Ahh, it’s that time of year again when the mind turns toward love, something that’s always in the heart, but most often missing in the mind.
Eros (love), not as a god, or as a thing, or a behavior, or something that engenders pleasure, is an act of being. It’s a meditation of the soul that softens our ego boundaries and allows us for a time to become a part of another person. It gives us a chance to be in the moment, and as such, to touch the eternal.
But it’s not very long-lasting is it? That’s because it’s mostly an act channeled through the ego and therefore subject to all biological and social conditioning.
You’ve heard me speak of the Animus–the male aspect within the female, and the Anima–the female aspect in the male? We all have these dual and somewhat conflicting aspects, but we usually, through conditioning conscious and unconscious, learn to suppress the influences of our opposite gender nature. This suppression makes it difficult to communicate well with the opposite sex that of course leads to misunderstandings.
But the problems don’t stop there because fundamentally we are all solipsistic e.g. mostly self-absorbed and self-interested. In short, the ego-us loves itself and the love for an “other” is often limited by the belief that the “other” is not us.
There’s all kinds of Love; Altruistic service ala Mother Teresa that requires the sacrifice of the ego demands; friendship, also requiring self-sacrifice; erotic love, that for brief moments gives insight into another’s psyche by allowing us to let go of our vulnerabilities and protected self and thus giving us insight into true intimacy; and the mother-child relationship, also requiring sacrifice, service, and vulnerability. When Love comes to the forefront of our lives, compassion–the act of being in another’s shoes–blossoms.
Note that all forms of love require that we give up ego-dominance and that we be willing to let go of self-interest. Actually, it may be in our self-interest to let go of self-interest if we ever want to truly feel that we belong and are loved. This includes giving up the idea of separation between each of us and the separation between our masculine and feminine aspects, as well as our shadows and lights, within us. Love may be the purpose for our existence e.g. to learn to let go of that which reinforces separation in order to experience true wholeness.
Now I know it looks like I’m ego bashing, as though I’m advocating getting rid of the ego, but I’m not. What I am suggesting is that we let go of the dominance of the ego both as it is expressed in the individual and in the world. Perhaps it is the soul and the world that also need to unite for us to experience what we are in order to lift ourselves out of the despair of our human predicaments?
Love I believe is always in us, someone doesn’t put it there, but we can experience it through the opening to another being. I believe that we are here to teach each other the meaning of love. We may be here to open each other up and release our spirits.
“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” ~Rumi