The birth of love
April 4, 2010 by Bill
It has been almost universal in religious mythologies that love brought truth out of falsehood…light out of darkness…order out of chaos. In Egyptian literature is the concept of love being divine and overcoming all things. In Babylonian literature love is always stronger than death and overcomes all things. “The inability to give love…or receive love…is insanity” wrote Dr. Karl Menninger of the world famous Menninger psychiatric center.
Where…when…how did this sublime experience enter the human heart?
Thousands and thousands of years before Jesus was born or the bible was written, love filled human hearts and dreamed of immortality. Maybe even a million or more years ago, perhaps on an African savannah at the dawn of humanity, an ancestor stood, staring into space past a new grave…and a first tear filled eyes.
Whence came that first tear flowing out of a heart having experienced love? Whence came that first sob in the throat…but from the source of love…that which is eternal? And today, still, the mystery of life and death remain. Life…so called…is only a brief interlude between two great mysteries which are yet ONE. LIfe and death…the Yin and the Yang of complementary opposites. Presidents and babes lie side by side. Kings and peasants share the same soil. Every birth asks, “Whence came thou?” Every grave asks, “Whither goest thou?” The most unlettered person weeping over his loved one can answer the questions of this mystery equally as well as the most learned scholar in his study. We are all equal as we stand with tears in our eyes before a loved one’s grave.
The mystery of love remains. Humans have intuitively sensed, from spiritual mystic to philosopher, poet and musician, that it is through something we call “love” that the sacred dimensions of existence are most deeply experienced on this planet we call “Earth.”
This love was not born of the bible. Its birthplace was the human heart where for thousands and thousands of years with all people in all cultures it has brought joy…built hope…been the mother of beauty…overcome fear and given a richness and significance to the living of days that would otherwise have been absent. Love has been the perfume and the fragrance of the soul.
Do the mountains stand in need of our poems? Would the stars fade away if astronomers ceased to exist? Would the birds stop singing if musicians and artists stopped writing music and painting? Nature does not need us. There is no one in this world who loves the outdoors more than I do. I thrill to the woods and have known the joy of backpacking and hiking and have listened for hours to the cosmic rhythms of the ocean…and yet…and yet…I remember that…
No mountain as yet said to me, “Don’t cry…it will be all right…”
No sunset touches and takes my hand and says “I love you.”
No tree has yet said to me, “May I help you with your problem?”
No flower, moon or stars can put an arm around my shoulder and say, “We will go through this thing together…you and I…”
For close to 2,000 years the Christian institution of the church has tortured, butchered and executed hundreds of thousands of human beings for not believing in the prevailing doctrines, creeds and dogmas of the day. But in all of those years…not ONE person…not one has been tried by an ecclesiastical court and put to death for not obeying the great commandment “to love neighbor as self.” Not one person has even been convicted by the Christian church for not loving enough.
There can never be Easter in our lives, until there is Easter in our hearts…love, resurrected.