Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Overuse of the word Love

Hannah Arednt... from Augustine, the first philosopher of the will...
What love brings about is lastingness, a perdurance of which the mind otherwise seems incapable. Augustine has conceptualized Paul's words in the Letter to the Corinthians, "Love never ends"; of the three that "abide - Faith, Hope, Love- "the greatest [ the most durable, as it were] is love" (Corinthians 13:8).
To summarize: this Will of Augustine's, which is not understood as a separate faculty, but in its function within the mind as a whole, where all single faculties - memory, intellect, and will - are "mutually referred to each other, find its redemption in being transformed into Love. Love as a kind of enduring and conflictless Will has an obvious resembles to Mill's "enduring I, " which finally prevails in the will's decisions. Love exerts its influence through the "weight"- the will resembles a weight" - it adds to the soul thus arresting its fluctuations. Men do not become just by knowing what it is to be just but by loving justice. Love is the soul's gravity, or the other way around: "the specific gravity of bodies is, as it were, their Love. What is saved, moreover, in this transformation of his earlier conception is the Will's power of assertion and denial" there is no greater assertion of something or somebody than to love it, that is to say: I will that you be - Amo: Volo ut sis.

Well... Oh Hannah, what would you say about this thing so often called love, this use of others only so long as they serve your need, want and ego. So, the one who professes love of justice suspends that justice for the injury which offends his or her own soul. To say I will that you be constrains your own soul as well, to love justice is to say I will also be bound by justices' constraints.

So often mere surface attraction, that is want of what the object of "love" has to give is called Love. So, once that which we crave is gained, we abandon the object of want, often with unbelievable cruelty, to say that it is the fault of the wanted that they were unworthy of Love when Love was never there in the first place. Such a false understanding of love results in a life of turmoil, running from one want to another and never finding love.

To love our meetings is the same. Friends who don't Love within this meaning in our religious society strike out at those who do not serve their wants and needs... and we exclude each other from our want which we confuse as Love.


At 12:32 PM, Blogger crystal said...

I don't know much about Augustine (except that I don't like him :-) but my spiritual directors wrote me once that in the time of Ignatius (of Loyola), will was the aspect of the soul associated with love and with desire. It seems to have a very different meaning now.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger david said...

I'm appreciating you comments on Hannah Arendt. I was vaguely aware of her work as she reflected on the meaning of the Holocaust -- but only barely. So the references are interesting.

What do you suggest for folks new to her -- as an introduction so to speak?

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

David - William: For our crowd, I would say, The Life of the Mind... two volumes, each about 300 pages, large type, accessable thoughts... the first volume is Thinking the second is Willing.

Crystal: I think that will is not a bad way to look at love... so often we see love as craving and want and need, and not governed by commitment. So, for example one may take a passing fancy to justice, when it serves you, but to be committed to justice, to love justice, is to bend your interests to justice when it is a hard thing to do. That is a growing lacking, you see the lack of love among the Neo cons, who make the world serve themselves, and the Friends who sometimes place their fears - pains, wants and egos over the good of the meeting community, or the people so quick to devorce, because they were too quick to marry, marry for desire and not for love.

Well, Hannah Arendt... hmmmmm ( he sighed with a small contentment )

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Dyske said...

“To love our meetings is the same. Friends who don't Love within this meaning in our religious society strike out at those who do not serve their wants and needs... and we exclude each other from our want which we confuse as Love.”

Once again, the paradox of dualism. You are striking out at “friends who don’t Love,” as you speak against striking out at others. Your “want” is for Friends to “Love within this meaning.” And those who don’t serve this purpose, you strike out at. The only difference is where you draw the line, like “inside” and “outside”.

I’m not a Bible-reader, but I came across this:

They said to Him: Shall we then, being children,
enter the Kingdom? Jesus said to them:
When you make the two one, and
when you make the inner as the outer
and the outer as the inner and the above
as the below, and when
you make the male and the female into a single one,
then you shall enter the Kingdom.

(the Gospel of St. Thomas)

How do you interpret this?

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

There you are Dyske, that is the whole ball of wax... love without trust, divides us, divids the meeting, we build these walls in the meeting... I don't strick out at the ones who don't love, but love is that which binds our meeting togeter.. it is the 11th comandment... I give you one more comandment that you should love each other as you love your self.

The divisions in our meeting is the outer fears making that inner communion of our society imposible.

I will email you a note about my great error, a failure of understanding... not to protect my ego, hell, I am the first to say I am damned... but well I will email you in the morning. Be well.

Much love and I hope to see you lovely three on St. Marks, not the mayor, dear fellow... just another busker trying to remember bliss.



Post a Comment

<< Home