Love is a unique emotion of a human being. No life can be divorced of love. A human feels the need of love as well as displays emotion of love for someone or something. Love can be segregated in two distinct domains ie love for the Creator and worldly love. First definition of love is , “intense feeling of deep affection”. Affection can be with someone or something. All philosophers like, Pluto, Socrates and Aristotle have defined love.
Love is split into three categories ie Eros, Agape and Philia. Eros is between able bodied persons. It’s a relationship between two equals. Eros is directed towards beauty of the beloved and not towards the person itself. An erotic lover admits that he is inferior to the beloved. Erotic lover experiences discernible, analysable, classifiable aggregate qualities of the beloved.
As against erotic love, agapic love is that of a mentor and mentee. It can be relationship of a mother and child. Agapic love has the power to selflessly nurture the beloved. Agapic lover loves its beloved insofar the lover can nurture beloved’s potential. While erotic love is possessive, the agapic love does not demand in return anything from the beloved. Both Eros and Agape treat beloved as an object and not as a human being.
Philia the third category of love, requires understanding of the whole being of the beloved. Love for an illustrious musician by the up and coming musicians can be cited as an example. They love him as a entirety and not as an object unlike Eros and Agape. Philia requires active participation of lover and beloved. Eros and Agape are unidirectional. Erotic lover selflessly takes beauty of the beloved and agapic lover one sidedly supports his beloved’s growth. Contrarily, Philia is a two way street. Philia involves consciousness of the lover and beloved.
Various philosophers have rated any of these categories higher than the rest. There appears to be no real love. Love is relative in relation to the object being loved and purpose of love. Worldly love is interspersed with all three forms of love ie Eros, Agape and Philia. There also seems that there is no permanent love less Agape ie love between mother and child or creator and created. Love seems to be a dynamic process which keeps on changing or varying in its intensity.
I see love as a feeling or enacted emotion of attraction. There is love for parents, love of material things, love for life, love for another human, love for God and love for any belonging – living or non living. God created human being with a set of strengths and shortcomings. It’s the shortcomings which define a human. Once he is able to overpower shortcomings his strengths get an enforcement. A human which manages to eradicate all instinctive shortcomings can transcend to the level of selflessness. And it is the selflessness which defines the true love.
In the worldly domain particularly in case of love for living beings we demand reciprocity. Even in case of love for God, a normal human expects reciprocity however extraordinary lovers of God transcend to the level of selflessness. The journey to selflessness is extremely hard which demands culling of ‘self’. The way nature has created human beings, the self is most empowered and served part of it. In service of self, an ordinary human can end up even destroying himself and anything in its way. The self is served by ego, pride and narcissism. It is the self which is the biggest impediment in eradicating instinctive shortcomings and reaching to the level of selflessness.
While going through definitions of love, one thing struck me ie “it’s an enacted emotion”. A human being enacts the feelings of love. This enactment may be driven by selflessness or self-centricity. These are same very attributes of self which block or limit the emotion of love. In this setting a human being enacts or fakes love. In order to experience truest essence of love whether with creator or a living being the lover has to transcend to higher pedestals of selflessness, egolessness and feelings of inferiority to the beloved