The ego is not erotic. Unique Self lives in Eros. To live in Eros means to live with fullness of presence and with a felt sense of wholeness. It is to yearn urgently and ecstatically, without grasping and to experience interiority, the feeling of being on the inside. This is the experience of Unique Self. The ego lives with the feeling of always being on the outside. It fragments, grasps, and never shows up fully present to other. Unique Self lives in Eros.
For further discussion:
What is Eros? And what does it mean to live an erotic life?
Well, clearly: It is not sex!
As Marc never gets tired of reminding us: Sex models the Erotic but doesn’t exhaust it. To get to know more about this topic, see this article, this audio-series or this wonderful video on “One Love” from Integral Spiritual Experience 2.
And like Stuart Davis sings in his song “Ladder” that “There is more to evolution than a little DNA”, we might add here that there is more to Eros than a little sex.
Interestingly enough, it is Sigmund Freud who said: “Civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen, we do not know; the work of Eros is precisely this.” This is extremely interesting because Freud is known for his reduction of Eros to the merely sexual.
And Thomas Mann adds: “For I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.”
Eros is not exactly Love, either, although his mythological persona is also often called Amor (or Cupido – the one that falls in love with Psyche – the soul).
In this context, C.S. Lewis tells us in “The Four Loves”: “The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject as intolerable the idea that it should be transitory. In one high bound it has overleaped the massive wall of our selfhood; it has made appetite itself altruistic, tossed personal happiness aside as a triviality and planted the interests of another in the centre of our being. Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbour as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that.”
So, consider this:
Eros shows up everywhere–in sex; the arts; love that moves beyond the merely romantic or erotic; cultural, biological, and material evolution… We could even define it as the moving force behind creation. If this is true, how can we really live an erotic life in all its aspects, from relationships to work life and leisure time?
How can we “live with fullness of presence and with a felt sense of wholeness” while at the same time yearning “urgently and ecstatically” without falling prey to the grasping of the ego? How can we live on the inside without putting others on the outside? This last question refers to the ego’s strategy of pseudo-eros, which the ego uses to feel on the inside when it really isn’t.
What are YOUR answers?
Where do YOU experience the qualities of Eros as Marc defines them – Living on the Inside, Fullness of Presence, Participating in the Yearning Face of the Cosmos, Interconnectivity of Being – in YOUR life?
To learn more about “Reclaiming Eros” join us for an exquisite exploration in Holland at the Summer Festival of Love.