Evolution Of Love
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The elective affinity of positive and receptive atoms is the first manifestation of the principle of love in nature.. While it is not love in the ethical or moral sense, chemical affinity manifests the inception of that principle which finally develops into our highest human and divine Ideals.
The following quotation shows something of the range of the principle, omitting all of its exalted possibilities. It also proves the urgent necessity for the conscious and intelligent evolution of love if human beings are not to be reduced to automatons by "irresistible passion" but, rather, are themselves to control basic physical and psychical forces and, guided by "reason and morality," thus attain their own highest development and enjoy rational, enduring happiness.
"The different relation of the various elements toward each other which chemistry calls `affinity,' is one of the most important properties of ponderable matter; it is manifested in the different relative quantities or proportions of their combination in the intensity of its consummation. Every shade of inclination, from complete indifference to the fiercest passion, is exemplified in the chemical relation of the various elements towards each other, just as we find in the psychology of man, and especially in the life of the sexes. Goethe, in his classical romance, Affinities, compared the relations of pairs of lovers with the phenomenon of the same name in the formation of chemical combinations. The iresistible passion that draws Edward to the sympathetic Ottilia, or Paris to Helen, and leaps over all bounds of reason and morality, is the same powerful 'unconscious' attractive force which impels the living spermatozoon to force an entrance into the ovum in the fertilization of the egg of the animal or plant—the same impetuous movement which unites two atoms of hydrogen to one atom of oxygen for the formation of a molecule of water. This fundamental unity of affinity in the whole of nature, from the simplest chemical process to the most complicated love story, was recognized by the great Greek scientist Empedocles, in the fifth century, B. C., in his theory of `the love and hatred of the elements.' "—Quoted from page 224, The Riddle of the Universe, by Ernst Haeckel.
"Irresistible passion" is indeed like chemical affinity, being governed solely by primary likes and dislikes and not by "reason and morality." It is therefore evident that if anything higher than blind attraction and repulsion is to be known in the evolutionary process, it can only be through the introduction of elements possessing nobler capacities. Nature has accomplished this through the Spiritual Life Element and the Soul Element.
Animals, which are governed by the 'Spiritual Life Element, exercise more self-control and show more regard for times and seasons than chemical atoms. It is much more difficult to prophesy whether animals will agree, separate, or fight than it is to determine what chemical combinations will do under certain circumstances. In fact, Chemistry is regarded as an exact science, while Psychology is not.
When the higher and more complex powers of the Soul Element must be estimated, it is still more difficult to prophesy the results of individual lives and social combinations. No individual can tell with absolute certainty what another will do under all circumstances. And frequently an individual does not know for himself just what he may or may not do when conflicting courses, opportunities, temptations, and seeming necessities begin to exert their power and influence. "0, that a man might know the end of this day's business ere it come !" has been the wish of many an anxious soul.
The crime of Paris in seducing Helen, the wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta, and taking her to Troy with-out regard to right, reason, justice, or true love, thus involving his family and countrymen and causing their destruction, is indeed an example of what mere "affinity" and "attraction" may do. Hector, the noble and generous, and the other sons of Priam disapproved of their brother's conduct. Yet Priam, who was King of Troy in name, and all his subjects allowed the weak and effeminate Paris to break his solemn treaty to restore Helen after his combat with Menelaus. The Trojan people did not love him. "Had they known his lurking place they would not for his sake have kept him hid, for like black death, they hated. him."
Nevertheless, Paris so controlled the "chemical combination" that they died by hundreds in bloody and inglorious combat, while he, the violator of the laws of hospitality, the adulterer and utterly selfish "lover," fled from the field and besought his "affinity" thus :
"Then Paris answered : `Woman, chide me not thus harshly. True it is, that, with the aid of Pallas, Menelaus hath obtained the victory; but I may vanquish him in turn, for we have also gods with us. Give we the hour to dalliance; never yet have I so strongly proved the power of love—not even when I bore thee from thy home in pleasant Lacedaemon, traversing the deep in my good ships, and in the Isle of Cranae made thee mine—such glow of love possesses me, and sweetness of desire.' "
And Helen went, even though she had just said to Priam, "Would that cruel death had overtaken me before I left my marriage-bed, and my dear daughter, and the company of friends I loved." Helen went, though she had just said to her "spirit control" posing as the goddess, Venus, who told her Paris was waiting in his chamber for her,—"Thither I will never go, to adorn his couch and to disgrace myself. The Trojan dames would taunt me. 0, the griefs that press upon my soul are infinite."
Note further the picture one presents whose life is governed by the principle of "affinity" without regard to reason or morality, when Paris shrinks in fear from the husband he has wronged and Hector thus relieves his mind and conscience :
"0 luckless Paris, nobly formed, yet woman-follower and seducer. Thou should'st never have been born, or else at best have died unwedded ; better were it far, than thus to be a scandal and a scorn to all who look on thee. The long-haired Greeks, how they will laugh, who for thy gallant looks deemed thee a hero, when there dwells in thee no spirit and no courage ! Wast thou such when, crossing the great deep in thy stanch ships with chosen comrades, thou didst make thy way among a stranger-people and bear off a beautiful woman from that distant land, allied by marriage-ties to warrior-men—a mischief to thy father and to us and all the people, to our foes a joy, and a disgrace to thee? Why could'st thou not await Atrides? Then hadst thou been taught from what a valiant warrior thou didst take his blooming spouse. Thy harp will not avail, not all the gifts of Venus, nor thy locks, nor thy fair form, when thou art laid in dust. Surely the sons of Troy are faint of heart, else hadst thou, for the evil thou hast wrought, been laid beneath a coverlet of stone." "Then Paris, of the god-like presence, spake in answer: `Hector, thy rebuke is just; thou dost not wrong me.' "—The Iliad, Bryant's Translation.
For three thousand years "the mighty thunder-roll of Homer's, verse" has passed from generation to generation and always some have been instructed thereby. If the Iliad has done nothing else, that great work has presented and preserved the truth that it is folly and self-destruction to follow mere "affinity" as a guide.
The Iliad and the Odyssey are stories of the childhood of the race and they reveal crude ideas of love, as might be expected in such primitive times. Evolution has not only brought love into existence but it has produced higher grades of love. While there is just as much crudeness and low living now as in any previous age, yet there are greater numbers of individuals who have reached high standards of thinking and living.
It is the intention simply to discuss principles in this chapter. It is recognized that every individual must make his or her personal application of every principle, and experiment in discovering those at present unknown.
The principle of positive and receptive attraction is interwoven with every particle of material substance, it is found in all plant and animal life, and it permeates every relation and interest in human life. Therefore, it is well worthy of study on every plane, but above all on the human plane, in order to secure the highest good of every individual.
Every child should be taught by its parents that sex is necessary and that sex emotions are inevitable and right. Sex emotions cannot be annihilated by any process of repression. They should be understood, educated, disciplined and controlled.
Sex is nature and not merely a phase of nature. The law of sex governs everything known to man from the chemical atom to the intelligent soûl. The science of Chemistry is based upon those affinities which reside in Electro-Magnetism and the Vito-Chemical Life Elements. The larger part of every individual's philosophy of life is based upon those affinities which reside in the Spiritual and Soul Elements of humanity.
The strong attractions between man and woman are produced by the demands of their natures. Their natures are a part and a product of Nature. Therefore, there is nothing unnatural in sex attraction. However, the most valuable lessons in life are those connected with its perfect and ethical control.
The possession of a function which may bring a human soul into this existence should make every person sober and thoughtful. The physical powers perform their functions regardless of ethical considerations. Nature does not require the observance of ethical duties. But nature is infallible in rewards and punishments through the Soul Element as well as the physical elements. Physical disease is only one sign of broken law. Perverted wills, conflicting desires, and warped intellects in children frequently result from the unlawful passion and remorse of parents.
There is such a thing even among animals as pure affection without passion. With growth of intelligence and true love, physical passions lose their domination. The physical powers of generation are not themselves intelligent regarding the needs and desires of the Soul Element. Therefore, it is a serious mistake to interpret the Soul by the desires of the physical body or to become confused regarding the respective needs of each.
The soul powers and desires may act independently of physical relations. Love begets the desire for the welfare of another soul. Love is the strongest principle known, to prevent passion from inflicting possible injury upon one beloved. When an intelligent man perceives the soul of the woman he loves; passion becomes desire to protect her even from himself and to bless her life with peace and plenty and remove all pain and harm.
Reproduction is not the conscious and intelligent purpose of man and woman in establishing harmonic relations. A worthy science cannot regard man and woman as mere physical organisms for reproducing their kind and perpetuating species. Marriage is a failure unless harmonic relations are finally established which will enthrone unselfish love. Individual life is not complete until such marriage is consummated.
Two intelligent lovers have, reached the highest known consummation of the principle of elective affinity which began with two single atoms. All the range of Science, Ethics and Religion will be traversed by these souls while maturing. Science includes the knowledge of the Harmonics of Love. This is the highest known realm of Science. Ethics includes the principles which govern and perpetuate these harmonic relations. Religion includes the application of these principles to a life of mutual trust and service.