What kind of “love” have you chased after the most?
For me, it’s been a number of “loves”. In my youth I had a definite pattern of chasing after what the Greeks called “Eros”. Merriam Webster defines this term in three senses, first as the Greek god of erotic love (comparable to the god “Cupid”). Second, as the sum of life-preserving instincts that are manifested as impulses to gratify basic needs, as sublimated impulses, and as impulses to protect and preserve the body and mind. Third, as love conceived by the philosopher Plato as a fundamental creative impulse having a sensual element. Ultimately, eros is “erotic love or desire”.
I am convinced that from the age of twelve to the age of nineteen, I was a full on eros addict. It started as an addiction to musical epiphanies, porn, caffeinated soda, cigarettes, and “dip” (the kind of smokeless tobacco you shove in your lip to get a buzz). It moved on into marijuana, then pills, alcohol abuse, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, sex with girlfriends, designer hallucinogens, songwriting, recording, and even a little coke and meth a few times.
But Cupid, and maybe Dionysus too- they really let me down man.
I was looking for Cupid to fulfill me and make me happy. At one point, I thought that listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon while tripping with the Wizard of Oz movie on and having sex was the epitome of fulfillment.
But I ended up having bad trips. Three of them to be exact. Two on mushrooms and one on LSD. They were horrible. Having a bad psychedelic experience makes you feel like you’re insane, you’re going to hell and you’re never going to escape.
The weed ended up making me paranoid, lazy and stupid.
The drugs made my grades drop into the toilet. I barely made it through high school and dropped out of college.
Almost all the girlfriends I was with during the time cheated on me. I cheated on a few of them too.
Pink Floyd is still great.
I’m convinced that the emotional epiphanies in songwriting and music are a gateway into the presence of God. That’s why worshiping God with music is so powerful!
But this pursuit of eros was a dead end, really. Because the feelings eventually turned into numbness. The tolerance level rose. The first great experience became a nasty dragon that I would perpetually chase after and never find again. There is no utopian orgasm to be found. There is no ultimate psychedelic oracle. There is no melody that can make one soar on the wings of heaven.
And maybe some of you can relate to my pursuit of Cupid. Maybe some of you have looked for love and fulfillment in other places. At the lid of a bank account. At the bottom of a bottle. At the edge of a blade. In the barrel of a gun. At the feel of fingertips touching yours. At the thrill of adrenaline bursting out of your nostrils. In a plethora of cyberspace attention. In a virtual version of reality. The anesthetized stare into a screen.
But there is good news. Love is more than that.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)