Shadow of the RoseShadow of the Rose

The Esoterism of the Romantic Tradition

by Charles Upton and Jennifer Doane Upton

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Charles Upton: Human love has fallen on hard times; it has been “officially discredited.” Even liberal humanitarianism is not what it used to be; how then can romantic love, which in its origins is essentially aristocratic (in Meister Eckhart’s sense when he said “the soul is an aristocrat”) find any place in today’s world? The truth is, it cannot. The world is too small for it. The place of romantic love is nowhere in this world; its place is in the human spiritual Heart, whose own proper place is in the eternal self-knowledge of God.

Jennifer Doane Upton: The love of God is always secret. For most of us it is so secret that we are not even aware of it. All manifestations that appear around this love are false in a sense, and tend to misdirect us. To look for the love of God itself within manifest conditions is always to go astray. We spend our time in the world being attracted to this and repulsed by that, and all the while we are blind to this one secret love.