The Secret

I recall reading C. S. Lewis talking about one of the most famous phrases in the English language: “God is love.” He said not to get confused about it, that perhaps there is a subtlety to it we are not readily grasping; he said it is actually not true what some of us think it means: love is not God. But I beg to differ—I think he is selling love short. It has also been written that God is made of the simplest substance imaginable, and I tell you that this substance is indeed love. Love is so simple, we’ll never understand it. Perhaps, then, not to say exactly that love is God, but that the one component (as it were) that comprises the En Sof is exactly love. Nothing more, nothing less.

“En Sof” is a term from Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. It means, literally, “the Endless”, and it refers to the infinite, unknowable God. “He” is said not to have an existence that we would understand, we being in the land of finite forms. I once thought to equate “Him” to the number zero, and perhaps if any numbering were applied, zero would be it. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought: God is love… that explains it all. I say to you, “There is no ineffable. God is love.” If we can bring into semantic form the subtlest of mysteries, then we can truly explain absolutely anything. Love is the paradoxical quotient that we can render in our minds a divine dimension, infinity’s existence among the finite.

Be not but love, do not but love. In this is the teaching of all the mystics. Bob Marley said it, “Could you be loved? And be love?” If indeed by every action, you do as love would have you do, would you not then say that you are love? If God’s every action is that of love, why would you say that He is not made of love? For what is it truly that makes every one of us, if it is not the choices we take? But with God, it could be a deeper thing. What is the secret to love? It can be soft, it can be immovable. Love is also not always satisfied, much to many a mystic’s chagrin. What is love? God is love. Does it not tell you anything that the whole of the infinite can be described in just one word? What is the secret to love? We are made in the image of the God who is love. Do you not see?

Perhaps to cynics, all that love is can be summed up as an emotion which represents deep affection. Relegated to romance, most often foolish; or to mothers and children, nothing more commonplace. But it was out of love that God created all the world. A God who was hate surely would not have done so. Hate is not, either, the opposite of love, but it is in fact just an evil version of it. The opposite would most closely be nothing. And there, too, is the rub: for love sometimes seems like it is nothing at all, being everthing that it inspires and the things that it makes or brings. Take all those things away to try and find out love’s true nature, and you seem to have nothing left! What is the secret to love? Love, you fool! You will see that there is no secret. (And there, that is the secret to love.)



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