by Eugene Halliday
Two pairs of eyes look into each other’s depths. Two mouths frame the words, “I love you”. A little girl croons, “I love my dolly”. A Bunter-boy rolls his eyes and mumbles, “I love muffins”. A sad-eyed batchelor-man whose mother died when he was forty sits up to the table loving his marquetry. A preacher cants from his pulpit, “God is love”.
Here are many loves hard to harmonise, or one love disguising itself in many forms, many activities.
When a boy and girl say to each other “I love you”, what do they mean? One of the things they mean is that they want to be together, to do things together. They want to protect each other from harm, to help each other, to please each other, to possess each other. “The Lord thy God is a jealous God.” The Lord thy Lover is a jealous Lover. The Lady thy Lover is a jealous Lover. “Thou shalt have none other Gods but me.” Thou shalt have no other lover but me. Why?
Behind all the forms of love there is one supreme love. Behind love of the body, love of the mind, love of the soul, and all other particular loves, there is the love of the spirit which speaks in the great imperative, “Develop thyself and all beings”. This love of the spirit may be defined as a “will to work for the development of the potentialities of all beings”.
The love of bodies aims to develop the potentialities of the relation of bodies. The love of the mind aims to develop the potentialities of all mental things, ideas, philosophies, sciences. The love of the soul aims to develop the soul’s power to feel, to relate itself to other souls in universal compassion. The love of the spirit aims to develop all things as expressions of the creative power of the source of all.
When a man loves a woman, when he says, “Thou shalt have no other man but me”, what is he aiming at? He is aiming at the projection into being of the potentialities of himself and the woman. He is willing the perpetuation of certain characters, certain qualities of body, mind, soul and spirit he sees as potentialities in himself and in the woman. He and she may develop these characters and qualities in their own being, or they may develop them in their children, or they may do both.