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Loving Kindness

The Path of the Lover

"If love could rule the universe,
Kindness was sown to every race,
Then one could glance into a mirror
And view God in his face… "
~ A homeless 16 year-old girl

The sphere of Loving-Kindness (Hesed) on the Tree of Life is referred to as the Cohesive Intelligence. It represents the energy realm where abstract ideas become cohesive enough to be grasped by our human minds. It could just as well be called the Merciful Intelligence because it is also the expansive and benevolent energy of the Universe from which flow the merciful qualities of the Divine Architect. Mercy is in fact another common name for this sphere of energy. It balances the constrictive and severe energy of its opposite sphere – Strength or Gevurah.

It is heart-warming to know that according to the Kabbalah, the primary Divine intention behind the Creation of our Universe was love and benevolence: "The world is built with Hesed." (Psalms 89:3). Hesed is unconditional, unlimited, and undeserved grace. Nothing in this Universe deserved to be — not even human beings; Creation was created so that God would have on whom to bestow Divine love and benevolence. In the poetic words of the Sufi mystic Rumi:

The World I made not for my own profit or gain
A gift of Joy and Love was meant in the main

Hesed is the Path of the Divine Lover who loves unconditionally. And yet, Even though this is one of the most positive and beneficent energies to embody and express, the Kabbalah cautions us that it must nonetheless be balanced with the strength of responsibility, sound judgment, and common sense, otherwise it will lead to very harmful consequences. Too much love can be just as harmful as too little love. To love and to give wisely and with the proper intention is the test of true love. Loving-Kindness refers to acts of kindness and mercy that have no ulterior motivation whatsoever. There is no seeking for self involved in Hesed. A person who has mastered the opposite and complementary energies of Loving–kindness and Strength knows when it is right to give and when it is appropriate to hold back–not based on his own ego desires, but based on the true needs of the recipient.

Psychologically speaking, too much Hesed leads to unbridled expression of both positive and negative emotions, gullibility, unwise risk-taking, and manic behavior. Too much Gevurah on the other hand, leads to suppression of emotions, suspiciousness, inertia, and depressive moods. Those suffering from manic-depressives flip flop between these two spheres of energy.

In her public seminars and private consultations, Dr. Mitra instructs her students and clients how to balance the energies of unconditional Love with proper limits and sound judgment in raising loving and responsible children as well as for the enjoyment of healthier interpersonal relationships. To learn more, see Professional Services and Events.

"Your life is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God."
~ Eric Butterworth, author of "Commitment to Love"
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