Love vs. Anything That Isn't is about remembering why we are here. In a world focused on material success and so enamored of distraction, there seems to be little time to foster and maintain a conscious awareness of the higher reasons for life. Drawing a parallel between Love and what is conventionally thought of as God, Love vs. Anything That Isn't seeks to help us remember that the experience of our God-given peace as a way of being is available to all of us at all times.
Love vs. Anything That Isn't is about looking at life's challenges in a different way. Everything happens for a reason; we are here to learn and to grow, and that is all there is to it. Life is a game, but it is a game with a serious purpose: to become closer to the unknowable force we call God via the experience of Love. We are to strive to ascend as high as we can through this simple awareness. It's not that hard; it is within us always. The prize for such awareness is grand-the seemingly ever elusive inner peace.
Making life much harder than it needs to be seems to be a ubiquitous human trait. In a society based on fear and the worship of so much that isn't necessary or even real, it is easy to become lost. Love vs. Anything That Isn't serves as a guide and source of inspiration to help bring us back to what is real, the place where true peace and meaningful happiness arise.
Love vs. Anything That Isn't maintains that we learn what Love is by experiencing the pain of all it is not-pain, suffering, disease, hatred, violence, and war. To come home to the Love we are is to become whole again. To come home to the Love we are is to be healed.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Love vs. Anything That Isn't
How a Conscious Awareness of Love Can Heal Us and Our World
By Scott Sonnenburg
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013D. Scott Sonnenburg
All rights reserved.
Open Eyes, Open Heart
The cool air kissed my warm, moist skin as I crested yet another hill, creating a pleasant menthol-like contrast that was cool and refreshing.
Heart pounding and lungs burning I hiked through the woods, attention focused at the terrain beneath my feet, happily lost and held trancelike by the rhythmic crunch. Following a fast-moving whitewater creek, I walked quickly and smoothly, feeling the power in my legs build with every step, marveling at how the myriad muscles, tendons, and ligaments contracted and relaxed, pushed and pulled, and worked in perfect synchronous relation to give me motion.
Gliding through the trees, I soon became aware of a strange yet pleasant feeling as the sound of the gravel's crunch beneath my feet slowly began to fade. Soon I realized I could no longer feel the ground in any solid way. Aware of my breathing, I no longer felt it physically; it seemed as if it were happening somewhere beyond—close yet far away.
Sensing my heart's rhythm, I was strangely disconnected from it; it was mine, yet it wasn't. At once, I was deeply aware of everything yet strangely disconnected from it all.
It was spring in southeast Alaska. I was feeling very alive, and like the land, I was in the midst of an awakening. In this predominantly gray and rainy world, this day was a rarity: cloudless, sunny, and crisp. Drinking in the blue above, I walked through the coastal rainforest while trying to shrug off another long, dark, and cold winter.
Stubborn patches of snow hid in the shadows, but the remainder of the forest was green and soggy, save for the gravel trail. I'd walked this path many times, and as always when immersed in such an environment, I was deeply happy. There to exercise my body, touch nature, and simply be quiet in a world which is so rarely so, I had every reason to believe I was alone. But miles from the trailhead on a sparsely inhabited island, completely alone, in the middle of the largest temperate rainforest on earth, one can truly hear things—and not always with one's ears.
The trail was a roller coaster with numerous ups and downs, forever winding. The sound of water was constant. The distant roar of numerous waterfalls echoing against the nearby mountainside, along with the bubbling of countless small creeks imbued the forest with a hypnotic soundtrack, lending a sense of living motion. On this bright day, the shadows of the towering Sitka spruce and red cedar sharply framed the brilliant green open patches of moss, lichen, and ferns. In the penumbra, boughs waving in the breeze fractured the light into a kaleidoscopic array shimmering on the forest floor.
Continuing on, moving without any sense of effort, I soon neared the high point on the trail where I came out of the trees and into the light.
It turns out this was true in more ways than one.
I was suddenly compelled to stop. Surrounded by fallen trees covered in moss, weak sunlight on my skin, I breathed deeply, watching my exhalations turn to vapor, drops of sweat running down my forehead. As I caught my breath, I began to feel as if I was being watched.
Somewhat unsettled, I turned and looked into the dark forest from which I had just emerged, and I saw nothing. I then looked to the nearby mountaintops expecting—but not exactly wanting—to see eyes looking back at me. My gaze returned nothing but green stillness.
Then subtly, almost imperceptibly, from nowhere and everywhere, a faint buzz, like that of a swarm of flying insects but much more subtle—more round, fuzzy, and sweet—oozed from out of the ether. As the sound swirled, danced, and then enveloped me, I came to realize it was not my ears with which I was hearing this— it was my entire body.
I stood there amazed, as whatever this was seemed to penetrate every bit of me. I was completely without fear. On a deep level, I knew I was in the best of hands.
The buzzing continued as I stood still and watched. Slowly fading into a state of blissful detachment—from my body, thoughts, and environment—I was soon completely overwhelmed by a feeling so sweet and delicate, so perfect, so profoundly gentle and loving, so ... peaceful. The pain and struggle of being human seemed a distant dream.
My senses dulled, as if they needed to be turned down in order to hear what I was hearing, sense what I was sensing, and feel what I was feeling. I felt as if I had been submerged in a deep, warm, and loving pool. The sound intensified and diminished, swelled and retreated, seeming to react intelligently to the attention I was giving it, eventually filling every bit of my awareness as it crossed from the external environment through my physical body to the depths of my soul. I never wanted it to end.
Soon the realization was made this was not a sound at all; it was something different, something new, something more. It wasn't physical, and I was not perceiving it physically. This was occurring on a much deeper level, a level for which I have no words, for which there are no words.
Now completely immersed in this sensation, I realized what I was "hearing" was the sound of life itself—the buzzing was the sound of my cells humming with the business of life! I was hearing without ears and seeing without eyes their workings, and there they were, shimmering like ice crystals floating in the sunlight; I saw their light, their machinery, their intelligence, their life. I saw how their symphony was giving life to the song which was me. A knowing fell upon my heart. Each cell was aware. Each and every one was conscious and alive and able to feel everything I felt. Each was intelligent and independent, yet all were me. Somehow, they let me know that like us as individual humans, each cell is a drop in a greater ocean, independent yet coherent and necessary within the greater whole—each with a reason to be.
Stunned and filled with awe, I reveled in what I was witnessing. For whatever reason, life was showing me something special, and I was deeply moved and profoundly humbled.
I fell to my knees and then found myself sitting cross-legged on the cold gravel. I sat and gazed at the surrounding wilderness with eyes full of childlike wonder when suddenly the world expanded.
I could hear the trees.
There were now billions of loving eyes upon me, and although by myself, I've never been less alone. I was aware of all life on a deep and sacred level. And even better and more amazing, it was aware of me. Sensing I was in the presence of a countless number of loving beings, it felt as if I were being warmly welcomed back after a long time away. An infinite number of glistening points of light swirled within and all around me, and a mutual exchange of perfect, effortless Love was occurring among them all. A veil had been lifted, and the entire world was utterly and indescribably beautiful and alive. It was such an epic feeling of connection, of belonging and peace; it was immensely moving. And ... it was familiar. I knew this was a homecoming. This was who I am, and this was where I came from.
Impossibly alive, comforted, and blissful, feeling connected beyond description, the immensity and glory of what continued to pervade the deepest depths of my being that afternoon greatly exceeds my ability to describe with words, so I will not attempt to do so any further. I am as humbled and moved by it now as when it occurred.
Through this life-redefining experience, a message was clearly and lovingly given: there really is more.
What was shown to me was that there is much more to us than we can imagine. There is so much we don't know, a
Excerpted from Love vs. Anything That Isn't by Scott Sonnenburg. Copyright © 2013 by D. Scott Sonnenburg. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Open Eyes, Open Heart.................... 1
Chapter 2 Awakenings.................... 9
Chapter 3 The Death of My Companion.................... 21
Chapter 4 The Forest.................... 49
Chapter 5 Love.................... 51
Chapter 6 Fear.................... 59
Chapter 7 The Voice.................... 77
Chapter 8 Morning.................... 81
Chapter 9 Distraction.................... 83
Chapter 10 Ego vs. Love.................... 89
Chapter 11 Through God's Eyes.................... 93
Chapter 12 Appreciation.................... 95
Chapter 13 Love, Learning, and Loss.................... 105
Chapter 14 The Endless Summer of the Heart.................... 125
Chapter 15 Expectations and Suffering.................... 131
Chapter 16 Morning Glory.................... 139
Chapter 17 Chemical Craziness.................... 143
Chapter 18 Passages.................... 175
Chapter 19 Epilogue.................... 181