All You Need is Lurve

by Stephen J.M. Bray

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When I visited my bank today my banker was quite distressed. She had been sent to the Istanbul Hilton with colleagues and made to dress in a commando uniform.  

‘The motto is attack,’ she was taught. ‘Soon we will reach our target!’  

No wonder that she was upset. She is a beautiful radiant soul who exudes light and laughter, and this makes me look forward to visiting the branch to pay my bills, or deposit money.    

Many years ago I attended a seminar on marketing. The speaker informed us that people buy to satisfy one of two needs. These are known as survival needs and growth needs  

Survival needs include: warmth, water, food, health and company, whilst examples of growth needs are: art, literature, education and spiritual development.  

Survival needs are said to be the most powerful motivators. More people will buy medicines if they are ill, than in order to increase their brainpower. An insurance salesman is far more likely to close a deal on your house insurance if your house is on fire.  

Growth needs are less tangible, and hence less easy to define with products. Sadly it’s much easier to sell the idea of education because it will eventually get you a job with good remuneration, than because it broadens the mind. People of course do enjoy meals in a pleasant ambiance, and attend concerts ~ but they move far faster when threatened.  

Today when I heard of my banker’s adventure the truth hit me ~ truly fear or growth are only different rays of love. And love is the greatest motivator in the universe.  

Indeed when couples come complaining that their beloved once represented everything beautiful and noble and then, once married to them,  or perhaps some years down the line, they now have a different nature, I think that they are wrong.  

They saw them correctly the first time before relatives and friends conditioned them with a checklist of expectations to fulfil the role of good man or good wife.  

Life may be a sexually transmitted disease that is inevitably fatal, to paraphrase R.D. Laing. But love is not a mental illness in which all the primary defence mechanisms are activated. It’s not that we project our rejected quality onto another and fall for our reflection. Nor is it that we deny objective faults in our partner in order to make them our beloved. They are as they are perfect, and like a mother with a newborn we see our partner with innocent love. For a while the mind is unconditioned and the world is perfect just as it is, including suffering and terrorism. That’s what it’s like to be in love.  

It changes when our conditioning once more exerts a grip. ‘Enough of love,’ the world says, ‘Get a grip.’ And we find ourselves on a cold damp night once again queuing for a bus.  

Truly the battle is not between survival needs in which we are motivated by pain, and growth needs in which we are motivated by pleasure. The battle is between the conditioned mind and unconditional love, which releases the mind to its unconditioned state.  

To love is to be truly selfish, for in love we embrace the universe and recognise it as a complete reflection of who we are. To love the universe and those in it is to abound in true self-love. Not the withered love of a single body or mind, which is the perverted love of narcissism, but a true love that embraces all.  

My banker need not have suffered through her mock commando training. Indeed she could have taught her ‘trainers’ a thing or two.


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Stephen Bray was born in Dorset and educated at Blandford Grammar School, and Universities in Plymouth, Manchester, Santa Cruz and London. He currently lives in Istanbul. Trained in the arts of dynamic therapy, family therapy, gestalt, process oriented psychology and NLP, he now spends his time supporting those who wish to help others. Details of his work and his contact information may be found at