The answers I promised in the first installment related mostly to the problematic aspect of the human world. I spoke more about the problem of evil than about the good, about brokenness more than wholeness, about the torment of history more than about the potential for joy and fulfillment in human lives.
And the one particularly fleshed-out piece of this Big Picture of the human story that I identified was about the force of brokenness that has become ascendant in America in these times.
My placing such emphasis on brokenness is, in some ways, fitting to what I've been about. For throughout most of the past half century, I've focused much less on the good, the true and the beautiful than on the evil, the lie, and the ugly.
Whatever that focus says about me -- that I'm oriented toward problem-solving, that (being but two generations removed from pogroms) I scan the horizon for potential disasters, that I yearn for the world as it should be -- the "integrative vision" I am offering can also illuminate the positive side of the value spectrum.
So in the previous installment, I sought to establish -- by showing how the evolutionary process naturally and even inevitably leads to the "emergence" of value based on the fulfillment experienced by sentient creatures -- the foundation for that positive side of value. And in this installment, I want to build a bit on that foundation.
*********************Something in Human Life Worth Celebrating
In the saga of our species, as I said previously, the pattern of wholeness comes first, before the unleashing of brokenness, as natural selection crafted us to orient to what serves life and what, therefore, we by nature will find fulfilling.
It is in that context, that I'd like to introduce here another component of our human story -- very different from the pattern of brokenness we are dealing with in America in these times -- that I've lately been focusing on.
I call it "The Sacred Space of Lovers."
For more than a year, I've turned my attention in that direction because -- feeling depleted, even damaged, from looking so long into our national "heart of darkness" -- I craved a chance to look at something in our lives worth celebrating.
And what in life is more worth celebrating than the kind of "space" that lovers can create to inhabit together. A space, ideally, of open-hearted intimacy of body and soul, of romantic passion and deep attachment.
How much is there in life that brings greater fulfillment than experiencing -- to whatever degree one finds it possible to achieve it -- that kind of space with one's beloved?
*****************************A Wholeness that Can Be Nurtured
As a project, "The Sacred Space of Lovers" will mostly be developed separately from this series.
One aspect of the project that will be developed separately, for example, is a practical, how-to dimension.
To some extent, that "sacred space of lovers" is something that can just happen. (Falling in love, etc.) But it turns out that to an important degree, it is possible for lovers to build more of this "sacred space" for them to inhabit together.