Mid-Summer Notes on Love

I wrote a newsletter today – first in months – about how projection is a denial of the fact that we are creations of God, who is Love, and Who is not mocked. The clarity of this is blinding, and we tend to look away.

sweetness beginning

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A few years ago in the Cambridge Public Library I had the insight that I didn’t need to study anymore. Every jot of information necessary to awaken from the dream had been given to me.

This was as clear as starlight in winter, as simple as drawing the next breath.

Still, for a little while, I went on studying.

But it was like how when you stop paddling a canoe, the canoe drifts a while before gliding to a halt. It takes time for an energetic pattern – of study, of loving, of sailing – to dissipate. But in time it does.

Then what?

For me, I found fear. All the emotional structures and relationships I’d built to manage the fear stopped working, and all that remained in their wake was the brutal logic of fear.

There is nothing to do in that space but be still. A parade of demons and monsters passes, one after the other, each horrifying in its own way, each making a case for your doom, and you just sit quietly watching. It feels like forever. It feels like torture.

Yet for me, there was a point in that parade when I realized that nothing in it was going to kill me. Scare me, yes. Horrify me, yes.

But end me? No.

Oddly, the relief I felt at this was quickly sublimated by a grim nihilism I wouldn’t wish on anybody. It was like being pulled under stormy seas by an invisible hand. I’d fight for the surface, get dragged down again. After a while I couldn’t make the surface, but I’d still struggle for the light gleaming faintly above me.

Eventually – I think this is what has to happen, but I can speak only to my own experience – I just gave up and went down.

This is getting long and dramatic! So let me say this: in my experience, when you surrender to nihilism, when you lean right into it, give yourself wholly to it, it dissolves. I can’t say exactly how or why. It wasn’t logical. It wasn’t something I did. It was just a thing that happened in the absence of resistance.

That is a sweet space! Fear no longer has a stranglehold on you, death has no mask it can wear to intimidate you. When someone says “I and the Father are one,” you aren’t envious or jealous.

In a lot of ways, this feels like the end of what we call “the journey.” But it’s not. Nor is it a beginning.

So what is it?

I told a friend recently I feel as if I have walked ten thousand miles to reach the Gates of Eden and only in their shadow do I realize that the last step – the step through the gates, entrance unto the Kingdom – is harder than all the many millions that got me here. He laughed.

“It’s not like that at all,” he said. “It’s like you’re in a dressing room and you’ve taken off the fear suit but are realizing that there’s no love suit. Naked is the love suit. You are the love suit. And you’re scared to go out into the world like that.”

Love is blinding, and we tend to look away. Love is freeing, and we turn back to the cage. Love opens us up to the cosmos, and the cosmos enfolds us, vast folds of Love enveloping vast folds of Love endlessly.

In the newsletter, I wrote how sometimes I am like a child who refused to open his birthday gifts, and then complains that nobody got him anything. Where is my happiness?

What happens if I accept the gift?

These are the same question.


  1. Oh. My. Word. These could not be better words not arriving at a better time.

    Particularly “I just gave up and went down,” and “Naked is the love suit.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. OK I need to say more. I am experiencing yet another relationship breakup and this has moved me to examine why I enter them to begin with… and apparently I, or parts of me, enter them to stave off the fear of death. (Give me a wealthy man, or a lucrative career, and I’ll be OK). Your description of the parade of monsters clearly resonates…

    I dreamed last night I jumped in the muddy water where the monster lived in order to save part of me that was drowning (save myself) – and was successful…perhaps I don’t need someone else to save me…perhaps I am eternal and therefore not at risk. Perhaps, perhaps… I can accept the loss and not fight it off.

    Food for thought.

    1. Thank you for sharing Kelly. I’m glad the post resonated. It’s good when we can see the monsters (ghosts, demons, whatever) AS monsters. First they look like our life, then like monsters and then they’re all just masks we put on death, desperate to find the one that works best.

      This journey to the interior is not for the faint of heart!

      I love your dream. When I was in the phase of nihilism, I kept having the image of a swale filling with water. I struggled so hard for the surface! And yet it was only when I couldn’t struggle anymore and accepted sinking – not happily, just in a resigned way – that eventually I found the light-beyond-light.

      You sound sane to me to me 🙂

      Thank you for being here.


  3. Beautifully written Sean and searingly honest. Your words reverberate my own truth. I asked myself a little while ago, “What is it about not giving up the fear yet? Why do I hold onto it? It must be that I enjoy this dangling between heaven and hell, or I would give it up!”
    I’ve been watching, reading, and listening to Rupert Spira lately. What a gift that man is! A superb teacher. He would completely agree that we ARE the love suit. We are the Awareness of being Aware. All of us share in this Awareness. There is nothing but It. This is the place on Oneness we all seek. And we “need do nothing” to be It. We are It. It is the screen of Consciousness upon which the fear and dreams of monsters plays out. The fear and monsters are images only – nothing real – just experiences to watch coming and going. But I digress. You know this already. Clearly. Thank you again for your post.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing Amy . . . Rupert Spira has been a helpful teacher along the way for me as well. His clarity around nonduality is strong and uncompromising.

      And I hear you on realizing that the hanging on to fear works for us on some level or else we wouldn’t do it . . . so helpful to see that, even though it’s also maddening.

      Hope all is well!

      ~ Sean

  4. So much resonance with my own experience. Thank you, it feels good to know we are not alone in our fear. God bless you!

  5. Thank you. Your essay on love helped encourage me at this point on my journey. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and feel circumstances are difficult to accept. I practice ACIM diligently and am grateful to have a woman who helps me daily as we grow into the truth that ACIM speaks of. Right now I see the world has nothing to offer me yet I spent a lifetime seeking “nothing”. Thank you again. 🥰🙏

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing, Debra. I hear you on feeling overwhelmed at times with the world, and struggling with acceptance. Seeing that we are chasing nothing is a good insight because it means we can let go of what doesn’t help and give our attention to what does. Your faithfulness to your practice is beautiful, and will carry you all the way home.



  6. All heartfelt, all true. Fear is part of the dance. Love makes a better partner. Really beautiful writing, Sean.. Thank you.

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