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What is Love? Let's Explore..

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posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 12:21 PM
“God is Love” -- I’m sure we’ve all heard this hackneyed phrase, and most contemplative people have dismissed this idea by now as oversimplified and devoid of any practical meaning. However, I’d like to argue the case of its truth, and to further argue that love as God knows it is exactly what we refuse again and again, and what we almost always fall short of attaining.

When asked which is the greatest commandment, Jesus responded:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

But what is love?

Love is a cumbersome task. It’s our only duty, all that is required of us, and yet one that we fail to fulfill again and again. Love is not, as we so commonly mistake it, that euphoria we feel in the newness of a sexual relationship; love comes once the endorphins settle, the cracks begin to show, after enduring life’s wounds. Love, as fellow member Serdgiam said (thanks for the inspiration!), is more than an emotion--it’s a way of life and must be selfless in its truest form (paraphrase). In true love, how one feels (emotion) about another, how much one can gain from the other (through intimacy or even through pride of watching one’s own progeny thrive), matters not.
Loving one’s own family gives us trouble enough; what of loving that reeking drunken homeless man living several miles away, the loud and nosy neighbor, the faceless criminal in drab greens and chains housed behind layers of concrete and razor wire?

Love as Jesus demands of us is only possible to attain and maintain with great effort and sacrifice. He tells us to turn the other cheek, that if we have two coats and we see our fellow w/o, then it’s up to us to clothe him, that if we are compelled to walk a mile, walk two instead, that if we’re sued for our coat give up our cloak as well. Jesus commands us to forgive. To refrain from judgement until we are free from sin ourselves. To what end is this radical type of love? Did God/Jesus want a congregation full of abused impoverished masochists? I’m sure everyone won’t share my opinion, but it’s that of course God wants the best for us. If we all were truly able to show love for one another, rather than that selfish impulsive emotion we often mistake as love, we would only suffer natural disaster and even then to a lesser degree.

Of course, the true manifestation of love is the hardest thing to do and usually only comes in bursts. But for those who are able to achieve true agape and maintain this active lifestyle for years on end, hold the torch for the rest of us and, through active and steadfast sacrifice, bring all of us closer to God. The ultimate goal of all the selfless and humble service to others, of the degrading passive response to anger and hate directed our way, is to shine that light of true goodness and perhaps even bring another one step closer to God. Of course, goodness can’t be forced on others. The best we can do is try to understand it in its truest form, and strive to model it and manifest it in this world.

Thanks for reading, friends! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject of love

edit on 14-3-2021 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 12:27 PM
An example of a woman who (imo) demonstrates agape:

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 12:33 PM
"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."

- Robert Heinlein

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 12:37 PM
a reply to: DAVID64

Very interesting/apt quote. I'd say this is true on a universal (all of humanity connected by this thread) scale on some level as well.

Thanks for reading and for the cool quote! (I have Stranger in A Strange Land on my shelves but have never read it. Think I'll pick it up today).

edit on 14-3-2021 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 12:44 PM
Love is not an emotion as most of us are taught to believe.

I believe if we want the truest definition it is found in the beautiful word Agape. That is our goal, to learn to love like that.

Someone will likely come along and use semantics to try and muddy up your post but that's okay. They are also loved.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 12:49 PM
a reply to: zosimov

Love is giving not taking, lust is about taking and self need, love is about selflessness and care for other's and there well being.

And love is also about forgiveness which is for many of us the hardest thing to do especially when the wound's are fresh.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 12:56 PM
a reply to: Illumimasontruth
a reply to: LABTECH767


posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:12 PM
a reply to: zosimov
If we're talking about love from a New Testament viewpoint, it's important to distinguish between the different words covered by the one English word;
EROS- sexual love
PHILIA- friendship (the origin of the "-phile" suffix.
AGAPE- the love associated with God.

Failure to distinguish causes confusion in discussion, as when people argue; "God is a god of love (AGAPE), therefore he must approve of homosexual love (EROS).

P.S. Just in case it helps, my own thread on 1 Corinthians ch13

edit on 14-3-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:18 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I had a little chuckle thinking that man through which we best understand agape was likely homosexual himself.
edit on 14-3-2021 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:21 PM
a reply to: zosimov
I've never studied Plato in the Greek (or even read him much), so I don't know which word he was using there.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:25 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

He distinguished between eros and philos in that work. It's a good read. Though I'll have to amend my statement, don't think Socrates is the ultimate model for all agape, though I do think he was well on the way.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:38 PM
a reply to: zosimov

I witnessed the purest form of love the other day. It ripped my heart out.

My mom and dad have been married over 50 years.
My moms cancer news wasn't good, and we told my dad.

He cried, and my mom hugged him, cried and said she was sorry for not being able to
take care of him to the end.

We had to put him in a nursing home so I can take care of my mom. My mom is thinking about not getting treatment so
she can die faster so I can focus on my dads care more.......

Love is ugly, love is pain, love is raw. Love puts a knot in your throat. Love puts a tear in your eye that you have to suck back in....
edit on 14-3-2021 by JAGStorm because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:47 PM
a reply to: JAGStorm

Your parents are blessed to have each other and to have you too. Sorry you're going through hell now, JAG; hoping your memories will definitely have the peace of knowing you all did the best you could for one another out of love and without regard for self.

(PS.. got some similar things going on, though also very different--my parents have been married over 50 years as well, and a few years back my dad beat colon cancer through chemo and surgery. Mom just told me a few months ago that her kidney disease is reaching the latest stages, and that she expects to be on hemodialysis by late spring/early summer. To see my parents going through illness together really does show me something about the marriage vows. Wishing your family all the best)
edit on 14-3-2021 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:49 PM
a reply to: zosimov

I am happy to have provided some inspiration!

"Love" is such a vague concept. Many do view it solely as an emotion, but I suspect that is in large part due to language. The mention of "agape" is very relevant in that respect.

We have many concepts that point in the same direction, from compassion to empathy. All kind of fingers pointing at the same moon, imo.

I view love as a primal, fundamental tool and technology that, in only one form, manifests as emotion or something of an attachment. Its probably even appropriate to involve similarities to magnetism, gravity, etc. Interestingly, like most tools and technologies, its misguided application can be harmful and detrimental.

It almost requires esoteric examination in this theme, involving God(s) to Jesus.

In its most effective application, it encourages growth.. but only in a form that doesnt precipitate destruction or disabling of neighboring or intertwined systems. Meaning, a healthy ecosystem like a forest could be seen as a non-human form of Love. While an invasive species like Kudzu.. Or rampant deforestation.. does not. Lots of nuance there, of course!

Diving a bit deeper into the esoteric side;

I see existence, at least the parts relative to us, as a movement from Absolute Chaos into the Ordered Universe and then back again. There are a few steps to this, including everything from time to human imagination and ideals. Humans, specifically, seem to introduce a very, very unique aspect to this process.

Love, when viewed in the context of growth, seems to transcend all of it though. It also permeates all of the phases. It can negate the entropic flow of the Ordered Universe as well as negate the destructive instrinsic qualities of Absolute Chaos. It can actually draw from the field of Chaos, into a field of potential harnessed through human imagination, and then into a system that combines the "best" facets of Order and Chaos into something that is more than the sum of its parts. Truly spectacular and awe-some, in my opinion. Who made this? If it isnt an intentional creation, what does the system it emerged from even look like? Wouldnt it need to contain the rest of the systems if something emerged from it that crosses so many systemic barriers?

We need to actually build and create with this tool to realize its full impact on what we can accomplish though. That applies to everything from a relationship between two people to the relatioships between civilization itself and its surrounding environment. It takes work, ingenuity, and perseverance.

We cant just hold an ideal and "hope" it will emerge. We need things that derive from, and are created from, that technology. A bit similar to how a relationship wont just last because we hope it will. We need the fruit from the growth that sprouts anew from the foundation of the relationship itself. And similarly to typical gardening, there is a whole lot that goes into turning a bare piece of soil into fruit. We cant expect it to just happen, and even with the best intentions we can really screw things up.

But, once we figure out how to nurture the ground, the seed, the sprout, the sapling, the tree, then the fruit, we start to build a foundation. Then we start learning how to nurture that system as it relates to other systems. Sometimes this part requires going back to the drawing board (where imagination meets reality).

Persistence, dedication, and even honesty and self-awareness are critical to this. Its easy to just want the fruit and think it "should" be in our hands so we can take a bite ..pretty sure there is a Story about this floating around.. But there is a whole process there. Teach a man to fish, and all that.

In a world of weaponized ideals and rampant deception, this has never been more important. Billions of "Adams" and "Eves" being tempted by the fruit of their ideals through everything from legislation to marketing and transnational corporations/organizations. There is no Love there though, and even if blooms emerge.. they are spoiled and poisonous no matter how much we hope otherwise. Dont learn how to participate yourself, just take this here apple..

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 01:57 PM
a reply to: Serdgiam

Ha, good to see you. And what a delightful dish (food for thought) you brought with you!

As you can see, I've been throwing around ideas from our correspondence, and am glad to see your ideas on "life and the meaning of everything" (lol) expounded. From reading your ideas, I had to agree that at the heart of it all must be some form of chaos (this is where all creativity comes from, no?) moving toward order and then back again. Or at least that is a paraphrase of what my brain could grasp from your ideas.

If you've ever read "A Wrinkle in Time" or really just 1984, Nazi history, etc, we can see that too much order is hell also.
I love what you wrote about love's potential to negate entropy and destruction.

Lots to unpack in your post. Think I'll start there.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 02:29 PM
a reply to: zosimov

Just for fun, a bit of a soundtrack..

Was actually listening to this album while writing the previous post, and decided to check out the exact lyrics/story.


In an Interview with Depth Magazine they said to the song:
“It was written kind of in a way that’s like a final letter to someone watching the world die from the sun. This was going to be a video actually but we decided not to because it was the first track. It was sending a message to someone who made it off earth before the sun came crashing into earth. It was kind of a love letter. This song actually connects to “Human” as an opposite letter to someone who was on that planet. So it’s between two lovers, from the earth and outside of the earth. It’s their anger about being left behind to die, but also just describing the events that are unfolding."

Entropy, love, scifi-ish, space, loss.. Fun coincidence.

I think creativity and imagination come from there too. When human perception looks into that Chaos, it inherently applies Order creating a field of potential that we can slowly work into Reality (all proper noun-ified up in here). We cant really comprehend true randomness or replicate it.. only create an approximation.

But, that approximation flirts with the very edge of human perception and it could just be that that "Chaos" is simply (👀) something so far beyond our comprehension that our most abstract abstractions still dont escape human limitations enough to grok it. We can probably grow that boundary, using things like Love as previously outlined, but I doubt we will ever find its end. I think thats pretty cool.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 02:56 PM
"Love as Jesus demands requires sacrifice"....

The minds love has boundaries. The souls love is boundless. So the soul does not see love as a sacrifice because its will is love. The soul does not see seperation between you and me, those boundaries only exist in mind. Opening the gate of the temple allows that love to enter mind. You only need find a key to that gate.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
― Rumi

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 02:57 PM
a reply to: zosimov

Mom just told me a few months ago that her kidney disease is reaching the latest stages,

Thank you for all your kind words. Just wanted to tell you that my MIL had late stage kidney disease also.
She was given a few weeks, and ended up living a couple years, (They said her one and only kidney was only functioning at 5%) but got covid and that is what got her.

To see my parents going through illness together really does show me something about the marriage vows.

Yes, This!!! Love is not newlyweds. Love is sticking with someone for 50 years, through thick and thin.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 03:00 PM
a reply to: JAGStorm

Thank you for your kind words too, JAG.

posted on Mar, 14 2021 @ 03:35 PM
a reply to: zosimov

Ummm...there is no such thing as love...

There is however lust...

It’s all about chemical induced gratification...

I’ll call your serotonin...and raise you some noradrenalin...


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