Eros is a mysterious energy inherent in the whole of creation, fascinating seekers all over the world. Across the cultures, Eros takes different names but still remains the same agent that has to be awakened from within, since it is the only element that can transform the human psyche. Psyche has to be pacified and Eros’ "fire" has to be transformed into "light" so that he can become the mediator and guide that gently pushes and pulls the seeker towards the source of divine love—Eros the Beloved—that awakens from within, guides and accompanies the seeker from within the inner planes. He is the inner witness, the agent within the seeker that unfolds gnosis, or divine knowledge. This divine knowledge awakens higher levels of consciousness within him and, in turn, these levels of consciousness aroused by Eros lead the seeker back to the source of light.
The Greek mysteries relate that at the very beginning of creation, only chaos existed, and from chaos was born Eros. Elsewhere, according to mythology, we are told that amongst the gods, Eros was the most handsome. This is how theogonia (the birth of the gods) begins and we are assured that the poet Isiodos heard it from the mouth of the Muse herself. According to Isiodos, Eros represents the driving force behind the entire theogonia. The Orphics agree that Eros appears at the beginning of theogonia and cosmogonia in general, and they tell us that his mother was Night, the dark goddess, and his father the Wind. From their first cosmic and elemental embrace, Eros was born from a silver egg.
For the Greeks, the essence of Eros is the unfoldment of human thought, and in Greek philosophy, he is described as a liberating agent who releases and activates the creative process of the mind. Eros inspires and opens the channel of intuition to the higher and abstract understanding and communion with beauty and truth. The myth of Eros and Psyche describes in detail the inner process of transformation. In fact, Eros cannot be separated from his beloved Psyche, since they are united by a secret and sacred bond, invisible and unconscious in man. In fact, man’s psyche remains filled with erotic, sensual, carnal desires that keep him and his mind trapped on the physical plane along with his emotions and consciousness. But a seeker must transmute the attraction of Eros and awaken the bond with his psyche so that he can rise towards the "beloved," the invisible golden thread that links his consciousness to the universal qualities of beauty and love.
The gifts of Eros affect the emotional and thought processes of humanity, especially those of a seeker who has to learn how to open up and integrate these gifts in his psyche. From the lowest and most physical levels of consciousness to the most spiritual ones, Eros remains forever present, gradually transforming the inner fire into pure light. Eros operates in every living creature, and Greek poetry and philosophy describe how nature partakes of the gift of Eros. Hence we could say that Eros’ contribution to humanity is not only inherent in man’s psyche, but that it is also involved in the process that awakens the ego to its true nature, the beauty and unconditional love of the soul.
This awakening activated by Eros and Aphrodite reveals the qualities of pure love and gnosis in the consciousness of the seeker. This level of consciousness cannot be described, however, because it is itself a higher aspect of intelligence in which abstract knowledge and impersonal love are combined. We could simply call this level of awakening, wisdom. So, on one hand, Eros can simply mean carnal love and desire for material possessions, but on the other, it can also express the spiritual energy that attracts and leads the psyche towards the Center of Pure Being, where the beauty and love of the soul are revealed.
Many Greek philosophers, Plato and Pythagoras included, said the same thing—that beauty and gnosis are inseparable and inherent in the essence of Eros. Thus, we understand that in the psyche of man, Eros rules over his carnal desires but also over his higher aspirations and longing for wisdom. This is not the playful cupid, the winged son of Aphrodite and Mars, but an elderly primordial deity, worshiped by the ancient Greeks as the first element of the primordial creative cause, the element that binds and attracts spirit and matter together.
The Two Aspects of Eros
Greek philosophers saw the spirit of Dionysus penetrating the whole of nature and binding together the two aspects of Eros, the penetration and blending energy of matter with its counterpart and complement, spirit. Esoterically, Eros is the leading force within a seeker that takes him away from a level of duality to a level of unity and wholeness. Furthermore, Eros is the key to transforming psychic vibratory rates. He does that by placing a seeker on his axial center, the neutral and timeless zone within his conscious self. This level of being brings about the integration of ego with soul. Hence, Eros is the god or essence that gives us the possibility of letting go of the past and living in the present moment, embracing spontaneously everything within and without our reach.
Eros allows us to see everything as part of our own nature. He also shows us how to transmute carnal and unconscious attractions and desires of all kinds, and how to re-direct and reintegrate their energies back into the center of pure love and wisdom. This inner process must be conscious, because the ego and psyche must harmonize and unite before being invited to enter into the higher realms, where the qualities and gifts of Eros are awakened. On that level of achievement and realization, the seeker receives more gifts from Eros who directs him towards his own invisible and sacred Center of Pure Being, not really a "place" at all, but more a level of being and attunement. This is a level of consciousness where the essence of pure love and beauty manifest themselves through ordinary consciousness and can be said to be a part of the undivided unique consciousness of the whole of creation.
In Symposium, Plato expounded that Eros had two aspects, one physical the other intellectual, i.e., wisdom. He knew that they had to harmonize and blend so as to transform ordinary men into heroes. According to Empedocles, "Aphrodite is Eros himself," the immortal force that unites and harmoniously blends together all the elements in nature, the "bringer" and "giver" of life. He also said, "the path to knowledge can be achieved only through Eros himself. The energy represented by Eros brings about a balance between pleasure, delight and gnosis, and this harmonious and enthusiastic search for gnosis comes not so much from the answers one receives but more from the search itself."
Hence the quest goes on forever, since pleasure and gnosis go hand-in-hand and cannot be separated. Eros questions everything because he loves wisdom and is, therefore, the living source at the center of Greek philosophy. So Eros teaches the Greeks how to become free and fearless in the face of the unknown. He invites them to follow the path of knowledge and apply the sacred principles of freedom and equality, qualities that belong to Eros’ mother, Aphrodite, whom Empedocles identifies with Eros for, without the freedom and courage to explore our inner nature with imagination and intuition, we remain unconscious prisoners of conventional ideas, routines and vicious circles. Hence, Eros is himself the "mixer of the seeds and sperms" in creation, the primal cause, the bringer of life in the womb of nature. Eros’s gift to the seeker, therefore, is the transmuting energy of pure love, which is synonymous with the Logos.
The oldest mythology of Homer does not mention Eros. Apparently Eros was not born out of a popular tradition but he is the creation of an abstract philosophical conception.
Anteros was the son of Ares and Aphrodite in Greek mythology, given to his brother Eros, who was lonely, as a playmate, the rationale being that love must be answered if it is to prosper. Physically, he is depicted as similar to Eros in every way, but with long hair and plumed butterfly wings. He has been described also as armed with either a golden club or arrows of lead.
Anteros, with Eros, was one of a host of winged love gods called Erotes, the ever-youthful winged gods of love, usually depicted as winged boys in the company of Aphrodite or her attendant goddesses.
An altar to this god was put up by the metics in Athens in commemoration of the spurned love of the metic Timagoras who was rejected by the Athenian Meles. Upon hearing Timagoras' declaration of love for him, the young man mockingly ordered him to throw himself down from the top of a tall rock. Seeing Timagoras dead, Meles repented and threw himself down from the same rock.
Describing the nature of the emotion, Plato asserts that it is the result of the great love for another person. The lover, inspired by beauty, is filled with divine love and "filling the soul of the loved one with love in return." As a result, the loved one falls in love with the lover, though the love is only spoken of as friendship. They experience pain when the two are apart, and relief when they are together, the mirror image of the lover's feelings, is anteros, or "counter-love."
ps: if you're going to copy & paste it, dont leave out the ending or the link/s please
Anteros is the subject of the Shaftesbury Memorial in Piccadilly Circus, London, where he symbolises the selfless philanthropic love of the Earl of Shaftesbury for the poor. The memorial is sometimes given the name The Angel of Christian Charity and is popularly called Eros, both of which are incorrect.
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