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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  May 6, 2008

Transcendent Love

1 Corinthians 13 speaks about love in a manner befitting of tired slaves when it advocates enduring, being useful, and quietly serving a master. This is a crude material misunderstanding of love and fails entirely to speak of noble character, spirituality, or transcendent love.

Love is larger than the self and the fluctuating social order because the individual worthy of love is properly seen as an example of a type and not a destination in themselves. We all have physical forms and they are mostly inconsequential. What matters is the essence of the person and that they find a way to exert their eternal characteristics regardless of the time in which they appear. A strong spirit is immortal and will wind its way triumphantly through whatever situation it faces.

Love is a kinship of souls, as one can only venerate another when there is something in common that is understood and valued. It seems we are all a part of an orbit, generally consisting of no more than a few thousand people with similar paths but different trajectories that are close neighbors at times and recur, with the length of our shared paths varying as we wander through our destiny in the universe. Too many times to shrug off as random we have found improbable commonalities or the ease of old friends with people who are independently going in a similar direction as us and with similar aspirations -- and despite the large world they are no more than one of thousands. Often it is only the brightest stars that glimpse one another in the night sky.

Love dares: show me your character, show me what you really are! Love embraces, forgives, sanctifies. Love dances, love gazes deep into another's eyes and soul, love joins two people in laughter and curiosity. Love is a tender exploration, a tempting possibility, both desirous tingling passion and a sober dream that is real.

Love turns blind to many faults, not so much from idealization as a lack of concern with the vulgar and banal, except where these become so severe as to hamper a person from greater pursuits and thus come into focus. But even mistakes are a part of a curious character and must be loved with the whole. All boats that sail do so upright, but those which have sunk are not seen, but rest at their end.

Love inspires when we taste and appreciate the character, gifts, works, and energy of another. From this perspective, love for another requires no possession. One can form love merely with the knowledge that a person exists and of what they are made. They are loved for what they are, what they mean, and what they do without ever meeting them, or even requiring acknowledgment or awareness from the loved. Their spirit and character stand on their own and need not be captured to be what they are. Likewise, love does not even require the loved to be living, as the spirit one loves exists beyond the physical realm and what they were and did over a lifetime is not nullified by the necessity of death. Their life affirmed what they were, even if they have not taken physical form for centuries.

We love others ultimately because we love the world, specifically its best examples that affirm life and inspire us with the awareness of eternal vibrant character that cannot be suppressed. We can know these people in spirit and love them for being what they are. We love life because it created people who are true to themselves and cannot be otherwise.


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