Love… is the Way

By Terry Shea

February 6, 2017

Centre for Spiritual Living White Rock

Posted In: Spiritual Wellness, White Rock

“God, as the creative impulse, or Eros, is interested in you for your highest potentials, for what you are capable of; God isn’t interested in you as a personal self.” Evolutionary Enlightenment by Andrew Cohen p. 122
How’s that for an opening gambit in a month long discussion on love? If God really isn’t interested in me, then what is He, She, It interested in? If God isn’t interested in me on a personal level, then who is? Any examination of love and marriage that leaves all of our previous understanding intact is not an examination at all. At the end of the day, the paradigm must be challenged and previous assumptions discarded. It has been said that marriage, the traditional benchmark for relationship has changed more in the last 200 years than throughout recorded history. In the last 20 years it has changed more than in the previous 200 and that is because we have changed. The evolution of our brains is in fact a model for the evolution of our ideas about love and marriage. The testosterone and estrogen laden “love” of our primitive brain stem is not the romantic love of the mid-brain and cerebral cortex, awash with dopamine, nor epinephrine and serotonin. In addition, there is a very specific part of the brain that is stimulated by the oxytocin and vasopressin characteristic of attachment. Each part of the brain understands love differently and expresses it in unique ways yet all are human love and thus the Divine expressing through Its creation.
Love though, Dr. Holmes hints, is greater than the sum of its parts. It is the origin of the very moment of creation itself AND the force for becoming of that creation. Love is the evolutionary push of the One to see itself expressed as the many and as such is not that very different than the desire to parent. This explains why images of a Father/Mother God have informed our history and mythology since the beginning.
Like most things Christian however, in leaping to the endgame, we seem to have felt the need to deny what went before as if transcending meant leaving who we were behind so we could be something else. There is no leaving behind. We progress to higher levels of consciousness and drag the old ‘us’ along. He may be largely silent, almost tamed, but should he be? Is there not a splendour in the wildness of our lusty youth; a glory in the romantic love that carried us off again and again? I’m brought back again to my favourite parable, The Prodigal Son. I love that Father rushing out, carried forward on the tide of oxytocin and vasopressin to meet his son but let’s face it, the prodigal is where the juice of the story is and that boy is all testosterone. The story purposely includes, Father, elder brother and young wild boy.
God has need of all of us, and by that I mean the entirety of our humanness, not a watered down version, but the one that George Bernard Shaw said was going to be “a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making it ( you) happy.”
When it comes to those destiny-defining moments in life, if we allow ourselves to put something else above our own intention to evolve, to express the love that we are, then the real loser is G-d, not us. G-d as Loser? Now there’s a paradigm busting idea!