Love Knows No Bounds

Virtues and the fruit thereof.

“Store up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys or theft extorts and breaks; for where your treasure resides, there your heart partakes.”

Behold the diamantine flower depicted in the image above, the chord by which we are restored through love. Placed along the edges of this cardinal rose are virtues that blend together ever so gracefully. Their union feels as natural as the sun and sky, water and earth; the very elementary forces that sustain the world thro’ endless rebirth.

Even though we may immediately recognize the drawing as 2 dimensional in form, in potential it can open up into a multiform. For example, the four pointed star in the foreground can be the base or root of a tree that reaches up into heaven. In other words, imagine yourself directly underneath this tree looking up; from this lower vantage point it will be impossible to see with the naked eye the tree’s trunk reaching up into the sky.

Like the essence of virtue itself, just because we can’t visibly see it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Just as we can’t see the other side of a mountain range along the horizon, we know on some level that it continues, with or without our conscious awareness of its molecular activity.

In spirit we can align our volition with these beatific gems by cultivating a space in the interior of our souls. This inner garden requires creative imagination and a willingness to be molded by the transformative power of virtues. In time and through perseverance we eventually behold the fruit of this spiritual exercise, which in turn can open our heart to alternative ways of serving and contributing towards an ideal that is both personally beneficial and conducive to a greater good.

We can also observe this artistic creation as a Totem Pole by which to ascertain direction, orientation and the bearings by which to arrive at a worthwhile end. So without breaking off from common sense altogether, or the mythical context that enriched my foundational years as a Roman Catholic, allow me to ensoul this delineation so that it can become more of a living and breathing entity by which to preserve a personally authentic spirituality that adheres in spirit and truth without undermining my cultural identity and aboriginal roots.

In continuation of last week’s post, the Four Living Creatures (cardinal virtues) are conjoined with the Elders (spiritual dispositions) through continuity and cohesion. Therefore, it may be best to elucidate how they work together, rather than isolate them, for the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. After all, virtues are invisible forces that refuse to be boxed into a fixated paradigm of sorts, and yet they are clearly seen when they work together to remove the toxicity and/or imbalances that manifest on the mundane level of existence.

Between Fortitude and Justice resides the virtue of Loyalty, and just as Mercy arts between Temperance and Justice, so does Courage come about through the equilibrium of Prudence and Fortitude. Yet without this harmonious trinity (pattern/inner bearing) of sorts, we risk lapsing into a binary (duality) that contorts reality into black and white terms, where retribution becomes the norm so to speak; an eye for an eye which eventually removes sight from all its members, rendering the body deaf and dumb and largely ineffective. Justice without mercy makes the circle lopsided and/or waywardly defective.

Yet where 2 or 3 elders (virtues) align in view to the wellbeing and integrity of the whole, then the circle of life remains a wellspring for concord; the group conscience enables synergistic interaction and/or cooperation without compromising its other principles and/or virtues. Depending on the particular function along the turning wheel of life, the appropriate virtues must come into operation in view to maintaining unity while moving towards a common and beneficial end.

In order to augment and complement this inner dynamic, here are 3 particular virtues that probably need to be in sync with one another so as to maintain even-mindedness and/or virtus. See for yourself how these kindred virtues would lose their excellence if you omit but one of them from their synergistic triune:

Bravery is a scorner of things which inspire fear; it transcends, challenges, and crushes the powers of terror and all that would drive our freedom under the yoke… Loyalty is the holiest good in the human heart; it is forced into betrayal by no constraint, and it is bribed by no rewards… Kindliness forbids you to be overbearing towards your associates, and it forbids you to be grasping. In words and in deeds and in feelings it shows itself gentle and courteous to all men.” – Seneca, Epistles 88.29–30

About Philosopher Muse

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
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4 Responses to Love Knows No Bounds

  1. JC says:

    It is all we need…jcb

  2. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Lovely illustration, Jason. I see your diamantine flower with its interconnected virtues as love itself.
    I interpret Hegel’s version of Reason (Spirit) as essentially Love, God’s love and freedom. When he wrote that “reason is the rose in the cross of the present” I believe he meant that unique theodicy of love-reason suffering in this world. To live on the bladed petals of your flower is difficult in this world, but it is a mere taste of eternity.

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