We all experience love. We all acknowledge the importance of love in our lives. According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, the essence of love is to unite. When we love our children, our spouse, our neighbor, our country, our planet, we seek to be more intimately unified with other things in the world—things outside of our biological selves, that beckon us to transcend our otherwise self-absorbed way of life.
Love does seek to bring people together and plays a central role in religion and spiritual evolution. Religion, properly understood, challenges us to make our love more inclusive and universal.
But, as the title for this blog site suggests, can the topic of love have anything to do with actual science, order and law? If the operation and function of love does follow orderly laws, then we would have a way of rationally understanding this most mysterious and potent force. Love certainly acts as a force, with the real kinetics (energy) to affect our actions in the world.
Unlike other forces identified by physical scientists, love is consciously purposeful—it intends something. It even seems to act like gravity, because love, once set in motion, finds its equilibrium in reaching a goal.
According to astrophysicist Paul Davies, one of the biggest cosmological mysteries is the concept of gravitational order and the thermodynamics of gravitating systems. This mystery in nature involves the tendency of gravitating systems to grow coherent structure spontaneously. In other words, star clusters (galaxies), and solar systems find their equilibrium in orderly structure—with orientation!
On smaller scales, ruled by quantum physics, a similar mystery occurs—how does the quantum foam, which consists of mere “tendencies to exist” generate coherent matter? Does one tendency or potentiality prevail from mere chance or do all the tendencies within a cloud of quantum froth find their equilibrium in a unified outcome of measurement? Swedenborg would answer “yes” to the latter (otherwise quantum theory will never be a theory of principles). One thing is certain to today’s scientists—it seems that after nature “jumps” out of this froth of possibilities, she heads incessantly towards self-organization and complexity. This complexity in nature is continued through evolution, whereby complexity creates bio-structure with ever-increasing intelligence and consciousness (like the human brain). Increased intelligence in the human brain continues this evolutionary drive by bringing mental concepts into organized and coherent structure called belief systems and worldviews.
Interestingly, religion offers principles and tenets to make the human heart and mind self-organize into nobler belief-systems (human understanding and coherent thought depends on how well we can organize our knowledge, which is determined by our chosen values). And, if we believe that the human mind operates beyond space and time, then such a non-material organization, based on spiritual principles, would represent a true heavenly kingdom of mutual love.
My new book Proving God will offer many more insights into how LOVE can be put into scientific language, and gain its rightful place of importance as the fundamental principle and force ruling the created universe.