posted on Jul, 24 2009 @ 12:02 AM
M. Scott Peck MD in his all time best selling work "The Road Less Travelled, a new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth"
defined love thusly:
Love is the will to give of one's self for the sake of another's spiritual grwoth and well being.
The "feeling" of love, he felt, needed to be differentiated from "real love" which is a free choice and an act of the will, requiring action, a
manifestation or evidence of the love.
Interestingly the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, according to Joseph Campbell, did a study, of individuals who risked their lives to save
complete strangers, to find out why they were, in the very moment of the emergency ie: a lady hanging off a cliff from a car accident where someone
who happens along risks all and almost goes over themselves to pull them to safety - why they were willing to throw everything away, including their
family ties, job, their very self and life, to save a perfect stranger from certain death, and what they experienced at the moment of decision. To a
one they all reported that they felt that they could not have lived with themselves afterwards if they did not act, and that, strangely, at the
moment, they completely lost all sense of individuality, or concerns for their own life - the pattern that emerged from his study is that these heros
who risked all to save a perfect stranger from certain death, was that the REASON they did it, was because at the most fundamental level, the
distinction of self and other is an illusion, at that at the very ground of being, we are one, and so to save another, is, paradoxically, to save an
aspect of the self, and that it would be utterly pointless and absurd not to act, even if it might mean death.
This is within us all, this capacity - too bad it takes a near death experience to bring it out and into the realm of action.
But this stuff about how it's just a biological instinct or a mere feeling, that doesn't even begin to define love imho.
It's intrinsic to the very nature of being, and being human, and there is no greater need or urge than to love and be loved, and it's not just about
avoiding lonliness either, and it's not just chemicals, although they might serve to mediate the experience of love.
No I agree with Peck, it's true nature involves free will, a choice, and an act of love, which involves selfless giving or extending of the self, for
the sake of another, enlarging the sphere of love in the process.