Agape, Eros, Philia. All Greek words defining love.
Agape denotes a brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God. Agape love is also a way of expressing love for one’s children and spouse. It describes the feeling of being content, or holding someone in high regard. Eros is mostly sexual passion. Socrates once argued that Eros helped the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Philia means affection. It can also denote love for community.
We are in the month of Eros love; valentines, desire, fire in the soul kind of love. By now, you’ve had your fill of wine, chocolates, candies, flowers, poetry, and massages. Perhaps you’ve received the ultimate expression of love – a marriage proposal? Maybe you’ve made the commitment to take that next important step and live together? Whatever the day brought, it was all predicated on “love.”
I won’t bore you with yet another explanation of how Valentine’s Day came about, or about the life and times of St. Valentine, yadda, yadda, (you can Google that yourselves.)
I want to talk about love. A word expressed between couples, parent and child, good friends, and family, but should it be reserved for only those that we love? Christ told us that anyone can love their friends. It takes a special kind of person to love our enemies, otherwise we’re only as good as the Pharisees. This is not a dissertation on Christianity, or a sermon on how to love our fellow man, (well, sorry, it kinda is!) but rather a new age, old way of thinking.
The other day, I was having a conversation with my son Matt about how I wished every soldier would lay down his weapon and just say forget it, we’re not fighting anymore, let the big wigs duke it out themselves, and he said “Mom, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” As I spent the rest of the day thinking about it, I decided he was right, it was kind of a dumb idea. Why? Because everybody knows it can NEVER happen in the world we know exists at this very moment.
That night as I lay down to sleep; you know that time, when you’re so tired your body can’t move, but your brain decides to throw a party, and invites a billion thoughts? Well, in one of those partying synapses, a lovely image emerged. An image of soldiers shooting at one another, but instead of bullets, out came gauzy candy floss hearts with the words “love” written on them, and each soldier hit with one of these heart bullets felt complete and utter love. I pictured every gun, tank, missile and weapons silo exploding into a pink ammunition’s array, which completely encapsulated the earth within this pink fluffy cloud of love. And then? It was quiet. All the fighting stopped.
Then I thought about how much money the military spends trying to create the ultimate weapons; better bullets; missiles; tanks; mind control measures and things I can’t fathom, and seriously don’t want to. What if someone could come up with a “love” bullet? A desperately needed weapon that makes us forget that we hate each other; something that allows us to let go of the hunger for power, and what I like to call “the need for greed.” Another dumb idea? Kinda, but I believe we can be those bullets, we just have to want to.
It wasn’t easy putting forth the idea that we need to love our enemies, (and I received a scathing response on Facebook for my efforts,) but it’s the only way peace is ever going to happen. It’s what Christ and so many others have told us to do, (even though he received a rather a scathing response for his efforts as well.) If we continue to do things the way we always have, then it’s only logical to assume that nothing will ever change! Isn’t that the sheer definition of madness, to do something the same way over and over expecting a different result? Is loving our enemies difficult? Of course it’s difficult, it’s almost downright impossible, but not IM-possible.
Some of us go to church, and we profess to be Christians. We help the needy, the homeless, the hungry, and that’s all very good. It’s easy to love those who love us, or even tolerate those we don’t really like, but love those horrible, abusive, nasty, dictatorial evil people? No way! And yet, who better to envelope in love than those who don’t have any?
We’ve all known mean, and the spot where we pulled the knife out from between our shoulder blades years ago still aches from time to time, but aren’t these the very people who need our love the most? How will they get it if not from us?
What prevents us from taking a few moments every day to simply visualize the earth and all who live in her surrounded in a pink cloud of heartfelt love?
Unfortunately, soldiers will never voluntarily put down their weapons, the leaders of the world will never be the ones duking- it- out and the military is not going to invent a love bullet, but perhaps we don’t need them to.
We have the capacity to change the world with just our thoughts. It’s true! If we continue to spew out hatred, then that is what the world will continue to be filled with. It’s a never ending spiral of negativity that hangs out there like a cancerous insidious cloud. Let’s try something new, (although it was suggested over 2,000 years ago.) We can raise the consciousness of the world.
Agape, Eros, Philia . . .Love. It is the greatest and most powerful force in the universe. It’s the Superman of forces. It’s deeper than the soul, more powerful than evil, stronger than hate, more sustaining than anger, and is invincible. It has no kryptonite. All we have to do is feel it, and send it out there.
What would it take for you to send the world a valentine?