– an excerpt from a talk by Eugene Halliday — audio listening file here >>
>> Eugene Halliday speaking…
"There is a question here about God loving the world.
‘God so loved the world, God so willed the world.’
And it says:
‘Love and Being being the same force, love and will being the same force, at which point will the function change, and will to love, or love to will?’
"Now we have already said that will is the term that we reserve for initiative.
If we take a walk to the edge of a cliff, and at the edge of a cliff we decide that we'll walk over it, the point of decision is the point of will.
But once we have committed ourselves over the edge, there is no further need to exercise will to reach the bottom. It is entirely a matter of inertia, that we will reach the bottom.
"So we have to distinguish between;
Will as initiative, and
Love as another concept signifying the working for the development of the potentialities of a being.
This ‘ove’ is the same as the egg,
L means labouring or working.
So Love actually means the power that works for the development of the potentialities of a being.
And, Will simply is the point of initiation of a change.
So we cannot equate the two together.
So this little question really has to do with the correct definition of “will”, which is initiative,
And Love which is the working for the development of the potentials of a being.
The Greeks had four words, all of which are generally translated as Love in English.
· Puthos [ a substitute word for ‘desire’. It’s the lowest level of love – see below for more clarification ]
· Philos and
The Puthos, or Puthotic Love, is simply the Love for genital activity.
Eros is the Love for Emotional interplay.
Philos is the Love of exchange of Ideas, of reasons.
And Agape is really correspondent with our definition. It’s the Christian idea of working for the development of the potentialities of a being, regardless of the effect of your work on yourself, but you are working for the development of that other being. And the potentialities of a being are simply the latent capacities for activity that it has.
You know that when a baby is born, it can’t immediately walk. But you know that given the proper food it will become able to walk, if it’s a normal child. And therefore you are actually loving it when you are feeding it, knowing that as a result of your feeding it, it will eventually develop its latent capacity to walk. You know that eventually when it can walk, it will walk away from you, as well as towards you. And that when it has developed sufficiently, it will go away from you altogether.
And this is the idea of the “Love”, the Agape Love of the Christian in its true sense – to work to the point where somebody may transcend the need for you, and go away from you. And this is the sense in which the word love should be used of God. Because He as creator is only interested in working to develop the potentialities of each creature. And as all the creatures are quite different it means in effect that some of the creatures will have potentials of disobedience, and nevertheless he will work for those too. So He works for the development of “prodigals” and err he even gives birth to Marxists and things like that, that are atheist.
The Bible says about it that He can produce good out of evil.
Now we define evil as ‘that which makes against life’.
And nevertheless if you threaten life, the result is that the half-living being is stimulated to demand more of it. So that the evil is itself a cause of the good.
You know that some of the early theologians thought that the evil was a good, not simply a ‘means’ to it, but ‘itself’ a good. Which means that if you consider evil as a stimulus threatening to destroy life it can be an actual means of provoking a being to seize life.
So it cannot be said that the stimulus that makes you prefer to live is an evil thing, so that a threat against your life may be the means to your life. This is another aspect of the thing we said about the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden. Adam should not have decided that some things are good, and some were evil in themselves. A thing is neither good nor evil until you define it in a situation. And then it is only good or evil relative to a defined purpose. So that you could say that a pin is very good for picking winkles[short for periwinkle, a shell-fish] or something and is very bad for sitting on. It depends on the purpose.
So this question is really concerned with a relation which depends on the definition of these two words and we should remember there are four kinds of application of this word [love] in English.
[ Types of Love – to the Greeks ]
You can love err anything, you can love a new carpet, or a wall-paper, or a bar of chocolate, and so on. It’s really a substitute word for ‘desire’ there. And that is its lowest level. The Greeks saw that at its lowest level as simply the desire for sexual stimulation at the physical level. Sexual stimulation being the type of all sensuous stimulation. Freud would see it in the same way today – all pleasures – sucking a dolly baby or something to a Freudian is as much sexual as an actual sexual relation, because of the nervous relation between the mouth and various other parts of the organism. So to a Freudian there aren’t any nonsexual pleasures and therefore we could equate this Pluthotic Love of the Greeks with any kind of merely physical pleasure, the love of sense gratification.
[ Eros ]
Whereas in the case of emotional love, Eros, you can be tied to a person for no physical reason whatever, and for no rational reason. But you can say well, I feel that I must sit with that person. I don’t know why, but there it is. I feel better in his company than I do when I am not. So that would come under the heading of erotic love, emotional.
[ Philos ]
Philosophic Love is the love of a mind for another mind’s contents. You find two people and this person says, “I like him. He has a nice mind”, meaning full of good ideas, and so on.
But those three loves are all for gratification ‘by’ the lover. The lover is seeking his own gratification, either physically, emotionally or rationally.
[ Agape ]
In the agape love, you are not doing any such thing. You are actually working for the development of the potentialities of the being that you are loving. That is you are actually working on that being to develop its potentialities.
And the word WILL we reserve simply for the point of initiation of a change. So that if we say FEELING AWARENESS is the background possibility of WILL, then what we are saying is that feeling, when mobilised, at the point of mobilisation, becomes WILL, or we apply the word WILL only at the point of initiation of the change, and not otherwise.
Full topic audio… including beyond these these final transcript lines >>