Gerald May 5 Love
“In speaking of love, narcissism says, ‘I need you to love me’, Erotic love says, ‘I need you’. Filial love says, ‘I love you because I understand you.’ Agape-if it could speak- might say, ‘I am you in Love.’”
Gerald May, Will and Spirit, p.167.
In Will and Spirit, Gerald May discusses types of love, narcissistic (self-love) Me-Me, erotic (romantic) love Me-You, filial (compassionate) love I-Thou, and agape (divine, unconditional) love. May believes that erotic and filial love can act as “primary education leading to agape love. Our confusion comes when we expect unconditional love from human beings and expect conditional love from God and expect unconditional love from an image of God.
May sees those who believe they are as holy as God commit perhaps the greatest sin. Willful self-determination is a template for human evil just as much as willful vengeance is. Willfulness always leads to separateness.
If we can move toward forgiveness for some past wrong, then our basic capacity for loving will not be injured, but if we hold on to resentment, it will become increasingly difficult to love or feel lovable. Our sense of separateness increases, and we become more and more afraid of anything resembling belonging, surrender, or union.
It is not so much the nature of evil forces that we experience but our response to them that can make the difference in our lives. When faced with a difficult situation we must not deaden ourselves to the situation, coping out, or react quickly with our own plan and forget to call on the active Power of God. The third alternative is to remember the importance of the situation and the need for action but to remember our total dependence on the unconditional Love of God. Then, our hearts can be open to God working in us and at some deep level of our awareness, we can relax and be at peace.