Evolving into Love

Some friends and I went camping in Yosemite valley recently. It’s one of those places the words “grandeur” and “majestic” were invented to describe.

The Yosemites of the world can remind us to attend to the world’s beauty wherever we are, whether in the form of an oak tree, a kind word, or an architectural feat. Yet we humans often destroy beauty in all its forms in intentional and unintentional ways, sometimes even as it fills our souls with wonder. We drove to Yosemite after all.

Half dome and the valleyse

Beauty evokes love, and love allows us to see the beauty in others and in the world. I believe that Love is the creative force in the universe. Yet sometimes we are exceptional lovers, and sometimes we miss the boat entirely. (Yes, that would make it the Love Boat. Sorry, couldn’t resist.) How can it be that we act contrary to the very fiber of our existence?

Perhaps we misunderstand the totality that love is. The nature of this universe is not to spring full-form into being but to develop, and we are creatures of this universe. Perhaps love is learning to be love, which is messy.

Learning involves being in tension between who we are and who we are becoming. It means making mistakes. It also makes possible the most beautiful transformation and the most profound change.

We might think that we must force ourselves to evolve the ability to better love one another, the animals, the Earth. It may be tempting to despair, to look at the devastation in the world and think it’s already too late. But if love is the nature of being, it will continue to evolve us. We cannot escape the direction in which we’re heading, and that direction is good.

3 thoughts on “Evolving into Love

  1. Yes, (along with Julian of Norwich), I also have a sense of faith/conviction that we are headed in a good direction, that there is a benevolent trajectory to our universe.
    I just saw an excellent documentary called “Serengetti Rules” which looks at how what are called “keystone species” affect their entire ecosystem. These species are often (though not always) the apex predators in the food chain and their presence has what may seem like a counterintuitive effect – to powerfully expand and maintain the diversity and richness of other plant and animal species. Without them, ecosystems invariably deteriorate into deadzones, or places that are overrun by a single species. When we think of apex predators we are usually reminded of the inherent ferocity and cruelty of nature. At the same time, we now know they are indispensable to the richness and diversity and incredible beauty of many environments. The health and beauty of the natural world is built on a foundation that requires violence and predation. Nevertheless, we maintain a sense that love is at work somehow, as a guiding force that animates all of this. Pondering such things simply reminds of the essentially mysterious nature of this force.

    In a retreat she led last year, Ilia Delio shared a very personal vision of what the future of humanity would come to be. She spoke of a “love being” that lives and acts in accordance with this force, rather than with the instinctual dictates of our DNA. The manner in which she conveyed and alluded to this vision really stuck with me as she seemed to be speaking from a place of “seeing”; her words had an oracular and powerfully hopefully quality.

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