The desire to be free marks the beginning of the expansion of the state of consciousness. To discover another human being means perfecting love. When we discover our neighbor, charity is born. Charity is the capacity to sacrifice oneself for others. We suffer for them, work for them. Our consciousness expands.
But still, we do not know what real love is. We protect our neighbor, but we still attack and destroy our enemy. By fixing ourselves in a personality, we have fixed our vision of life in a system of pairs of opposites: myself and others; people like me and those who are different. Charity is the beginning movement of expansive love, but we are not yet able to see everyone as someone to love. Our consciousness has expanded, but it still sees existence through a dualistic vision, in which good and evil exist in a world of "good people" and "bad people." We only conceive of compassion toward good people. At this stage, our conception of God is that of a military god who protects the good himself included and destroys the bad.
The positive state of consciousness has allowed human beings to become masters of the world, nature, and space. But it has also perfected our capacity to destroy. It gave us material wings but did not teach us to fly inwardly. We can travel the cosmos with our spaceships, but we still cannot transcend our anguish or inner problems, or find the way out of the vicious circle of the problems created by our progress.
Yet love is like a flower which opens and expands until revealing all its beauty and releasing its fragrance. Love is the door which leads the soul to transcend the positive state of consciousness.
When love stops asking for something, mysticism begins.
To stop asking means to stop expecting, to stop pursuing personal objectives. The personal self interprets the perfecting of love as a renouncement, because the personal self is an expression of separateness. Our positive attitude prevents us from understanding that our consciousness won't expand unless we, individually, begin renouncing from now on.
The expansion of Renouncement is of a different nature from the positive expansion we were used to. The expansion that comes from Renouncement is a negative expansion. The word negative, of course, is incapable of explaining the nature of spiritual expansion. But it is the closest we can come to describing an expansion that is not positive. Positive expansion is an increase in extension; it's something that happens on the exterior. Negative expansion happens inside the self, it's an expansion in depth: it is the spiritualizing of the state of consciousness. From the moment negative expansion begins, our state of consciousness acquires a new dimension.
When we transcend the dualistic representation of existence, our love expands inwardly until it embraces everything: people, the world, the Divine. It turns into participation.
Until then, the act of loving was a movement-something we gave, something that came to us. In contrast to this movement, participation is spiritual identification: others live inside us. Communication is no longer a movement: communication is established through the expansion of self-awareness. To be is to be in all souls.
When we expand, we participate, and our life is Presence. We no longer spend life darting from one experience to another. Our awareness consists in having the Divine reside within us and ourselves in the Divine. We become the expression of the harmony between what is limited and human and what is Divine and limitless. Exteriorly our life is rhythm and measure; interiorly it is simple movement.
Every human being has a state of consciousness. Within that state of consciousness there are many possibilities which, when fulfilled, provide the knowledge of the range of things we embrace from our state of consciousness. But we begin to unfold when we expand our state of consciousness, transcending our limited, personal identification. We unfold when we learn to love without limits.
Reprinted from Mysticism and States of Consciousness
by Jorge Waxemberg