it’s what happens within the psyche of the person that is far more insidious and destructive of the harmony of life. Sex is really love, but only in the absence of the mind’s interpretation as erotic fantasying or sexual imagery. When the mind reflects on the incoming reproductive life force, what originates as pure love degenerates immediately into sex. The temptation to embellish the pure act of love is almost compulsive at first, but has to be discarded eventually.
For a partnership to function to its full potential, both have to be willing to make love at any time. This doesn’t mean that the practicalities of everyday life should be neglected, but is more a conscious recognition of the priority of being together as man and woman. When sex without love is the predominant motivation in a relationship, there will be times when one, or both, can’t be bothered or ‘not in the mood’. For a man, the knowledge that his woman is available for love at any time does much to reduce his sexual excitement, which normally arises when the time approaches to make love. Much of man’s sexual tension is generated by the possibility that she may change her mind.
It’s essential for lovers to be able to communicate with each other. This means no secrets or consideration of another’s feelings at the expense of honesty. As familiarity sets in, it’s quite common for the man to subtly undermine his partner. It may be a joke or an inflection in the voice that is critical of her in some way. Although they may laugh it off, a woman is often disturbed at a deep level. And, if left to fester, it’s the beginning of the end of love. Honesty would be for the woman to say: ‘Did you know that what you just said was undermining and not, to me, a demonstration of love?’ And the man would have to examine it and say something such as: ‘I wasn’t aware of that and thank you for pointing it out’ without justifying his actions. No man is perfect, but if he continually gets angry or defensive it’s not a good sign!
So, how to prepare the ground to make love more real? To keep love vibrant and alive there has to be romance. The idea is to create an ambience of love in everyday activity around the home, or whenever there’s any opportunity to show affection and gratitude for being together. Then, when it comes to the making of love through the physical act, it’s a natural extension of the expression of love that’s always present between the partners. Continual acknowledgement of the beloved is the key to love; otherwise what was once radiant and golden will fade and die. Living in harmony in a relationship begins when waking up and making time to embrace so that the day begins in love. Partners are together to reassure and support each other whatever the situation, be it stresses at work or family issues. It’s not about being ‘lovey-dovey’ and unrealistic, but a demonstration that being together is a privilege; and worth surrendering the right to be anything but truly grateful to God or life for the opportunity to make love real in a loveless world.
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