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Love is the answer

The day will come when after we have mastered the winds, the waves the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God, the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world mankind will have discovered fire.—Teilhard de Chardin

It’s said that the most significant discovery of humankind 600,000 years ago was fire. Besides its use for cooking food and keeping humans warm, a bonfire became an occasion for nocturnal gatherings that brought families and neighbors together to bond and interconnect and discover love. The “warmth of the hearth” was indeed a fitting ambience to cultivate the tendencies for interrelatedness innate in the process of evolution. Scientists sense a primeval disposition for all matter to merge—for example, the quarks that are discernible only when in an intimate embrace of two, or more. Alone, they disappear.

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At this juncture of our human history, what we are experiencing globally, socially, politically and spiritually do not bode well in terms of our future as a species. Evolutionary theologian Diarmuid O’Murchu faults the Industrial Age and the Agricultural Revolution as the culprit that brought the problems that confront us today. According to O’Murchu, these initiated man’s belief that he holds superiority over all of creation, that the earth and everything in it were created principally for his disposal, to use at will, in any capacity that would bring him comfort and economic gain.

The world is now in the grip of transnational economic and political powers in the hands of a few superrich who covertly control it. The situation cripples attempts to equally distribute the global wealth so that the alleviation of poverty has become an uphill endeavor. It is the poor who suffer most from the abuse of nature, which has resulted in global warming that carries with it climate change, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, wars and famine.

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Never has man been so disconnected and so driven by a sense of competitiveness, greed and envy, with hatred and killings as consequences. Even the religions have not been spared, as men kill one another in the name of God. It is pitiful that many acts of bravery and courage could have been acts of nobility had they been committed for the right reasons. The situation has become so critical that no less than Pope Francis has jumped into the fray, to be accused by some sectors as meddling in secular issues.

But at this point in our history the progression of the evolutionary cycle seeks a deeper sense of oneness with everything in this world and the entire cosmos, which it considers the better norm for love and benevolence to thrive and for evolution to pursue its never-ending need for complexity. There should be no separation like secularism-theology, science-religion, God above-man below, nature-humankind etc. We are all one, interconnected, in a give-and-take, mutual-sustenance, interrelational covenant. O’Murchu says man should not consider himself the cream of creation and believe that the world is his personal domain to do as he wills with the resources of the earth. O’Murchu points out that the earth has flourished for billions of years without us and will continue without us should it take its revenge or should our own species annihilate itself.

Pope Francis’ latest encyclical calls for the urgent need to address the problems facing us today (emphasis on global warming). He says that we have a “throwaway” culture (simply, that we need to simplify our lifestyle), that the earth has become polluted (“piled with filth”), and that even our housing developments have caused the destruction of much of nature’s blessings. We have so abused nature that it appears it is fighting back, for the earth is not dead matter but what James Lovelock calls a Gaia, a living entity where the organic and inorganic cooperate for their mutual sustenance. I like the way Pope Francis puts it: “God always forgives; human beings sometimes forgive; but when nature is mistreated, she never forgives.”

Recently, I received an article supposedly written by Albert Einstein to his daughter Lieserl before his death. When I forwarded it to my good friend Dita Domogalla, she couldn’t access it in her e-mail so she searched for it in Google. She found out that the author could not have been Einstein.

Nevertheless, I found the article fitting as a solution to our dilemma. It was about love. The author states that love is an extremely powerful force that governs every natural phenomenon. He uses Einstein’s equation—e=mc²—substituting Love as the factor to be multiplied by the speed of light squared, concluding that Love is the most powerful force in the universe because it has no limits. O’Murchu has a chapter in one of his books where he laments the fact that our religion puts emphasis on love for God above all things when it should be love for God, man and creation in equal intensity. Such a concept would have earlier developed closeness, intimacy and oneness with our fellow human beings, nature and the cosmos, a relationality so needed today.

The importance of love as a tonic for today’s ills has been proposed by many writers. But there is a fear that like all things harnessed by man to suit his needs, the tendency to “commoditize” Love is appalling, such that it is in danger of going the way the rest of man’s endeavors have gone. To bring Love to the dimension of the intellect is not such a good idea.

As for me, I don’t know how to think love. I can only feel it.

Carmelita Roxas Natividad describes herself as a retired mother and active grandmother who likes to write, garden, and bake, in that order.

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TAGS: environment, love, mankind, Pope Francis
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