For a philosopher intent on illuminating the godliness inherent in each of us, Solovyov sure spends a lot of time talking about sex. “There is only one power which can from within undermine egoism at the root, and really does undermine it, namely love, and chiefly sexual love.” Arguing that, at least in lower forms, sexual love is not necessary to reproduction, and, in any case, that sexual love between humans does not necessarily result in procreation, Solovyov determines that sexual love exists primarily as a touchstone for cosmic integration.
His approach is scientific. Observing that the whole of biological evolution is toward more individualized organisms, he likewise notes the tendency toward the increasing association of romantic passion with sexual union. He theorizes that since neither “romance” nor “passion” is necessary for successful reproduction, perhaps they are to be seen as an end in themselves. Perhaps they are expressions of the divine in the human sphere. Recognizing our failure to achieve “unity of the all” consciousness, he nonetheless views sexual love as an avenue toward this ideal. “The meaning and worth of love, as a feeling, is that it really forces us, with all our being, to acknowledge for another the same absolute central significance which, because of the power of our egoism, we are conscious of only in our own selves.” Solovyov’s ideal is the transformation of the world through love, starting with sexual love and continuing outward and resulting in syzygy, the correlation of the individual with the all.
Paperback: 121 pages