Despite the challenges involved, if everyone could at least practice this first level of love, our world would be transformed into Heaven. Literally. It would shift from the third dimension-this physical world on Earth-into the fifth dimension in the spirit world, the world of Goodness. That is why practicing fundamental love is the first step to creating Heaven on Earth.
The second level in the development of love is spiritually nurturing love. Although fundamental love is not easy to put into practice consistently, everyone has an innate potential to exercise it. This is not the case with spiritually nurturing love, however. In fact, not everyone has the ability to put spiritually nurturing love into practice because it is a love that leads-a love that flows from a great height and travels downstream. Those who provide this second form of love are capable people who, through great efforts, have developed their abilities enough to be leaders who show people the way; they have attained a level of excellence that inspires others to turn to them for leadership.
Spiritually nurturing love is an intellectual and rational type of love. You cannot truly lead others until you have developed the intellect and the insight to grasp the actual conditions of current society. Leaders must possess acute powers of reasoning so that they can solve the problems they find. To become true leaders, we must exercise firmness and even sternness, at times, for we must be able to warn those in danger of spiritual regression that they need to turn back toward the right path. Since the blind cannot lead the blind, we must build character by attaining excellence so that we can practice this love. Spiritually nurturing love is the love practiced in the world of Light, the sixth dimension of Heaven, so those leaders on Earth who are capable of practicing this love are already attuned to this part of Heaven.
So far, we have looked at fundamental love, which springs from natural inclination, and spiritually nurturing love, the love that leads, which is born of excellence and leadership. These are wonderful forms of love, but there is a kind of love that transcends them both, a love that goes beyond talents, knowledge, and worldly efforts. This is the third level of love: forgiving love.
People who practice forgiving love have already been through a transformative spiritual awakening; many virtuous leaders in religion have possessed forgiving love. It is a love that transcends the dichotomy of good and evil and is a state of mind completely devoted to one’s sacred mission. Those at this level know that all who live in the material world are spiritually blind, groping through the darkness without a light to show them the path or a hand to guide them. To realize this fact, you must have awakened to the truth of your own foolishness and felt deep remorse for it. Only those who have found the light within their own suffering can identify the blinders that cover people’s eyes and still love the divine nature within them. This state of mind, of forgiving love, arrives only after we have attained a virtue that surpasses skill: a magnanimous and merciful heart.
All people are God’s children, and therefore, all people have a part of God in them. Only people who perceive this truth can recognize the divine nature of even their enemies and foes. Buddhism calls this state of mind transcendental wisdom. Those who can exercise forgiving love are envoys of the seventh dimension; they are attuned to the world of Bodhisattvas. The state of forgiving is the state of the bodhisattva.
It is important, however, that forgiving love not be mistakenly used to encourage devils who try to hinder God’s love from reaching people-devils whose very existence is the antithesis of love. Bodhisattvas fight against these devils using faith and selfless wrath as weapons. Indeed, some devils enter the gates of forgiveness for the first time when they realize that they can never win against Buddha or God. For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to practice an active form of forgiving love, one that fights evil and leads to redemption.