Love is the most powerful, all-encompassing force within the universe. It is the force out of which everything else emerges. It is the root of everything that supports physical life. Like the soul drive, love is totally selfish.

The word love has many different meanings. A young man, seeing an attractive young woman walking by, says, "I love her," when he really means, "I desire her." A woman says to her partner, "I love you," when, in essence, she is really saying "I respect you." A man ‘loves’ his dog because she makes him look like the best hunter.

Love is not the exclusive domain of humans; it is found in the animal world as well. In this context, however, we tend to think of it as merely instinct. Love is the force that drives the bird to show off its plumage to attract a mate. It is the force that brings the bird back to her nest with her prey, so that she can feed her young. The same force brings the lioness back to her cubs to teach them how to hunt and survive. Love drives the bee to gather nectar, thereby pollinating the flower, and the dog to protect her master without regard for her own life.

It is because of love that a man will return to his partner with the rewards of his labour; it is also because of love that a mother will nurture, protect and teach her child, thereby shaping his ego. In this way, love is essential to the developing ‘I am.’

The love force is not always ‘nice.’ It can move us not only to comfort, but also to kill, in orderto protect life. It causes us to say "no" to our children so that they learn to accept boundaries, have respect for others, and practice self-control. This will enable them, later in life, to cope with disappointment, accept their limitations, and overcome obstacles. Love in its purest form is seen in the weaning process, as the parent prepares the child to become independent.

Our own need for love can actually prevent us from giving our children the love they require for proper ego development. A needy parent will discourage or delay the development of self-sufficiency in her child because she derives her worth from being needed. She may even convince herself that the unnatural dependence she has fostered in her child is actually love. In contrast, the loving parent prepares her offspring for life and, as soon as his wings are strong enough, she will encourage him to fly.

Contrary to what many people think, the ego can never be fed merely with the words "I love you." This is something that many of us say frequently to our children and to each other. But what are we really saying? Some of us use it to excuse our behaviour as parents: "Maybe I’m not the greatest parent, but I love you." Others say it when they really mean "You fill my needs." Sometimes we send it out as a signal, hoping to get the response "I love you, too," which is often only an echo. Or we use "I love you" as a promissory note, but fail to keep the promise.

Only by telling our children and our partners what we really mean when we say "I love you" can their ego systems be fed. "You make me feel good," "You give meaning to my life," "I like the way you treat me," "I respect your values," "You make me feel wanted," "I can be vulnerable with you," "I like being with you," "You turn me on," or "I need you to love me" all convey more meaning and sincerity than an empty "I love you."

Author's Bio: 

Ben Willemsen was born in Rotterdam in 1936 and attended Ship Engineers college in Amsterdam. He immigrated to Canada in 1958 and worked in engineering-related fields and eventually as an industrial designer.

At 40, Ben began having experiences that his logical mind could not explain, demonstrating to him that there was a reality beyond the material world, a non-ordinary reality that influenced our everyday life and, most importantly, gave meaning and purpose to all physical existence. Leaving his engineering profession behind, he embarked on a path of psychic and spiritual development by means of mental disciplines and research. During this period, he was the subject of a two-year long study of diagnostic imagery and distance healing with anthropologist and shamanism expert, Dr. Joan Townsend. Ben taught for many years through Continuing Education and Creative Retirement Manitoba and was a guest lecturer at the Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg.

In 1987, Ben founded the Centre for Human Energy in Winnipeg, Canada where he offered workshops, development groups, and personal and spiritual counseling. In 1999, Ben and his wife Penny opened a new Centre for Human Energy Studies near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ben is the author of three books about human energy: Don't Water the Stick: The Path of the Psyche (2nd ed., 1998), The Spirit and I: The Evolution of Soul (2nd ed., 2004), and Water Your Roots: Walking a Spiritual Path (2009).

Additional Resources covering Purpose of Life can be found at:

Website Directory for Purpose of Life
Articles on Purpose of Life
Products for Purpose of Life
Discussion Board
Ben Willemsen, the Official Guide to Purpose of Life