Love Human and Divine
In preparation for a recent Richard Moss retreat focusing on The Lover's Journey and at the recommendation of a friend and colleague (thanks, Susan), I re-read parts of the book, We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love, by Jungian analyst, Robert Johnson. Although it was written almost 30 years ago, I'm amazed by how pertinent it still feels to me. Here are some passages from the book that I hope you enjoy.
By the way, I believe that what he says applies to both men and women.
"Romantic love is an unholy muddle of two holy loves. One is "divine" love: It is our natural urge toward the inner world, the soul's love of God. The other is "human" love, which is our love for people – flesh-and-blood human beings. Both of these loves are valid; both are necessary. But by some trick of psychological evolution our culture has muddled the two loves in the potion of romantic love and nearly lost them both." (p. 131)
"The great flaw in romantic love is that it seeks one love but forgets the other." (p. 138)
"A voice within each man insists fervently that it is a wonderful thing to search forever for the perfect idealized feminine, rather than settle for the flesh-and-blood woman that real life has put into his arms…. When a flesh-and-blood, mortal human appears in a man's life who offers him love and relatedness, he ends in rejecting her because she can't measure up to the idealized perfection who can only live in his inner mind." (P. 129)
"One of the great paradoxes in romantic love is that it never produces human relationship as long as it stays romantic. It produces drama, daring adventures, wondrous, intense love scenes, jealousies, and betrayals; but people never seem to settle into relationship with each other as flesh-and-blood human beings until they are out of the romantic love stage, until they love each other instead of being in love." (p. 133)