Gods of Love
Love is all around. It’s sung openly in songs, written secretly in diaries, overstated in both dramas and comedies alike. Love is intoxicating. Feigned or genuine, the effects of love make it irresistibly satisfying. Even the source of love is irrelevant. Whether lover or stranger, family or friend, compatriot or foreigner, it makes no difference to love’s facilitating embrace. Love is freely given and freely taken. It asks for nothing in return, least of all reciprocation. It is self-sustaining, resilient, overwhelming. Yet the difficulty is not in its acquisition, but in maintaining the necessary environment where love can thrive. In the void created by love’s absence there comes a necessity to manufacture it. This is achieved in various ways, some are more useful than others, some are more harmful than others, but any methods used for its synthesis usually fall short of fulfilling what is actually needed.
Wise minds will say that love begins from within. Yet love is only fully realized when it is shared. So to love yourself is only half of what is necessary. Loving yourself will only make you prepared. Love’s full process requires more; notwithstanding an acceptance of the countless risks and consequences. Many social institutions have been put in place to aid those seeking to participate in this process. Some of which actually succeed in their goal. But the damage caused in love’s pursuit creates uneasiness. Many feel that the risk is not worth the reward. And through the denial of outside sources, or simply through their absence, they turn within. A new source of love is created because it must be created, otherwise their love cannot be shared. This is a natural starting point for the idea of loving a god to form.
It does not matter whether a god can be directly interacted with. If it is only desired to love and be loved then it makes no difference what a god is. As long as the belief remains that both sources love one another, the process is complete. There is no need for any form of measureable verification. These beliefs are not strange or incomprehensible. These beliefs are very naturally occurring. They are a direct response to what is perceived as lacking. They have and continue to provide peace and acceptance for countless individuals.
A belief in a god is not in itself conflicting. Conflict is only created from a bi-product of the belief – the unwillingness to acknowledge the legitimacy of any beliefs besides your own. If it is impossible to measure those who have been positively affected by beliefs in gods, then it is also impossible to measure those who have been affected negatively. For every flow there is an ebb, and for the non-believers the ebb is devastating. A non-believer will always be looked at as alien, outside of what is considered acceptable, incapable of contributing equally because of a perceived lack of understanding.
There is a validity to a god’s love. There is a validity in anything if the belief is strong enough. Discrepancies occur not in measuring validity but in perceiving effects. What are the actual results of loving a god? What are the actual consequences? There are many conflicting views. The differing viewpoints of both believers and non-believers makes it difficult to reach an agreement in perception. Without being able to agree on what is observed there can be no verification.
So is this cycle doomed to repeat? Will there always be those who believe and those who don’t? And what about love? What’s the best way to obtain it? Beliefs, by definition, require uncertainty. Even the observations that I can verify I can’t really ever be certain of. Love is no exception. But I observe the division that takes place when conflicting beliefs clash. I observe a conscious objection to the pursuit of shared understanding in favor of hypocritically obtained peace and love. If I distill what composes an idea like love I am principally left with unity. When I distill an idea like a belief in a god I am principally left with the division it creates. Gods divide. Love unifies.
Maybe it is better for a given individual to love a god. Maybe it is better even for me. But perhaps no one would consider that a belief in a god is necessary, perhaps no one would feel the need to love or be loved by a god at all, if we all loved each other instead.