Often when we hear the word “primal” we think of something that is primitive or unrefined. In our modern minds, that implies something inferior. We may view the word as referring to something that is even impermissible in its simplicity, implying such other terms as “naïve” as synonyms. It is not my intent to get into semantic disputes or to challenge a sophisticated and nuanced worldview. Rather I intend to use the word “primal” in a particular way in what follows because we can thereby keep the discussion fairly pure.
Herein, when I use the word “primal,” I mean original. In this case we will discuss love in its original form. I use primal to prevent any corruption of meaning from the outset because it is so uncommon to use the word in this (perfectly correct) form. Further, in this blog, I use primal to mean absolutely “pure.” Pure means untainted. It means that the use escapes, to the extent I am capable, any adulteration by common usage of the term “love.”
I am aware that both the terms “primal” and “love” are very abused in common parlance. I hope herein to return some of the stature that belongs to them, if only momentarily. Their juxtaposition is very important to us in understanding the nature of God, and in understanding what the phenomenon of a father is designed to look like.
Primal love is pure, unadulterated love. While it may very nearly occur in a marital relationship, it normally does not. It is not what marriage and marital affection are about. It is about another thing.
If you even tentatively accept this definition (pure, unadulterated love) for the moment you may still ask what it means. That is because of its rare occurrence in our experience.
“Pure” comes from the Greek word for fire. Pure love is very refined. There remains in it no dross. Everything that might come with it has been removed. This is the reason we encounter it so infrequently. In virtually every instance of an encounter with love in our lives, there are selfishnesses and agendas that are not love in themselves. In fact, I will go on record here maintaining that we almost never encounter pure (primal) love outside the context of interactions with God Himself. Most young men, when they become infatuated with some young woman think in terms of true or pure love. Most young women want that so badly they will turn a blind eye to reality in its pursuit. We all know that can turn into really terrible relationships that are almost devoid of love. So, let’s take that off the table up front.
Pure means that the love we are speaking of is untarnished. It doesn’t have selfish interests in it. It will not ordinarily do anything that is even perceived as harm. So, why do I prefer we use the term “primal?” In this treatise, primal basically means pure, but I want to take this further. Herein I want to add to the idea of pure love by appealing to the person of God Himself.
Primal is not only pure in this discussion, it is also original. There exists no instance of love before the love of God. Most of us will glibly assent to that statement, but it is useful to actually ponder that statement. Before God loved, there was no love. The love of God is the original instance of love. It must, therefore, be our basis for understanding love. You will note that I am not getting into the various Greek source words in this discussion because that would detract us from the uncomfortable considerations that we need to have; the verb parsing can wait for another time.
So, by “primal love” I am referring to the pure, unadulterated, limitless, and all-powerful love of God that exists within in and exists because He exists. It is not sourced in any other location. It is an original property or characteristic of God. As such, love is not limited by any consideration other than the will of God. It is primal because it exists in such pure an undiminished form that nothing like existed before it did. In fact, there is no other origin of love except from within God Himself. All that is actually love exists only because the primal love paved the way during the creation. In fact, the creation might well not have come into being had God not desired for Himself some object of His love.
I have argued in Birth of The Holy Nation, that because a primal characteristic/property of God is love, it was necessary that a primal object of that love be present. That primal object of the love of God is the Son, Jesus. Please note that. In the Godhead, there is a Father and a Son. They are the Primal Father and the Primal Son. We can approach understanding that by understanding that the connective between these two is love itself. As love is an original property of God, love is the primal connective between entities. It is first before even authority, although in The Creation, love and authority both appear at the outset. At the first moment of The Creation, the first Father and the first Son appear with the most natively powerful expression of love that can be known. This “primal love” sources all other instances of love that have entered or been found within the context of The Creation.
Might we even suggest that The Creation came into being because the inexhaustible “Primal Lover” required of Himself that He provide even more objects of love for Himself and for His Primal Son? No one except God can require from God that He do anything. However, He set all things in motion to serve the self-imposed imperatives of His primal love. It is His good pleasure to create in us the ability to respond to that primal love with a love of our own (1 John 4:7-11) that is similar to His own in its quality. When John said “God is love,” he referred to this primal connective of all things to God. Primal love is the tissue that holds The Creation and the sons of God in the bosom of eternity. By the way, this is the most refined of things.