Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Love Is Free

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 15, 2018

HAPPY VALENTINE’s DAY… to EVERYONE!

Today is a day in which we pagans… er, did I write that? – celebrate love. And to be certain, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing… or so the movie, song, and teevee “soap-opera” series of years gone by told us.

Love, at least the way others and I have seen it, is an act, and it is not exclusively a sexual one, though it also encompasses the same. Love is giving; love is sharing; sharing is caring; and caring moves us, it motivates us with compassion to either ease another’s suffering, or to join in unity with them, either psychically, or physically, or both.

For example, who ever had sex mad? Anecdotally, I know of no one, nor have I ever read, nor heard of anyone ever confessing to the same. Everyone who has sex has happy sex. Although, I suppose it’s possible to have sex when one is sad to lift the mood.

Nevertheless, as has always been the case, people will have sex with whomever they want to have sex with – and by that, I mean to refer to consensuality, not coercive. It makes no difference whether one is married, or not, people have had, and always will have sex with who they want to have sex with. Nothing will change that. And yet, so many get so “up in arms” about sexuality, even their own practices, or desires, as if in some way sexuality and consensual sex acts are somehow “dirty,” wrong, or bad. Why is that?

For the Xian (respectful “shorthand” for Christian – X is the Greek letter chi), they are told that “God is love,” and that they should not have sex until after marriage, and exclusively with their heterosexual marriage partner. Further, they’re told of the Greek words for love – eros, or erotic love; phileo, or brotherly love; storge, or parental love; and then agape, or “God-like” love.

Late author, philosopher, theologian, apologist C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), a friend of J.R.R. Tolkein, and former atheist, wrote a book by the same name “The Four Loves” which may be described as examples of “thought experiments” on love, and for a time was in some places banned because of it’s discussion about sexuality.

One of the most recognizable passages of the book is:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

And yet another, perhaps lesser-known passage is this:
“When the two people who thus discover that they are on the same secret road are of different sexes, the friendship which arises between them will very easily pass – may pass in the first half hour – into erotic love. Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other or unless one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later. And conversely, erotic love may lead to Friendship between the lovers. But this, so far from obliterating the distinction between the two loves, puts it in a clearer light. If one who was first, in the deep and full sense, your Friend, is then gradually or suddenly revealed as also your lover you will certainly not want to share the Beloved’s erotic love with any third. But you will have no jealousy at all about sharing the Friendship. Nothing so enriches an erotic love as the discovery that the Beloved can deeply, truly and spontaneously enter into Friendship with the Friends you already had; to feel that not only are we two united by erotic love but we three or four or five are all travelers on the same quest, have all a common vision.”

In that paragraph, Lewis identifies a type of selfishness by writing “If one who was first, in the deep and full sense, your Friend, is then gradually or suddenly revealed as also your lover you will certainly not want to share the Beloved’s erotic love with any third.”

It is upon that selfishness that many – if not most, or even all – agree that sex outside of marriage with someone who is not their partner is wrong. And, it is recognition upon that same selfishness that many become divorced or heartbroken by another’s sex acts.

And yet, the Xian is told that selfishness is not a characteristic of the love of their God. So how then is it that a God of love appears to endorse selfishness in love by saying “thou shalt not commit adultery”? Could it be that in some manner, that same God suspected that we might not rise above, evolve or develop into rationally, socially, and spiritually mature human beings? That by possessing a thing – or rather, thinking that we do possess a thing – that we then become it’s owner and master? And yet, we cannot – or more accurately, do not – master our own selves. How is it that we can own love? No one “owns” love. Love is free. Love desires to be free. Love cannot be “put in a box of chocolates.” And love will always be free.

It is we who are enslaved to possession when we think that we own love, or possess love. Love resides within us, but only if we allow it to establish residency in our hearts, in our souls, and in our minds. If it were not so (that we consider love selfishly), then why would a partner leave another for any reason… even if that partner “betrayed” that love by loving another, i.e., by expressing love sexually with another?

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus the Christ was reported to have said, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (18:19 NIV) Many in the “name it and claim it” Evangelical movement have built a theology upon that verse, which many orthodox theologians find to be fully faulty. And yet, that so-called “prayer of agreement” is indeed a powerful thing insofar as it expresses agreement with/between two parties. It is with two parties that contracts are made and enforced. It is with two parties that almost every agreement is made. The point being, that agreement is the crux of the matter as expressed in that verse, rather than something which will be done “by my Father in heaven.” For it is WE who execute and enforce contracts, or violations of the same. It is done in employment, it is done in sales, it is done in every form of business… and even in marriage.

So then if love is a free thing, and people will love whom they want to love, and God is love, and love is not selfish, why is having sex with someone not your spouse somehow wrong? Frankly, I find that to be a stretch to imagine, and rather, understand the rationale behind the prohibition to be for the cause of our own inability to NOT possess, and to be selfish… or rather, our own spiritual immaturity.

You see, if, as the Xian says, God is love, and God is accepting of us everyone at all times, in everything, and despite what wrongs we have ever committed against another, that Love remains accepting of us who we are, as we are, where we are. How then can we, or anyone naming Christ, or holding to any form of mutual monogamy based upon the “thou shalt not” edict, have any different kind of love? Is it not time to mature, to grow up to realize, understand and move toward an understanding that we cannot, and do not possess love, but that love resides within us, and that we as vessels for and of love exist merely to express love?

Though I do not mean to write in the exclusively sexual sense, it seems apropos on this day, of all days, to write of it – that being, a love which expresses itself sexually.

And, as always, your thoughts are welcomed, appreciated, and thoughtful dialogue encouraged.

Love is free.
Love is freely given.
You are loved.
You are love.
Receive that love.
Be that love.

Give that love, not just today, but always.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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