Agape Love and Spirituality
Imagine a loving Spirit who is compassionate and forgiving to all, possessing the quality of agape love, the love for all beings. Can you imagine this agape love as central to your own spirituality?
Many of us long to know and connect with Spirit. It’s possible to experience a connection to Spirit in our personal energy field, perhaps as a sensation or as an inner knowing that we are united with a loving and powerful force. Through prayer, reflecting about the nature of God, or meditating on love or a loving Higher Power, many people experience a sense of unity, peace, and love. Some might describe the feeling of love and joy that fills them when they are serving others, or while they are just playing with grandkids or listening to a moving music performance, as a connection with Spirit, the loving and creative force.
I can understand this characterization. I have felt that way, too.
Also, through some of my shamanic work, I’ve had the direct experience of a creative universal eternal energy. My encounters have convinced me that Spirit’s love for us is real and that Spirit can infuse us with agape love.
When I am feeling a spiritual connection to Source, a sense of agape love fills me: I want to give to others. I yearn to express this love. Maybe you have experienced this sense of abundance and desire to send love outward to the world, too.
Yet maybe you worry about your financial and emotional resources and struggle to find the time and impetus to give to others. How much to give, and how much to invest in themselves, is not always easy to figure out. A conversation with Spirit might help you find the answers, and lead to abundance coming your way from an unexpected source. Some might call this karma for doing good works. Perhaps it is simply how energy with the quality of love moves through the matrix of energy that underlies our world. I believe it is an expression of ayni or reciprocity. I believes Spirit works with us to help us experience agape love so that we let it move through us and outward to others.
I’ve seen people who experience very real scarcity who understandably can be very cautious about husbanding their financial resources. At times, they can feel burned out by the burdens of life. Yet often, these people are extremely generous when it comes to expressing love and compassion to others and helping them in practical ways. Some have little more to give than inspirational words or prayer on someone’s behalf. I believe all these spiritual practices of service have meaning and value not just for the person practicing them but for all of us.
Praying for peace, prosperity, and an end to violence maybe have value on its own, even when it is not accompanied by good works or expressing love to other human beings directly through action and words. Perhaps if there were no monasteries and monks chanting or nuns praying behind tall stone walls, we would be experiencing even worse tragedies and traumas in the world than we are now. I do know this: Praying for others gives many comfort and reminds them of their connection to God, which often helps them to be kinder to others, and to serve people lovingly. Agape love seems to fill them up and provide them with the energy and impetus to share it with others.
How do you get the inspiration to do good works? How can you become more inspired, and is that important to you? How can you replenish your supply of agape love? How can you reconnect with the Source of agape love? What spiritual practices cause you to feel filled with an abundance of love for all?
What we do to feel loving and express love may differ from person to person. If you do not feel connected to Spirit, perhaps you simply need to find a different portal to an experience of agape love. Imagine what that portal might look like for you. What might you experience if you discovered it and stepped through it?
Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD, is a retired clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst, a businessman, and a shamanic practitioner, author, and philanthropist funding over 60 charities and more than 850 past and current Greer Scholars. He has taught at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and been on staff at the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being.