Love and Progress
"Fundamentally," writes Schuon, "every love is a search for the Essence or the lost Paradise." Thus, it's sort of a category error to believe that this or that man or woman will somehow restore paradise for you. I mean, they might for a week, or a month, or six months, but beyond that, you're pushing your luck. Nostalgia can only sustain you for so long.
So, idealized, romantic love "bears witness to to this nostalgia for a far-off Paradise." Not that there's anything wrong with it, but we need to be prepared for what comes next, which is a kind of psychic inversion, through which... well, Schuon expresses it better than I can:
"To be at peace with God is to seek and find our happiness in Him; the creature that he has joined to us [in marriage] may and must help us to reach this with greater facility or with less difficulty," which again goes to precisely why and how marriage is a sacrament, i.e., a special channel of grace. It is an "outwardness with a view to inwardness," or a "form with a view to essence." It's why even atheists get married, although they have forgotten why. Or in other words, they do so for the unconscious nostalgia, not for the supraconscious hope.
The only other person I know of who speaks of marriage in this curious manner is the "esoteric orthodox" writer Boris Mouravieff. I haven't looked at it in a long time, but I remember it being pretty fruity. Let's see if we can find any useful nuggets!
Mouravieff cites a gag from some esoteric tome called The Golden Book that goes like this: To live means to love; / He who loves not, hardly lives. / He leads a mournful existence / Whose only meaning lies in the hope of loving.
And the same sentiment "had already been pronounced by St Paul nearly two thousand years ago. He said: the aim of life is to attain Love" (e.g. I Corinthians 14:1). "Better still," writes Mouravieff, "Love is the Aim of life on the whole cosmic scale, right down to the most primitive organisms."
"Love, like the personality, is also a Divine talent which is loaned to man..." And "anyone who does not develop his talent loses it." Regarding this divine loan, "The result is that one cannot command love any more than one can forbid love."
But "Even if the couple is composed of truly polar beings, if the lovers do not adhere to the supreme conditions demanded by Love, once their credit is exhausted, Love disappears" and "one finds oneself left with the broken pieces."
To me, this means that the polar relation must be infused with an energy from outside and above, or end up exhausting itself through sheer entropy. For which reason a long and happy marriage is a true miracle -- i.e., it is renewed and revivified by the miracle of grace. Or in the cryptic words of Petey, No body crosses the phoenix line lest it be repossessed and amortized.
Here is another crack from The Golden Book referred to above: Every man is born bearing within him the image of his polar being. / As he grows, this image grows within him... / Man is not conscious of it. Yet it is his Alter Ego... / In quest of her he must eternally go... / For in their union, the limit between the I and the Thou is obliterated... / And silence will then be the depository of the fullness of their Love.
A few more observations, these from volume 3: "The main danger for women, and above all young girls, lies in the frequently observed attitude of copying men, for then woman loses all the specific assets that give her her charm, so that she betrays her mission without any reason or benefit."
Re the Gender Wars, "let us try to imagine a child who... is born with a left arm ending in a right hand.... Can we think, even for a moment, that this malformation will not have an effect on the whole life of this unfortunate child? It is the same for young girls who cultivate a masculine spirit in a feminine body: by deforming themselves psychically, they also lose their charm [and how!], so that they fall into a third, psycho-pathological sex: the neuter sex."
And if this dreadful trend "is not stopped in time, this tendency to copy the other sex -- which can be found in men as well as women -- excludes both from any possibility of esoteric evolution."
What I would say is that sexual polarity is the (or a) basis of the (re)generative ingression of vertical energies through which we ultimately transcend this polarity. Or in other words, progressivism inevitably puts the kibosh on cosmo-pneumatic vertical progress.
On all planes, the objective sign of Love's participation is the creative spirit which animates the subjects for whom it has become an aim. Conversely, if we think we are in Love but do not notice an increase in creativity on any plane, either in ourselves or our partner, we can be sure that the relationship is based on anything but Love. --Mouravieff