Is Love the Goal?

Earlier this note by the Franciscan Richard Rohr floated through my media stream:

It immediately called forth a question from me, is it really? Many want to claim that a non-duality position is possible, and it does seem that all mystical literature points to it, but does that state result in an all encompassing love as opposed to hate, or perhaps something that transcends both love and hate?

Following through with the Rohr meditation, I was pleased to see him mention, and found more alignment for myself, with his idea of  “calling forth of Christ consciousness in us.”

In Jung’s alchemical rendering of the third coniunctio, we learn of the adepts becoming one with the world, a state subtlety attributed to Jung by von Franz:

“In his later years Jung often did not let people talk to him about their problems, but by letting flow what came to his mind he frequently unintentionally told people exactly what they needed. Before one is integrated and individuated one’s complexes tend to come through.  But if one has really worked to solve one’s own problems and the complexes are integrated, then one can connect with the collective unconscious and it’s wisdom can flow through one.”  (von Franz, M.L. 1997. Alchemical Active Imagination. Boston: Shambala. Pg. 149.)  ,

This vision is not new, even if we have yet to collectively catch up with it.  My favorite rendering of it in verse is found in this beautiful passage from the Book of Wisdom:

“A new attuning of the elements occurred,

as on a harp the notes may change their rhythm,

though all the while preserving the same tone;

and this is just what happened:

land animals became aquatic,

swimming ones took to the land, ‘

fire reinforced its strength in water,

and water forgot the power of extinguishing it;

flames, on the other hand, did not char the flesh

of delicate animals that ventured into them;

nor did they melt the heavenly food

resembling ice and as easily melted.”

(Wisdom 19: 18-21)

From my vantage point, this development in us is the goal.

Author: Richard Reeve

I'm the Senior Director of Development at Panthera, a global conservation organization committed to stemming the population decline of cats in the wild. I enjoy rural living with my wife Judith and our two children in the Catskill Mountains of New York.