The oneness of love rests in the twoness of the lovers
Many people conceive of spiritual perfection as a state of absolute oneness, wherein one’s sense of personal identity is dissolved in the impersonal absolute.
This conception has two crippling problems: it reflects neither the scriptural conclusion, nor the heart’s most cherished longing for love.
Scripture certainly refers to the state of oneness as a spiritual perfection, but not as the supreme spiritual perfection. For example, the Bhagavad-gita (15.16) refers to the liberated souls as kuta-stha, a word that connotes the unchangeability frequently associated with oneness. Yet the very next verse (15.17) clarifies that such souls are not at the highest level of perfection – that status is reserved for the Supreme Soul, Krishna. And two verses later, the Gita (15.19) states that those who know Krishna’s position as the Supreme Person become the knowers of everything. Significantly, the same verse concludes that such enlightened people worship Krishna wholeheartedly. So, enlightenment doesn’t nullify their devotion, as should have happened if enlightenment meant realizing one’s oneness with the Supreme. Instead, it intensifies their devotion, conveying thereby that enlightenment is characterized by realization of an eternal twoness – the eternal co-existence of the soul and the Supersoul, Krishna.
And such twoness is essential for the fulfillment of our heart’s most cherished longing for love.
And if we think objectively, the existence of love requires necessarily the pre-existence of the lover and the beloved. And the eternality of love requires the eternality of the lovers. Their oneness is not ontological, but emotional – the union of hearts relished. The greater this feeling of oneness, the deeper the love. But the depth of love or even its very existence is impossible without the lovers being two distinct people.
Thus does the twoness of the lovers underlie the oneness of love.