In order to uncover love’s future, we need to explore love’s past. So Ken Wilber looks all the way back to the Big Bang, retracing love’s role throughout the history of evolution. Rather than just a mere human emotion, love is cast as a central driving force in the Kosmos—the force of Eros itself, pushing all of us along our inevitable return to Spirit.
Love was here long before we were. It was here when this universe first exploded into existence. It was here when atoms first began to form molecules. It was here when those molecules first began to form cells. It’s been here every step of the way—in fact, love is so fundamentally woven into the fabric of this universe that some even posit it as the fifth elementary force in the universe: the force of self-organization through self transcendence.
Alongside this third-person exploration, Ken also presences the first- and second-person dimensions of love, suggesting love as the primary force of connection in “the miracle of we”, as well as the driver of increased consciousness, compassion, and complexity.
In case this reminds you of the so-called “theory of intelligent design”, don’t worry—talking about love’s intrinsic role in evolution is in no way suggesting that your favorite personification of God is responsible for creating and micro-managing the universe. If anything, it is saying that such magical and mythical conceptions of the divine are themselves products of Eros. In other words, much that we label as “spiritual” results from evolutionary patterns that stretch all the way back to the beginning of time, and represent how these inherent qualities happen to play themselves out on a human level. It’s not about projecting an imaginary god onto the entirety of the Kosmos. It’s realizing that the entirety of our religious and spiritual imaginings occupy just a tiny sliver of the actual Kosmic bandwidth — and what’s spiritual for us is sometimes a recapitulation of normal evolutionary mechanics. Or, as Ken says in his monologue: “We live in the lap of a great astonishing Eros, and it’s more a matter of recognizing that than it is bringing it into being….”
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