The human heart is more than a glorious pump, it is an intelligence engine.Wolfram Alderson
Love is an action, never simply a feeling.bell hooks
The total sum of suffering in the world is essentially the “love deficit”. We all need to start investing more in love – the ROI is simply fabulous!
The most incredible architecture is the architecture of Love.Wolfram Alderson
“Selling Fear has been an enormously successful business model. Why not sell Love?” –Mr. OMr. O
Today belongs to love.
Let me not fear.
I embrace the true reality that is Love.
“Capitalism Kills” by Claire Fontaine
The moral of the story told by Claire Fontaine is that “at the heart of the most arrogant commercial prosperity a shameful poverty proliferates, and that in the midst of Third World deprivation priceless wealth multiplies.”
Love is the most powerful element in the universe. It may in fact be the thing which holds stars in the firmament and that thing which keeps the blood rushing in our veins.Maya Angelou
That is to say: if you live for others you will have an intimate personal knowledge of the love that rises up in you out of a ground that lies beyond your own freedom and your own inclination, and yet is present as the very core of your own free and personal identity. Penetrating to that inner ground of love you at last find your true self.Thomas Merton
Love is the answer,
and you know that for sure;
Love is a flower,
you’ve got to let it grow.
– John Lennon
While romantic love is a delightful subject, my interest in love is not the territory that has already been amply covered. Rather, my interest is in fostering conversations about what I call “structural love.” We all know much about “structural hate”…the systems that build on fear and ignorance and manifest in bigotry, sexism, racism, hunger, homelessness, and perpetual war. These systems are well funded and organized. You can get a PhD in War Studies, become an engineer and design weapons of mass destruction, or join a global corporation that specializes in extracting earth’s precious resources, exploiting humanity – or destroying it. Structural hate offers many career opportunities, with lucrative benefits and positions that offer great power. These systems have sophisticated definition, infrastructure, and manifest in highly developed industries and economies.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Structural love is another story. We can find many independent actors who have laid the foundation for structural love, and even some examples wherein they specifically call for a more organized and structured approach. But, it is not unusual to encounter these exceptional individuals railing against the prevailing organizations of their time – because they fail to deliver love. And, sadly, it is also not unusual for these characters to become the victims of terrible persecution and violence.
“If it doesn’t come from love, it isn’t real. It’s just an illusion.”
-Course in Miracles
There are many organizations dedicated to spreading love in one form or another – we typically refer to them as NGOs (nonprofits), or “faith-based” institutions. However, love is rarely called out as a “program,” and it is difficult to find a course of study that results in any “degree” of love – a higher education in love, etc.. Ironically, in some cases, faith-based institutions limit their love to “true-believers,” making love an exclusive club, only available to qualified members who accept certain teachings or commandments. And, due to limited resources, many NGOs are required to limit how much love they can spread, focusing their efforts on narrow segments of the population – like the homeless, the hungry, or abused.
“Every day People straighten up the hair, why not the heart?”
-Ernesto Che Guevara
Where is the Love University where you can get your Masters in Love? Where is the pedagogy of love? Love belongs in the classroom. Where is the highly developed archive of knowledge stored that deepens our understanding of love, enabling it to become a stronger, dominant force on our planet? Many of us seem to believe that love is one of our most amazing traits as homo sapiens – our ability, in some cases, to make profound sacrifices, to rise above our selfish needs and think and act for the greater good – to practice “metta love,” “unconditional love,” “Agape love,” or “universal love.” So, why the profound lack of structure, organization, and resources around this cherished idea of love?
The world is full of organizations. I earned a couple of degrees in organization development, just because I believe “organization” and “leadership” are the fundamental challenges, not the lack of expertise to solve huge problems, inadequate resources, etc. The problem is, in all my years of higher education, my professors did not once talk about organizations having a heart and soul. They never professed “Love” in the organizational context. Fancy that. The most powerful force for change – love – left out of virtually every advanced course in organizational development and leadership. Most organizations choose to “incorporate”. Nonprofit and for-profit alike.
“A corporation is essentially a legal “body” – literally and figuratively a “corp”. The word “corporation” from the Latin “Corporare” (combine in one body).
So, why is it that so many (most) corporations don’t have an explicit heart? Why isn’t love fundamental to organizational structure, by-laws, policies, practices, etc.?
Without a heart, a corp is just a corpse.
Dollars must not be confused as the life force. To be explicit, the heart is more than a glorious pump. It is the most important communication device available to humanity.”
Maslow identified love was a fundamental need in the hierarchy of needs. Why do so many nonprofits, founded around a social mission, leave out love? Of course, I speak of Love in the greater sense.The majority of people on Earth have, at some point, acknowledged the primacy of love to well-being and happiness, so why do we hear so little about it in the context of organizational work? Why the collective acquiescence to not expressing, discussing, or practicing love in the place where we spend the majority of our waking hours? I’m hoping that we can get it right in our evolution as a species. I am no longer afraid to ask for it in the context of my organizational work that focuses on human and environmental health.
“Its about what you believe, and I believe in love.”
– Wonder Woman
These are among the questions I attempt to address in my science fiction epic “Pupazzo Universo.” Sadly so much of our modern fiction about the future is dark and dystopian, and laden with apocalyptic scenarios that feature militaristic, paternalistic, violent, hopeless futures wherein humans carry their insanity into the universe and expand their impact in the context of space-wars, battles with alien species, usually accompanied with lots of “blowing shit up.” Most of Hollywood and the entertainment industry has caved into this thinking, which seems to have a significant profit margin.
“The best mythology that we can create is not based on the tired fear-based tropes and myths of our past, but on bright futures filled with love and light.
This beautiful future won’t arrive if we obsess upon dark fantasies that are built upon our worst fears and most awful traits as a species.
I believe this is my mission as an artist – to offer light filled moments of magic and rescue.”
We struggle to transcend our differences (important as they are – I’m not suggesting we discount them).
Van Jones calls for a love army. I support this notion.
There must be at least one plank we can all hang our political hats on so we can stop the politics of fear, intolerance and hatred. The lack of civility, the ability to engage in civil discourse, the ability to reach across the aisle, are among the deficits that provide fertile ground for fascist actors to ascend by exploiting our fears, intolerance, and polarization. This strategy of divide and conquer erodes our ability to coalesce in a united movement that embraces a wide spectrum of views. Dialectical reasoning has digressed.
What does “dialectical” mean?
“… the process of thought by which apparent contradictions are seen to be part of a higher truth.”
–The Oxford English Dictionary
“The process or art of reasoning through discussion of conflicting ideas.”
– The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
I think a better framework of thinking is in order: a “trialectical reasoning.” In short, the transcendence of polarized thinking, the art and science of forging a third way, a path of that offers fresh thinking and solutions to the most challenging problems – void of rancor and fear. Martin Luther King, Jr. is among many who have proposed we adopt such thinking… based largely on a time honored and quaint concept called universal love – the ultimate value that transcends all others. Neuroscience is catching up with this line of reasoning as well – check out The Triune Brain in Evolution: Role in Paleocerebral Functions, by P.D. MacLean. The triune brain hypothesis was also featured in Carl Sagan‘s Pulitzer prize winning 1977 book The Dragons of Eden. The human limbic system is at the heart of this – literally and figuratively…this is where a great battle between fear and love is taking place in the human brain. One of the best ways to navigate this struggle is to cultivate limbic resonance through time honored strategies such as meditation, kindness, connection, compassion, and metta love (agape love, universal love, etc.). Love can sculpt your mind / your life / your world – it is the ultimate sculptor!
Check out Love References for an amazing list of quotes about Love.
Hate is but love unexpressed; and if we but knew this and understood it, we would no longer hate. Instead, we would turn our efforts into those channels in which we can find divine and unlimited expression of our love—in advancing the progress of the times, in loving people and being loved by them, in loving society and winning our rightful place in it.
Since love is infinite, the one who love is unexpressed in one channel can always find greater and grander expressions of love—if he realizes the divinity and magnificence of love.
Many revered and beloved men and women learned to love humanity and benefit it by their lives because, instead of letting rejected personal love turn to hate, they broadened their love and deepened it, in a divine way, to many hundreds or thousands of people.
In doing this they have found that the greater love brought more happiness than that which they thought was rejected—even greater and nobler than personal love.
And then, loving thus gloriously, the soul finds the one it loves most of all and from whom it receives more than from all others.
Find a man or a woman who has rendered great service to humanity, and in that soul you find love given its largest and most glorious expression. Also its freest and happiest expression, for all the trouble and fears and jealousies of personal love are to the attempt to limit great love to expression in a small channel and in a small channel only.
O Soul, thou art love and there is no hate in thee–only love unexpressed!
That thou mayest know no hate and no suffering in this manner love: think not overmuch about love, but love itself, much and divinely, to the end that its peace and joy may remain forever with thee.
Consider for a moment that love—or a connection to love—is the one singular thing that every human on this planet has in common. Each of us has at some point loved or been loved, celebrated love or longed for love, thought about love or doubted our understanding of love. Some of us have done all of that and more. From the perspective of feelings and emotion, I believe that every human has some connection to the concept of love. Whether one lives a very short lifetime surrounded by people who feel great love for them or lives a long slow life of longing for some unattainable sense of what love could be, I suggest that all humans have what we might call an emotion- or heart-based connection to love. Beyond simply having some sense of it, I believe that love—having it, finding it, engendering it, or losing it—is central to human existence on this planet. Our stories tell us this, our art is inspired by love, and our music tells us that love is everywhere. From songs to slogans, clichés abound that tell us love is the answer, love can heal all things, and love is all we need.
–A Pedagogy of Love by Joan Clingan, PhD