Passionate Wanting (Desiring Union With God)


#9

Here’s holy eros in a Christian song. The word eros isn’t used but the elements are there (panting after God, longing after God and the heart’s desire for God culminating in worship and loving and wanting God more than anything). This song is taken from the scriptures

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longs after You
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship You.

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship You.

I want you more than gold or silver
Only You can satisfy
You alone are the real joy giver
And the apple of my eye.

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship You.

You’re my friend and You’re my brother
Even though you are a King
I love You more than any other
So much more than anything.

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship You.

It’s a deep intimacy with Christ the Bridegroom


#10

This is what I mean by Holy Eros. It’s a yearning or longing for God. A passionate desire. Hope, compassion, love. That is to say, we want God. We want to be united to God. It’s a joy, a pleasure. An intimate union. This is found all through the Bible especially the Psalms:

Psalm 84:2

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Psalm 63:1

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Psalm 27:4

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 42:1-2

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 119:131

I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.


#11

From a Christian perspective, then, here (as often) Freud has things just backwards. It isn’t that religious eros, love for God, is really sexual eros gone astray or rechanneled, and it isn’t sexual eros (important as it is) that is basic or fundamental, with religious eros somehow derivative from it. The fact is things are just the other way around. It is sexual desire and longing that is a sign of something deeper: it is a sign of this longing, yearning for God that we human beings achieve when we are graciously enabled to reach a certain level of the Christian life. It is love for God that is fundamental or basic, and sexual eros that is the sign or symbol or pointer to something else and something deeper. (Of course I don’t mean to say that the importance and worth of sexual eros is exhausted in its being a sign of love of God.) ~~ Alvin Plantinga “Warranted Christian Belief”


#12

St. Michael, there is no evidence at all that the Greek noun “ερως” (erōs) is used in ANY of the examples of love or passion for God which you gave from the Bible, poetry, or any other source. Nor have you shown that the word is EVER used in any way other than sexual love or sexual passion. The word does not occur EVEN ONCE in the New Testament.

On the other hand, the Greek noun for the highest form of LOVE, namely “αγαπη” (agapā) is found 56 times in the New Testament, 19 of those times with regards to the LOVE of God or of Jesus, and the others concerning our LOVE for God or for each other.

The Greek noun “ερως” (erōs) is found only ONCE in the Old Testament Greek Septuagint, and the word is a reference is to sexual love:

It is great that you are on fire with love and passion for God, but I don’t think it right or proper to refer to this love as erotic love, that is, “erōs.”


#13

That’s what eros is. It’s a passionate wanting. I explained this as the meaning in the OP. You’re going along with a popular misconception about eros that it’s always sexual. It’s not. You know nothing about Divine Eros. The scriptures I gave teach it. Just because the word isn’t used doesn’t mean it’s not taught in the Bible. We see this in Romans:

it’s a deep intimate relationship with God. You contradict and go against the early church (orthodox) and are outside Christianity. The word Trinity isn’t in the Bible either. But it’s still used by theologians. Just as the words omnipotence, omnipresence, and Omni benevolence are used by theologians but they’re not in the Bible either. Maybe you should write the Christian theologians and the Orthodox church a letter telling them not to use the word eros. As long as they use it I will use it. From the holy Saint and mystic St. Teresa of Avilla

The Grail

They are like shy, young school kids - time and space
before the woman and the man who are intimate with God
The realized soul can play with this universe the way a child can a ball
A chalice - the Grail - my body became, for it held the Christ
and He drank from me
Sanctified are our limbs, for every heart has touched God,
though most with closed eyes.
A holy relic is each creature, and beauty may worry
about it’s comeliness waning
We fear dying till we know the truth of ourselves
The seams on my body are torn
I have stepped from the region of me that did not love all the time
There is a divine world of light with many suns in the sky
I slept with my Lord one night
now all that is luminous I know we conceived


#14

Neither do you. It doesn’t exist.

No, they don’t. If they did, they would use the word.
Rather, the scriptures teach the Divine Agapā.


#15

I just showed it does but you fail to interact with what I say. I pray you will experience this intimacy with God and others.


#16

The definition from Wikipedia says it perfectly:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eros_(concept)

I captured this in my poem called Union:

Union

In union with you upon the cross
As love’s arrow pierces my heart
I die to myself and suffer loss
Then given a new life and start

Buried to my old self I then rise
Vision is now clear as I can see
New self reflects in Your eyes
The person I am and want to be

Looking deeper into Your face
Beauty becomes brighter inside
With no more wrath only grace
In union with You I now confide

God’s arrow pierces the heart deflating the ego and creating a passionate love for Him. God doesn’t force us against our will. No, we come to Christ because we want to. When the falling in love is fully developed we want Christ more than anything. This is the essence of true freedom.


#17

Here’s an example again of how God has an intimate relationship with the predestined*** “Bride of Christ”*** in Romans 8:

God foreknew the Bride that’s predestined. This is an intimate knowing as in a sexual intimacy. The Bible uses the word know for intimate relations. Here’s an example from both old and new Testaments:

The word knew is used to denote sexual intimacy of the relationship. This is the intimate union Christ (the bridegroom) has with the Bride (the predestined Church)

Here’s a article from “Wiktionary” explaining this use of*** “know”***


#18

For those who want to go deeper into the intimate union I recommend “Divine Intimacy” by the Carmelite priest, Father Gabriel of St. Mary of Magdalen, O.C.D. He has acquired a vast knowledge of the ways that lead to holiness and union with God. The ways that lead to union according to the teachings of the Spanish mystics are in the pages of the book. Father Gabriel was an expert on the mystical doctrine of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. Here’s a couple of snippets from the book:


#19

#20

The Power of Divine Eros explains the life force of eros and how it came to refer to sex but isn’t limited to sex. It’s a passion or energy of interaction with or without sex. It purifies and brings aliveness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRDswaXGtbE


#21

To learn more about Holy Eros here’s a good book on the subject called “Holy Eros: Pathways to a Passionate God”

Evelyn Eaton Whitehead is a developmental psychologist (Ph.D., University of Chicago) whose work focuses on spiritual development in adult life. James D. Whitehead is a theologian (Ph.D., Harvard University) who studies the interplay of religion and culture. In their shared career spanning forty-five years and fifteen books, the Whiteheads continue to explore the vital themes emerging in contemporary Christian spirituality.

A few quotes from the book:

Eros is most often associated with sexual arousal, but essayist Noelle Oxenhandler recognizes it’s presence in the midst of parenting. She describes the overwhelming delight of caring for her baby daughter. “I remember how palpably I experienced her too-muchness. It was a shudder in my body, an energy I had to soften, reign in, lest I squeeze her too hard, startle her with too exuberant a kiss.” She adds, “It is this feeling I want to call the eros of parenthood: an upswelling of tenderness, often with a tinge of amazement” ~~ Holy Eros, Pathways to a Passionate God, page 16 by Whitehead

From the chapter “Eros of Compassion”

Jesus told the story of a wayward son who returned to the father he had sorely wronged. The son’s homecoming took a surprising turn when his father did not respond in anger or withhold his welcome until after he had received an apology. He seemed uninterested in pointing out the error of his son’s ways or in ensuring that he had learned his lesson. Instead, the father rushed out to meet his son, overjoyed at his return. Sensing the boy’s humiliation and despair, his father treated him as an honored guest and planned a great celebration. Jesus tells us this is what God is like. God receives us not as judge but Abba, an extravagantly loving parent who wants our care for one another to show the same abundant concern. The lives of the godly will be marked not so much by the conspicuous good deeds of the righteous as by the humble compassion of those who to the world’s needs. Compassion is an experience of eros. Ordinarily we think of compassion as commiseration, as feeling the suffering of another person, but compassion has a more expansive meaning.


#22

Alvin Plantinga recognizes this in Warranted Christian Belief. Eros can be found in sex but isn’t limited to sex. It’s a passionate longing. A desire for closeness and intimacy with God without sex.

It is a longing filled with desire and yearning…It is erotic, and one of the closest analogues would be with sexual eros. There is a powerful desire for union with God, the oneness Christ refers to in John 17. Another perhaps equally close analogue would be love between parent and small child; and this kind of love too is often employed in scripture as a figure for love of God - both God’s love for us and our love for Him. Here too there is longing, yearning, desire for closeness ~~ Alvin Plantinga

There’s nothing abnormal about being in love with ones little child. You can be in love and not have a sexual desire.


#23

The pathways to Holy Eros as I have described it here are:

1). Eros of hope

2). Eros of suffering

3). Eros of anger

4). Eros of compassion


#24

Perhaps prayer also plays a part. I found this Q and A today, in my mailbox. It’s from the Calvinist site Got Questions:

Let me quote the first paragraph, which is very interesting:

Countless stories could be cited of diseases cured, exams passed, repentance and forgiveness granted, relationships restored, hungry children fed, bills paid and lives and souls saved through the efficacy of prayer. So, yes, there is plenty of evidence that God answers prayer. Most of the evidence is anecdotal and personal, however, and that bothers many who think of “evidence” only as that which is observable, measureable, and reproducible.


#25

Prayer does play a part. Very smart Zombie


#26

Another good book is called "The Power of Divine Eros. Here’s a review:

Most spiritual teachings take the position that desire, wanting, and passion are opposed to the spiritual path. The concern is that engaging in desire will take you more into the world, into the mundane, into the physical, and into egoic life. And for most people, that is exactly what happens. We naturally tend to experience wanting in a self-centered way. In their book The Power of Divine Eros, Johnson and Almaas explore how to be passionate and to feel a strong wanting without that desire being in conflict with selfless love. They also show how relationships with others are an important part of the human journey — an opportunity to express oneself authentically and be present with someone else. Through understanding the energy of eros, each of us can learn to be fully real and alive in all our interactions.

What is meant by ‘divine eros’? According to the book, “Divine eros refers to a particular quality, a particular energy, a particular way of experiencing the nature of our consciousness. At the same time, it is a way of experiencing, feeling, and knowing our consciousness that becomes significant for being open to the depth of our nature. (…) So if we want to be ourselves completely—to know our nature at its depth and be fully in the world—this requires being alive and being in touch with that energy. And that brings the erotic into love. In other words, to be able to experience divine eros, we need the purity of love, the ground of lovingness and goodness, the experience of the presence of love, plus this scintillating, erupting, explosive quality that has an energy to it. Such energetic dynamic love can be very, very fine—like very gentle bubbles or a gentle vibration—or it can be explosive. This love has an erotic quality to it, and we can feel it draw us toward the divine, toward the truth, toward our inner nature. We can have the experience of desiring to penetrate the mystery, to know the spirit. A deep understanding of reality can follow from such a realization of desire. We can see that dualism arises when we are separated from our nature, for it is then that we experience the desire to fill ourselves. We believe there is something external that we need to have, and we deeply believe that we don’t have that something. However, with the energy of desire, when we feel it as the blissful wanting of another—but with a sense a sufficiency, not from lack—we don’t feel the same kind of otherness we do when we have a dualistic perspective. We feel that the other is arising from same ground as we are. There is a sharing of a blissful communion, and that communion is a recognition that both of you are one reality.”

Through guided exercises, the authors invite you to connect to the pure energy behind their desire. When we allow ourselves to fully experience our wanting, and we trust that the wanting itself has the intelligence to reveal the pure energy of desire that underlies it, we get a taste of what it’s like to feel love and desire as a unified force. Being in the world in a way that does not separate us from spirit, while also feeling the pleasure of our energy, our erotic nature, our aliveness and love, makes life complete. We want to experience our humanness, but we don’t want to divide ourselves to do it. We want to know more about both the spiritual and the worldly reality and how the two interrelate, because they are naturally a part of what it means to be human.

In the words of Johnson and Almaas: “Any spiritual work involves the element of love, whether explicitly or implicitly. What we want to explore is how the energy and quality of love explicitly open the door to reality and to our deeper nature. The portal is there for every human being to open; each of us can be fully real and alive in all our interactions. And the erotic, as it is felt and experienced in the body, is a part of that openness, whether it becomes sexual or not. For many reasons, eros has become separated from the pure and the holy, and as a result, it is usually relegated to the domain of the gross and unrefined. But eros is the energy of the divine. As such, it is always divine and pure.”

Here’s the link to the book:


#27

We can refer to all the books we want that profess to portray “the divine eros.” However, the word is NEVER applied to God’s love in either the Old or New Testament.

Indeed, the Greek word “ερος” (eros) is not found at all either in the Greek of the New Testament or in the Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament. So why not limit the use of the word to its actual meaning, namely “sexual desire.”


#28

Sorry, I have not been following this thread, Don can you explain to me What is going on ? (I want to hear your version) :wink: