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Students must integrally comprehend, from the very desks of the school, that which is called love.

Fear and dependency are often confused with love, yet fear and dependency are not love.

Since students depend on their parents and teachers, it is clear that they simultaneously respect and fear them.

Children and teenagers depend on their parents for clothing, food, money, shelter, etc., so by all means it is clear that they always feel protected. Thus, they know that they can depend on their parents and therefore they respect and even fear them, but this is not love.

As a testimony of what we are stating here, we can verify with complete precision that any child or teenager trusts their school friends more than their own parents.

Indeed, children and teenagers converse with their school friends about intimate things that they would never dare converse about with their own parents. This shows us that there is no true confidence, that there is no true love between children and their parents.

It is essential to comprehend that there is a radical difference between love and fear, respect and dependency.

It is essential to know how to respect our parents and teachers, but do not mistake respect for love.

Respect and love must be intimately associated, but we must not mistake one with the other.

Parents fear for their children, thus they want the best for them, i.e. a good job, a wonderful marriage, security, etc., however, they confuse this fear with true love.

It is necessary to comprehend that—even when there are very good intentions—it is impossible for parents and teachers to wisely guide the new generations without true love. The path that leads into the abyss is paved with very good intentions.

Let us take a look at the worldwide case known as “rebels without a cause.” This is a mental epidemic that has spread throughout the world. Hundreds of “rich kids,” who boast of being loved, spoilt, pampered by their parents, surprisingly attack defenseless pedestrians, beat and rape women, steal, through stones and hang around in gangs causing damage to everything; they are disrespectful to teachers, parents, etc. These rebels without a cause are the outcome of the lack of true love.

A “rebel without a cause” cannot exist where there is true love.

Indeed, if parents truly loved their children, they would know how to intelligently guide them; then, “rebels without a cause” would not exist.

“Rebels without a cause” are the outcome of bad guidance.

Parents have not had the love for their children that is needed to really dedicate themselves wisely to their guidance.

Modern parents only think about money and how to give their children more and more—i.e. the latest model car, the latest fashions, etc.—but they do not know how to really love them, thus the outcome of not knowing how to truly love them is that their children turn into “rebels without a cause.”

The superficiality of this era is due to the lack of true love. Modern life is like a shallow puddle: it has no depth.

In the profound lake of life many creatures can exist, a lot of fish, yet they cannot exist within a shallow puddle found by the side of the road that rapidly dries up under the scorching rays of the sun, so that the only thing that remains is mud, poverty, and ugliness.

To comprehend the beauty of life in its entire splendor is impossible if we have not have learned how to love.

People mistake respect and fear for love. We respect our superiors, we fear them, and therefore we believe that we love them.

Children fear their parents and teachers, and they also respect them, therefore they believe that they love them.

The child fears being whipped, chastised, getting bad grades, receiving scoldings at home or in school, etc., and therefore he believes that he really loves his parents and teachers, yet indeed, he only fears them.

We depend on the job, on the boss; we are afraid of misery, of becoming unemployed, therefore, we believe that we love the boss and we even watch out for his interests, we take care of his properties; however, that is not love, that is fear.

Many people are afraid of thinking for themselves about the mysteries of life and death; they are afraid to inquire, investigate, comprehend, study, etc., therefore they exclaim: “I love God, and that is enough!” Thus, they believe that they love God, but in reality, they do not love, they fear.

During any war, a wife feels that she adores her husband more than ever and hopes with infinite anxiety for his return to home, but in reality, she does not love him; she is simply afraid of becoming a widow and without protection, etc.

Psychological slavery, psychological dependency—namely, to depend on someone—is not love. This is merely fear, and that is all.

The schoolwork of the child depends on his teacher, and it is obvious that because he fears expulsion, low grades, and reprimands, many times he believes that he loves his teacher, but what happens is that he fears him.

When a wife is pregnant or in danger of death because of some sickness, her husband believes that he loves her much more, but what is really happening is that he is afraid of losing her, since he depends on her for many things, such as food, sex, laundry, caresses, etc., therefore he is afraid of losing her. That is not love.

Everybody says that they adore the entire world, but that is not the case. To find someone in life who knows how to truly love is a great oddity.

If parents truly loved their children, if children truly loved their parents, and teachers truly loved their students, then wars could not occur; yes, wars would then be one hundred percent impossible.

What happens is that people have not comprehend what love is; they mistake every fear, every type of psychological slavery, every passion, etc., for love.

People do not know how to love; if they knew how to love, then life would be a paradise.

Those who are enamored believe that they love and would even swear with blood that they love; however, they are only impassioned. Once their passion is satisfied, then their castle of cards falls to the ground.

Passion tends to cheat the mind and the heart. Every impassioned person believes that he is in love.

To find in life a truly enamored couple is a great oddity. Impassioned couples are abundant, but to find a truly enamored couple is very difficult.

All singers sing about love, but they do not know what love is, and they mistake passion for love.

One of the most difficult things in life is to avoid mistaking passion for love.

Passion is the most delectable and subtle venom that one can ever conceive; it always end up triumphing after having paid a price in blood.

Passion is one hundred percent sexual; passion is bestial, but sometimes it is also very refined and subtle, thus it is always mistaken for love.

Teachers must teach students and teenagers how to differentiate between love and passion, since only in this way will they prevent, later in their life, many tragedies.

Teachers are obligated to build up responsibility in their students, therefore they must properly prepare them so that they do not become tragedies of life.

It is necessary to comprehend what love is, for love cannot be mixed with jealousy, passion, violence, fear, attachments, psychological dependency, etc.

Regrettably, love does not exist in ordinary human beings, and it is not a thing that can be acquired, bought, or cultivated like a greenhouse plant, etc.

Love must be born within us, and it can only be born within us when we have comprehended in depth the hatred that we carry within, as well as after having comprehended fear, sexual passions, psychological slavery and dependency within us; we must comprehend what these psychological defects are, and how they are processed within us, not only on the intellectual level of life, but also in other hidden and unknown levels of our subconsciousness.

It is necessary to extract all these defects from within the many nooks of the mind; it is only in this manner, in a spontaneous and pure manner, that love can be born within us.

Hence, to want to transform the world without the flame of love is impossible. Only love can truly transform the world.

Fundamentals of Gnostic EducationThis chapter is from Fundamentals of Gnostic Education (1970) by Samael Aun Weor. The print and ebook editions by Glorian Publishing (a non-profit organization) are illustrated to aid your understanding, and include features like a glossary and index. Buy the book, and you benefit yourself and others.