Remember the tune, “How deep is your love?” It is one of my favorite tunes from the Bee Gees. I can’t say I remember all of the words, except the refrain and the melody. This song resurrects some old thoughts from a Lectio Divina way back when. It even predates the Bee Gees. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqqjU7u5Yc&t=120s
I asked myself how deep my love is and even knowing what “deep” means. As I hope you begin to recognize the “madness in my method,” you know that I look at reality in terms of three separate universes.
My thinking would go something like this:
THOUGHT: How deep is my love?
PHYSICAL UNIVERSE: I am dependent upon the physical universe as my base for existing, for breathing. This is the world of matter, energy, rocks, gases, living things, animals, and even me. It has its laws (autonomous laws like your blinking) that do not depend on my will or any reasoning. Love in this universe fulfills what it means to be consistent with your nature or the composition of matter. These patterns of existence are not dependent upon humans for their existence. They just are the result of who or what they are.
MENTAL UNIVERSE: Only humans live in this universe, one where each individual has the freedom to choose what they reason is good for them. This universe is distinct from the physical universe, even as it depends on its existence. The problem with this universe is humans, while good has a flawed nature that admits of their choices being good and some not so good. Humans have emotions and temptations to choose what will ultimately harm them but which they think is good. G. K. Chesterton wrote: I do not want a church to tell me what is bad that I know is bad; I want a church to tell me what is bad that I think is good. Therein is the nexus of the paradox for humanity. Each person is and must be the center of this universe. Each human only lives seventy or eighty years unless a rock falls on them or they get cancer or have some debilitating aberration to their natural flow. Humans’ knowledge is cumulative, although, like scientific theory, it admits to being more today than yesterday.
Love in this universe must be consistent with love in the physical universe to be resonant (to be what it is). The problem with humanity is that love is defined both by individuals and by movements of like-thinking people who tend to limit freedom of choice and reasoning to fit their own agenda. Like individual choice, the collective choice comes with a price we must all pay. It can be good or bad, and as individuals, we must consent to at least part of this thinking and make it part of our own. The problem becomes, when collective good is bad for our nature and dissonant, we have no one to tell us that it is bad within the human community. Within the mental universe, no individual or collection of individuals can claim to be the arbiter of the way, what is true, and the fulfillment of our human evolution. If you think about it, everything has both a beginning and an end and what is in between is corruptable (not necessarily sinful). Like exposed iron in oxygen, it will rust.
There is another dimension to humanity that bodes well for our species. Even though we have people who do not act their human nature or love fiercely, plenty more are as good as humans can make them. Their actions are love, caring, profound knowledge, respect for one another. At least, that is the thinking of Erich Fromm, as suggested in the book, The Art of Loving. Human love must be learned and acquired with trial and error, but there must be some standards against which humans can determine, “This love is authentic; this love is unauthentic and not good for my human nature.” Again, the corruption or fatal flaw of human nature comes into play. As individuals, we must choose a way that leads to a life with truth. No one can tell you what to do. They can force you to do something against your will (rape, theft, murder, calumny, and detraction but you have to make a choice. No one can force you to love against your will. Loving is an art, and it depends on what you choose for that to mean in your seventy or eighty years that makes your life worth living. Communities of individuals make rules or laws that require the consent of the governed unless the military makes you do the will of the state.
There are two choices that your reasoning can make, in my estimation. They are: 1) you can admit to a power outside of yourself and beyond yourself that guides the destiny of humanity, or 2) you can be the sole arbiter of what is right and what is wrong not only for yourself but for all reality. One of these is a puny god. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31ZjnrHR8EA
As everyone knows, the problem with invisibility is that you can’t see it. It is easy to believe in what you can see, feel, taste, touch, and hear. It is a quality of human experience that some have the ability to believe in what they cannot see or what is invisible as being real.
I hold that the Spiritual Universe is the logical and natural next step to love fierce, which is energy not of this world.
I hold that the Spiritual Universe is love, beginning right now on earth in whatever time I have left and continuing on later as the Mystery of Faith.
I hold that this deeper love is beyond my ability to create it and only happens when I use my free will to seek to be in the presence of The Christ Principle, that from which and into which all flow as the Alpha and Omega.
I hold that the Christ Principle unites the physical universe, the mental universe, with the spiritual universe to have all of it make sense, even if we don’t completely know the language yet on how to love others as Christ loves us.
I hold that love from The Christ Principle permeates all reality with God’s DNA and that only The Divine Equation can allow each one to decipher what it means to their seventy or eighty years on earth.
I hold that both the six questions each person must address and the six authentic answers for the Divine Equation are not to explain who God is, but who I am in relationship to that deeper love, a cosmic love, God’s DNA permeating all matter, time, energy, and space.
So, how deep is my love? St. Paul gives me inspiration. Read this text from Ephesians 3.
Prayer for the Readers.*14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,15from whom every family* in heaven and on earth is named,16 that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,l17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love,m18 may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth,n19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.o20 Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us,p21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
As a penitential Lay Cistercian in need of God’s mercy, I have read this passage carefully, noting what has been underlined. I went to a place of silence and solitude in my heart and just sat on a park bench in the middle of winter to be near to Christ. This is how I experience the depth of love for Christ. In all truth, I have never reached the end of this love because I keep growing with the help of the Holy Spirit. I am not the same person I was yesterday, yet my assimilation makes Christ grow in my heart (capacitas dei).
The love offered by the world, even though noble, does not possess the power outside of yourself to go deeper into reality. The Christ Principle is without a bottom to the hole.
Praise to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who comes at the end of the ages. –Cistercian doxology