It wasn’t me. It was he, my friend, who voluntarily elucidated a quote from Plato, which raised the question and left it hanging in abeyance for thought and answer. He, like Plato, believes that platonic love is the highest and purest form of love. I think not, unless the comparison is with eros love only.
Implicit in the fact that the rate of divorce in America is around 50 percent, is the evidence that people fall in love with the concept of love, the convenience or benefits, and a lot comes under that umbrella. From color, prestige, a love that’s not too overwhelming, (yes, people have been known to run from that too, because they feel it makes them lose control – a sort of discomforting hallucinogenic drunkenness which is hard to fathom or handle), to wealth, affluence or plain sexual desire.
This love is never grounded in the kind of substance that holds the ingredients to overcome serious rifts, threats or obstacles by which love is bound to be tested. People have been known to commit to the commitment which smacks of a sense of personality sacrifice, the kind that means living with half-truths or restricted measures. But love subliminally yearns for love, a need that cannot be touched or often expressed but a void none the less that says that something is missing, and therein lies the danger of “settling.”
Because culture serves up marriage as a natural progression, followed by establishing a family, and because women’s biological clock, where it comes to childbirth, apparently ticks faster than men, women are prone to settling as well.
Platonic love is more often than not contextually used in a general sense that relates to love for family and fellowmen. If my interpretation is right, I cannot agree with Plato.
The artistes got it! Is it Plato’s love that Stevie Wonder sings about in “Overjoyed?” How do those words fit into the equation of platonic love? Does one build metaphorical castles of love for family or friends or does one pick out perfect endings for all and sundry? What aspect of platonic love is alluded to in the lines, “For did my dreams come true when I looked at you… Over hearts, I have painfully turned every stone, just to find, I have found what I’ve searched to discover.”
The 13th century Persian scholar, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystic, poet Jalaluddin al-‘RUMI’ (9/30/1207 – 12/17/1273) who declared, “I have neither a soul nor a body, for I come from the very Soul of all souls,” knew it as well. His poetry speaks volumes in experiential writing:
“I am only the house of your beloved,
not the beloved herself:
true love is for the treasure,
not for the coffer that contains it.”
The real beloved is that one who is unique,
who is your beginning and your end.
When you find that one,
you’ll no longer expect anything else:
that is both the manifest and the mystery.
That one is the lord of states of feeling,
dependent on none;
month and year are slaves to that moon.
When he bids the “state,”
it does His bidding;
when that one wills, bodies become spirit.
Einstein’s quote on education was the rationale I used. For me, it is absolutely apt, though in the immediate, the only quote on love I can recall from him is: “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”
His quote on education somehow speaks glaringly and is quite in keeping with my thoughts on spiritual connections.
Einstein says that education should be a discipline used as a means to self-discovery and self-expression and not to regurgitate theory. This means that man should graduate on “another plateau,” and we see that all the time through all manner of new discoveries.
That’s the beyond that one gets in a spiritual union. At that level one then comes into understanding Gibran who refers to a union as a temple with each partner holding the structure as separate pillars. Therein lies love, commitment, common goals and a rock solid foundation.
Founder – Kotch Magazine