Eros: The Ecstasy of Relationship

Joseph Dispenza


Eros was the god of love in Greek mythology. And with a power as potent as that of love and desire, it should come as no surprise that Eros played a significant role in myth and legend. Indeed, Eros was the darling of poets and artists over the centuries. But there is more to this god — he also inspired desire in countless Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines.

There are two popular but very different versions of the birth of this important god. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Eros was one of the first deities born into the world. Hesiod, in his Theogony, claims that Eros emerged from Chaos (which can be described as a sort of void) along with Gaia (the Earth) and Tartarus (the Underworld). Furthermore, the Theogony features an intriguing description of Eros:

“…and Eros, the fairest of the deathless gods;
he unstrings the limbs and subdues both mind
and sensible thought in the breasts of all gods and all men.”
(Hesiod, Theogony, 120-2)

The power wielded by Eros is made clear in this passage — no one, divine or mortal, could resist his spell of enchantment. In Hesiod’s version, therefore, Eros is a potent, irresistible god.

However, there is one other significant variation in myth about the birth of Eros. According to some sources, Eros was the son of the goddess Aphrodite (occasionally, it is claimed that he is the child of both Aphrodite and Ares). As Aphrodite’s son, Eros loses a bit of his power and prestige and becomes more of a companion (or accomplice) to the goddess of love and desire. This could be one possible explanation for why Eros, over the centuries, is transformed in myth and art from a handsome young man to a chubby mischievous child.

One of the great stories from the myths is that of Eros and Psyche. Aphrodite was jealous and angry because a mortal princess named Psyche had become so famous for her beauty that mere mortals were beginning to say that she was even more lovely than Aphrodite herself.

So Aphrodite sent her son Eros, the god of love, to shoot Psyche with one of his arrows, to make her fall in love with the most hideous monster he could find. But the girl’s exquisite beauty so enchanted him that he could not bring himself to carry out his mother’s command. Instead, he made Psyche fall in love with him, and married her.

Eros was known as Cupid in Roman mythology.

You and Your Relationships: The Clean Sweep

This month we return for the last time to the Clean Sweep. Created by the late Thomas Leonard, the Founder of Coach U, The Clean Sweep comprises 100 items in four categories of living which, when completed, give you the vitality and strength you want and need to live fully, alive and awake. You have more natural energy when you are complete with your physical environment, well-being, money and relationships. (See the previous three month’s newsletters for the first and second parts of the Clean Sweep, on your Well–Being, your Physical Environment, and your Money.)

Aesculapius

The Penantes: Blessings of the Household Gods

Riches from the Depths: Poseidon

Dr. Leonard challenges you to complete all 100 items in one year. Below is the part of the Clean Sweep devoted to your relationships. You might want to print out this newsletter and sit quietly scoring yourself on the questions. If true, check the box marked True. Be rigorous; be a hard grader. If the statement is sometimes or usually true please DO NOT check the True box until the statement is virtually always true for you. Then WORK TO MAKE THE STATEMENT TRUE. You may change any statement to fit your situation better.

Relationships

____

I have told my parents, in the last 3 months, that I love them.

____

I get along well with my sibling(s).

____

I get along well with my co-workers/ clients.

____

I get along well with my manager/ staff.

____

There is no one who I would dread or feel uncomfortable “running across”. (In the street, at an airport or party)

____

I put people first and results second.

____

I have let go of the relationships which drag me down or damage me. (“Let go” means to end, walk away from, declare complete, no longer be attached to)

____

I have communicated or attempted to communicate with everyone who I have damaged, injured or seriously upset, even if it wasn’t fully my fault.

____

I do not gossip or talk about others.

____

I have a circle of friends/family who love and appreciate me for who I am, more than just what I do for them.

____

I tell people how they can satisfy me.

____

I am fully caught up with letters and calls.

____

I always tell the truth, no matter what.

____

I receive enough love from people around me to feel good.

____

I have fully forgiven those people who have hurt/damaged me, intentional or not.

____

I am a person of his/her word; people can count on me.

____

I quickly correct miscommunications and misunderstandings when they do occur.

____

I live life on my terms, not by the rules or preferences of others.

____

I am complete with past loves or spouses.

____

I am in tune with my wants and needs and get them taken care of.

____

I do not judge or criticize others.

____

I do not “take personally” the things that people say to me.

____

I have a best friend or soul-mate.

____

I make requests rather than complain.

____

I spend time with people who don’t try to change me.


Discussion/Journal Questions

  1. What has kept you from making a ‘clean sweep’ of your relationships in the past? How has that affected your energy level?

  2. What was the most surprising item on the relationship ‘clean sweep’ list? Why was it surprising?

  3. Name three things that you could do in the next month to improve the situations of your various relationships. How might the cleaning up affect the people around you?

  4. Name three things that you continue to tolerate in the area of your relationships for the sake of ‘keeping the peace’ or not ‘rattling the cage.’ How would your life be different if you addressed these in an appropriate way?

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