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december 19, 2009 | 4.23.2012 | 7.4.2013


I want to distinguish a sense of ecstatic psychic highness that’s not basically erotic, in a sexual sense, but which may be also erotic. So, a neologism might help.

This is about wholly self implicative exuberance or elation or excitement or passion of interest in an appeal. The literary Romantics were not basically about romance. Yet, I see the Romantics as precursors of the sense I want to render; but I don't have a Romantic worldview (though I enjoy those who do).

Etymologically, ‘eros’ is associated with love generally, as well as desire and yearning (e.g., to be “...animated by the true scientific eros”: philosopher C.S. Peirce, quoted by Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged). The social domination of the word by its sexual meaning is anthro-pologically economic (reproductive) and economically cultural (the great marketing appeal, which also traces back to reproductive economics). But inasmuch as “love” is enriched to pertain to deep friendship, sacredness, creativity, artistry, and intellect, then associating desire and yearning with any or all of that gives the traditional association of ‘eros’ with love meaning that’s irreducible to the sexual desire which commonly imposes itself (with all the “naturalness” that a free market can advance).

Even the original Greek sense became a god of love born of beauty and mediacy after first meaning sexual love—such that sexual love may be regarded as a mode of the god’s arrival which greater nearness to the god (i.e., ideality) instills. The erotic arrows of Eros (then Cupid) pierce one with yearning and desire that is commonly sexual, but which originates from, and anticipates, potentials of ideality (ergo the notion of romance, which is an aspiration of Self in-and-with another which intuits something grandly fulfilling in appeals of a potential or actual lover).

Accordingly, the modern notion of instinct might gain a richer sense as well, such as when any great value comes to prevail like second nature in one’s aspirational desire. For example, love of learning can become like a thrill of adventurous travel, a passionate “pleasure of finding things out” (R. Feynaman, theoretical physicist) that expresses one’s intrinsically, integrally enactive being or self-determinative love of life. A mountainous vista may inspire, if not impassion, to get there (or reach somewhere grand). It’s no inspiration that wanes.

Merriam-Webster defines ‘Eros’ as merely “the aggregate of pleasure-directed life instincts whose energy is derived from libido.” But what is libido? It’s not primarily sexual. It’s the desire and yearning that promises highly pleasurable satisfaction. An “aspiring self-fulfilling love often having a sensuous quality” (M-W) belongs to making art, too! A thrilling prospect of elegance in scientific theory or scientific results may have been in Peirce’s mind. Surren-dering to the appeal of magnetic beauty is about that in itself. So, ecstatic embodiment belonging to eros—possibly belonging in the erotic—belongs with its parentage in beauty and distance (longing) born to the thrilled Inner Child that an appeal may mirror.

Self fulfillingness (without a hyphen) may originate from self-fulfilling (autopoietic or autotelic) desire or yearning, in the sense that libido strives to ensure satisfaction and fulfillment, like some undaunted exploring. Yet, it also originates for an appeal that instills longing, like a message from the future that promises great fulfillment.

Ecstatic pleasure anticipating possession of some beautiful thing may be like tasting some incredible pastry, like holding a wondrous little being—and conversely: “We call our children ‘honey’,” etc., Noelle wrote. “We tell them, ‘Oh, I could eat you!’...”

But one doesn’t engulf the wondrous being, doesn’t engulf the incredible pastry, doesn’t wear out the beautiful thing, because an ecstatic distance of anticipation, beholding, and savoring its ownmost presence is so exciting. Holding the beauty to its ownmost place, displacing quick gratification by reveling in or savoring the resonance of appeal, may be the essential joy, a divine contemplation, like a goddess or god absenting herself or himself from the world s/he made, standing back to stand in the appeal unto itself, so given over to its own flowering.

“...Eros, the god of love in Greek mythology, is the god who presides here,” Noelle wrote. “His mother is Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. His father is Hermes, the messenger god, the god of interconnection, who—being playful and quite unreliable—likes to mix people up, even as he keeps them in touch with one another” (5). So, this makes AEros himself/herself (hiermself?) the mischievous, androgynous, archetropal medium of “beauty.”




  Be fair. © 2017, gary e. davis