In Words Redux I tried to differentiate between to love and to be in love; however, in the process of conversing with a friend I was presented with a conundrum: they did not agree with my usage. Naturally, not agreeing is oft times the very hallmark of a good and meaningful conversation, and as such is of no real concern. What is important is to understand the other, though. This person reserved to love for friends and family and to be in love for someone very much more, a soul-mate. As such, their own usage encompassed other ideas that I reserve, in part, for to love. Which is to say, the more we talked the more I realized we were trying to express the same sentiments albeit using terms differently.
This got me to cogitating upon what is it exactly about love that I am trying to express. And more importantly, I wondered if there there might be a better word that encompasses, even if only for this particular person, these (my) concepts. Ironic as it may be, I had to reach back to my youth to discover a word that I rarely use out of its ecclesiastical connotations. The word? Faith. It is ironic, as it were, in that I walked away from the Church many decades ago, although I never lost my faith in God-god-Life-Universe . But that evening found me returning to the teachings of the Bible and to the story of the kingdom of God made whole on this Earth. I started to wonder if the prerequisite events required to herald the creation of this kingdom is not the return of “(our) lord and savior, Jesus Christ”, but instead something both quite extra-ordinary and even more simple? I wondered if maybe, just maybe, we might instead see “Heaven on Earth” not dependent upon the big-letter “F” Faith in God-god-Life-Universe but upon the little-letter “f” faith in another person: our soul-mate.
In this manner our soul-mate becomes both proxy and mirror for god, whereby our soul-mate transforms into our alpha and omega, the beginning and end of all things. But we must remember that our soul-mate is our equal; therefore, the transformation of one is also the transformation of the other. In this way, I very much mean we exhibit both the humility toward our soul-mate as we would god, but that we also exhibit the very qualities of god in ourselves through the act of compassion. We simultaneously put our soul-mate before and above us, all the while exhibiting love through acts of acceptance, forgiveness and charity. As in our Faith in god which does not waver or falter and is eternal, nor does our faith in our soul-mate which is to last till the end of our days. In this manner we find some deeper wisdom in the traditional vows of marriage, for indeed “in sickness and in health, in richness and poorness till death” we discover these very qualities of godliness expressed in this simple succession of dualities the clear statement: we devote ourselves to each other through our faith in each other, that we forever aspire to be true to each other at all times even as we, as imperfect humans, are tried in so attempting.
In this light we might reexamine the words “love your fellow man as you love god” to mean something more deeply, more personal than a mere question of religious fidelity, but humanistic harmony.
 I am only Christian by a long stretch of the imagination, albeit many people find the statement not entirely true given my frequent usage of words like “blessing”, “love”, “forgiveness”, “compassion”, and “god”. However, given the Gnostic emphasis of the current Christian denominations; I am agnostic in its truest sense, “without (ack)knowledge(ment of the books)” which implies no set gnostic doctrine and thus without denomination or creed even while my values deeply intersect with Christendom’s.