The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Mystery of Love

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I found this book on the remainders table at World’s Biggest Bookstore. I read the introductory chapter and I was hooked, so I bought it. For $3.50, it’s definitely a worthwhile purchase.

Our lives are spent teetering on the edge of the void. You know the void – the big hole you feel inside. Usually it is a dull and throbbing pain, the background noise of most lives. We rush around, doing everything we can to fill the hole. We have a handy word for this rushing about: avoidance. A dance around the void. We develop the most elaborate maneuverings we can imagine, never realizing that it is all a-void-dance. That if we could but taste fullness for a moment, then the vacant dances of consumerism, addiction, empty sex, and violence would be transformed into the erotic dance of Being.

The emptiness is so palpable and overwhelming that we would fill it at virtually any price. We seek immediate gratification – a quick fix – a book, a drug, a relationship, a job – anything to fill the gaping hole in our wholeness. We run desperately looking for the next watering hole that might fill up the yawning chasm we feel so deeply and try so hard to hide.

On the outside our mad dashing about may look like a dance, but we are really gasping for air. Picture the image of a bee in a bottle. Seen from the outside the bee darts from side to side in an ecstatic dance. On the inside, however, there is neither dance nor ecstasy. The bee is slowly dying, suffocating. It was not meant to be this way. Life should not be a pathos-filled scramble for some snatches of authenticity in between empty charades.

The ancient wisdom of the great Hebrew mystics makes one essential promise: There is a better way to live. In the midst of uncertainty and anxiety, joy and meaning remain genuine options. We can choose life and love, or death and fear. To experience the fullness of every moment, to move from isolation to deep connection, is our birthright if we but claim it.

The great invitation of the spirit is to heal our pain, opening us up to the possibility of joy, ecstasy, and love. There is another way to dance: the dance of eros. The dance in which we all have a place. This book is about sharing the dance of eros with you.

As you probably know, most people assume that eros is merely a synonym for sex. It is not. The fact that we so often confuse eros with sex merely reminds us of how distant we are from true erotic engagement.

To dance with eros is to live and love erotically in all the arenas of our lives, beyond the merely sexual. That is what it means to be holy. Just as holiness should not be limited to our houses of worship, eros should not be limited to our bedrooms.

Eros is to be fully present to what is. It is to open your eyes and see for the first time the full beauty and gorgeousness of a friend. To smell the richness of an aroma, to feel the fullness of throbbing desire, and to taste the erotic experience that connects you with every being. It is to feel the palpable love that dissolves the walls of ego, anger, and anxiety.

Eros is the feeling you have when you stop trying to get someplace because you realize with great joy that you are already there. To be erotically engaged is to feel the radical interconnectivity of being as a living reality in your life. For the mystics, eros is the key that provides deep meaning to everything – satisfying work, joyful relationships, effective parenting. Starvation, fundamentalism, greed, war, and the rape of the earth are all the result of lack of eros.


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