Interconnectivity, the fullness of presence, the inside of God’s face, the yearning force of being, they all characterize our experience of Union. This is enlightenment. Yet for the Hebrew mystic if Union does not lead us to compassion and great love then we have missed the point. The medieval intellectual mystic Maimonides wrote a great book of mystical philosophy, Guide for the Perplexed. In the last sentences, after the book reaches its erotic crescendo (Cheshek, meaning “raw sensual passion” is the Hebrew translation of the Arabic term employed by Maimonides), he appends an implicit postscript. Paraphrasing: If all this doesn’t make you a better lover of people then you are no lover of God and certainly no lover of your self. Eros must always lead to ethics.
The human being begins her journey as part of the circle of nature. In the creation story of Genesis 1, man and woman are created as part of the natural order. Ancient myth reflected this circle of being, in which mortals and immortals, humans and Gods, and all of nature participated together. This is the circle of eros.
The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni