Allurement is the “strange attractor” at the heart of all matter, the very real and pervasive attractive energy that animates all forms of life. Allurement is at the root of what shapes us and is responsible for bringing together galaxies and planets, as well as lovers. From the union of two individuated beings comes the possibility of new creativity—unimaginable emergent capacities that did not previously exist.
Scientist Brian Swimme reminds us that allurement expresses the deep need of life for life. It is extraordinary to realize that the ecstatic force of allurement, sparked fourteen billion years ago and which gave rise to all life, lives in us. Ecstatic urgency, the urge to merge, the very nature of this attraction is seen all the way up and all the way down the evolutionary ladder, and yet its origin remains a total mystery.
Let’s take a deeper look at this magnetic attractor called desire and its luring and seductive appeal to thrust all life forward to greater and greater levels of wonder and complexity.
As we continue to observe evolution within visible matter, we can more readily begin to feel the tangible passion of this primal thrusting forth of desire. We begin to see it enfleshed, not just in the stark imagined world of chemical interactions but also in the passion and desire throbbing in and through all of evolution, in plants, insects, vertebrates, fish, reptiles, and mammals—all the way up the great chain of being and becoming. We can hear it and see it, calling us to its persuasive impetus and its seductive siren song. It is to this that the great philosopher of science Alfred North Whitehead referred when he said that evolution is moved by the “persuasion of love.”
If we can let ourselves awaken to the intimate nature of what science sees as objective reality, we feel it deeply in our being, in our hearts, and in every cell of our bodies. If we allow it all the way in, we might feel it as a burning impulse or an unbearable longing to reach out to and make contact or even temporarily merge with another. When felt through the flesh, there is a stunning, visceral realization that the very same desire and yearning that lies at the core of the evolution of life itself is quivering alive in us! As we rise up the evolutionary ladder, we begin to see the carnal causal design of the entire cosmos, amazingly expressed as we observe the dramatic mating rituals among living things.