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Interview with the Author
by Carl McColman


“The Seven Natural Laws of Love”
Deborah Taj Anapol book - The Seven Natural Laws of Love
 

Carl: Can you tell me briefly about the book?

Deborah: The Seven Natural Laws of Love invites you to let go of the idea that love is a means to an end. Instead of seeing love as something that will make you happy if you can get enough of it, consider the possibility of love as way of being, of love as a state of consciousness. As such it is independent of any particular person or set of conditions. In other words, love is unlimited, impersonal and unchanging. It cannot be lost nor can it be hoarded. This kind of love is both a choice and surrender to something beyond your ego. For most people, love is not volitional, it's not a choice. It either happens or it doesn't and we don't seem to have any say in the matter. While love does not conform to the demands of the mind or the ego, love can be consciously cultivated, nurtured and helped to blossom, if we understand how. The Seven Natural Laws are instructions for growing more love in your life.

When people hear the title they often ask “Are you talking about romantic love or spiritual love?”

The answer is “Yes!”

Eros, as the ancient god of love was called, is one of the oldest of all the gods. Over the centuries, his image devolved from a powerful, independent elemental force, to that of consort, and then son, of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and finally to the cute, but infantile, cupid whose arrows aroused infatuation when aimed at the heart. Today, the word eros conjures up sexual associations, but the domain of Eros extends far beyond what we think of as sex. Its function is more to bridge heaven and earth, the human and the Divine! The Seven Natural Laws of Love is about restoring some of the majesty to this thing called Love. The book addresses both our hunger for love and our confusion about how to find it and sustain it.

Carl: How did it come to be written? What need were you addressing?

Deborah: Like many people, I've spent much of my life in pursuit of true love. I even made a career of it. Over the years I explored many different kinds of intimate relationships and many different spiritual paths and practices. When I turned fifty, I felt it was time to distill everything I'd learned about love so that I could pass it on. Most of it I learned the hard way—through trial and error. I thought that if others could benefit from my mistakes—and I've made plenty of them!—I could offer a valuable service.

Over the years it's become more and more apparent to me that almost everything we're taught about loving and being loved is distorted and upside down.. That is, most of what we absorb from our culture, see modeled in our families and in the media, and even what's taught to professional therapists and marriage and family counselors doesn't help us to know that we are loved. When we don't feel loved, we have a hard time truly loving others. Instead we desperately try to get love from someone else who has exactly the same trouble. It simply doesn't work!

So many of us are obsessed with finding the love we long for in a romantic relationship. When women talk with each other, one of the first questions to come up is The Sweetheart Question. “How's your love life? Who are you seeing? What's happening with The Lover or The Boyfriend or The Husband?”

When I'm asked, “Who are you in relationship with?” and I calmly answer, “Myself,” most people are shocked. Nevertheless, until we realize that the most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves, all other relationships are doomed.

Carl: Are the Seven Laws your original creation, or were they derived from another source?

Deborah: Some people have reacted negatively to the word law. It sounds like a commandment to them and pushes those old “Question Authority” buttons!

I love how Jean-Yves Leloup has refined the translation of Ten Commandments in his book, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Instead of saying “Thou shalt” or “Thou shalt not” he uses the words “You may” or “You may refrain from.” This simple shift transforms an order into an invitation! For example, the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” becomes “You may refrain from killing.” I am not presuming to even suggest what others should and shouldn't be doing. I'm just sharing my observations and experiences of how these universal laws of love operate.

Dr. Deborah Taj Anapol visits Rumi's tomb

I certainly did not invent the Seven Natural Laws! They are basic spiritual principles that can be found in ancient wisdom schools all over the planet. What I did was to synthesize the knowledge from many different traditions and show how these laws can be applied to love. The strongest influence for me is probably the Sufi path, which I was first drawn to thirty years ago, because of the way it includes and embraces all other traditions. The great Sufi teacher and poet Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi wrote:

Come, come again, whoever you are, come
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.
Rumi's poetry beautifully evokes the Natural Laws of Love, and speaks from the heart of love. My aim was to get just a little more concrete and specific about hese same concepts. For example, one of Rumi's poems reads:
There is a passion in me
that doesn't long for anything
from another human being.

I was given something else,
A cap to wear in both worlds.
It fell off. No matter.

In The Seven Natural Laws of Love I address this theme more directly and explicitly in a chapter called The Law of Source. I am a great admirer of Rumi, but sometimes it takes me years to understand what he is pointing to. Hopefully, The Seven Natural Laws provides another way of processing these ideas.

Carl: Are you developing workshops or other events based on the Seven Laws?

Deborah: I don't have a plan to create events based on the Seven Laws, other than book signings and other speaking engagements to promote the book, but who knows what will evolve! For the moment I'm just available to work with people on the phone or in person, as a Love Coach, to help them apply this ancient wisdom to their own lives.

Carl: I have to confess I'm a bit of a skeptic by nature. While the laws all sound wonderful, I find myself wondering whether the Law of Attraction, for example, really works, or if love is really more a matter of luck. Can you comment on your experience with these laws to demonstrate why they are “laws” and not just wishful thinking?

Deborah: The book is full of real life stories, from my own life and the lives of clients, which show how these principles operate in real life. I've had many clients who found that when they were alone and feeling needy and desperate to find a partner, it doesn't seem to happen. No matter how hard they try to find someone, the partner they're seeking either doesn't show up, or doesn't stick around. If they do manage to connect, they may end up fleeing from a prospective partner who is even more clingy and desperate than they are. When they're end at the end of their rope, they seek professional help. And of course many people make a decision to stop grasping and create a fulfilling life for themselves on their own. Whatever their journey, as soon as they find the core of love inside and begin radiating joy and contentment, they magnetize appropriate partners. I have no proof, but it doesn't seem like luck to me that the external beloved so often arrives once the internal beloved is recognized and acknowledged.

Many people have noticed that when they're already in a vibrant and loving committed partnership, they become very attractive to others. These same people may have been alone and hopeless at another time. They look the same, they do the same things, so what's changed? Again I have no proof, and you could argue that there's no cause and effect relationship between one's vibration and one's attractiveness, but in any case it doesn't matter because once a person chooses to tune their consciousness to love, regardless of what happens, it's not so important to them whether they have a partner or not.

Carl: Why seven laws? Do they have any correlation to the chakras, or any other system of seven?

Deborah: Yes, the laws correlate to the chakra system, but the seven laws, like the seven chakras are somewhat arbitrary. In some systems there are eight chakras, or twelve. Some of these natural laws could be broken down into several principles, or combined into one. For example, the fifth law, the Law of Truth, corresponds to the throat chakra. I address both truth and freedom in this chapter, because both are attributes of the fifth chakra. I could have given the Law of Freedom its own chapter. Instead I decided to focus on the connection between truth and freedom and how they synergize to generate more love.

Carl McColman is an independent writer and spiritual teacher based in Atlanta, GA.
His most recent book is 366 Celt: A Year and a Day of Celtic Wisdom and Lore.

Summary of the Seven Natural Laws | Return to Books

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