Chuck’s Place: Just To Love With A Blank Check

Just to love…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I was present when Carlos Castaneda stated:  “If you truly want to love, love with a blank check.” For many years I struggled to fully understand what he meant. My assumption was, don’t hold back in your giving; be of complete service, of unlimited support.

He often spoke of the merchant mentality as dominating what humans called love. Love, as a commodity, is traded, with the expectation that one is entitled to a higher, or at least equal yield, for one’s loving investment in another. 

Thus, giving a gift is traded for appreciation. To give of oneself comes with the expectation that one be equally given to now, or certainly at some future date. After all, it’s only fair. Why should I do for you if I get nothing in return? It simply isn’t worth the investment!

Carlos made reference to eden ahbez’s songwriting hit Nature Boy as a journey with love. eden refused to capitalize his assumed name, as to him the only words worth capitalizing were God and Infinity. While living outdoors with his family, under the “L” in Los Angeles, he gave Nat King Cole’s manager the song he had written, Nature Boy, which Cole subsequently recorded with overarching success.

The song ends with these lyrics: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn,
is just to love and be loved in return.” Carlos pointed out that eden later stated that the song should have ended after ‘just to love’ rather than ‘and be loved in return.’ This captures Carlos’ criteria for love clarified to its purest.

Who, of course, could deny the exhilaration of a true meeting in the mutuality of love, where love simply flows, no walls. That kind of meeting is a genuine experience of love, as it harbors no contract of entitlements. Nonetheless, it is often a fleeting experience, as need and expectation soon enter the playing field, muddying the waters.

Jan reminds me of a time when we were walking in the dark and I stated, “If you’re going to do a good deed, do it in the dark.” When I thought of this the other day, I wondered if perhaps that was what Carlos meant by a blank check—a check filled out to be cashed, but with no reference to the sender.

The merchant of love is the ego. The ego demands recognition, validation, and attention. With these filters, true love can hardly show through. Thus, the technology of the blank check, and the invitation ‘just to love,’ are valuable steps on one’s personal path of heart.

With a blank check,


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