May 21, 2022
Gareth Blake, Speaker for Solas

If we are honest, it can be ridiculous to think about what love means. Yet the deepest reality of our human potential is perhaps the universal human value of loving and caring. Its presence transcends all boundaries of time and culture. Love has been both the inspiration and the component theme for almost all the great works of literature, music and visual arts that the world has ever created. It is the center of many religious and moral movements. The Beatles famously told us that this was all we needed in the end. And the personal experience of knowing love is such a ubiquitous human desire, that the promise of match-making industries is now a multi-billion dollar business.

But the question remains: have you ever wondered what love really is? This is a more difficult question than we are familiar with. Modern pleas such as “Love is love” do not help us much because its attempt to remove any limitation of the meaning of love makes this notion meaningless.

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Should we ask a neuroscientist, we might be told that love is just neurochemistry. It is simply the result of the behavior of the wide assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules that affect our hormone levels, as Francis Kirk once said. But is love a fraudulent product of our biochemistry? Or do we chemically experience the production of a love that is beyond mere atoms and quarks?

Such a conceivable notion of love will not work for romance. When was the last time you bought a Valentine’s Day card for your loved one and it read: “My brain disturbs my stomach when I think of you!” Instead, love is to be understood in the experience of powerful attractions, unrealistic emotions and self-fulfillment when you are a party to a pair of cross-star lovers. However, the danger with this emotional divinity of love is that when such emotions fail, we also associate love with it. As Margaret Atwood lamented in The Handmaids Tale: “God is love, as he once said, but we turned it upside down, and love, like the sky, was always around the corner; we Always waiting for the avatar. That word, make meat. “

Like Attwood, many of us agree that if love has any meaning, it should be more than just words or an abstract concept: it has to be flesh. Interestingly, many deep and enduring words about love have come to us from people who believed that God is love and that love is manifested in Jesus Christ.

So this Valentine’s Day, if we’re really interested in what love really is, why not explore who claimed to be love: Jesus of Nazareth.

Gareth Blake, Speaker سولاس

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