All You Need Is Eros?
“Love” has been experienced, examined, converted for entertainment, manipulated, shaken, and stirred innumerable times through the ages, as humanity attempts to reign in the profound concept. Mankind was created to participate in a love affair with the Creator, and even those who don’t believe in Him still feel desire for the love only He can provide. With regards to Christianity, the fact that “God so loved the world” seems to be ingrained in the church, but His love can nonetheless feel intangible and semi-present. Therefore, when God’s love feels distant–or is not believed in, people try to fill this ache through other means, namely each other. What is then found is an idealized love--created by people--which mimics the love of God but focuses on the satisfaction of the individual. Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 116” represents this secular vision of ideal love, but as Benedict XVI reveals in “God is Love,” it is ultimately only a shadowy, reflected image of God’s passion that cannot be fully manifested amongst sinful people.
When conjuring an image of love, the likeliest initial response is of people “in love.” This love that is separated from the other types by sexual desire and carnal attraction is called eros. People can twist this form of love in two significant ways that limit its potential. One way eros is manipulated is through the idea of “soul mates,” or more specifically, that somewhere there is another individual who matches the one perfectly–an individual in whose love the other can find his or her identity. The problem arises in finding this person, as–despite what media and self-perpetuating stereotypes might lead one to believe, the perfect soul mate does not exist. Entertainment and media have created impossibly high standards to fulfill, so that a person must be incredibly attractive, endearing, patient, passionate, ever-understanding, successful, impressive, and more. Divorce rates are higher than ever before as people...
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