Too much has been implied of a sensual need when people speak of eros. I understand! When we talk of eros, we really mean sensual love – in a word, sex. I look at eros as wholesome love, deep love, everlasting love. This is a love that lasts the tests of time. Yes, it is a desire between two people, but it goes much deeper; it is a deep lasting relationship that time cannot weaken.
The Greek word erasthai (erotic) brings to mind a strong sensual desire. But is that more of a modern understanding or conception? What about the Platonic conception of erasthai is the deep eternal love of all things beautiful? Or do we in the 21st century consider this too limiting? I think the Platonic view has greater power. I love of things of beauty lasts; our sensual desires do fade over time.
My wife and I have been married for 55 years. As young mid-twenties children, we shared passionate moments, i.e., we have two very talented and loving children. But in our late 70s, our love goes much deeper. I look at my wife with all of the lines in her face, her physical appearance vastly changed since our wedding, and I see the most beautiful woman on earth. This is a deep, passionate, everlasting love that nobody can change. Physical love changes, falling to the ground like the leaves of autumn serving no purpose as they lie withered under the tree.
But deep love, the love between two people, the love between God and man is truly the most passionate, creating the most need between two, and fulfilling that need that only true beauty can fill. Yes, eros is passionate physical love; but it is so much more. The deep relationship between two passionate people brings this wholesome understanding that this bonding of two is truly eternal bliss.
©Russell Kendall Carter