“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” Einstein
I mostly aim to write about helpful - pretty practical, situations, stories, research, and ideas related to well-being, but today is an exception ... or maybe not.
A few days ago, a bright and cherished family member (and friend) with a science background, and subscriber to the list was updating me (at my request) on how he was doing with his chemo treatments.
My relative responded to my inquiry into his health with this:
“Been thinking a lot about innate behavior, biology, and psychology. What motivates us to be our best and overcome any adversity. Love is obviously key.”
Now I don’t know how much my family member truly believes this - that love is key, perhaps he just casually threw that phrase out there - never thinking much about it. But there are people who do believe that love is big. Including my husband and ...okay, truth be told, me.
The same day that I heard from my family member, I also read an article on the healing power of love. The article was written by a doctor in Switzerland who had been an adviser to WHO (World Health Organization).
This doctor, however, did not dig so much into research as into philosophy and theology and some edgy science in his article.
The doctor recounted how some philosophies argued that people are inherently good, but that the slings and arrows of life harden us. That argument mainly comes from philosophers like Rousseau.
The counter argument made by philosophers like Hobbes is that we are born bloody savages. We must be civilized into being loving, caring humans.
The doctor, Jan Bonhoeffer is his name, takes the side of what he calls ancient wisdom teachers and mystics…using different terminology. He uses the lingo of scientists at an institute called Heart Math. He calls love a “generative field.” Love undergirds and permeates the universe he asserts.
Bonhoeffer believes that this understanding of love opens us to understanding that we don’t have to do a lot of work to love…we simply can “fall into” this generative field. Sync up. Relax into it.
Now, this philosophy happens to mirror, I would say rather precisely, the deeply held convictions and experiences of my husband. Possibly Dr. Frank Rogers, Jr’s (our mentor) as well. Frank calls Love (compassion, life, peace) the “cosmic heartbeat,” the “Music of the Universe," the “Divine Dance.”
Dr. Rogers says the song never stops playing. Violence cannot slay it. No despair can silence it, no maddening fury can drive it away entirely. We are within it. It is within us. It beats in the depths of our soul.
Dr. Bonhoeffer ends his article on the healing power of love this way:
What would change for you, if you knew that love is not just a by-product of relational transactions, but fundamental to your being, an infinite field which animates you and gives you life? What if love is who you are?...
This alternative perspective on love could become one of the most pivotal shifts in accelerating healing in medicine and psychology.
Wow. I can only imagine. How might we experiment with these far-out ideas from ancient wisdom? Perhaps we might find ourselves making new discoveries about love and become a compadre with Einstein, “I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”
May we journey together to The Good Life open to considering and experimenting with the mysterious, mind-boggling perspective that love is an infinite, generative, animating field and … that love might be not only healing, but who we are?
(As always, if you are a subscriber, you can send me comments and stories by replying to the blog email, LOVE, June)