We often look to traditional paradigms of Wholeness for insights into the nature of Love, but seldom look to Love for insights into the nature of traditional paradigms of Wholeness, i.e. look at Wholeness through the eyes of Love. Yet Love offers us a clear understanding of what it is to be Whole and prevents us from getting lost in the mental gymnastics of trying to explain the unexplainable. Simply put, Love is beyond paradigms.

As a famous Zen saying explains, spiritual teachings are like a finger pointing to the moon in that you have to stop looking at the finger before you can see the moon, i.e. you have to move beyond paradigms of Wholeness in order to awaken to Wholeness, and it is this paradigm-less quality of Wholeness where Love comes in.

Love too is beyond definition, and therefore, beyond paradigms, because it relates rather than defines and opens up rather than confines. Love has no path because Love is the path. Love moves paradigms of Wholeness from the mind into the heart and from abstract ideas into living experience.

However, the nature of the mind is such that it must put its attention on something and traditional paradigms of Wholeness provide it with something truly worthwhile, namely, an understanding of what Wholeness is, e.g. Oneness, the Dao, Emptiness, the Middle Way, Original Wholeness, and so on.

Yet the subtle differences between paradigms mean that, when fully explored, they present divergent road maps to Wholeness and even suggest that the road maps of other paradigms lead to dead-ends. These differences do not lie in religious dogma – although they certainly do add to it – rather they present contrasting insights into Wholeness that help us understand what the journey to Wholeness actually requires of us.

Unfortunately, and ironically, the tendency of traditional religions to reject other paradigms offhand or to try to subsume them into their own paradigm has made Wholeness a surprisingly divisive topic in spirituality. This is why I believe we need a more loving approach to Wholeness based on the more holistic understanding of Love and the best place to start is with the various traditional paradigms of Wholeness because they inform our deeply held beliefs about what Wholeness is even though we know that Wholeness is ultimately beyond all paradigms.

In fact, this approach challenges our assumptions about what Wholeness really is by comparing the often contradictory traditional paradigms of Wholeness to Love and shows how Love can bring them together harmoniously since Love can address contemporary misconceptions of these paradigms while still remain true to each one’s unique, timeless message from awakened consciousness.

This deceptively simple approach illustrates how elements of each paradigm can be found in Love, reveals the strengths and weakness of each paradigm when compared to what we know about Love, shows why Love is the best way to understand Wholeness, and explains how Love and Wholeness will always remain beyond paradigms.

For example, by viewing Wholeness through the eyes of Love we can see how:

• The experiential bliss of Love as non-dual Oneness leads to a divided life if we cannot embrace duality as part of a greater holistic non-duality and come down from the mountain top back into our hearts, lives, and the world as it is.

• Love as the Dao reveals how duality dance is actually non-duel – note the ‘e’ – not non-dual. Being and Love are relational and expressive, not just transcendental and non-attached.

• The non-conceptual nature of Love as Emptiness points to a deeper experience of existence beyond Oneness, duality, and the Dao, but it needs the Middle Way to bring it back into living experience.

• Love as the Middle Way embodies the non-dual non-duel holism of the experiential and expressive qualities of Love and is truly what it means to be “in the world but not of it,” but lacks the natural simplicity of our original Wholeness.

• Love as (original) Wholeness is like “the sun hidden behind clouds,” but being so succinct its depth is easily missed, and as a result, this “original” or “nature” state is misconstrued as “primary” or “superior” giving rise to duality-rejecting non-dual Oneness – and the cycle of paradigms starts over proving that they are a holistic unity and not rival approaches.

Some may disagree with the summation of the traditional paradigms of Wholeness above and technically they could well be right, but I believe that as this new world dawns, it is time to leave the old mental gymnastics behind and embrace a fresh holistic approach that is genuinely heart-based.

Of course, Love beyond paradigms could be seen as a paradigm of sorts itself, but since Love can never be confined to paradigms, why should we?

Author's Bio: 

Mark H. Kelly has a background in applied physics, software development, and ESL teaching, although his real passion has always been spirituality. He has spent several years on a spiritual odyssey traveling the world learning from traditional wisdom keepers and modern spiritual innovators. He is dedicated to bringing the best of the ancient wisdom traditions to the modern world because the survival of both depends upon them coming together in this time of great change.

Mark has just been invited to contribute an article about Love and Oneness to the best-selling book series "Adventures in Manifesting," which will be published in September 2012.

NOTE: This came through SelfGrowth.com, so I highly recommend it to other budding authors out there!