By Hans Jecklin
Eros needs human consciousness to become enlightened. He cannot do it by himself. Only enlightened human consciousness can embrace the huge evolutionary span wherein Eros manifests as what I understand a primordial driving force of evolution: Supreme Grace.
We can see with awe how on all levels of manifestation – from matter to spirit – a similar pattern of attraction between wholes leads to connection and unification into ever-greater wholes: Eros at work, guided by a greater intelligence.
When we look at human relations and love, it is interesting to watch Eros at work on many levels, most of them being unconscious: Survival instincts in many guises – physical, vital, emotional, mental – that do not differ so much from what we can observe in the animal world. Beyond the realm driven by instincts, it is very likely that what Jungian psychology understands as projection of anima or animus on a partner is a human accomplishment: It means that we are attracted to the other by what we believe to be missing in ourselves.
This the nature of Eros which Socrates relates in Plato’s Symposium as a teaching he has just been given by the sage Diotima: Eros as an aspect of human nature that incessantly searches and creates outer connections which he can not escape to lose, until he finally understands his true history and fate.
This is Diotima’s story: When the divine Aphrodite was born, the gods celebrated a big feast. Befuddled by the delicious nectar, Poros – an incarnation of wealth and abundance – took a rest in the garden and fell asleep. Penaia was attracted to the vicinity of the Gods by her innate nature of need and greed. She cunningly lay down by Poros’ side and conceived Eros from him. Eros, as Penaia’s son and unaware of his father, was a poor, rough and scrubby fellow, scouring barefoot and with no shelter. However, he also carried within him an unknown heritage which made him a searcher for the good and beautiful. Brave, courageous and ingenious he was, inspirited by an indefatigable drive for insight and truth. He felt happy whenever abundance smiled to him, as much as he was heartbroken when all abundance had again melted away between his fingers. “Lacking Goodness and Beauty, he strives for what he believes to be in need of” was the beginning of Diotima’s teaching to Socrates, leading to the realization that “If he gave birth to the supreme Truth within himself, he would be granted the Love of God and attain immortality.” Socrates, convinced by Diotima’s message ended his report to the symposium by sharing his insight “that there is no better guide to enlightenment than Eros.”
Looking back at my own path from the present, through all delusions, confusions – material, emotional, sensual – and notorious dis-enchantments, I can now fully and with great gratitude appreciate Eros’ play of consciousness, driven by an unalienable longing for the One Love and Wisdom: Eros unveiling as pure Grace.
This is the moment when we may wish to honor all imprints from past illusions and deceptions held in our body, asking for healing and transformation by the grace of our Unique Self. Only now, an enlightened Eros can play within us, liberated from all needs and bonds. This is – to my understanding – conscious Love, in full freedom: a most precious gift, to be handled with loving awareness and care! For ourselves and the other!