Love Has a Purpose
from Barry Long's Journal - Volume III
Barry Long's Journals document a living teaching. They present selected writings, sayings and letters and include notes made on his travels and extracts from his public seminars. They offer easily accessible insights into a wide range of subjects in the spiritual life.
Love has a purpose. But it doesn't have an objective.
You love for the pleasure of love. That is its purpose. But pleasure is not the objective.
In any loving situation between man and woman it's no good one of them loving for the pleasure of love, and the other not — because there's likely to be a selfishness in one of them.
Speaking first to woman . . .
Let's get it straight. The instinct for survival means that man pursues you — and you hope he'll keep pursuing you. That's the instinct for the survival of the species. Man as his phallic state charges towards woman as the receptive and passive state.
He wants to make love with you, woman. He wants to get inside your body, your receptivity. He is made to pursue you. But you are made for love. So it is for you to ensure that no man gets into your body without love. But you have been letting selfish man get into you. There hasn't been enough love and so you suffer.
Man is a great lover. Well, isn't he the greatest lover of all time? Great lovers can tell great stories. Man's a great storyteller, isn't he? He's got some great stories, some great answers. He's got all the answers, hasn't he?. And he seems to be able to deliver the goods too.
But woman, how do you ensure that he really has enough love in him? That he doesn't just want you for his selfish pleasure?
A couple of months ago at a meeting in Sydney, or perhaps the Gold Coast, I said something on this subject which brought the house down — big howls of laughter. And I can understand why.
I said that woman has to be wooed.
It's a word from my parents' generation. We don't hear it used much now, and when we do it's a big laugh. But we don't have to reject it just because it was used by an older generation. The dishonesty of that generation had to be broken down, because their wooing and courtship concealed so much sexual dishonesty. Courting . . . being on their best behaviour right up to the wedding night. Then, in twelve months' time when the courting and the honeymoon were over, what a change! — as courtship gave way to politeness, and politeness gave way to familiarity, and familiarity gave way to a settled companionship.
When that generation's dishonesty to love had broken down, the next generation came up with another kind of irresponsibility — promiscuous sex. All that dropping out, and dropping into communities, and dipping into this body, dipping into that one — no one taking responsibility. That is not love, where I come from. But many men think it is, and many women believe them. And what happens? The women get wet — emotional. They become emotional wrecks. And the men become brittle with the momentum of chasing round in a vicious circle, trying to find something better and not able to stop, like sparrows hopping from one gutter to the next.
Where I come from, man has to take responsibility for the woman he makes love to — every woman he makes love to. If he doesn't she becomes unhappy. Right love gets rid of her unhappiness, takes it out of her. But if the man's love is not pure, she will be unhappy. That follows, doesn't it?
It is true that as a man loves the unhappiness out of a woman, for a time there will continue to be unhappiness in her. But she will know if he is truly loving her. She will be able to say, 'Yes, I am emotional. But I know you truly love me'.
Speaking to man, now . . . You don't love her unless she can say, 'You cause me pain — but I am becoming less unhappy because you love me'. If she can't say that, then you don't love her — sorry! — because you've got to take her on when you love her.
So, woman, what's the value of being wooed by man?
It's the only way you'll be able to test him.
Is this man going to love you? Or is he going to love himself in you?
Do you want a man who is going to put selfish energy into your body?
What's the test of love?
Well, what is love? Love is first of all an attraction. You enjoy being together. So the man has to show that he enjoys being with you.
It's no good him giving you all the right answers from Barry Long's teaching. He's got to show you that there's a profundity inside of him and that he truly wants to be with you.
Do you want him for twenty-four hours? Of course you don't. Why do you want a man for twenty-four hours?
Man can't get a woman any time he likes you know. But woman can. She can go down the street and get one any time. Oh, I know she says it's difficult to get one that she wants . . . but that's not the point I'm making. You can get a man any time you want, woman, any time. Men are running around out there, driving their cars as fast as they can, screeching round corners on motorcycles, exciting themselves, trying to get women. But they can't get them. The women just stand there and say 'Oh what an awful noise!'
You women are looking for right energy, aren't you? If you get a man who's going to masturbate in you for a couple of days — if you get the wrong energy — you'll soon be very unhappy.
So man has to woo you. He's got to walk along the beach with you. He has to phone up and say 'How about going for a walk this morning?' And you say 'Sure. Great!' And down along the beach you go. And you hold hands and walk along.
You haven't hopped into bed yet, have you? No — he's still got to show you that he wants to be with you.
So next morning he rings up again and says 'Good morning. What are you doing? Come and have breakfast with me, down on the esplanade. Come on, let's go and have breakfast together. I enjoy being with you.'
So there's now an easiness between you. If you don't have that, what's the point?
At first it's not about making physical love. It's about discovering whether there is love for you in this man. This one might have love for you; that one might not. The one way to find out is to be wooed. It's not that you're unwilling or not ready to make physical love because you can leave that to look after itself; the bodies coming together is a natural consequence, generally. And it's not that you're putting any condition on lovemaking — although to win you over the smart man will say, 'Why are you putting a condition on our love?' (You've heard that one before, haven't you?) and you say, 'No, there's no condition. You've just got to show me that you love me'.
Hasn't your experience taught you what you want?
Have you learnt yet? Of course you have. That's why you come to me, woman, because I point out that you know what you don't want.
So you must be wooed to find out if there is something fundamental between you and the man, something more substantive than physical attraction, something that will be there when eventually he enters your body. There has to be a willingness to be with you. That natural easiness and willingness makes a lovely setting for the gem of physical love to sit within.
If you start off in this way you have much more chance of being honest with each other, because while he's demonstrating that he wants to be with you and truly enjoys being with you, you can talk about God and love, and you can tell him what you want and what you don't want.
And what do you want?
'I only want love — God, truth and beauty. That's what I want. And I'm prepared to die for it. So, for that one want, I will give up all my emotion as fast as I can. To have one want requires me to be honest. But it also requires you — if you want to be my partner and not just dip into me — it requires you to also want that one thing. Because if you don't want that with me, what's the purpose of our being together?'
For that one want . . .
One want is not out of the 'want shop'.
© Barry Long 1991, 2002
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