This insight is for those whose desire is to mature in love.

In a sexually liberated world, people risk losing sight of the depth and radiance that is love.

My story may shock the liberated on realising that a despised minority has insight that may benefit the majority, who are heading into an ecological catastrophe. Please listen beyond your first emotional reaction to make a reasoned response to the whole story later.

Its location is a weekend conference. Christians working in various healthcare settings have gathered in the 1990’s to consider how the concept of fatherhood is being deconstructed and vilified by some sectors of the hurting public. The anti-man movement is gathering momentum. The conference went into working subgroups to consider best responses, not aggressive, not passive, but how to be an assertive presence in the face of hostility.

In my subgroup there were seven women and two men, a male consultant psychiatrist and myself, a general medical practitioner. After discussing options for about half an hour, the women offered to pray for the psychiatrist and myself. They formed a ring around us, and we knelt on the floor, heads bowed in receptive stillness. The peacefulness grew. Few words of prayer were spoken. Relationality became palpable. The quality of silence strengthened within this grouping, and seemed to break through an interface of trust into a simple place of factual oneness.

Now this is written for those whose desire is to mature in love. As a man, I know the feeling I have when making physically intimate love with my wife, the beauty of physical contact around my member in her tenderness. In this prayer circle, that same feeling covered my whole body. From head to feet my skin and my whole being felt caressed from within. There was a radiance of truth, through and through.

It was astonishing; transforming of my spirit. It must have shown in my face, because as the timing sense of the group moved to break apart and return to our chairs, the psychiatrist and I looked at each other where we knelt, and I saw a look of astonishment on his face. “That was amazing,” he said in a hushed tone. I only slowly nodded my head in response, we each knowing the other’s identical experience that was lingering there in our conversational presence.

Transformational intimacy does not require sexual intercourse. The truth of physically intimate presence breaks through the limits of material and even of energies into a wholeness and wholesomeness that is life enhancing. This is the true spirit the Greeks called Eros. It does not have to involve sexual arousal, although that is of course the route by which most people in a sexually liberated society will discover its beauty. There are other ways to establish and move beyond that measure of trust.

So, why write this story now, nearly thirty years later?

It is because of the wider changing context of life that the younger generations than myself find themselves in. We all know in the depths of our hearts that the world’s climate already has gone beyond its tipping point. It is too late to stop it. Forest fires, floods, extremes of wind speed, and freezing-heating phases of weather change… Population shifts and displacements are already happening on a vast scale. Conflict and a sense of despairing inevitability are sapping belief in life for many. A death wish is growing over the surface of the earth’s and ocean’s globe. We are in the ecological disaster that has been foretold. Maintaining denial and a drive for control and power is a safety valve temporarily for those who think themselves strong, but stronger and better would be to seek an honest evolutionary development of each individual person’s humanity to adapt, together.

When facing traumatic death, most people experience an irrational drive for life that commonly leads to sexual intercourse. It can be rationalised in evolutionary psychology terms as a drive beyond any individual to seed a renewal of the species when the worst happens. But here, there must be a pause for thought.

In one of Graham Greene’s novels, a young priest speaks words of wisdom into a difficult situation. “Many people know how sex can lead to grief; but not many know how grief can lead to sex.” People only grieve if they have loved. The evolutionary purpose of grief’s many unpleasant emotions is to move people to explore how to reconnect and restore love to its joy mode. That is the life-enhancing purpose of good grief.

Love, deep and radiant love, comes in two equally important and necessary modes, joy and grief. Love is one and the same as enduring strength of connection despite all tumultuous change. Love transcends disaster. The evolutionary purpose of deep and radiant love is to move people to develop trust-groups to survive and adapt in the breakdown of world order that is starting. Discovering the Universal Love that holds all trust-groups into One higher consciousness, call that un-nameable Oneness whatever you will, is the Call and the prayer we could walk in together.