Do you want to know the truth? It’s said that the truth will set you free.
Yes, please. Tell us the truth.
Okay, which one?
Ours, of course. It is by far the best.
We want the truth that will set us free!
Ahem, well, that depends on what it is that currently binds you.
What? There is no one universal truth? Something like a quote out of the Bible, or something like Kant’s Categorical Imperative?
Nope, none of that fancy stuff seems to work anywhere and at anytime. I have been in all kinds of rabbit holes, and am lucky to be still alive. Life is too dynamic, too complex to extract anyone meaningful wisdom other than that truth.
But who has time to read and think? I’d say that what is meaningful depends on each person. Existence, life, love, sex, family – we all think about that. Many people anchor their life in a belief in God who justifies their fates for them. Others, like me, accept uncertainty and makeup meaning on the go. For me, sort of, whatever supports my need for survival, safety, and security is most meaningful. My safety and security necessarily include yours, so you will benefit from my considerations, and I therefore from yours – more often than not.
What about love? Is that meaningful?
Yeah, what about love?
Love is so sweet. Can we not all just love each other and get along?
Yikes, why are you slushing your wet tongues around in each other’s mouths?
There’s still more to come…
Pollyanna, come over and let us tell you of God’s love, which is unconditional and safe. In our community, you can be yourself as you are, as long as you don’t break the rules.
I do not believe in rules, I cannot even if I tried. Are your doors open for me as well?
Well, let’s treat lightly here. You know that we got problems with you. But, yes, that’s why we are here to begin with. You are in all of us. Some of our members prefer not to deal with you, though. Others are more progressive. We are not a monolithic kind of people, so you’ve got to take your chances.
Okay. Where and when then are the best situations for me to come out and breathe? On Sunday morning, sitting in the pew?
Perhaps not. We do not appreciate slushings in the pews. Hugging is okay, but not slushing. For that, you’ve got to be blessed in marriage and do it at home or in the car.
Ooops, in the car? A Freudian slip. Shadow, it’s your fault again.
Please, don’t get me involved now.
Look, we are all human. Let’s not get carried away by philosophy, theology, psychology and all that. Love, eros, and sex are just what makes the world go ’round. God made it so, let’s not pretend otherwise. We all just need to find truly appealing ways to live together to the fullest. Mother and I have done that, you could look at us and do it yourself.
Lead, follow, or get out of the way? I am conflicted about that. I find the mandates of Heaven as pronounced by you, the True Parents, a bit overbearing – to say the least. Look at what happened to your own offspring and the larger community.
Shadow, just make the leap of faith. You know, I wrote much about that. Still, I know I could not really do it myself, but others have.
As Sartre said, freedom is either ‘freedom to’ or ‘freedom from.’ The word freedom by itself is next to useless. Being free to fly into the wide and open spaces of life and experience is of desire to many. But as the Shadow knows so well, we cannot be free from the unruliness of our sexuality – that is, we have to live with it in between our puberty and death. If the church or God’s charitable love cannot be more helpful, is there something else to help harness the inner shadow?
Some folks believe that erotic love is it, with an emphasis on love of course.
What? The erotic got me into trouble in the first place. Luckily, I made sure that Christianity became wholly biased against erotic love, as it should be.
Mine is a controversial proposition, for sure. And there is obviously more to it, it needs to be explained a bit better than with just two words: erotic love. Because of you, Augustine, these words do not bring up the propper associations in many a mind.
St. Augustine, like St. Paul, was so bad before his conversion. How can one expect that anyone would get it right after having been so wrong?
Let’s consider instead two people in a lasting bond of amorous love: truly desiring each other, respecting and esteeming each other as whole persons, being exclusive to each other by choice, consensually providing delights to each other’s shadow and allowing the other into the delights of one’s own, as well as making all the other choices in the care of shared wellbeing, Something like that…
Whoa, that sounds great. How many can do that? I mean, who is doing it or can even keep all that in mind? I mean, that’s a boatload of mandates just as well.
I am sorry. Did not mean to spook you. It’s just that people wonder what love is or can be. I mean, can one not try to aspire to love? My conception of real love does not require the invocation or even intervention of a God or some vision of the divine, I’ll keep it all human and perhaps tangible for the average joe.
Also, again, these are aspirations and not mandates. Nothing depends on fulfilling these aspirations, not your salvation or your entry into Heaven. Come to me, baby.
Fool me not, Hades. I am OK with erotic love.
Easy now. It seems that amorous desire for each other, that is, some kind of mutual, reciprocal attraction is the foundational element in real love. And choices follow, including the choice of exclusivity as a sort of proof of love. Can one or two people, together, thrive without acting responsibly over time?
In other words, the real love that humans are capable of is what may sanctify the transgressive, the erotic, me? I can come out and breath whenever erotic desire and responsible choice get it together and tango, that is, without repelling each other? Is that possible? Can I be someone other than an outcast?
When is young too young to know?
It’s possible if there is consent between the two. The transgressive takes place in private, at times only. After the two re-emerge out of their rejuvenating regression, they’ll be responsible in public – again, as always I hope. That is the choice part.
Tom, you’re gonna be our new Wizard of Oz!
That’s a good plan. However, let’s not forget that little ever goes according to plan. Life’s path is riddled by vicissitudes, and love is constantly under the gun of vagary. All people are faulty and frail, not just the elderly. Read my words.
I know about that.
And me as well, first-hand.
We are almost there…
The author of this blog, Tom Froehlich, is a graduate of the Unification Theological Seminary (Class of ’83) and is infatuated with musing about the phenomenon of lasting erotic love in human affairs.