February 03, 2013
When spiritual and religious authors write that “God is love,” they often use the Greek word, Agape. Agape is safe. It suggests unconditional love, either from God or a really spectacular friend! Toss in a couple more Greek words for love, philia and storge, and we’re still safe. A friend for a friend and a mother’s love for a child. All three of these words are under control – our control. Just the way we like it.
Eros is unique. Those other words each carry the suggestion of self-will, choice, even self-sacrifice. But usually only for predictable people – in predictable situations. By comparison, Eros moves right in without waiting for an invitation, saying, “I want, I need” and in some cases, “I will!” Eros does not ask permission. Eros is desire!
Except when someone is flat out crazy, all human actions are linked with responsibility. Eros cares no more for responsibility than it does for our limited expressions of freedom – the attempts of our small selves to resist it’s advances. Depending on the maturity of the person experiencing and expressing love as Eros, this can be dramatically romantic or disastrous – all the way to criminal!
But let’s look closer, because there may be more at work than the runaway libidos of the young and reckless. Philosopher and author, Ken Wilber suggests there may be cosmic size reasons supporting Eros’ claim of undeniable needs and irrepressible compulsions. When Eros says that it is not logic driven, it may be referring to conditions that led researchers at the Santé Fe Institute, under the direction of Stuart Kauffman to nominate Eros as a Fifth Force in the cosmos – a force more like gravity than Valentine’s Day! If they are correct we really might have little or no choice but to respond to its advances!
This Fifth Force, or Eros, compels creation to bring the outside world inside – to join in new and maybe revolutionary combinations. If Kaufman and his fellow researchers have it right, they join Wilber who says that we see Eros at work when looking at those fantastic images gathered by Hubble – images of vast spiraling arms of numberless galaxies sweeping stars into ever tighter centers of radiant energy.
Particles dancing into this dimension from what and where – we do not know.
Electrons pairing with protons and neutrons as their combined products advance up the scale in an ever more marvelous array of molecules. Forces not content to remain separate join in harmonious unity, singing;
“Lets get together and feel all right!”
People falling in love – declaring love. Buying gold and diamonds rings. Putting on wedding clothes and drinking Champagne!
Do they feel all right? Did the wedding do the trick and everything is finally gonna be okay. Yes?
Maybe for a little while – but long term? Probably not. But lets not get bogged down – the title of this article makes my point. God, love being the word I used, has a hold on us. Not the magic mythic, always pissed off God. We’re talking about the God who is loving us right now from the inside out. The God who is always new, growing and beyond description. This God – the source and substance of all that has ever been or ever will be is not done playing! The process of evolution is no longer turning out armor plated lizards, but look at human society! God is still at play – I mean work. Work sounds better to those serious minded among us – God bless them! Maybe the lizards aren’t extinct after all! Kidding folks – just kidding.
The physical and the spiritual world are one not two. In fact they are not really either – not one or two! But that’s some serious divine math so let’s keep this simple. We are intricately woven into and throughout creation and the shuttle is still flying across the loom! God is not done. That means Goodness is still having an erotically pure, wonderful time with us. God is a verb as well as a noun. God is creation, creating – growing in and through us right now.
All is well and all is changing. Turn that around – all is changing and all is well! Difficult as this is to accept, particularly for those caught up in the issues de jure or de jour! If you wish to see it all clearly – find that lens in your camera case, labeled, “Surrender.” Are you having a tough time right now? Think about it this way. Anything that had a beginning in time – I mean anything that has come up since you were born – yesterday or back before your first birthday – anything that had a beginning will have an end. What’s cool about that? Well – you, like God are made of stuff that is outside of time. A better way to say that is. You, like God have never entered the stream of time. With no time there is no distance. This implies degrees of intimacy that are both hard and easy to understand. I mean, how close do you want to be to God? So – back on the clock – good times and bad times, they will all end just as they once began. What’s left is peace that passes understanding. And joy. That didn’t do anything for you? Then surrender.
Is this article just a little too “happy face” for you? I mean really! Here I am tossing around words like joy and peace and love and… And you got a serious problem – or maybe several. I’d be cranked if I were you – or I’d have already clicked over to something real. But you’re still here so let me hit you with the word one more time. Surrender. It’s Alice’s looking glass. It’s Star Gate. It’s door number three and all the goods are there and you know it because you paid your bookie or somebody a pile to find out or wire the deal or… jeez, I don’t know how to hustle stuff like this! But never mind – it is door number three!
Surrender. You do it clumsily at first. Your head is bowed as though a sword is waiting to drop. Or maybe you ask a Zen roshi and you give what she says a try. Then, simply get down on your knees in private and say… not one thing! You just think; “please!” Or leave me a note in the comment box below and we can talk about it. Surrender. In this context it’s the most powerful act a person can perform.
So, back to the beginning and that title. It’s old news. Love is God is Eros is erotic is pure and, “Hey Baby… Love’s Got a Hold On You!”
This was a great read! What better way to open your mind and expand in the world than to reflect on some big ideas of Love and Eros! Thanks Tom…you illuminated the topic with some substantial underpinnings, especially the Wilber reference. Bring more!
Tom, I agree with Mike. I add, what we don’t know is how to relax and trust and allow “Love is God is Eros” to carry us. Surrender. Too often we return to our known limitations. I am aiming for door number three!!!
As Janadela says: …what we don’t know is how to relax and trust and allow “Love is God is Eros” to carry us.
Yep – that’s a problem!
Surrender. Too often we return to our known limitations.
Another of our limiting problems – we actually do not want to change!
I am aiming for door number three!!!
Janadela – Door number three has your name on it!
Well Mr. Tom .. you’ve definitely had your thinking cap on right and tight for this one. A beautiful explanation of Agape, Eros .. God and Love .. and one that really does hit the mark and comes through for all readers. The whole thrust of remembering that we are all One, and we and God are One, and that everything IS God is a potent thought to carry us through the morning. I loved your analogies using Eros to describe the behaviour of particles and protons and neutrons .. wonderful! Everything is Eros .. everything is in Love .. everything is Love and all this Love is God!!
Well done! Bring on more!