Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Needleman's Three Hearts: 3-Ontological Love

Finally, ontological love may be defined as the transmission to another of conditions of living, thinking and experiencing that foster the growth of the intermediate principle in human nature: the soul. A great spiritual tradition must surely be understood as an expression, in the life of man, of ontological love. But as the forms of the tradition inevitably break down or are only partially understood, one or another element of the tradition is emphasized. Basically a tradition breaks down or descends to a lower level by becoming primarily mystical, psychological, or social. Within the tradition of the primordial tradition, each of these aspects has its place. But when the center dissolves, the aspects misleadingly take on the appearance of the whole. Witthout the way leading to the development of the soul, neither mystical love nor psychological love can lead human beings to the fulfillment of their real possibilities.
Thoughts and emotions are not the soul
The lost element in our lives is the force within myself that can attend to both movements of human nature within my own being and can then guide the arising of this force within my neighbor in a manner suited to his understanding.

from "Lost Christianity" by Jacob Needleman

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