All Sentient Beings
Serve Love - A Proof
by Jonathan J. Dickau ©'97 - All Rights Reserved
In order to prove that all sentient beings serve love, I intend to clearly demonstrate that even the worst actions of human beings arise from acting upon a love for something. This is not entirely obvious, given the prevailing opinion of what constitutes love, but when combined with the concept of service, and the stipulation that we are talking about sentient beings, the premise is fairly easy to prove. From this, proving the proposition is straightforward, in that all other possibilities have been eliminated. To demonstrate this, I offer the following.
Sentient beings possess some form of consciousness, an awareness or ability to perceive, but the term implies something more. It is generally accepted that sentience means that an entity is capable of feeling as well as thinking. In order for a living being to sense, or to make sense of the universe of perceptions, some level of feeling may be necessary. This is not to say that all sentient creatures are highly evolved in the area of subtleties of feeling, or that emotion is the same kind of feeling as touch, or hot/cold, but the ability to feel necessarily predates the development of skills in attributing these sensations to their causes.
Service is a concept which involves providing for a need or desire, and this can be noble, but the dictionary leaves the subject wide open, in terms of the justification allowed. Service can be rendered for pay, as well as out of a sense of duty, and doesn't have to be for a particularly noble cause in order to constitute legitimate servitude. The word Service reflects a sense of dedication to one's cause, and says nothing about the worthiness of that cause. If you use an unabridged dictionary, in fact, it explicitly provides for service motivated by greed, anger, lust, and more, but it is admittedly weighted toward a loftier interpretation of the concept.
The word Love is fairly broadly defined, but even in an unabridged dictionary the elegance in the concept of love shows through. Love is truly noble, and appears almost unassailable at first glance, but it is said that some people will do anything for love, and that is what provides for the possibility of love service which is capable of fostering cruelty, inhumanity, and injustice. One might argue that some of those things could be undertaken for something other than love, but often it can be shown that there is a love for something or someone which causes others to be hated in response. This hatred somehow constitutes the service of exclusive or exclusionary love.
It can be seen from this that the difference between a healthy expression of Love, and that which leads to hatred is conditionality or exclusivity. Everyone alive is somewhat conditional and exclusive, but most people are balanced between kindness and selfishness. I propose, however, that even those who are the most difficult to love still love something, or someone. The problem is that their love is disconnected. They are prepared to sacrifice anything, or anyone, unlucky enough to get in their way, because they don't feel love for anything else but their desire. They may not even realize that they love what they want, but their desire is a form of love anyway, and they are serving that love.
The sad truth is that every form of abomination can be motivated by love. Does that mean that every action undertaken is inspired by love? Perhaps not, but all I wish to prove is that every action can be motivated by love, and that therefore all kinds of human actions can be said to spring from love. I believe that all human actions are attempts to serve love, but some of these attempts are misguided. Whether one is speaking of acts inspired by anger, greed, lust, vanity, attachment, all of those qualities are actually love in disquise, or at least they can be described in those terms.
Vanity is usually defined as the excessive Love of oneself. It is a kind of self-admiration, but admiration of yourself can make you do strange things. If you love yourself too exclusively, you will hold others in contempt. Greed is usually defined as the Love of money, but this quality actually relates to desires for the accumulation of wealth, rather than a desire to hold on to it. If you love material possessions so much that you always want more, this is called greed, and it can make you do all kind of despicable things. There are people who would do anything for money, and they don't care who suffers for it.
Lust is another word for romantic Love, and of itself this is normally a good thing. When you think about it, however, there are those who would do anything for love. Obsession can result in hateful acts, even though it results solely from the desire to express love. Attachment could be called the Love of what you have, or love of the status quo. Anger can be called the Love of war, even though it normally arises as a sense of profound displeasure about something, rather than the enjoyment of destruction itself. Destruction is, in a sense, an act of love for someone who says "Anything is better than this!".
By showing that even the worst actions can be motivated by Love Service, I do not intend to imply that this justifies or legitimizes the behavior of individuals who cause others to suffer. Instead, what I hope I have shown is that Love Service is a completely legitimate activity in its own right. It is ubiquitous in the sense that one cannot escape it by indulging in selfish or hateful practices. On the other hand, it is possible to serve love better as a conscious and conscientious person than unaware people are capable of doing. For the sake of proof, however, it can be shown that even those who know nothing of love are still molded by it, and are servants of it.
©'97 Jonathan J. Dickau - All Rights Reserved
Single copies may be printed for reference, or personal use,
but reproduction for commercial purposes is not permitted.
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Love Service and Compassion
this page was last revised
on January 18, 1999 - jd