My Love Has Been Crucified

The passage you cite from Ignatius of Antioch—”My love has been crucified” (Letter to the Romans)—is profound indeed.

The saint seems to be punning on eros. He means (among other things no doubt) that insofar as the object of his love, Jesus Christ, has been killed, the loving has died as well. Surely this is closely bound up with the metaphysical fact that God is most present in absence, in those providential interstices where we can’t help but look but in looking see nothing—or rather No Thing, Sh?nyamurti: “Those who do not know what Buddha is think there is Buddha; those who know what Buddha is know there is no Buddha.”

When God dies on the Cross, all that is Most becomes Least. What had most attracted man’s desire draws that desire through itself and into a state beyond object. But then of course we’re no longer talking of eros, or not at least of eros in its usual sense. Desire has died, for the wanting and needing that are characteristic of such love have been quenched, which means (paradoxically) that they are at once deprived and fulfilled.

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me. This He said, signifying what death He should die” (John 12:32-33). “A full investigation into Truth will extinguish your desires at once, and the extinction of desires will restore your mind to rest” (Yoga-Vasishtha).

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