The Evolution of Love

Love grows and shrinks in depth and breadth for each loving being independently. But love can also evolve as higher forms of love emerge from lower forms. This evolution of love is a much slower, much more gradual change. It is analogous to our physical selves where each of us grows independently, even as our species itself evolves at a much slower rate.

This evolution of love, I believe, is of fundamental importance to The Greatest Love. For it is in achieving these higher forms of love that we become closer to Them.

Will love continue to evolve in the Universe? Yes I believe so. My faith in The Greatest Love informs my belief in this.

Will humanity be a part of evolving that love? Yes I believe so. My faith in humanity informs my belief in this.

In the past have we seen the hand of The Greatest Love working to allow love to evolve? I think so. But we must be careful about reading too much into events of the past when looking for The Greatest Love less we fall victim to cognitive biases and logical fallacies.

Still there is one event that I do find compelling. Is it existential proof of The Greatest Love? No. We are talking about thoughts and beliefs here. Not existential proofs. The example I am about to describe details not only what happened but why I think The Greatest Love allowed it to occur. Needless to say attempting to understand why The Greatest Love allows any event to occur is treading on dangerous ground. It is an attempt to read the mind of The Greatest Love which is impossibly constrained by the limits of our human minds. I do so only hesitantly (these are only thoughts, not beliefs) in the interest of illuminating what I think The Greatest Love is capable of in the name of love.

The event occurred long ago. Long, long, ago.

Let us step back some 160 million years ago when the first mammals were introduced and with them breastfeeding, which is a highly intimate and emotional experience. Then fast forward nearly 100 million years later and imagine how that elapsed time could have impacted those same mammals. Millions of years of physical evolution but also millions of years of emotional evolution. Intimacy and bonding between mothers and offspring unlike anything experienced by the apex predators of the time: the dinosaurs.

It is here where scientists believe love first evolved on Earth and it emerged from within the mammals. Nearly 100 million years of bearing children and protecting them from predators as fearsome as the dinosaurs. Would the mammals love have become deeper than anything experienced by the other animals alive during that time?

I think it would.

However there was a problem. The physically dominant dinosaurs of the period ensured that the mammals did not grow to be anything more than small insect-eating creatures. Their physical evolution was obstructed and with it their cognitive reasoning, and emotional centers of the brain where the feelings of love form.

Under these conditions the highest form of love on the planet, that borne by the mammals, had limited potential. But love needs to grow and evolve; it’s potential maximized. I believe ensuring that love achieves it’s potential is at the core of what The Greatest Love does.

And so something had to give. It was then that, I think, The Greatest Love acted. Before I talk of that action it is important to note that I do not believe every weather forecast, natural disaster, or cosmic event is intentionally invoked by the hand of The Greatest Love. There is not some divine master control room with The Greatest Love pushing buttons. Instead They have put in place our World and Universe as a complex system of interdependent processes and bodies that behave according to the laws of nature. This is what I believe.

But I also believe that sometimes they specifically intervene. Such interventions must not defy the laws of nature. A proposition for how such interventions can be realized is a topic for another day. For now let us assume that The Greatest Love can intervene in the natural world without compromising Their laws. And so it was that 66 million years ago I think The Greatest Love intervened in the form of an asteroid, 11-81km wide which streaked across the Western sky and slammed into what is today the Yucatan peninsula. It is known by the town sitting near the center of the 150km wide by 20km deep crater that resulted: the Chicxulub impact event. In the climate-altering aftermath of the asteroid impact 75% of plant and animal species on Earth became extinct. The impact location was particularly disastrous to all non-avian dinosaurs, which were wiped out by the event and its aftermath.

The mammals however survived.

As such it is seen today as the single event that marked the end of the age of the reptiles and the beginning of the age of the mammals.

I think The Greatest Love intentionally destroyed three-quarters of the living creatures on Earth, not as an act of vengeance against the reptiles or any other creatures, but as an act of love for the mammals and more specifically to ensure that their form of love continued to grow and evolve as They had intended. The Chicxulub impact crater stands today as a testament to Their power of love.

In the aftermath the number and diversity of mammals exploded as they were able to physically and emotionally evolve thus helping to reach their potential. Fast forward 66 million more years and today we see the emergence of sacred love from within humanity, the most highly evolved form of love in the history of the Earth.

The delivery now of the fifth message also leads me to believe the emergence of sacred love happened only recently. I believe it arose due to a series of events which revealed humanity’s higher, more evolved, love. Such events included:

  • A World War ends and along with it a Holocaust. I believe the Earth will never again see the industrialization of such death and destruction on a global scale
  • A King delivers a sermon of love on the steps of  the Lincoln Memorial and his Dream becomes one for the ages
  • A wall comes down and ushers in the end of a Cold War. With it the term mutually assured destruction leaves our lexicon
  • The compassion of the masses allowing that no citizen of a nation should be denied healthcare coverage due to their pre-existing medical condition(s), social status, or financial resources
  • The acknowledgement that all human love is the same and that any marriage between consenting adults regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity should be recognized by the state
  • The emergence of a global environmental movement recognizing the World itself as a body requiring our love and protection

And many more.

But of all of the events there is one that stands out for me. It was when secular words spoke louder than the words of sacred texts. It was when diverse charters and constitutions formed the basis of loving laws and equally protected all the great religions and beliefs. Examples such as the following:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance

United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Article 18 (c. 1948)

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) Freedom of conscience and religion; (b) Freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression …

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Section 2a,b (c. 1982)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof …

The Constitution of the United States – 1st Amendment (c. 1791)

In producing and defending such laws humanity welcomed all beliefs, instilling love into law and, I believe, ushering in a new age of love: the age of sacred love. An age where all of humanity is to be accepted based on the love of their actions, regardless of their beliefs.

Despite the fundamental truths of these passages they did not come from gods, or messiahs, or holy books. They came from secular humanity. Secular humanity’s words led the change, by enshrining protections under the law for all people regardless of their beliefs. This at a time when the voices of the great religions remained unaltered from the past. Those religious voices which helped lead us through our moral infancy were now being questioned as we reached adolescence and gained our own voice. The net result was secular humanity’s voice became just as important as those of the great religions on issues of morality and love.

It’s not that the voice of the great religions should not be heard, it’s just that they are but one voice among several now. It does not mean the holy books are wrong. But it does mean they are incomplete when understanding how to live and love in our modern world. In an age of sacred love, holy books form only the opening chapters of this new Book of Love. The later chapters, just as important, have been written by secular society.

And this is how I believe it was meant to be:

Loving charters and constitutions augmenting the holy books and the words of the one god from the past.

Humankind growing up and learning to speak for ourselves.

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