The Principle of Love from “The Principle of Happiness”
The first principle of happiness is love. This is not the kind of love that you expect to receive from others. The love that I teach at Happy Science is love that gives. The true nature of love that gives is based on awakening to the fact that all human beings are children of God and originate in him, and that you are essentially one with others. Even if you seem to have a completely different personality from anyone around you, your true nature is essentially the same as the true nature of everyone else. This is the basis of true love. It is only because you think you are separate from other people that friction and discord arise. Once we have awakened to the fact that essentially we are all one, that we all originate from God and are all his children, we naturally come to love one another. We may have different personalities, but each of us is expected to realize our common spiritual essence while valuing our individuality.
What exactly does it means to love others? It means wishing for the good of others, and wishing to nurture others without expecting anything in return. It is a selfless love, detached from personal desire. Because your essence and the essence of others is the same, you are required to love others just as you love yourself. It is easy to love ourselves; it’s not something we need to be taught. But unfortunately, once we have been born into a physical body and experience ourselves as separate and distinct, we forget to love others. This is why we need to learn to practice love that gives.
The teaching of love sounds very Christian, but love that gives is the same as compassion, which is the basis of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings. Translated into modern terms, Shakyamuni taught , “First, think of giving love.” This was the meaning of his teachings on compassion. Love, therefore, is the first principle of happiness.