Sunday, 1 September 2013

The passionateness of being and the craving for love

This morning, suddenly, at meditation, the startling realization about the connection between the passionateness of being and the craving for beauty and for love. Perhaps what Lonergan calls the passionateness of being is,  at least in some of its reaches and aspects, not different from the craving for beauty and for love. Fred Lawrence kept quoting Telly Savalas during the ILW4: "Who is it that love you baby?" We are all, all of us, searching for love.

There is, of course, the taint, the blight, the corruption, and when Robert Jordan in his Wheel of Time series talks about the taint on saidar (or is it saidin?), the male half of the Power, perhaps there is an allusion to this. Our craving for love is blighted, by possessiveness, the desire to own, to be, to eat, swallow up, engulf. Perhaps the underlying transcendental is unity, which, tainted, can become possessiveness, especially in the delicate area of interpersonal relationships. Food becomes me; another person cannot become me without qualification. But the craving is there: the desire to attain at least some, even if fleeting, moment of bliss.

I cannot help recalling Henrici's marvellous comments on Plato's ladder of beauty in The Symposium: a text that bears going back to. A seminal text.

And is not restlessness another name for the passionateness and the craving? The restlessness that Augustine spoke so well about and that he no doubt knew from personal experience. And I want to ask: "Are your hearts restless? Or are they perhaps at rest? And if they are at rest: where do they rest? In what do they rest? In whom do they rest? Perhaps you have reached God?"

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