Man is constructed in such a way he must live for something, and all real mystics understand that perfectly. Buddhists speak of one wish which must be left in their mind, in order to continue living in the body. He who breaks away from all earthly things ceases to live, and here it cannot be said that this is bad, or on the contrary, that it is good. For some, possibly they must leave at once; for others, they must be among people, supporting themselves, for example, with a feeling of empathy toward them. Suffering along with them, and even, in part, for and instead of them. The problem of this approach is that once you have grabbed hold of people, of the wish to ease their suffering, you remain and will remain together with them without reaching the heights of experiencing unity with God.
In that sense, passion for attaining the Truth is far more useful from the perspective of further advancement on the Way toward God. Preserving in yourself an interest in how everything is constructed, and interest if not to the world, then to the highest levels of Reality is very useful. To live by the Truth, by the growth of knowledge and understanding is quite possible, and the majority of mystics who have passed along the Way to the end lived precisely with Truth. Even passion for the Truth is one day exhausted, however.
At a certain moment, the majority of mystics do not have anything at all to live for in this world. Those who have a mission – to bring a new teaching, to disseminate knowledge, to conduct the Will of God – hold on to it, and live by it. But when after the stage of following the Will comes the stage of disappearance in God, then to live by fulfilling a mission no longer works, either. A gap appears, and not every one is given to overcome it, because there is a great temptation to disappear into God finally and irrevocably. And here the last reason is revealed, and the last driving force, helping to continue to live, and its name is love.
All mystics, after reaching a high level, come to love, one way or another. Some start with it, but love toward God at the very beginning of the Way is love for an idea, for a certain feeling of the great, and no more. It cannot be otherwise, and is not otherwise. We cannot love what we do not know, and the greatness of God at the start of the Way we can only sense, but to love these feelings of ours would be somehow strange. Therefore, the love for God, with which previously all Sufis began, was only a love for the idea of God, through the inspiration which sacred texts and their own mystical experiences had on them. But to live with love for God is also an option, and not the worst option. The love to which mystics come at the end of the Way, however, has entirely different features.
A mystic passes through many transformations, the essence of which is entirely incomprehensible to those who are at the beginning of the Way. For example, the process of awareness, which is familiar to all those who work with attention, trying to grow awareness, is absent in him. The mystic possesses Consciousness, which is totally manifested in his being, and his attention is no longer divided between someone who sees and someone who is aware. Consciousness is present in everything that occurs with him, but there is no process of awareness here. Everything that is done, and that occurs, is immediately present in Consciousness, and that is all. But Consciousness is passive, and you cannot live only with Consciousness, anyway. A certain active force is needed which can be what keeps a person in the physical body. Love will become it, when nothing – including the “I” of the mystic – remains any more. It can be said that this is the attribute of God which all receive who have reached the final stages of the Way. When almost nothing else remains, one can live only with love – not conditioned by anything, not having a concrete object of application, and essentially not requiring any actions. It is full by itself, and does not require some sort of special expression. The only thing that requires expression in this state is gratitude to God, but there are no appropriate words for it; therefore it – like love – is practically inexpressible in words. There are no words to express the infinite, and it does not require expression in words.
I went along the Path of Truth – and came to love. All mystics come to it sooner or later, therefore it turns out to be the same force which is discovered at the very foundation of being. Although, of course, one must still come to this. But whatever Way you have chosen, I suspect that at the end of it will be love. And that is good.