Really? If you are one of those swayed by the news media, the foolish idleness, and dangerous fear-mongering of television or radio or the myth-making and directive archetypal leadings of movies, you would likely see that as impossible. I beg to differ.
But let us define our terms here. Love and peace have been left largely to the purview of religion. The kind of love that smiles at you and then judges you after, is not love at all. It is ego. I am not talking about love from duty or role responsibility, as in the love of a parent, or sibling, or even a spouse. I am not talking about patriotism, the love of country, which can allow you to profess love for the notion of a collective group, while you may dislike, or even hate, some of those within it.
I am not talking about the traditional flimsy type of "love" that comes in after a disaster, throws some gruel and fresh water at the situation (or drills a well, or builds a North American type house) in a third world country amid media (or other) applause and then quickly evaporates, leaving the suffering, well, still suffering after having been fed for a few days. This "love", let's call it the Superman sort, has often been associated with church activity. No doubt the intention is good. The results however, can leave much resentment in their wake on the receiver's side, while those who helped feel like they are indeed Superman.
Although I have no quarrel whatsoever with Christ and what he wrote, I grow weary of meeting people, who call themselves Christians yet know virtually nothing about, nor act anything like him. I am not trashing all members of the religion, just the ones who are living an unexamined life and feeling good about themselves for it. Christ did not want you to follow. He wanted you to perfect yourselves and get out there and lead by example. And love was the prime commandment - "Love one another ...." or " I desire mercy not sacrifice." So, how's your love life? And I'm not talking about a significant other in it. I'm talking about the quality of your heart.
From all accounts he was a Jew (not a Christian obviously since he inspired the movement of followers) and had studied with the Essenes and possibly also in India. Many of the texts which would have made his teachings clearer were struck from the current Bible during the Council of Nicea in the third Century of this era. Reading those I think gives a much clearer picture of his understanding of the absolute equality and indisputable worth of each being and his compassion for them. Sitting in a Christian, or other church, does not make you a true follower of Christ anymore than sitting in a garage will make you a car. Christianity does not have an exclusive claim to love or peace or charitable acts. I think sometimes others have been content through the centuries to let the churches do this and feel that donating money made it all right and dispensed with their own responsibility to help others. This is no longer the case. But I think that discussions centering around religion are always going to be inflammatory and on this point are likely unnecessary.
Love is a much used and little understood word in the English language. Therefore the question "Is love enough?" is almost too vague to be discussed. We need a working definition of love first. I guess I am somewhat uncomfortable with the word, since it has come to be so devalued and I am further dissatisfied with the idea of defining something by what it is not. So why do we struggle with this "issue of the heart"?
I am a realist also however, if we allow the "facts" of our present circumstances to limit our imaginations or determine our future, we are indeed a doomed species. I believe that our area of growth is not in the mind but in the heart. We have ignored the heart for a long time and allowed ourselves to be duped into believing that only the mind ( the brain) and of that only the left brain is essential to humans - I believe we have a huge learning (or relearning perhaps) curve coming to reunite with our feelings, our heart. In truth, I do believe that love is one of the few tools we have to master ourselves and our circumstances while there is yet time. But in order to have compassion, we must first understand and love ourselves truly and completely. That means sorting through your limitations of culture, role, etc. and dealing with your emotional baggage. As Christ said (and I paraphrase) First take the beam out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's".
As a linguist, I tend to research foundational words to see what is going on. I offer the following poem, since it expresses what I mean exactly, or at least I hope that the limitations of this medium will not interfere with the transmission and it will be received and understood as it was intended.
Sanskrit has more than ninety words for it,
Ancient Persian eighty, the Greeks only three.
How poor is our understanding of love that we
Have reduced it to only one word?
So general, so overarching and yet so meaningless,
How can we begin to open our hearts and show
That emotion, which we do not truly know
Well enough to have the words to express
The facets and dimensions of compassion and tenderness
We may feel,
If with the feeling no descriptor is available?
How do we ever truly communicate our heartfelt and unique connection?
The Inuit’s essential relationship with snow gave them thirty words
To reflect their thorough understanding and appreciation of it.
One simple word shows how impoverished we are in our hearts.
We need more to show what we have stored,
Locked away in our long-hardened hearts,
Which as they thaw out will need to speak,
To shout the volumes and nuances of
Our experience of love in all its permutations
And help us create
That joyful world and life for which we are meant.
Resonating at the heart’s frequency necessitates new expression.
Our new frontier: A re-discovery of the heart.
A renaissance of connection; love for everything
For all is one.
Not one is any greater or less than another,
Neither in form nor role.
Our perseverance on difference stops our being whole.
The perception of our separateness imprisoning us,
has stolen from us our heart’s sensitivities.
Yet we are not separate,
We are each an expression of the life force – unique and precious, still and always connected.
Without the ability to know that connection, we lose our heart’s feeling, and are reduced to a shadow of what we truly are.
Love is our purpose, estranged as we are from it,
Our lives become sad, tragic.
Unconditional love is the truth of us.
Let us learn to speak that truth:
Love is one of many words.
Let us learn them all and grow rich.