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You can't blame gravity for falling in love.
Who can give law to lovers? Love is a greater law unto itself.
Boethius 470-524 (De Consolatione Philosophiae)
The Elysium's Passage series has many themes, but perhaps none greater than love. Though there are countless expressions of love, the ancient Greek philosophers identified four important catagories. These are Phillia (brotherly, friendship), Storge (parental, family), Agape (divine unconditional love), and of course, Eros (romance, sexual). Each of these are thoroughly portrayed and discussed throughout the series.
To further consider the nature of male/female love, I had inserted an excerpt from Chapter 17 in Elysium's Passage: The Summit where James is still trying to sort out his questions about his love relationships with women. His companions have patiently been trying to help him with this for some time now, albeit not always successfully. And so the following dialogue continues in preparation for what is about to happen.
After I returned from my hike along the summit ridge, I found a display of fine cheeses, fruits, breads and cakes prepared for our afternoon tea. I certainly couldn’t complain about the service I was receiving at this boutique lodge high in the Chilean sierras. We returned once again to the topic of relationships after Mo indicated there remained a few more things I ought to know about the complementary nature of the sexes.
And so, for what remained of the afternoon, he went into extensive detail about levels of correspondences and how they relate to the spiritual qualities of love and wisdom; with goodness and truth being subsets of these. At the base of this paradigm, he said, was the dynamic of essence and form, the inward and the outward. I thought the concepts to be interesting, yet a bit too esoteric for me to take seriously.
‘Do you realize,’ Mo said, ‘in some ancient traditions it was believed man was created as a representation of truth and woman a representation of love? This would mean man was created to give the outward expression of truth and woman created to provide the inward content of love; meaning, truth is the outward form that contains the essence of love.
‘Of course it’s never just one or the other; each contains elements of the other’s central features. Yet these qualities remain dominant in one or the other. This is why the male is usually more mind-centred and the female usually more heart-centred. Man’s orientation is more active, analytical and calculating; woman more inwardly receptive, nurturing and affectionate. When man and woman enter into a union, the two complement each other as an expression of a wholehearted human being.’
‘Unfortunately,’ Eli said, ‘things seldom work out that way; not because union is untrue, but because humans are not true to union any more than being true to truth or true to love. Without the enlightenment of the heart, humanity is confused about almost everything. That’s why we say the cosmos would be most appreciative if you could help bring some inspiration to the earth. I’m not saying this planet is a black hole of ignorance; not exactly, but with much of humanity still lacking direction and purpose, it certainly could use more enlightenment.’
‘I’d be pleased to help where I can,’ I said, ‘but wouldn’t it be a good idea if I first became enlightened before attempting to spread what I don’t have. I don’t even have a Bodhi tree to sit under.’
‘Then maybe we’ll find you one,’ Mo said. ‘But you really don’t need to look for enlightenment, with or without a tree; it will find you naturally when you’re ready for a change. As we’ve often said, you only need to find how to open the portals of your heart; that’s where it starts, where the divine light shines in to the mind. This is where Julianne could possibly help you, provided you discover how to open yourself to her love.
‘That’s why you must understand that a relationship with her would be about more than just having another cherry to pick. Somehow you’ve got to find a way to take that message back with you before you return. If you use her just to satisfy your bodily appetites, you wouldn’t learn anything more than you did before. Rather, the relationship with her should be about rediscovering your yin complement so you may find greater wholeness in your yang.’
‘So I get more yin for my yang?’
‘Or more yang from your yin,’ he said.
‘However you look at it’ Mo said, ‘this is exactly what you're searching for, whether you're aware of it or not. After years of being frustrated and disappointed in your love affairs, it’s really the union of your soul you’re seeking; not just the colliding bodies of yin and yang. Remember what I said about the complementary nature of the sexes?’
‘I do, but I still find the concepts rather abstract.’
‘Alright then,’ he said, ‘so let me give you an example by using you and Julianne to make my point. She has a wonderful capacity to love and nurture and you have a very capable mind in making rational discernments with your logic. Your outward intellectual form of truth emphasizes knowledge and reason; her inward essence of love is evidenced with her compassionate care towards your body. But as I said, each of you share in both of these qualities, albeit imperfectly, but your orientations are focused primarily on truth or love.
‘In as much as you share these attributes with each other, you will remain bonded in a dynamic union where, as I suggested before, your truth will become more truthful and her love will become more loving. And by this, you may discover a mystical union where your distinctions fuse into wholeness.’
‘Should the stars line up for you and her,’ Eli said, ‘this relationship could turn out to be more meaningful than anything you would have thought possible when considering your past. There are several ways to achievement enlightenment, but this could be your special approach. And who knows, perhaps hers too.’
‘That’s most jolly,’ I said, ‘but how’s this going to happen with her being in physical form and me here in spirit form? It seems there could be serious compatibility issues here.’
‘Don’t worry about it,’ Mo said, ‘as we’ve explained before, she’s in spirit form just like you, even if she’s dwells in her earthly vessel most of time. She’s doesn’t know it, but her spirit is no more limited than yours. In fact, you may even come to know her in a way you would never have dreamed possible.’
‘Oh, and what way is that?’ I asked.
‘The way of love,’ he said, ‘but for now we want to help you set the stage for what may occur when you return. The feelings you develop for her while you’re here could make a big difference in what happens if and when you come together later. It’s rather difficult to meet someone if you're not aware of their existence. But once you recall the feelings you’ve had for her, I’m sure you’ll find a way to follow through, provided of course, she’s interested in you. Who knows how much competition you could each have for each other by then.’
‘The more you talk about this strange arrangement,’ I said, ‘the more it’s beginning to sound like a long shot – too many moving parts and uncertainties.’
‘That’s why,’ Mo said, still continuing, ‘we keep reminding you to engage your heart with your mind so you might recognize what you’re looking for when you meet her after you return. Once you discover how to unite your heart with your mind, your soul will more likely remain united with her when you return home. If your heart already knows what it wants, you won't even have to think about what to do when the time comes, you’ll just know. After you allow your heart to give you guidance, it will continue to guide you in whatever you do and wherever you go.’
Later, I thought more about what Mo said about my heart giving me guidance in finding what I was looking for, rather than just relying on my mind as I’ve done in the past. But how would I do that if I didn’t even know what I was looking for. After years of closing my heart while opening my zipper, I wasn’t confident I’d know what I was looking for.
‘When we go to London,’ Eli said, ‘I think you will find there’s much more to Julianne than what pleases your eyes.’
‘With all this build-up,’ I said, ‘I’m a bit concerned you might be setting me up for a big disappointment. That seems to happen a lot.’
‘There are no promises on our part since love makes its own choices,’ he said, ‘but should you decide Julianne isn't the one for you, don’t worry about it; there are no fees, forfeited deposits, penalties or obligations on your part. It’s a two way street and I'm sure she’ll have other options when she chooses to exercise them. I can’t say what will happen once your lights flash back on and the real James shines through. Perhaps she’ll prefer your body over you.’
‘I can’t believe she would want that stiff without me.’
‘But at least the stiff is harmless,’ Mo said, ‘even if he doesn’t have any money.’
‘My greater concern, however, is what she may think if she should hear rumours about my reputation. I wouldn’t want her to think I was a serial philanderer, even if at times I may have been. You know how it is, people like to talk.’
‘Indeed they do,’ Mo said, ‘and so you may assume they already have. Happily for you, Julianne isn’t searching for a Sunday School teacher or celibate monk in the desert. She may even fancy a little of the scallywag sailor over the staid professorial persona you sometimes project.
‘I’ve never been an expert on women, but then, what man is. Still, I recognize some are attracted to this piquancy for reasons they don't always understand. Just beware though, as we’ve already warned you, she needs to be respected for what she is rather than what her body is. Not to say she doesn’t enjoy her body being admired, provided she doesn’t feel she’s being objectified.’
‘Is that not a contradiction?’ I said. ‘But then, perhaps as a man, I’m missing the subtle distinction between admiration and objectification. Regardless, it happens to me all the time. Somehow I’ve learned to put up with it – in fact, quite willingly.’
‘Good for you, James,’ Eli said – ‘most chivalrous of you!’
‘But if Julianne enjoys the attention she receives when she’s being ogled by certain men, or envied by less attractive women, it’s because she still identifies herself as being a body rather than a spirit. She can hardly be faulted for this since that’s how almost all of humanity views itself.
‘Nevertheless, she’s beginning to see things differently. And guess what? You may have something to do with that! There are moments she wonders if there isn’t more to you than what she sees when she’s alone with your body at night. At such times, she asks herself if it’s possible that you could actually be somewhere else; perhaps in some other dimension.’
‘I’ve been asked that before by certain women while on a date.’
‘But at least you really are somewhere else now,’ Mo said. ‘That’s why, if you’re able to get through to Julianne, she may come to realize you’re somewhere outside your body.’
‘Why would that be so important for her to know,’ I asked.
‘Whether one believes they are a body, or have a body,’ he said, ‘makes a big difference in how one perceives one’s existence. Should Julianne come to sense your spiritual presence it might convince her that her body is not what she is, but what she possesses. That will change everything for her. Then, as she views your body, even with its physical appeal, she will know there’s much more to you than what she sees. She very much wants to meet the inward man that’s asleep or gone off into hiding.
‘Once we come to recognize what remains after we depart isn’t who we are but only the outward clothing,’ Mo said, ‘we won’t identify so much with what we aren’t. All the vanity and worry about outward appearances and temporal possessions will have less attachment. For centuries, clothiers have quoted the famous Latin phrase, Vestis virum reddit: clothes make the man.
‘Whatever temporal merits that statement might have, that’s not the case with the soul since the soul never wears out. Rather, it’s the soul that makes the man. And yet that maxim sums up how the world thinks. If it’s not the clothes, it’s something else to be displayed, but never what on the inside: a sports car, a degree, a profession, a pretty woman.... oh sorry James, he laughed, I forgot, that’s you. No offense intended. In fact, we hope you’re able to have all you want, provided you don’t become so distracted you forget about what’s important. As it’s written, what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
‘I’m sure if I had all that, I most certainly would be distracted, and gladly so. But hopefully not lose my soul in the process.’
‘To lose one’s soul is to misplace or forget it,’ he said, ‘but it can never disappear since it’s what you are. Often such outward diversions lead to unique experiences of contrast that bring expanded perspectives and deeper understanding to life. This is how we come to discover what we want or don’t want, though we may not always be aware of it until we experience the consequences of what we’ve embraced. Often they burn.’
‘Or, to look at a positive diversion,’ Eli said, ‘you were distracted away from the Lowlands by your Mountain visions. Just look at what you discovered about yourself that you would never have learned had you stayed home eating Christmas pudding. The path is seldom a straight line. More often than not, it’s very circuitous; as was your path with Julianne, even before your body arrived at the hospital.’
‘Wait a minute; are you telling me I met her somewhere before? I don't remember sleeping with anyone named Julianne, unless you mean small talk while being happily squeezed in with her on a crowded Tube.’
‘It’s possible you may have bumped into each somewhere along the way in London,’ he said, ‘but that’s not what I’m suggesting. What I’m referring to is perhaps something far more significant. When you see her, look deeply into her eyes to see if you can find a mystery hidden there, perhaps one that involves you. Carefully observe her demeanor, character and personality, and then ask yourself whether you sense her presence from somewhere; perhaps another plane of existence.’
‘I’m not sure that what you’re saying, Eli; doesn’t make a lot of sense.’
‘Perhaps not,’ he said, ‘but at least for now be aware there may be more to Julianne than what you realize. And no, we’re not saying this because we’re operating a match-making service; that has never been our line of work – at least not until now. But as we said, whatever you decide to do with Julianne, or she decides to do with you, is perfectly acceptable in this free will universe. Who knows, one day you may wake up and decide you would prefer to live out your life as a celibate desert monk.’
‘What, and waste all this?’ I said. ‘That’s not very likely going to happen. I just want to find the woman I’ve never had, be if Julianne or someone else.’
‘We understand that,’ Mo said, ‘which is why the most important part of your curriculum is to first discover who you are; first with yourself, and then with others. And when you do, you will have discovered the essence of love. In fact, this is the most important part of anyone’s curriculum – even for desert monks.
‘But since we can't actually teach you what love is, the best we’re able to do is have someone demonstrate it to you. That’s the difference between learning and discovering. When it comes to experiencing the actual yin/yang dynamics of love, you will require someone prettier than us for your practicum. It’s up to you, but we think Julianne would be an excellent facilitator.’
‘About now, I'm ready for any such facilitator you can find me. So when do I get to meet her?’
‘Technically, you can see her anytime you choose,’ Eli said. ‘We’re not your wardens since you now have more freedom than you've ever experienced before on earth. If you don't mind though, we think it would be best if we escort you to help you find your way.’
‘Of course; I’d hate to get lost in deep space while en-route.’
‘Then it’s settled, Mo said, ‘we’ll go there to meet her as soon as she returns to her night shift; that way there will be plenty of time for her to be alone with your body. I’m sure you will find it interesting to watch her care for it as it languishes there in its forlorn state.’
‘Whenever you're ready, I’ll have my bags packed. I'm looking forward to seeing a real woman after all this time, someone with a real body of earthly flesh. Although I’m not sure what I’d do except, as you say, objectify her as the object of my affections. But at least I’d get to have time with someone since there’s not much going on here. In fact, I'm not even sure I would know what to do if I were to meet a goddess in this dimension.’
Mo and Eli grinned at each other – which made me a bit suspicious. What did they know that I didn't? I didn't bother to pursue it since I’d never get a straight answer anyway. Maybe it was an inside joke, but still I had to wonder if there wasn’t something more going on behind the scenes.
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, (35 – 100 AD), Roman rhetorician born in Spain.
 Mark 8:36 (KJV)
I've included below a number of quotes taken from a Course of Love. To find more information on this remarkable book click on https://acourseoflove.org There's more information on this book under the post BOOKS THAT INFLUENCED THE SERIES
God’s only thought is love. It is a thought without limit, endlessly creating. Because of the extension of God’s thought of love, you exist. 1.3
The heart yearns for what is like itself. Thus love yearns for love. To yearn for what is like yourself is to yearn for your Creator and to create like your Creator. 1.12
What love is cannot be taught. It cannot be learned. But it can be recogonized. 2.1
Think not that love reason opposes love, for love gives reason its foundation.
The foundation of Heaven, your true home, is love. 14.9
For love is all you are as well as what you strive for. Love is means and end. 1:16
Love is not something you do it is what you are 2.6
When you love purely, you know God whether you know it or not. 4.1
Fear is the source of all illusion, love the source of all truth 9.1
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SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE
The Summit is the first in a series of five Elysium’s Passage narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.
After experiencing a near fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding about life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed, or could believe.
An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with
intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny.
The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.
PENDING PUBLICATION IN THE ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE SERIES
With the exception of the last novel, the other three have been written but still require more editing before publication.
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows:
THE SUMMIT now available
SURREAL ADVENTURES winter 2018/19
MYSTICAL ROMANCE fall 2019
HE ELIXIR fall 2020
THE RETURN sometime in 2021