The Centrality of Love
From birth onwards love is central to our lives. We start off with the intense love of a mother and a father and this is extended soon to the love of grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Later, if we are fortunate, we experience the love of a spouse, and the love of our children and grandchildren. All of these different loves motivate, strengthen and sustain us throughout life. There is powerful, credible documented evidence which supports the thesis of the enduring centrality of love beyond our finite lives.
In 2008 Dr Eben Alexander, then an irreligious neurosurgeon, had a near-death experience which he has recorded in his book, Proof of Heaven, a New York Times best seller. He was enveloped in intense love during that experience and he writes on page 71, “Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything. Not some abstract, hard-to-fathom kind of love, but the day-to-day kind that everyone knows – the kind of love we feel when we look at our spouse and our children, or even our animals …. This is the reality of realities, the incomprehensibly glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or that ever will exist, and no remotely accurate understanding of who and what we are can be achieved by anyone who does not know it. Not much of a scientific insight? Well, I beg to differ. I’m back from that place, and nothing could convince me that this is not only the single most important emotional truth in the universe, but also the single most important scientific truth as well.” And on page 73 he says, “The …. love I experienced on my journey is the single most important discovery I have ever made, or will ever make ….”
In The Tunnel and The Light Dr Elizabeth Kübler-Ross states on page 82, “The near death experience has now become known all over the world … in the last ten years over twenty-five thousand cases have been collected …” She speaks on page 93 of a transition at death to “a source of light” in which “we are surrounded by total and absolute, unconditional love …”
It is significant that just as Deuteronomy 6.5 conveys God’s intense love for us (1), our own experiences, as rational, objective and discerning observers, show us that central to the life of the living is love. We see that love emanating from those close to us; incidentally, we observe too a spiritual, non-physical dimension shining brightly and clearly on their faces, and especially in their eyes and in their smiles.
And the credible evidence of Dr Alexander and Dr Kübler-Ross indicates that love is central too to what awaits us in the hereafter. All of this evidence of the truth of the centrality of love is yet another objective factor indicating the authenticity of the Five Books, which, especially in Deuteronomy 6.5, convey essentially the same message, a message of the centrality of love in which we are enveloped and enwrapped by the Ultimate Reality – God Himself.
(1) See Insight 11 above.