Love with no object.
There is a way of loving not attached to what is loved.
Observe how water is with the ground, always moving toward the ocean, though the ground tries to hold water’s foot and not let it go.
This is how we are with wine and beautiful food, wealth and power, or just a dry piece of bread: we want and we get drunk with wanting, then the headache and bitterness afterward.
Those prove that the attachment took hold and held you back. Now you proudly refuse help. “My love is pure. I have an intuitive union with God. I don’t need anyone to show me how to be free!”
This is not the case. A love with no object is a true love.
All else, shadow without substance.
Have you seen someone fall in love with his own shadow? That’s what we’ve done. Leave partial loves and find one that’s whole.
Where is someone who can do that? They’re so rare, those hearts that carry the blessing and lavish it over everything.
Hold out your beggar’s robe and accept their generosity. Anything not coming from that will damage the cloth, like a sharp stone tearing your sincerity.
Keep that intact, and use clarity; call it reason or discernment, you have within you a deciding force that knows what to receive, what to turn from.
Mathnawi III: 2248-80
Coleman Barks version