A Temple to Love

A Temple to Love August 19, 2019



According to good old Wikipedia the oldest known temple devoted to the Roman deity Venus was established on this day, the 19th of August in 293 b.c.e.

Venus is the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. And as many know these days her story and that of the Greek Aphrodite are now completely intertwined.

Me, I am sympathetic to the syncretistic inclination among religions, and would throw in all goddesses of love, including all those other incarnations, especially my favorites Mary and Guanyin.

With that I suggest today as an appropriate moment to pause and contemplate this most amazing of human emotions, love. And how buried within it, deep in the heart of this oh so human feeling, something more…

As someone inclined to the rational it sometimes takes an overwhelming emotional experience to remind me reason is a tool and not reality itself. Now emotions are not reality itself, either.

But. As I mentioned recently, early on my spiritual journeys I stumbled on the Hindu teacher Ramakrishna and his rather astonishing band of followers. I was particularly taken, as readers of this blog might recall, with his English admirers.

I had to still be a teenager when I read of a turning point in Ramakrishna’s life, a vision he had of the deity Kali, another of these incarnations of love, although as is often true, somewhat hard to recall in the messiness of her presentation. In Ramakrishna’s vision at least within my memory Ramakrishna saw her emerge from a river and walk toward him. As she walked she swelled out pregnant, gave birth, and then swallowed her child.

I’ve never forgotten this. Nor the emotions that Ramakrishna reported.

As we are shaken out of our comfort zones, whether that zone be cool reason or hot feeling, we can then take those states of being and follow them to ever deeper places. At least this has been my experience. Transformed reason becomes the way of Wisdom, and emotion becomes the way of Love.

And at some point it becomes difficult to discern which is which. Terrible.



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