Eros and Agape
A capital distinction because it aims at an essential difference. We owe it to the Swedish Lutheran theologian Anders Nygeren. This distinction between two loves gives the key of reading of the whole of the Christian existence. And it opens well beyond. At the same time it governs the understanding of the spirits between mystic and mystic, and finally between human and human…
To love… All the Christian innovation is there. That begins with God himself. Because God is love. (1 John 4:8). Saint Augustin will be able to summarize its essence: Love. And after that, do all you want! Is this really all? Yes. At the same time, it is enormous! Like God himself.
This so simple a word is present everywhere, even where it is not marked. All the other words and all the other verbs are secretly assigned, directly or indirectly, for or against it. At the same time, it overflows all the meanings one can give it. Between 'loving' God and 'liking' chocolate, between 'loving' a dear being and 'loving' a poor being, what a lot of nuances! Between various 'loving' there are so many differences, and often so many oppositions!
To love, however, does not inevitably want to say loving according to Christ. This verb must go through its 'Passover' into a new reality. A crossing of an understanding… As of the beginning, to say 'love', saint Paul and the Evangelists, who write in Greek, have at their disposal the word Eros. This term, far from being marked negatively, indicates the noblest love and even the divine love. But, very astonishing, from the start on they avoid this word as if it were unsuitable and impotent to translate the radical innovation. Even if they have to revive a new word to express the new reality of love according to Christ. And this new word, this converted word, is Agape. This change of name is significant of a radical change of identity. From now on the understanding goes essentially between the pagan love and the Christian love, between Eros and Agape. It is not about a cleavage between what would be well on one side and badly on the other. There is only 'value' on both sides. But different values. Christ comes to introduce a rupture of salvation into the best of man!
Specific dynamics of Eros. On the contrary to the simple instinct which is spread horizontally, Eros wants 'to go up'. In a vertical tension through the sacral difference.
Agape appears in counterpoint. Agape descends and crosses the whole field of negativity to transform it in a space of grace… An infinitely open space!
Agape is absolute dissidence. Starting from Agape, God is not any more only where the divine one is. Value is not any more exclusively where Beauty, Truth or Good are. Transcendence is not any more where Marx, Feuerbach or Stirner chased it. Progress is not just where Eros progresses!
Agape, strictly speaking, cannot be said. It is out of the speech and its fatal closure. The rupture passes between the same and the other one. Agape is of an other order. Eros goes up with the same one; Agape descends and promotes the other one. Eros tends towards the divine; Agape sacrifices itself to save what is lost. Eros requires immortality; Agape believes in resurrection. Eros sublimates; Agape is compromised with the evil. Eros manages the need; Agape promotes the grace. Eros wants to gain; Agape dares to lose. Eros wishes what is well; Agape creates what will be well.
In Agape the best of man is crucified. The irruption of Agape means a total inversion not only of the values but of the space itself where value can emerge. An arising of a different radical order. But can the truth be sought elsewhere than in dissidence since the Revelation of the Logos? Nobody perceived so deeply the absolute heterogeneity of the orders of reality as Blaise Pascal. The infinite distance from the bodies to the spirits… represent the infinitely more infinite distance from the spirits to charity. To Agape.
The other one is too burdensome for Eros. Never enough, however, for Agape. The other, the absolute otherness, the radical difference, can be only too present for Eros. It's a scandal. The Christian irruption provokes this scandal and assumes it. Against the most fundamental and formidable natural dynamics. Against all the Eros of the world. Against all the glory of the world. Against all the reason of the world… The other provoked to exist. In gratuity. The other order beyond the natural obviousnesses. The other one which does not cease making irruption in the middle of our fashionable safety measures. The other which infinitely questions the 'same'… The other one really 'other', irreducible to the 'same'. Thus impossible to circumvent by the idea, irretrievable by ideology and insurmountable by the technique. Always too much. To expel!
|01 Human Paradox A paradoxal animal Human paradox In rupture An animal in crisis An animal 'less' (something) Premature and naked Child of the difference Child of elsewhere||02 Verticality Middle and extremes Tropism to upwards Divine instinct The vertical living Vertical interiority The personal mystery In strict immanence||03 Gaping Depths Gaping deepness Child of gaping Gaping on an other order Gaping of meaning Gaping on the questioning Gaping of matter Gaping of existence In vertical gaping Negative anthropology|
|04 Sacral Difference Sacral dimension The sacral difference Sacral crisis The archaeological sacred Sacral verticality Hiero-tropic space-time||05 Human Environment Human space Closed and open Curvature of space Negative space Space of the sense Including and included Between Alpha and Omega||06 The Matrix of Humanity Child of a culture Human matrix Culture and cultures Master speech Refusing the enclosures|
|07 The Spirit The spiritual reality How define it? Going through DIS-tinction The spirit says no Dialectics||08 Spiritual Breath Breathing Spiritual energy Making sense To signify Sense is through gaping Speech and language Symbol Faith||09 The Sense of Sense The Sense The space of the sense The house of the sense Including and included sense Confinement Master and possessor of sense|
|10 The Reason Science Constituted and constituent Scientific dialectics Bubble Between Structure and sense||11 The Meaning Demiurge of the significances Through To run here and there Mechanism Trough articulation Articulable matter||12 Systems Analysis Systemics The system Systemic operation Energy Tanks|
|13 Oïkology Impossible closing Systemic totality The house of the spirit Ecology We sinned||14 Exodus Spiritual adventure Out of safety measures Out of the cave Logos in exodus||15 Through Difference Difference Starting from difference Crossing the duality A logic of crossing Chance|
|16 Dialectics Going through 'no' Fundamental dynamics Dia-logos The fourth dimension Passover dialectics||17 Alliance Broken Alliance Rupture of the bond The prodigal son Atheism State of grace||18 History Emergence of History Impossible totalizing Trans-historic verticality The sense in exodus Between Alpha and Omega|
|19 Fertile Confrontation Singular adventure Dialectical gestation Antithesis Two revolutions Exponents A long gestation Explosiveness||20 Progress What is progress? Source of The progress Exponential acceleration The tool of progrès Why it isn't working Wedged exponential growth Progressive illusion||21 Schizoid Tautological speech Idealism Master and possessor Flirt with nothingness God driven out Without the Father Without recourse Psychosis|
|22 The Other One Arising The other one Exposed To tell the other one||23 Adventurers Components and exponents Adventurers of eschatology Today||24 Through Scandal Gaping mystery of evil Trough distance Congenital evil Entropy in the human hearth|
|25 Agape Gaping of Eros Captive desire Eros and Agape Going down Defeated entropy||26 God in You Tropism for Agape Bottomless bottom Cleaning the sources Let you fall You fall into God||Autor|