The Mythology of Love (Audio: Lecture I.6.2)
The Persian poets asked, “What is it that sustains Satan in his eternal, infinitely painful exile?” Because the deepest pain of Hell is not the fire or the stench but the depravation of the true love of the soul—namely God. And the answer with respect to this Satan is that he is sustained by his recollection of the sound of the voice of God when God said, “Be gone.” —Joseph Campbell
Love is central to all of the world’s mythologies. Why does love—that most transcendent, yet most personal, of emotions—occupy such a primary place in our most fundamental myths? The Greeks saw Eros, the god of love, as both the oldest of the gods and as the infant reborn “fresh and dewy-eyed in every loving heart.” In one Persian myth, love is the reason for Lucifer’s fall he loved God so much he would not bow to God’s creation, Man. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the poet has a vision of a strand of love connecting the lowest depths of Hell, through Purgatory and Heaven, to God Himself.
Running time: approx. 60 minutes