The Love Ethic

Robert Atkinson

Robert AtkinsonReferred to as the mother emotion, though nearly impossible to define, love is the most powerful attractive force in the universe. Love is the power that binds together all the various elements of the material world. Love is the magnetic force that directs the movement of the planets in the heavenly realms.

On the human and social level, love is attraction to the qualities and attributes of other human beings. On a spiritual level, love is the selfless attraction to others and our Creator. Spiritual love generates the lasting emotion of spiritual happiness, as this is what establishes our connection with our Beloved, and creates a form of unity with the love object that brings a steady state of joyfulness. When Rumi experienced this force in his life, he was transformed; his temporal life became his eternal life.

It is a choice is to live in separation from all things, or to live in union with all things. The eternal self, guided by the most powerful force in the universe – love – seeks integration, wholeness, and communion with the soul, others, and the Creator. Its perspective is a seamless, unified worldview consisting of one reality. It knows that its life is part of every other life, and therefore in harmony with creation.

If we are like islands in the sea, appearing to the eye as separate but really connected on a deeper level, as William James suggested, wouldn’t we, collectively, not only come to this conscious realization eventually but also begin to shift our thinking to accommodate this reality in our everyday lives and actions?

And if we were so deeply connected, wouldn’t it also seem that we would begin to recognize that we are made for transcending the illusion of separation, caring for whom we are connected to, and knowing that our true security lies in the good of the whole? In other words, in this holistic consciousness, wouldn’t our greatest act in this world be to express love, compassion, caring, and charity, in all things we do?

Understanding the path of our own evolution means awakening to our own humanity, to that specialness that is ours only. And what is that specialness other than having been designed to live according to the law of compassion? From Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1, 13.8) to Kierkegaard to D.H. Lawrence to M.L. King, Jr. to Cornel West, we are often reminded that we are inwardly guided by the love ethic.

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