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What is love?

Love has been one of those terms that has gripped the history of civilization. For better or for worse, we, on a daily basis, construe our lives based on our particular understanding of love - we usually link our happiness with love. There are many perspectives on love: emotions, practice, ethic, to name a few. Often, our experiences with love are powerful, and they are indeed worth sharing.

What is your particular understanding of love?

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    Oct 1 2012: Love is the only thing real and the only thing worth learning.

    Love is the light of our being and all that's not fueled by it will perish.
  • Sep 27 2012: I think to ask what love is isn't really answerable, rather, I think we can find the answer in what it looks like, in describing love. It is such a touchy and intrinsically confusing, elusive concept. But it is real, it is beautiful, and it is not happiness, but joy. As the verses below describe, until we show ourselves vulnerable in the face of love, we will not find it, and until we invest a radical faith in love, we will not know it. Love in a place of vulnerability, patience, and honesty. Brene Brown gives such a great talk on this concept of vulnerability.

    Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13, one of my favorite descriptions of what love looks like:

    "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." -- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13 NIV
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      Sep 28 2012: Hi Jacob,

      I think you're quite right. Defining love is probably an impossible task, but we could touch its boundaries and know with certainty what it is and what it isn't.


  • Sep 25 2012: What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more. Oh, I don't know why you're not there I give you my love, but you don't care So what is right and what is wrong. Gimme a sign. What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more.
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    Oct 1 2012: It is a kind of irresistable madness.
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      Oct 1 2012: Allan, I LOVE it! Life is a kind of irresistable madness....LOL:>)
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    Oct 1 2012: God is love; and love is of God. Love is that thing that humanity is always looking for (in one way or the other) and a few lucky ones find. So many songs have been written about love; so many books have been written about it; and so many films have been made about it.

    God is love; and there are so many things masquerading as love and then leaving people disappointed, heartbroken and shattered.

    1 John 4: 7 and 8 says "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

    1 Corinthians 13:4 to 13 lists the qualities of Love.
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      Oct 1 2012: Feyisayo,
      In my perception, we all have the ability to love, whether or not we believe in a god. Love is in all of I recall, it says that in the bible:>)

      When you speak about "looking" for it or "finding" it, are you refering to a romantic love? Are there "so many things masquerading as love", as you say? Or... do you think/feel that some people have expectations of unrealistic love? My feeling is that the only way one would be disappointed, heartbroken and shattered, is if we had expectations that could not be met by another person.

      If you want to use God as a focus of love, you say it yourself in your comment..."everyone who loves is born of God...". It also says in the bible that we are all made in the image of God, so we MUST all know love:>) We simply need to recognize it in ourselves. No need to go on a quest to "find" anything....just "BE" all that we can be in a loving way:>)
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        Oct 1 2012: Oh Colleen, I love you.
        We all have the ability to love. But the question is, do we love as we ought? It is easy to love when our object of love is lovable. Who would not love an evening of wine and a three course dinner with a rich, famous and beautiful friend?
        But how easy is it to love someone who has thrown you in prison for 27 years? (like Dr Nelson Mandela did)
        How easy is it to leave comforts and conviniences and commit to the homeless, poor and destitude?(like Mother Teresa did); How easy is it to keep giving to someone without expecting anything back? How easy is it for a mother to love a child with a terminal disease?

        How easy is it to love one's partner if he or she is not as sweet and romantic and passionate as in the beginning of a relationship?
        Oh, I know the answer to this one. Love, like greatness, takes much more from us than we can give in convinience and comfort. Love takes commitment. That is why God-given ability to love is not the same in all human beings. And for the people that have loved against all odds, we admire, and we know that they are children of God.
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          Oct 1 2012: Thank you Feyisayo....I love you an evolving human:>)

          I totally is easy to love that which is lovable....more challenging to love that which is not lovable. Personally, I don't care about rich and famous....I DO however have a lot of friends who are REALLY beautiful inside and outside, and I LOVE all of them and LOVE spending time with them:>)

          Nelson Mandela's kind of love is the kind of love I speak of. From what I've read of his life, it does not appear that he had to "find" it. He recognized it in himself. To give to someone without expecting anything back is not really so difficult when/if we know our "self" and we are clear with our goals in this life experience.

          I agree that love takes committment....I'm with you this far my friend:>)

          This is where we differ with ideas. I recognize the love in myself and all those around me, even though I do not believe in a god. I believe all humans have the ability to love in the same ways, and a belief in a god does not always create loving behaviors, as we have seen many times throughout history. If you want to believe that we are all children of a god(s) so be it. I do not believe love depends on a god.
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    Sep 30 2012: When you love someone, you give one the power to hurt you and have trust you will not be hurt.
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    Sep 30 2012: I think love is inspiration to do things which might look impossible.
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      Oct 2 2012: Yes indeed Noveed. In my humble perception, love has an element of inspiration, which may give us the strength to do what might seem impossible:>)
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    Sep 29 2012: Love is a state of being...when everything seems right!!

    You evaluate less and assume more.

    ITs a good place to be , unless u r sure to be there for long.
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    Sep 26 2012: love is when your souls dance together
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    Gail .

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    Sep 25 2012: I don't like the word "Love". It means different things to different people. Examples: A parent spanks a child and says, "I'm only doing this because I love you" . Or a Christian is told, "Your father in heaven loves you, but if you don't believe this, you will spend eternity in hell writhing in pain". By the time a typical child reaches adulthood, the only good thing left about love is the thrill of infatuation. The beauty and depth has gone out of it. I try to avoid the word, if I can make the same point without it.
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    . .

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    Oct 1 2012: Love is in the heart of the beholder.
    Love is the only reason and purpose we are here for.
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    Oct 1 2012: Love is the strongest desire to attach to some 'thing' - the highest degree of happiness.
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      Oct 1 2012: Hi Nicholas,
      I suggest that the highest level of love is NOT attached. The highest level of love is given without attachment or expectations:>)
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        Oct 1 2012: Then how do you explain unconditional love between mother and child?

        Attachment is the source of all emotion Colleen!
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          Oct 1 2012: I cannot explain it for everyone Nicholas. My own experience, and what I have observed with many mothers, is that they/we give everything and anything without expecting anything in return....that is unconditional love.

          I do not agree that attachment is the source of all emotion. We all experience emotion. Whether or not we choose to be attached to emotion is a's only my own experience Nicholas.

          I'll share a story with you regarding how I learned this concept Nicholas.
          My father was a violent abusive man. My mother, for whatever reason, stayed with him for 65 years...until she died. From the time I was a wee little lass, my mom always said love the man, hate the behavior. I learned from a very young age to love, even when the person was not lovable. I also learned to seperate the behavior from the person, which is unconditional love of a person, while NOT accepting certain behaviors.

          It's simply my experience....not trying to convince you of anything. I will say, however, that the practice has given me contentment in my life:>)
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        Oct 2 2012: You're just absolutely delightful, aren't you Colleen Steen? My love goes out to you, truly.

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          Oct 2 2012: Hi Christian,
          I don't know how "delightful" I am.....I suppose it depends on who you ask!!! LOL:>)

          I DO know that I am delighted with the life experience, and if that is at all projected out into our world, I am content. My love goes out to you too....truly my friend:>)

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    W. Ying

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    Oct 1 2012: I think:

    (1) Love is the spiritual part of SYMBIOSIS.
    (2) It may be classified as:
    a) Primary symbiosis: ---- Marriage, parenting,...
    b) Secondary symbiosis ---- Friendship, classmates, society, ....

    SYMBIOSIS is one of our instincts saved in DNA. Instincts are our ancestors successful experiences formed about 10,000 years ago.
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    Sep 29 2012: love is leave him alone. let him growth indenpently
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    Sep 28 2012: To comprehend love, you really need to comprehend your technology, for love is truth on many levels.

    To keep the game of love in the mind, you need a BARRIER BETWEEN FANTASY AND REALITY, and this requires you to use your own hands for every decision so you keep the dangerous logistics IN YOUR MIND so they stay out of this dimension of the shared reality.

    To use your analysis tools for this system, please label FOR ALL TIME, but ONLY IN YOUR MIND, from left index to right across your palms with the following terms: lie, scapegoat, dishonor, torture, steal, overwork, adulterate, kill. One note: The reason I use "adulterate" instead of "adultery" is because we are talking about the tainting of LOGIC OF ANCESTRY.

    These labels are not random. They are designed in conjunction with our MUTUAL PROCESSING ABILITIES.

    If you do not lie, then you RESPECT the TRUTH of your life's path FORWARD in space-time so you PROTECT THE BARRIER.
    If you do not scapegoat, you RESPECT THE MISTAKES in your life's path BACKWARDS in space-time and learn from them.

    If you do not dishonor, then you respect the peace you keep with your FRIENDS AND FAMILY as you all travel forward through space-time.
    If you do not torture, you respect the WAKE you leave behind your entourage through space-time.

    If you do not steal, you respect the burdens of OTHERS BEFORE THEY ARRIVE in your vicinity in space-time.
    If you do not overwork, you respect the burdens YOU ADD TO OTHERS as they leave through space-time.

    If you do not adulterate, you respect the rights of others to making ancestry that moves forward through space-time.
    If you do not kill, you respect the rights of others to HAVING ANCESTRY that moves naturally backwards in space-time.

    Thus, when you judge someone to love, you can see how you INTERFACE: Love is HONEST. Love is RESPONSIBLE. Love is HONORABLE. Love is FUN. Love is GIVING. Love is EFFORTLESS. Love is INTIMATE. Love is FULFILLING.
  • Sep 28 2012: Love is the recognition in someone or something else that which affirms the highest aspirations that we have for ourselves.
  • Sep 26 2012: Love is a transitive verb; or it is meaningless emotion.
  • Sep 25 2012: Erich Fromm's Art of Loving may be a great help.

    Have you read it? if not, Do it!

    Love is an energy in motion inside and outside of us. so it is in both sides that's one of the reasons, we can share it.

    but in general, I have no clue what makes us to feel that energy in us yet make it move around.
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      Sep 25 2012: Thanks for the comment! I'll definitely check out the book. In your energetic view of love, would a basic view be that love is everywhere?
      • Sep 25 2012: Love is in the air!

        indeed, it is everywhere. if you look and you will find.
        it depends on when and where and how you look for love.

        Got questions for you:

        Do you love because you are loved?
        you are loved that's why you love?

        you don't have to answer if you don't want to. :-D
        those are some of my philosophic questions I ask on regular basis
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    Oct 1 2012: love is a concept that leads us to the wrong side

    in china there is a saying that wateriness is happiness . so we do not talk much about love
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      Oct 1 2012: Hi Chen:>)
      In your belief, love "leads us to the wrong side" of what?

      Can you help me understand what you mean by "wateriness is happiness"?
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    Sep 30 2012: Hello Christian,
    You are indeed correct in your observation that "there are many perspectives on love"!

    My humble perception and experience, is that on a very basic level, at any given time, we are coming from a place of love, or fear.

    Love is acceptance, respect, joy, happiness, contentment, compassion, empathy, curiosity, peace, harmony, balance, inspiration, creativity, etc.
    Fear is lack of acceptance, disrespect, unhappiness, discontent, lack of compassion, empathy and joy, lack of peace, harmony and balance, etc.

    We are multi dimensional, multi sensory humans, so we can be afraid when experiencing love, and we can be loving, when experiencing fear, when we are open to those possibilities.

    If our foundation is one of fear, our life will manifest from a place of fear. If our foundation is love, our life will manifest from a foundation of unconditional love. With that underlying foundation, there are many different manifestations of love and fear.

    The foundation, is what we build our house on (the life experience) using many different tools and materials which we gather through the life journey. Know thyself:>)
  • Sep 26 2012: I agree with TED Lover that the word "love" is so distorted that it is difficult to know what someone means when they say, "II love you". It is probably wise to ask, for clarity's sake. In this way, we can avoid someone meaning, "I enjoy your company", while we are hearing "You are mine for life!!" Or perhaps we could just say what we mean in the first place. I often tell people, "I enjoy you", or something to that effect. They may be stirring the feeling of love within me, yet I am not sure what they will hear through their filters if I say, "I love you".

    That being said, have you noticed that the only place you ever feel love is within your own heart? Therefore, nothing can stop us from loving, except we ourselves. If we stop feeling love for any reason, we are the ones who are stopping it, not someone else. We are the ones creating our own pain by shutting down. It's the same with not feeling love, because we are waiting for someone to be a cause for love. Love needs no cause. It just feels good, so do it! :)
  • Sep 26 2012: "What is love?"

    Baby don't hurt me
    Don't hurt me no more
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    Sep 25 2012: The question of what is love was heavily mulled over throughout the 90s, check it out: