Spiritual Principles behind the Traditions

Eros and Agape Love: Part 3

So, in the past couple of posts, we’ve looked at how there is a certain drive in the universe that brings things together into a more gathered sense of wholeness. This drive can be seen on a social level, by examining the development of nations—out of independent principilaties, a Kingdom is forged. We took a summartive look at this drive in the spiritual/social intersection with the rise of Islam. But perhaps I’ve made a terrible error in my didactic method. I’ve begun with the abstract when the concrete is waiting for us behind the microscope.

This drive for greater Unity that’s been examined exists on the fundamental level of matter. Take a look at the development of life: according to the basic principles of evolution, there existed a time long ago where the most complex form of life were atoms. So, at one point, all these atoms were spinning around and bouncing off one another, each with their own seperate self-sense, and then a miracle happened.

At some point, with these atoms gathered together, for the first time a single membrane drops around all of them, creating a boundary. Of a sudden, this new boundary—this greater unity—created a new self-sustaining entity: a molecule. But this drive didn’t stop there. With this new ‘molecule’ (or nation-state, if you prefer) around, the same thing occurred in its development: at some point when this molecules were interacting with each other, another membrane reached around them and brought them all together, unifying them under a single ‘cell’. Think about that analagy—each of these molecules had their own purpose, their own specific function, but some force reached beyond them and brought them all together into a previous non-existent level of complexity: the cell.

The same miracle would occur regarding cells. At some point in their interactions, the push for unity and greater complexity lassoed another boundary around a collection of previous independent cells, and the first single-celled organism was created. And so on and so on. And so on. Until you reach the complexity of unity that constiutues a human being—all these levels exist within it, working together and functioning under the unity of one human being.

The point I need to emphasize for the point of our continuing discussion of Eros and Agape Love (I’m finally getting there), is how this drive somehow reached higher or beyond the level that was there to create a greater level of unity. It reaches up somehow in faith, much like Muhammad envisioned a greater, united Arabia. It leaves little doubt that he was somehow attuned with this force.

So, as mentioned, some people have distinguished love into two types: Eros and Agape Love. Agape Love is the type that reaches out and embraces all the lower levels; for example, that would be the cell embracing the molecule, embracing an atom, an atom in turn embracing a quark. It would be a human embracing his country, his family, and so forth. But Eros love reaches up to create higher levels of Unity.

Each one of these examples: a cell, a molecule, an atom can be termed what is called a holon. A holon is a whole that is also part of a larger whole and is itself composed of smaller wholes.

Anyway, I think the point is finally reached: we are now at a point in our global village where that Eros love is pushing us to reach a higher level of Unity. We all have our own unique roles and perspectives, but the nature of the emerging society requires that a new vision of connection be realized. I’m interested to see what this new holon might look like.

**By the way, none of these ideas are my own. If I had more money to spring on the video viewer for my blog, I would. As is the case, however, I would strongly encourage you check out the following video:

“Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber: What is Love?”


3 comments on “Eros and Agape Love: Part 3

  1. Matthew Kent
    July 11, 2012

    Great post on articulating that distinction between eros and agape. I don’t recall hearing it described in that way, as though one love is embracing what already is while the other is reaching towards what is not-yet-become. Very helpful, thanks!

    Are you involved with Evolutionary Enlightenment at all?

    • mikedorman33
      July 12, 2012

      Yes, actually, I’m trying to become more involved with Evolutionary Enlightenment. I can’t exactly take credit for the idea of that distinction between the two loves, as it came from the Evolutionary Enlightenment context. But…yeah, I’m scheduled to attend the latest online broadcast of Andrew Cohen on July 22; if I had the money, I would go on retreat with him. Are you involved?

      • Matthew Kent
        July 12, 2012

        Awesome, Mike. Yeah, I had heard the distinction before but the way you expressed it opened up a new dimension for me. Very evolutionary:)

        I’m actually doing an internship with EnlightenNext at the moment, here in MA, and was doing some work related to that when I stumbled upon your blog! Feel free to shoot me an email and we can connect that way, too, as I’d love to hear more and see if there are some other ways to bet you plugged in more. I know for me, being more engaged with others around this perspective made such a huge difference, without any doubt whatsoever.

        I’m loving what you’re doing with your blog, as I think for significant progress to be had, there’s a need for more and more people doing what you’re doing, working to connect the dots from our spiritual past to our spiritual present and even future.

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