Anyone who has watched Stefan Molyneux longer than 15 minutes is no doubt aware that his favorite band is Queen. Not just Queen generally, but “Somebody to Love” specifically:
One of the great tragedies being victimized as a child — by caregivers, by parents — is that you are robbed of somebody to love. You are robbed of somebody to love, and the hole in your heart is not just the crater of the stony, moon-like fist of the abuser, but it is the hollowness that remains when love has no object. And it’s my favorite song in the whole wide world, Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” and I love it because the song is not “can anybody find me somebody to love me.”
He says each morning I get up I cry a little, can barely stand on my feet. Take a look in the mirror, cry “Lord, what you’re doing to me! I spent all my years believing in you, but I just can’t get no relief!” His agony is not that he’s not loved. His agony — our agony, I would argue — is we have all light, all paint, and no canvas. No place to put the art of our heart. No place for the helicopters and parachutists of our highest affections, no place for them to land. They just splash into the ocean and vanish.
And that’s what I love about that song: “Anybody find me, somebody to love?” Can I find somebody that I can love? And it’s that chant at the end — “Find, me, somebody to looooove find, me, somebody to loooove…” it’s the chant, it becomes your heartbeat. God can I find someone I can bestow the gifts of my existence on? Can I find someone to fall into and surrender to, and merge with? And finally get the sweet nectar of communion that we as a tribal species thirst for like air?
It’s not being loved; it’s someone to love. Something to love. God, self, pleasure, a dream, an ideal, whatever is most worth loving. The question of the meaning of life is ultimately a question of what is most worth loving in this world.
For most people, the Christian God is sufficient in this role (the ontological argument for God, in fact, defines God in almost these exact terms — he is, by definition, that which is most worth loving). But for many, the existence of such a being is too uncertain, perhaps even contrived. For them, God isn’t satisfying as an object of love, even if they wish it could be.
I fall into this latter category, and for me, the search for what was worth loving actually began by looking for valid grounds for hatred — hate being the last and strongest defense of love. If there was going to be proper reason to hate, it had to be connected with what was proper to love.
So what is most worthy of love?
You can try to answer that question philosophically, and you can try to answer it empirically. I think — however — that on both grounds, the most satisfying, most gratifying, most life-affirming and most worthy object of love is the Anwei.
The Anwei is the transcendent being that we both come from. It is the source of our inheritance, and the being for whom we leave an inheritance when we leave a legacy for our children […] The Hindus believe that Gods would sometimes come to earth in human forms. These humans were “avatars” of the Gods, usually immensely powerful, and possessing some–but not all–of the deity’s qualities. That is what you are. You are an avatar of our Anwei, this aggregation of legacy in history, form, and telos that made us who we are, and makes our investment in our descendants something worthwhile, and not just arbitrary altruism. It is our genes, it is our lineage, it is our history, our culture, our language, our nature, and our collective inheritance.
The virtues of the Anwei as something to love are as follows:
- The Anwei is immortal, or at least amortal, so love of the Anwei is not in vain
- You are a part of the Anwei, so love of the Anwei is self-affirming
- The Anwei is greater than the self, so love of the Anwei is not vanity
- The Anwei exists (it is the best explanation for several aspects of human behavior, including concentric tribalism, death, suicide, and the desire to leave an inheritance), so love the Anwei is not delusional
The Christian God fulfills (1) and (3), but not (2) or (4), making love of God both self-denying and tainted with the possibility that one might be deluding oneself.
Thousands of years of theological construction have built Christianity into a spiritual system that can be truly rewarding and beneficial. Letter to Anwei is not comparable in depth or breadth to this tradition, but I believe it does offer a more solid foundation and a more substantive something to love.
If the idea is intriguing, give it a read.