Life is the brief experience of separation from God, the durable discrimination of moments into experiences, the simultaneous celebration and lament for what we almost remember and fear we have lost. We spend our lives longing to belong. Relax. This is neither reality nor illusion; it is choice.
NOTE: This blog series addresses twelve attributes I see conducive to recovery from PTSD and other past stress. June embraces Love.
Erotic (eros) love is both fear and celebration of separation. Really? Without separation there is neither union nor reunion.
Yes, there are times when two lovers feel so close they lose sentience of the boundary between them–when they touch the mysterious oneness, when all desire has matured. But, alas, there are other times.
Brotherly love (philos) is a sharing of time or treasure beyond individuality that dimly reflects the oneness we almost remember. It is a real expansion of self to others we like and trust, those within some group we perceive as like us. But, alas, there are others.
Godly love (Agape) is a grace of charity for others like our children. “Our” children. But, alas, there are “other” children.
For Biology students I give this definition: “Life is self-controlled chemistry.” Define “self”. Tell me, if you will, precisely where you end and the rest of the universe begins.
Bullets and bombs help one define the boundary. Enemies are not brothers, not lovers, and certainly neither our children nor parents.
We enlarge our definition of self and other. We trust less, share less, love less.
Relax. Trauma is an experience, a durable, discriminate, momentous experience. It is not the loss of choice, although it does challenge it.
It is primal biological drive to maintain this separation of self. It is survival.
There is another drive within us, perhaps even more primal, to go home to the oneness we almost remember.
I am grateful for the experience of lovers’ oneness. I am grateful for the experience of love for brothers and sisters. I am grateful for the experience of something approaching Agape for my children and grandchildren. These are all gifts, I know; but they are gifts I requested.
Today, I would like to gaze upon a fourth kind of love I have also experienced, a love of oneness sometimes referred to as Henosis.
“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” (Black Elk)
I have sat in the forest and known that I belong. I belong to the forest and it belongs to me. I have sat in the desert and known that I belong. I do not need to be longing for something I almost remember because I feel it in this moment of belonging.
I am grateful for the experience of oneness I have found within the forest, within the desert, and within myself. This is the greatest gift of my life for it allows me to be grateful for all the other gifts. I know it is a gift, but it is a gift I requested.
Have you asked for gifts? Have you sought them? Have you prayed and Quested for them?
Deep down inside you, where you almost remember oneness with God, is there a tiny prayer for experiences of love? Have you sung that prayer, danced that prayer, or even whispered it to yourself?