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Entries in Jesus (1)

Wednesday
Oct302013

On Jesus and Philosophy of Love

It is written that Jesus of Nazareth made the following remarks about marriage (paraphrase): (a) no man should interfere with what God had joined; and (b) in heaven, no one would be married, because the people would be in a state of perfection, like the angels. (See Luke, 20: 34-38). Let's assume that, in (a), the idea of God joining two people isn't meant as a simple social ritual; it's meant as "truth." That is, the idea means to say that two people who are "really in love" should not be separated by human institutions. If we take this to be true, what does (b) tell us about what this state of affairs really amounts to? It seems to say that love is only a temporary repository for the fallen creatures (the imperfect). And that, once purified -- once redeemed and transcendent -- each person will no longer need his or her "true companion." They will, in a sense, graduate from the behavior of love. Hence, in death do you truly part.

In one sense, one might entertain a scientific picture here. If love is a chemical brain state, and if only the spirit passes (whatever that means), then love would no more be of issue than would, say, depression or addiction. In movies, are not the heavenly people seen as transcendent of urgings and dependencies in a way that condemned people are not? I'm thinking here of Dumbledore and Voldemort. After his death, doesn't Dumbledore seem like someone who could no longer experience a neurological dependency upon someone (a craving, a crush, a captivity)? Yet, Voldemort seems defined by such a thing -- he seems, in short, to be forever driven by urge and fixation.

But there is great difficulty that I have with this picture. For suppose a boy had a dog, and the two were a perfect pair. The dog dies of old age as the boy goes off to college. And the boy preys to his God and asks that he be reunited with his dog when it is the boy's time to pass. At that time, will the boy's love of his dog no longer exist? Will his dog's love of him be outgrown? And how would it really be to have truly loved a person, only to find that, upon passing, each had transcended this attachment?

It seems to me that what is said here is that true love really is not "true." And though this idea may not at all be a revelation, if it came from science, neurology, divorce lawyers or cynics -- it seems quite curious being said of Jesus of Nazereth. Think about the idea: no one will be married in heaven because they will be in a state of perfection. Seems counter-intuitive. For what is a state of spiritual perfection if not in accompaniment with a "soul mate"? The answer, as strange as it sounds (in this picture of account), seems to be that no souls need, nor have, mates.

I'm only raising the issue because I want to see my dog again. And if he isn't following me around, it's going to be a real bummer.