Love Breaks the Rules of Arithmetic
The logic of love has its own arithmetic. Within the logic of love, one plus one does not only make two; one plus one makes one, and one plus one makes three. In marriage you have one man and one woman who become one body in love. By becoming one body in love, the one man and one woman create one more, a child.
Thus the world of love is not a world of calculation. The world in which one plus one always equals two is a dry world. It is a world fit for inventories, warehouses, commodities and money markets. And those are fine. But we cannot live full human lives on the basis of quantitative measurement. Love will not fit into our calculations.
I met a young man who recently completed his Masters in philosophy. He told me that he can prove that mathematics is not an inclusive system. It’s good to have proof for what we already sense anyway.
To love is to desire oneness with the object of one’s devotion. And, in a way, the meaning of one’s life is measured by the object of one’s love. I realized long ago that one should gain employment in the area which one loves, because you will naturally find a good supply of it there. For instance, when I worked in a student cafeteria, I had lots of food. Food was no problem; just get to work a little early and pig out. If you love clothes, work in a clothing store. If you love cars, sell cars. If you love books, work in a bookstore or a library. If you love money, work in an investment company.
If one loves ice cream, then one desires to be one with ice cream. If you really love ice cream, you want it day and night. The world’s champion ice cream lover would want to take baths in the stuff. If you love music, you’re listening to it all the time; the more you love it, the more you listen to it, until your life is taken over by music. The person who loves movies is always in a cinema. The person who loves the 49ers has next year’s season ticket in his pocket already.
He’s got 49ers’ posters in his house, and a 49ers’ license plate, 49ers’ jacket, 49ers’ memorabilia and belongs to the 49ers’ fan club. When someone sees him, they say, “He really loves the 49ers.” His greatest dream is to sit on the 49ers bench during the Super Bowl. He appears on the Great Wall of China in his 49ers’ jacket; at the River Ganges in his 49ers’ tee-shirt. The siddhus all come to him, asking how the team is doing. He imparts wisdom, and they are satisfied.
Can mere arithmetic handle such love? No. This man’s love for the 49ers has multiplied exponentially into something which consumes his entire life. His wife leaves him. His daughters leave him, and his sons stay only on the condition that they, too, are 49er fans. Such is the power of love for the 49ers, or golf, or fishing, or gold, or fast cars, or power, or opium. Love is the same; everybody suffers from it. The question is the object of love.
The man who loves his nation is a patriot. He will die for his nation. The man or woman who loves God is regarded as of the highest value by the world. Jesus loved God more than anything; more than his own life, and he proved it. Thus we are assured he was one with God. His love was true. We can rely on it, and since his God is our God, his love connects to us.
Love creates life and love determines our lives. Love&Life are linked together. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” He said we should “lay up our treasure in heaven.”
Obviously, the absolute consummation of love can take place in one place and one place only, where oneness can be achieved totally and absolutely. That place is the marriage bond. The marriage bond is the place where oneness can be achieved without comparison. There is a limit to our potential for oneness with ice cream, or the 49ers, or our nation. Ice cream is limited to the pleasure of the mouth. The 49ers is limited to the realm of sports. Love for nation also is limited. Even love for God is not complete. If it were, God would have stopped with the creation of Adam. But he saw, Adam alone was not enough. That means that His relationship with Adam, by itself, was not enough, for Him or for Adam.
But love for one’s spouse has the potential for total engagement of mind and body, to the extent of the two becoming one body, the separation of the two ending completely. And it is eternal, never-ending. It is a unification of equals, who together become a new being. All the metaphors of religious ecstasy point to it. All the experiences of religious ecstasy pale before it.
And it is continuous, and it connects to all aspects of life. And it is the love which literally creates life. It is the love by which we transmit our being into history, through our physical lineage and through our bequeathing of ourselves as teachers, models, mentors, parents of our children and their children.