A Theory on Love & Power (Part 2)
"What an a$$hole ... he/she/they are the oppressors ...."
For years I’ve heard this rhetoric - in my classrooms, in my studies, on the internet, and from both women and men. The root of it is the demonization of power, which comes from the misperception that one doesn’t have it. We don’t realize that every single human on the planet has power, attempts to get power, and uses power in every second of existence.
Power is part of the collective human experience.
From part 1 of my theory on love and power, love is the strongest power, and agape love is the highest form of it. When you chastise power itself, you have failed to realize that it is an energy born of love. It is neither good nor bad; it is simply a tool.
Your power tool can be used to destroy (further the darkness) or build (illuminate anything).
In Part 1, I mentioned Haddaway’s (1993) song What is Love. Watch his music video below and consider this question: Is the energy in this video influenced by darkness or is it influenced by light?
Yep, it’s dark love-energy. No offense Mr. Haddaway - I love your song, and I’m so grateful you produced this video. It is a fantastic teaching tool because without darkness we could never fully understand nor receive the light.
On the infographic below, notice that the three types of love - storge, philia, and eros - integrate to form agape, the highest form of love and the most powerful. Also, notice that eros is more powerful than philia, which is more powerful than storge.
On the left side of the infographic, observe the “shadow.” On the right, observe the “light.” Next, observe how the type of love manifests into human behavior and experience, depending on the influence of shadow or light.
The consciousness of storge, the intention of which is survival and growth, is “us and them.” In its light, storge ensures survival and growth of the self, families, communities, and nations. In its shadow, it decompensates to physical aggression and violence. It is the lowest power because it ensures only survival. You can survive, but you may not thrive.
The consciousness of philia, the intention of which is protection, is “you and me.” In its light, philia ensures sustainability and creates opportunities for success. In its shadow, it resorts to a manipulation and control dynamic, most often psychological. It is a higher form of power because it includes survival (red energy) but builds upon it through expanded consciousness. You can engage the mind, build theories, employ Socratic dialogue, and improve the world through research, science, and higher learning.
The consciousness of eros, the intention of which is oneness, is “we.” In its light, eros generates life and builds community. In its shadow, eros is jealous and non-inclusive, which often is expressed dramatically and theatrically. It is the highest power because it requires a foundation of survival (red energy), and expanded consciousness and intelligence (yellow energy), but then transmutes these energies through connection, intimacy, and inclusion (green energy, representing growth). It is "all heart," "heart-centered," and passionate.
There is no specific consciousness of agape - instead, it is pure consciousness or "Divine/transcendent union." There is no darkness in agape, only light. Its color is violet, which represents spiritual purity and complete oneness.
If you are familiar with the chakra system, energy color will make a lot more sense.
Power influenced by the shadow leads to destruction. Power influenced by the light leads to life-abundant.
When power is exercised within the shadow, it leads oppression. If you are a living, breathing human you will be in your shadow occasionally (some of us more than others), which means we all misuse power. Being an a$$hole from time to time is part of the collective human experience.
Want to be free? Move out of your shadow and into the light.
Want to be more powerful? Move up the hierarchy into your heart center, ultimately striving toward integration of storge, philia, and eros into agape love-energy.
The good news is that we do have the freedom to choose how to use our power. This process is conscious and transformative, and is, quite literally, the embodiment of making love.
Amy O'Hana is a writer and a teacher. Find her and other posts like this one on the web at amyohana.com