I was asked, if Love is the basis of everything, how does it result in the manifestation? And the follow up question was, how do acts and feelings of selfishness arise out of Love?
The second question is easier to answer than the first. Attempting to explain the first question involves a translation from the silent language of the heart to the wordy babble of the mind. My answer has always been to explain the "circle of love ". The circle of love is based on the principle of an electrical circuit. An "open " electrical circuit has electricity "in potential ", but not actuality. All the necessary qualities are there; the power source, the connectors, the various devices, but the power flows only when there is a complete circuit. This is why service is so important to any spiritual practice. The power source, Love, or God's Love if you wish, is manifested as the world, as us. It does this by just being. It is the nature of Love; the Absolute to manifest for it's own expression. This means, when there is an expression of love, there is manifest a means of expression. We are the source that flows through the "circuit of Love ", as well as the devices along the circuit, having been "created " as devices solely for the purpose of loving. It is clear; our "purpose " is to enjoy ourselves, each other and the world. The problem is, we don't. and that brings us to the second question.
If all there is, is Love, how do selfish acts and feelings arise? A darn good question. Nisargadatta suggested that a seeker look into themselves because he was aware that only by seeing how hollow a concept anything but the "I am " is, would bring us to that point; this awareness that we love ourselves. This is the "I am " you know. This is an acknowledgment of love. "I am here ", as the "Who" cried from Horton's flower . I am here, I am recognized. This recognition is Love calling and answering. The "problem " arises with the degree of the size of the "I ", or ego that arises with the "I am ". You see the "am " part is fine. That "am " is simple awareness. It's that oft inflated "I " that will distort and pervert the appearance of the pure expression of Love into fear and jealousy and even hate. A strong "I " wants, and is conditioned to want, separation. All "I ''s suffer from some degree of self love, strong enough at least to keep a "personal " image alive, but most live in that image; the story much, or all of the time. When the "I " is seen as separate, there is going to be some degree of selfishness. Now, as we all know, some degree of self love is always present, and should be. But any degree of self regard beyond self respect can lead to further separation.
If we feel that we are separate, that we are alone and "need" love, we are going to demand love in our very behavior. Instead of loving freely in a "world " made of love, we are going to restrict and demand love for our "I " alone. The "I " wants to keep it, hold it, possess it, and selfishness is born. And from that distortion to further perversion until the ultimate conclusion is reached; the "I ' must live at all costs, even at the cost of other "I "s. This is how Love appears to twist into selfishness, fear and hate.
The "pull" of the "I " is strong. This is why sacrifice, renunciation and service is recommended. While sacrifice, renunciation and service may seem unpleasant endeavors, they put you right into the center of Joy. For once the fascination with the "I " is gone, the "everything else", including the "I " can be enjoyed in their fullness and freedom.