Please excuse me butting in on the discussion of "Dishonesty Within the Ranks of Christians" .... I see the word "love" spoken of so often here, but what precisely are people talking about?
Surely no one, in the context of this discussion, is talking about two people getting into bed. And the ending of a letter with the words, "with love." would be too trivial. So.... what are you talking about?
If you say you "love" someone, what will you do for him or her? How is it different from just liking someone? Will you go the extreme sacrifice for him or her?
"Love...." - such a glib word usually.. Has it lost any real meaning? If you can describe it in detail, then perhaps it is something real.... but then how can something "real" be applied to an imaginary god that cannot be seen, or touched.
If you can't describe what is meant by "Love," then is it meaningless?
I am hoping for something profound to come up here.... something to help us all gain some enlightenment.
I loved your opening post. And still loving it. There is a sort of a mild disconnection between human perception and human language. Language is really a secondary vehicle for perception and the awareness that is generated by that perception.
A person who can not speak from birth still contains feelings and emotions in his/her heart (what is 'heart', again?). We do not need to verbally interpret our experiences in our minds when we are having them. Even animals, without the gift of language, can love their children and human beings as well.
It's quite like the scenario of describing the color "yellow" to a colorblind person. One must experience love to understand what love really is. It becomes terribly difficult to transmit the experience being solely dependent on the faculty of language.
Language, basically, is a kind of symbolism. We need to appreciate this fact before engaging into this subject.
Love is always wanting the best for others despite and inspite of the cost to you.
The freedom of love is that you alone gets to define the variables. And that being so make truthfulness most relevant.
Money and love donot mix well because money will keep you measuring which leave love abandoned.
I am surprised that this is an actual question, but since it is I guess it is indeed most relevant.
So far, thank you God Shet, Manitata and Kess. All valuable contributions.
My first hint at learning something new.... "word" --- is this not the "go-between?" The "messenger?" The means of communication?
I will wait for more contributions before giving another understanding of the word "Love."
Yes Jonny, and more ...
You are so right! I'm also saying that people are in different spaces at every given moment. You might say that some of us may be further along the Path but we still need to accommodate. This is also an aspect of Love which can easily manifest as empathy, tolerance or loving kindness.
Great morning, Bro. Sun is shining here in London and I'm preparing for an interview. Wish me well. Regards,
Hello and good luck! You have some interesting thoughts. If it's OK and if you have knowledge of 'it' ~ then I would like to hear your thought on 'Advaita Vedanata' philosophy (that philosophy has 'some' connection with the core ideas of this conversation, and might contribute positively as well)
Have a good day and a good interview :-)
Interesting question, God Shet. I have only so far looked briefly at the Wikipedia entry. It is complex and far reaching, referencing so many other aspects of Indian thinking.
My thoughts so far: There is a tendency within such "spiritual searching" to ultimately build an egotistical hierarchy. I see it in Christianity and saw it in Hinduism while visiting Ganeshpuri in the early 1980s. Certainly I felt it in Nepal when visiting Lumbini. When individuals have done enough meditation in order to get a sense of "being on the right path," they (we, not wishing to create a them-and-us division here,) tend to find proof that "I am higher and superior to those who have not done this meditation." Any such ego is totally counter to an abiding, unconditional Love. Achieving that Unconditional Love is the ultimate goal, and whilst we are striving towards it we have not arrived yet..... always a humbling thought. Always more work to do on understanding Self.
The realisation and total acceptance of the One-ness is, I suggest and feel, the ultimate true Unconditional Love. The slightest sense that I am different, better, more spiritual, "saved," ahead of the queue, more important, not expendable, more worthy than You...... means I have not yet arrived.
Yo are spot on, jonny. What you have described is the expression of one of the core imperfections that lie deep in human character.
You might have observed the Indian caste-system, and the top caste in that hierarchy, the 'Brahmin' community of India, who have sort of an absolute authority over all the 'spiritual' affairs in that land, both in India and Nepal.
They take it as a profession and there is no creativity left in that profession right now. Frankly speaking, the original Hindu culture of India has long been like an endangered species, and as I see it, it is pretty clear that it will either die or reemerge as a less sophisticated culture represented by a (racially) hybrid generation. It might take a few more centuries for that process to finish there.
India is a very interesting subject to me: in the sense that it is like an older brother of America. America might face the same consequences that India has faced ~ if Americans do not control and appreciate the value of the purity of blood. It's a very practical issue.
All that said: India had a rich intellectual past. Some of their ideas are relevant even today. 'Advaita Vedanta' is one of those ideas.
The basic idea of that philosophy is something like this: the 'way' that we perceive something ~ might distort the perception. 'Reality' is always 'stable' and 'never-changing'. But WE might get fooled by our senses and our frameworks of ideas about the world (i.e. 'Marxism' is a good example here).
I think you mean, me, God Shet.
Use the name so then I'm sure. Vedanta is the end of the Vedas or the Essence of the Vedas, if you like. Indian scriptures are massive and covers the Yoga Vashista, Upanishads, Ramayana, Vedas, Bagavad Gita, Srimad Bagavatam and much more. I will recommend the Gita and if you are rationally minded, then The Crest Jewel of Discrimination (Vivika Chudamani) of Sri Shankaracharya. Of course there is a lot more, and Vedanta covers basically all there is to know from human love, culture, family life, stages of life .....
I have written a piece on Yoga philosophy, indeed three Hubs, I believe. Eastern scriptures are very logical and full of rationale. I really love the Christ and also the Psalms. But here is what I mean. The Buddha was so wise that He did not even speak about God. Instead He broke everything down so that all could understand about suffering, the cause of suffering, etc. He also said that nothing here is permanent. Who can argue with this?.
Hindu scriptures are very clear about karma and re-incarnation and the immortality of the Soul. They also tell us that we are the Soul. Still, I have a great illumined Soul for a Teacher and I am extremely 'spiritually holistic' whatever that means.
To return to your question, Vedanta is basically Yoga philosophy, which is in itself all about the spiritual life, which is essentially One. We are all on the same journey, walking along different roads to the same Source. If you know this, then simplify it. Do not worry about the esoteric stuff. Simply pray, serve, love ... have an intense Faith in Something Higher, and you will be helped. Should you need advice on meditation,, then they are in at least two of my Hubs on Yoga. Much peace.
Love is like empathy or compassion, but it is also something you do on purpose, even when you do not feel the empathy or compassion. It's like the dirty and, I presume, smelly homeless guy on the subway platform in the old movie, The Exorcist, who says to the priest something like, "Can you spare some change for an old alter boy." The priest appears to be revolted by this man and passes him by, and later he tells a friend that he thinks he is losing his faith. It may have been better for him if he took a moment to do his job, like I think it is all of our jobs, and make the decision to love this guy, even there was nothing he could do for him except, perhaps, pass on a kind word or blessing : " God loves you." It kind of works in reverse sometimes: you make the choice to love, and the feelings and emotions arise from that choice (or something like that - difficult to explain).
Its hard to be precise without giving examples I think, and my answer will sound very cliche, but I think its the best answer that makes sense for me in many situations. As far as love among our fellow humans, one answer that covers a LOT of territory including in the thread you mentioned, to this one, to all of them, would be to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or Love your neighbor as yourself, put another way. These are things that aren't easy to master, especially with difficult people. It is something I strive for and want to improve in.
This I think covers a lot of ground, from the tough love to the just being generally nice, to being truthful when truth is being sought. I think one thing that love is "not", is being fake or doing any kind of "boot licking" for lack of better words, lol. As for precise though, I think it depends on the individual situations.
I gave it some thought Jonny and you will have to forgive me if it sounds like a cheesy greeting card. Love is when your heart breaks, the moment you realize that mere words or actions, can't possibly express the feelings you have for another. I came to that conclusion right before a loved one died.
Ok Phoenix, but I would call that bereavement, not Love.
Not something I would wish to argue about though.
Human behavior will make sense only in the light of evolution.
Love is a meaningless term in christian context, a term to cover up the nonsense they preach.
God gave his son OUT of LOVE divert our attention from the fact that the son is god himself and actually he didn't loose anything and he simply was confirming the barbarian belief that redemption is only with blood.
Although so much is talked about and preached about in the context of Love, especially as it relates to the stories of the New Testament, I get the impression that concentrating on one person being tortured and killed, (and the supposed reasons for that person being killed), detracts from a very big lesson which is missed in traditional teaching.
Imagining what it would have been like to hang there, naked, in a state of bodily shock. thirsty, forlorn, deserted and betrayed by people whom he loved, losing blood from a wound in the side of his abdomen, a crown of sharp thorns upon his head also bleeding profusely, with excruciating pain ever time he lifted an eyebrow or turned his head upwards. unable to breathe freely and slowly asphyxiating to death. All because he could see the human failings all around him. All because he loved people despite those failings. Even loving the two thieves being killed beside him......
Now turn to those people in the crowd, jeering and taunting him. You and I are undoubtedly amongst them. You and I are just as guilty of being judgmental towards our neighbours, even those who wish us no harm. We are just as likely to cast prejudice. Just as likely to pass the blame on someone else instead of looking inwards for the truth about Me and My need to reform.
It is only when each of us has had the courage to look inward, consider My motives and my standards. Only when I have sorted my self out; inside, honestly, taken a long hard look at my self. Then it can be possible to laugh at my self and my antics, Love myself regardless of the blemishes and faults. Then there is a chance that my Love will overflow from this Cup that I have been privileged to drink from, and the overflowing love will permeate into the lives of others.
Not an easy task, but it's a road worth traveling. This is from a person who does not call himself a christian. He does not need to. It's life he is talking about.
"May your life be a life of love. And may your love be a love of life."
Let's put it in perspective
first that of a common jew
He knows that his nation is occupied, he also knows that Romans will be brutal in suppressing a revolt and here comes a jew who not only command a following but also openly defy the law and authority. In the temple incident he has shown that he is itching for violence and disruption. So in order to live peacefully under occupation, if they delivered him to the Romans who can blame them? Every one knows that crucifixion is the punishment given to rebels and jesus was not the first person, in fact jesus suffered very little. So to say his suffering was worse than others or jews are blame worthy for what happened is not correct at all. Add to that it was god's plan. Jesus wanted to die like that. When god himself decide what option did the jews have?
From the point of view of jesus, as god. .he manipulated it to happen like that, he could have selected less barbaric methods. So as a god, it was his problem that he failed to get his education straight.
As a rebel all he was trying to do was grab power just like his predecessors, so there was no love involved.
As a calm prophet, he was breaking all the laws of jews, wasn't he. He could have taken the situation into consideration (he had the example of Socrates before him) before openly flaunting his views and calling himself messiah. There was no love there either other than his sense of inflated self importance.
Love is just another emotion which make sense only in the context of evolution. All these poetic words are because we are abstract thinkers, and thinkers have one edge over, and because we want to say we are special and not animals.
True.... we are all abstract thinkers. Do we have to be stuck in such thoughts? Or are we, as intelligent people, able to raise the stakes in regard to altruism and Love?
"...in fact jesus suffered very little." Really? In view of the methods of torture and ridicule? Regardless of whether he was suffering similar to many others.
"So as a god,.....he failed....." (I don't think this is taking it too out of context) all of what you have said in your post would make sense if Jesus was god. But then how could a "god" fail?
"As a calm prophet.........so there was no love involved." Is to flout the law of the land showing a lack of love, a lack of concern for others of the population?
We can in calm and cool situations. In stress we all revert to our primal instincts.
Jesus suffered very little compared to others eho were crucified. He even died early, in three hours, usually it take them two or more days and usually they are crucified near towns and public roads. Jesus died fast hence he did not suffer the usual thirst, dehydration and prolonged pain. He was crucified far away on hill that he didn't have to suffer humiliation and he was decently buried too.
He failed in the sense he followed what all barbarians followed. A god ought to get some civilised ways
Poseneus was a respected greek general but he was killed because he flouted the convention. [He colluded with Persians but that was not the main reason]. A person who publicly criticizing and disobeying the rules of the land shows contempt to the same. Jesus also continously called whoever opposed him as sons of vipers and from satan. Such contempt is not love but a superiority complex. Suppose you love someone, will I continously critize and call him names? If you do how long will that relation last?
Most interesting questions, thank you. I find it not possible for me to give definitive answers to them.
Not claiming to be "a christian," not accepting the notion of a god "out there somewhere," not accepting the christian stories, I remain open to scientific exploration.
Yes, the concepts of Love which I have been probing here are a mixed bag of wishful thinking and a hoping for some kind of world counter against the imbalances of human greed and selfishness. So this wishful thinking has coloured my thinking.
Just as an aside, I have been watching a TV program this evening about an Island in the Philippines. The film showed a beautiful butterfly, the Nymph, emerging from its chrysalis. I got thinking how did such an amazing biological process arise? It cannot be, from my perspective, simply an evolutionary and accidental chance happening. Surely there was something, a sort of creator, determining such a biological wonder.
Certainly I don't think it was caused by a judgmental god. Maybe a carpenter!
Odd - you are now OK with going off topic to propose irrational beliefs.
Interesting that you managed to completely contradict yourself here - as most "I can't believe it happened without a creator," people seem to do. On the one hand you are "open to scientific explanation," yet completely reject them once you see something pretty and "surely there was something, a sort of creator,"
If I show you some deadly human parasites and ugly creatures - will you decide the opposite, I wonder?
I have an open mind...... as far as the origins of our world are concerned. I am also open to scientific exploration and discovery.
I have a closed mind where it comes to humans making judgment on other humans and invoking the aid of fictitious supernatural beings to enforce those judgments.
If you see this as being contradictory, so be it.
"It cannot be, from my perspective, simply an evolutionary and accidental chance happening. Surely there was something, a sort of creator," does not leave you open minded. You have already decided there must be a sort of creator. But science - as we currently understand it - says there does not appear to be a creator needed. So - yes - I see that as contradictory.
Agreed on the fictional Super Beings.
Let us say you are a hunter gatherer looking for food and suddenly you here a noise, what would you do?
People who think there is something behind the noise will take precaution. People who don't think there is nothing behind it, will not take any precaution. The first person will be slightly paranoid, always thinking of a cause behind everything, while the latter will be dead because he never think anyone is behind anything. We are the descendants of the former who took precaution (the latter died out) and in consequence we are slightly paranoid, we cannot accept that there is none behind any events.
So I guess that will answer your question " as intelligent people, able to raise the stakes in regard to altruism and Love?". We don't use our intelligence to think that there is none behind though at a conceptual we understand it and accept evolution. We us intelligent persons cannot raise the stakes because "intelligence" is an ornament for us, a work and consequently we rarely use.
Now whatever we propose as created, we have to strip the creator of the same character, otherwise it will be a logical impossibility. Add to that beauty is a concept, the name nymph create aversion in me, and sweet taste(memories) in another.
I hear you. It is occurring to me even more than before, this depends on so many different things. I was looking at it more from the point of view of how I look at the threads. The love you speak of is felt so deeply, it is hard to express, and I get it. Its very touching how you put it. I had never thought about it that way before. Words can't really convey that kind of love so it feels cheesy responding to it too almost. I could feel in my own heart, that feeling as you described it, and I don't think its like a greeting card at all. Just raw love, enough to feel the hurt..... And its ok, and you wouldn't trade it for the world, I am guessing.
Funny one here, Jonny. An interesting topic and I do not know if I'll tell you anything earth-shattering here. God Shet is right in his own way and you are also right.
From looking at your comments, both 'experience' and the importance of 'words' seem to be an issue. But first, there are those who see it like some of the ways that you mentioned. They do not look beyond for anything else. It brings its pain and bargaining; securities and insecurities; attachments and ultimatums, yes, but they find pleasure in this approach, and are seemingly satisfied where they are.
Others see Love from the standpoint of the Divine: That is to say, Love is the yearning of the One for the One; the very pulse of being; that which is experienced within the Centre and makes the Soul weep; the Spiritual Centre (Heart) jump in delight.
This is sooner or later expressed in service to humanity; sacrifice, or in the heart and beauty of a child. He who loves never grow old and God is a shining example.
Yet again, others see Love as synonymous with God and Truth in all its myriad manifestations. So you will find it in the eloquence of music, the sacrifice and fragrance of the flower, and yes, the same power manifests in a lower or grosser form in human love.
Love pushes or works in and through all life and how it does so, can be only a matter of degrees.
Finally, my response is in two parts. We cannot avoid 'words', and even the Seers tell us that they are necessary. In the highest Absolute there may be no need to speak, but we are growing and as such they are meaningful for us to express God in all Her manifold expressions; to give meaning to life. All the Seers say this.
I'm afraid that until such time as I can praise God from within only, I will continue to praise Her in verbal and interior form until words cease and we are face to face. I do empathise with you, however, and yes, occasionally it can be vague as to where others are going with this word. Peace, Bro.
I think kess did a good job of describing love in the context of this discussion. But, I would add loving others as yourself goes into the realm of not judging them selfishly. We tend to analyze actions by how they affect us, personally. Emotionally and physically. We should expand our circle of compassion to encompass all. Take into account others wants and needs. Give them equal footing with our own. See the good in them, just as we rationalize our own actions in order to ultimately claim we are good.
Another beautiful answer. Still, people are where they are at every given moment. Some just need a little inspiration and will move forward. Others will remain where they are. We cannot move faster than Grace. I'm saying all this to Jonny. Just in a different way.Much Love to you today. Peace.
Love is a mirage and that's why we keep pursuing it, defining it in the way we see it and yet never absolutely attaining it. My humble understanding!
Reasonable, approach Donald. You may not find it initially by looking, as it must be felt within. However, after this inner experience, outer things will suddenly become beautiful: The stars, trees, the beauty of a child's smile, oceans ...but it need not be only nice things. As the inner love develops, you will feel and see it in God's creation, too. In Light and Love.
jonnycomelately, this is my favorite of your posts (your OP).
This is not only such an important question, but answering it forces us to face the fact that True Love is difficult for most of us. Indeed, it might even seem impossible.
Love is wishing for someone else everything that they desire without any need for reciprocation. Love is a complete lack of self-concern. This is what Jesus was talking about.
Ego is the opposite of this. Ego is separation and self-concern. Ego says, "What's in it for me." Love does none of this.
True Love is to be willing to give up anything to make another happy. True Love is to turn the other cheek if that is what the other wants.
True Love is taking perfect responsibility for everything that happens to you. When you take responsibility for the actions of others, then you can never again be a victim. You are also showing your desire to have them receive everything they want, even if it is to your own death. This is the lesson of Christ's sacrifice.
Too many in Christianity simply don't get it. They become reasonable and egoistic and water down the original intent.
On this, I think, for once, the Bible discusses a topic in a way that can be read literally and spiritually. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
I don't do this. Not always. I'm still learning to let go of ego.
But if we were all to do this and completely, we would heal the world. If selfishness and self-concern were eliminated and we treated each other as well as we would want ourselves treated, then hunger would end. All crime would end. Governments, if they existed, would become open, transparent, responsible and beneficent.
Love really is the answer. But we need to define Love, first. We need to define it in a way that isn't reasonable or waffling. Some might say that this is impossible, because they've never seen it happen. I have seen it happen and the miracles that come with it. I long to return to that state of unreasonable, unveiled bliss. Loving my enemies allowed me to understand True forgiveness, because forgiveness is borne out of Love.
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
JJ, I see it as meaning this: When I own something that I really treasure; something that I can call mine, it's my property, it's my birthright, it's something so special to me that I would really be very, very reluctant to lose it....... THEN I make a free choice to give it away on behalf of another person (my friend), then what I give has great, great value..- to me. The giving away cost me personally a sense of loss.... yet my concern for my friend is infinitely greater than my own concerns.
If however I don't value my life, it's become a burden to me, so I say, "to hell with my life, you can have it, I don't want it." What value is my life then? In giving it away it has cost me nothing.
Can you see the difference?
My question was regarding jn: 15 context. That was a great phrase and though christians claim that jesus lay down his life, he actually didn't, did he? Sleeping a day extra and claiming it as a sacrifice for ones friend won't make it a sacrifice, will it?
Since you took the trouble to explain that much I will ask you a question, will anyone really give away anything if they don't expect a reciprocation? (Giving charity is an entirely different matter). If you give to a friend, give again and again and if the friend doesn't reciprocate will you really give again? The old adage, when we were hunter gatherers was, the best place to store food is in your friends stomach. So when we give, actually it's an act of selfishness, though not consciously. So isn't love just another evolved method of self preservation? Aren't we giving it a special status just to feel superior to animals who do the same as "instinct"?
So... you knew the answer, as I thought you did, but you asked it to make a frame for your response... which is why I didn't answer. Pre-framing is a set up that's hard to miss. I find it really irritating 'cause it's not a real conversation, it's someone having a conversation with himself, trying to control the outcome of the other person's response so that he can give his next response... which in your case is, 99% of the time: "And that's why your religion causes so many wars." I find that incredibly tedious. I have loved discussing the bible with Julie 'cause it's a real conversation.
Did Jesus sleep? Because when I read the story, I read that he willingly gave himself to be brutally tortured and then murdered on a cross to pay for our sins... so the way you frame it... it falls so short of the actual circumstance, the stories couldn't even be compared.
Wow - you know all this from reading the bible? Well done you. 3 days pretend dead out of 13.8 billion years to pay for non existent sins? I would ask him not to bother spending 3 days pretend dead out of 13.8 billion years as not being necessary. He will of course know that so - what a tiny little waste.
As we now know - Jesus never existed in any case. What was your point again?
Oh... I thought your question was regarding Jn 15.
My question? Didn't ask you one. You do know Jesus was not a real person though - right? Despite being pretend dead for 3 days.
I find this... icky. It's just... yuck. If you don't believe the story of Jesus... just find another topic that interests you.
Immediately, RA, you have turned a discussion about the nature of Love into another rant about theism/atheism.
We have done so much in that context here in HubPages over the past few years, that it really is getting us no where. So, are you able to address the subject? I.e., people in search of the meaning of Love? Trying to take an Inward Journey, each of us trying to find out how "I" fit into this ideal pursuit? There is no need to take on board any of the religious aspects if you don't want to. Just join with the positive walk forward.... looking for better ways of living together.
I feel that JJ has put a very important point. Yes, when we portray the ideal of "Love thy Neighbour," it is in reality self-serving. In our traditional "Judeo-Christian" vogue, we have been taught not to be selfish, so this makes me feel like I have "sinned," another attempt at controlling my mind by making me feel guilty.
If, on the other hand, "Love," ( in other words a deep sense of belonging,) is an essentially circular phenomenon, then having the Love that I have put out returned to me is not a selfish or greedy thing.... it's in the nature of giving and receiving, a beautiful connection, full of life and joy.
No - I didn't. I responded directly to a religionist's rant.
Once one has read the instructions in the bible to "love thy neighbor" it is explained quite clearly that the reason to do so is in order to get them to "love," you.
As for "love" - this is simply a human concept/emotion.
Personally I think removing the majickal, religious aspect is a positive way forward. Listening to the self righteousness of those claiming True Love. well.... I am sure you know ow I feel about that as well.
You have mistaken me for someone else. I don't think your religion causes war but I think it as a political tool used by the elite to fool the foolish to remain in power.
Not murdered, but remain comatosed for TWO days, that was not something, is it? Lot many innocent people were tortured by Romans and christians, were they all sacrificing? Jesus was a criminal according to jewish and roman law, and a criminal should be punished. The sacrifice would have been from Romans if they chose not to do it. And he didn't willingly give, did he, he had no choice against the mighty Romans? It was the barbarians who thought that killing an animal or human would connect them to god or save them from sins, if there is a god he should be em! civilised. If he wants to forgive he could just forgive especially aince he ia omniscient and knows that it is the human condition that make him behavebthe way he did and there is no point in punishing someone for what he is, which is not under his control any way. At the least he should avoid a drama and should not act foolish. If humans are sinful, it's the ineptness of it maker, isn't it? If humans sin, why would god be worried, it's not going to do anything to him. If somebody has taken something from me that would be sin and if I forgive him CONDITIONALLY that would be forgiveness not love. Love would be unconditional. And to forgive, if have lost nothing, do I have to act as if I lost something?
Loving someone is wanting the best for them even if what's best for them isn't best for you.
Loving someone is putting their needs over your own.
It's forgiving them, as God has forgiven me.
It's sacrifice... (as the bible says)... even to the point of death. Most parents understand that, as they would give their life for their child without a moment's hesitation.
Love is always looking for the best in the other.
Love is not a feeling, but a promise.
I wanted to think more about this very important question, and also because I answered prior, with these forums in mind in particular. Since then, I have read more answers and realize this is a much deeper question, almost unable to be answered because how could mere words account for how I think and feel about love to the degree I think some are talking about it. So here goes..
Love is powerful and very multifaceted. Pure and true love, to me, is too hard to try and explain, yet what can one do but try. There is so much hatred in the world, darkness, anger, etc. Love counters the negative things like that, and that is what I mean in part, that it is so powerful. Powerful in the sense that it can overcome or help to counter these things, when not much else can.
Love enables us to forgive when wronged and hurt, even truly and deeply hurt. It feels nearly impossible sometimes, depending on the issue. Letting things go, (not saying the wrongs were ok to have done), to the degree that we can forgive, can hurt a little more or a lot more, before the process is finalized. Yet, its the power of love that helps to conquer the pain or hurt, its just plain ole stronger. It kills bad things, so to speak. Powerful things can do that. (Forgive my wording at times here please! I know it might sound odd.)
Love is patient, and hopeful, waiting as long as is needed to see whatever is going on, through to its end. This can seem or be lifetimes at times. Love doesn't have a time limit on it. I agree with Beth that it is doing what is best for the one loved, when it hurts us even.
I don't blame others for going to God in this topic, and to Jesus, such a sacrificial example of love. I think this is because he is the epitome of it. Running with the idea of his existence, could we ever attain such a love, and why and how would we? True love observed and thought about, makes me want to love more and better. The love of Jesus was about the greater good, the hope of all, patient, seeing the bigger picture, being an example when he had done no wrong. Father God, who I believe is our creator, is amazingly loving to create us as beings that can even contemplate this idea. (again, running with the idea of his existence, and those that know me know I believe and think he does.)
While we have to be utterly frustrating at times, all things considered, he STILL sees past and the love continues the show to go on. There were so many other options, yet here we are. Love is about giving, giving love. It needs not to have received it first. Love is ok to feel and feel strongly for others, its amazing! So many different kinds, like for family, friends, the romantic love we feel, and love of God and his creation (for me anyway). I am blown away, and I have a feeling that the more I learn and feel, that I have not really any real idea of the intensity and power of love that could perhaps really be tapped into. I have an idea, and its overwhelming.
The biggest example of love, is Jesus. He could too, as he wasn't marred by any sin or wrongdoing like we have only ever known. He started from a pure point. I could go on for quite some time about Jesus alone. I ought to do a hub or something on it, lol.
I also sense love in nature, in a sunset, in a breeze, in the awesomeness of an ocean or of space. Have you ever felt just like crying, or have tears ever come because you were so overwhelmed by it all, in a good way I mean? Just in awe, I mean. Its another form of love, not painful, but a glimpse of the beginning to understand a small fraction of what there even is to know of, learn about, live, and love.
Love is light, lighting a path in the dark or rocky and dangerous areas of life. I think it transcends time and space, and is eternal. I think it has an ongoing effect, a ripple effect. I think at times we have a great love for humanity as a whole, on the whole planet. Aren't we a big family in so many ways? Then the segments of society as a whole. Love encourages us all to hang on and survive, even when its tough. Sometimes others need to know they are loved and not alone in that path. If love of any amount is extended in almost any form, the sheer power and effect it has can literally make the difference in our fellow mans life. This is no small thing.
So our love matters. Each and every one of us. Not always worried about getting it, but giving it regardless of who it is given to. It can be a light into my heart, showing my own fault and makes me want to clean those things up. I want more love, not more of the things that when the light is shown, makes me feel ashamed or anything like that. So love is corrective, and a healer of not just others when given from us, but of ourselves.
Time flies, and decades go by, then a life time, then another century, but love endures. The ripple effects of our love we share, and that we have been blessed to receive can have ripple effect forever. This is amazing if you think about it! Long after our physical bodies are gone, our love and its effect can keep on carrying on. This makes me want to waste no time, and hold on to that love perspective a little bit longer and a little bit more everyday.
So, a very good question. Thank you. I honestly don't know how to answer such a question. Being in tune with the idea, and looking to the greatest examples we can find and ever know of. These were on to something. I am so thankful for love I have received, before I could have ever really given any. I pray for everyone I can because while I know some don't think that matters, I do, and if it does matter, and the source is love like I think, then we can learn all the more and experience more fulness of life and love along the journey before its over, this go around. That is a start, and I can admit I don't still know how to answer.
Love is wanting the best for others in spite of the cost to you (paraphrased from Kess). I am old, and have had many experiences. I must say, the greatest love I have felt on this earth is the love I feel for my grandchildren.
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