··· Tags pointing to: selflessness ···

To Love at All

To love at all is to be vulnerable… If you want to make sure of keeping your heart intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken—it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from love is Hell.

— C.S. Lewis  <link>

You are not the oil, you are not the air—merely the point of combustion, the flash-point where the light is born. You are merely the lens in the beam. You can only receive, give, and possess the light as the lens does. If you seek yourself…you rob the lens of its transparency.

— Dag Hammarskjöld , a journal entry from Markings  <link>

The Premise of Love

If you have ever loved truly someone in an unselfish way, then your heart has developed an eye that perceives the intrinsic value of the beloved. Most of the time people are just objects of use or respect or admiration. They give us pleasure and their absence would give us pain, but we are not outraged by their death because it does not affect us that deeply. And we take death for granted.

But when someone close to us dies, we are outraged and we have often an argument with God. “God, how could you do this?” “Well, it’s just like everybody else…” “Yeah but…” It looks different. Why? Because your identity is so invested in that person that is as if God killed you and not them. So, if you have that agape love and if that eye in the heart awakes, then you perceive the intrinsic value of the beloved. And then you can use that premise as an argument for immortality.

The kind of thing that a human being is isn’t the kind of thing that could conceivably be just treated like dirty diapers. That is a very weak argument logically. If don’t experience that deep premise through deep love, you’re not going to be moved by that argument at all. But if you do, you are.

— Peter Kreeft, from lecture on “Desire” (The innate hunger for total joy)  <link>