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What is love, anyway?

Video from 1983. Ha ha - I was a sophomore in high school!

But the question is not rhetorical: What is love, anyway? Does anybody love anybody, anyway?

If you learn to love your enemy, are they still your enemy?


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When you restore folks on your site Michael.
That is Love in action.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15


I've thought about this question for a long time. In fact, there are at least three or four threads on the DP with this same title "What is love?" I also made some comments below, but if you're open to it, I think there may be something of a simplified answer in a different context:


Michael Nystrom's picture

I read it. Thank you farmer.

I like very much what you said in that post. It is truly original, truly a beautiful insight. It reminded me of a book I read earlier this year, called Love 2.0.

But what you touched upon in your essay is so deep. So simple. So fundamental. And it is all lost, and washed away, buried under these tidal waves of commercialization: TV, manufactured conflict, manufactured fears, useless products, facebook "friends."

It occurred to me that maybe one of the most important things in life is to be loved in this way. We all long for someone to voluntarily sacrifice (part of) his life on our behalf. It makes us feel so good. Maybe it's the thing we, as individuals, desire above all other things.

- - -

I just got up; haven't had my coffee yet, farmer. But I want to say thank you so much for sharing this.

to love your enemy is to

to love your enemy is to forgive them, if forgiveness is warranted,
To love your enemy is to forgive yourself for the hate you let, into your life

When forgiveness from both sides is achieved, thats when love, liberty and happiness will blossom

Love is perfect continuity, without extension.

When SVP uses the term "Love" it means or is as coherence, sympathy, affinity, Harmony. In SVP terms it helps to think of Love as Sympathy as used in music and the sound and vibration fields. When two or more objects are in sympathy they act and react as One object.

"Where there is no sympathy there can be no love, for love is sympathy." [Vera Vita the Philosophy of Sympathy]


egapele's picture

All I know is the opposite of it is not hate

but apathy.

Both "love" and "respect" express recognition of humanity.

"Unconditional love" could mean "respect for the right of another to make 'bad' choices.

Parents frequently punish their children BECAUSE they love them and want their children to understand "bad" decisions have consequences.

While I have frequently heard that "love" and "fear" are opposites ("A Course in Miracles" suggest that these are the only two choices of the human spirit"), I disagree. One can fear someone's actions but still love them; one can love someone's actions and still fear them.

Context is everything. That is why one is supposed to "hate the sin, but love the sinner."

I prefer to look at this way. When one has courage, it is impossible to hate, but possible to fear. I would use the ironic phrase "healthy respect" for one's enemy. When one has, instead, cowardice, it is impossible to love, but possible to respect. Cowards cannot love anyone but themselves; and, sooner or later, even that love to hate.

LOVE is the closest word to define ineffable Truth.

Love is a measurement of our state of e-motion. Like heat, there are lesser degrees of Love, but no opposite, like cold, truly exist but in the minds of man. It is the Sun that shines on our lives regardless of the cloud cover of our egos. It is always there, present in our solar-plexus—the Sun within.

We must seek the breaks in the clouds of our egos to let the Light through our hearts and we must always remember, regardless of the current forecast in our lives, that the Light is always shining bright within and without.

Love is the thermometer I measure my life experience by.

The Sun shines bright on the DP. There are always chances of rain but the warmth is always there and it will always remain.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Michael Nystrom's picture

Love is a singularity

This makes it difficult to define in common terms and concepts. It has no opposite, which makes it nearly incomprehensible in our world of duality. Its very nature makes it a mystery.


As an asset, gold is also a singularity. Any paper asset has two sides, the asset side and the liability side. A dollar in your pocket is an asset, but the Fed's liability. Stocks and bonds are your assets, but the company's liability.

Gold doesn't have that other side. It is pure and solid, and no counter party's liability. This is why central bankers hate it. It makes it more difficult to control the world when people use and understand these two things, one physical, one ephemeral: Gold & Love.

Like love, Mr. Nystrom, peace is a singularity, too

Your insight into the challenges of grasping the meanings of singularities, prompts me to add "peace" as another example.

War is not the opposite of peace, regardless of how many dictionaries offer that definition. In Greek, "peace" is "eirinis". The literal meaning translates properly to, "wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God's gift of wholeness)." It comes from the word "eirō", which means "to join, tie together into a whole".

I will go so far as to suggest that if love and peace are not very much the same thing, then they both perch on the same branch of the tree of knowledge.

Love is the only thing that can overcome rational self-interest.

It's the force behind ever instance of human beings setting the interest of another 100% over their own self-interest, from washing the dishes to running into a burning building after a stranger.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Love is patient, love is kind

I remember the words from 1 Corinthians 13 because my grandmother taught me to recite it in church as a kid. It describes love in its purist form which is a challenge to practice. I often reflect upon Kahlil Gibran’s poetry for its two-sided description of love, empowering on the one hand and tortuous and shattering on the other.

Excerpt: (New International Version 1 Corinthians 13)
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.

Translation with respect to enemies:
Under all provocation, one remains benign, kind and gentle, slow to anger even when abused, exercising forbearance being ready to forgive showing grace without harsh judgment.
At man’s highest natural evolved state of love, I do not think we see our enemies as enemies. Granted this is a very idealistic notion, but Gibran implores us to not act upon our willful, self-important impulses thus allowing love to guide us. I think this is doable as long as we keep our eyes open to what lies ahead.

Kahlil Gibran on Love (excerpt)

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.
When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

LO V E L Y *

+1, yours ~ "It always protects," ~ ~

Beautiful recognition

and +1 Thank You!:)

I love Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Since Michael started a Bookshelf section on DP, it seems like best practice to provide a link to the title on Amazon so DP can earn commission from sales and the book is autoshelved and shown in the section.

So here it is:

Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet," 1923.

From my understanding, all royalties from Gibran's copyright were bequeath to his hometown in Lebanon; however, the rights to the work in the US is set to enter the public domain in 2018.

The chapters from The Prophet are also maintained in unsanctioned capacity at a private host as well.

Love is a most glorious

Love is a most glorious aching in your chest.

You can't love your enemy. You can treat them fairly however. Its not a good idea to take religious books literally.


Whats love got to do with it?

How's this one: Love is...

"Love is the instantaneous resistance of injustice."

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.


Love is, of course, complicated, and attempts have been made to classify it in various ways. Aside from all other considerations, I think love always involves desiring the best for another, even if it is at the expense of one's self.

I think people can love others, but I think it is rare. For one to love another and be loved by that other is exceedingly rare.

I think love also involves expectation for the future.

I once wrote a poem in answer to a question from someone I love. Unfortunately, I was never able to deliver the poem. The one I love has never read it. It said something like this:

The meaning of life for some is to love and be unloved.
They look to the future.

The love of some is the meaning of life.
They are the saviors of the world.

Some are loved, but do not love in return.
They seek meaning in memories.

I don't remember the exact wording, but I have it written down in a safe place. I thought about it carefully at the time, and I think it's a shame it remains undelivered. Maybe someday.

Unfortunately, it's clear that you can love an enemy. They can still be your enemy, and they can make that clear. Of course, such a person is also his or her own enemy.


Love is...

...wanting the best for someone, regardless of circumstances. This means wanting to help, when possible or appropriate, to point out error or evil in another--not dismissing it or coddling it. (This doesn't mean arrogantly judging someone and having a holier-than-thou attitude.). It will not seek to punish someone just for the sake of punishment -- it will always have in view restoration in the end.

Love is patient, always seeking to ultimately remove barriers and reconcile grievances. If you do not desire reconciliation with your enemy, through mutual repentance/forgiveness, you do not love them.

Note that loving another is NOT diametrically opposed to loving self. They go hand-in-hand. The more you seek to nurture love with others, the more you will appreciate your own growth as a Person. It's not to say, oh, look at me, I'm so loving, or she's so loving, but rather taking joy in reflecting the source of Love itself.

It’s possible to love someone

And not treat them in the way that you want
It’s possible to see your eyes
Be the devil in disguise with another front
And, it’s possible to change this world
Revolutionize the boys and girls
It’s possible to educate
The next generation that will rule the world someday

The changing times of the 21st century
Means nothing to me cos I would rather be
At the beginning of time, earth would be mine
Living in luxury
Discovering a world out there
Believing in the sun earth water and air
Take me there so I could see the world bloom
Standing on a sea cliff howling at the moon
Creating a world for the open minded
A unique perception of truth inside it
I know we could find it
It’s just a matter of where and when we collectively decide it
The world is not a vicious place
It’s just the way we’ve been raised
Discovering time and space
I know that we could make a change
Rearrange the way that we appreciate the world today

It’s possible to love someone..

Now as i start to put my mind into words
I stall I fall I’m loosing it all, my inhibitions
The thought of wasting a way
The fact that the music’s at a place not far away
Yet I stray and stick to my world
In love with my life my beliefs and a girl
Is it luck that I love this crazy place, the human race?
Don’t get me wrong I still think we could change
But this life and the fact that time exists
And were here and we don’t come equipped with it all
Half the fun is learning and I’m having a ball
While the world keeps turning my role is small
But I’ll make a change
I hope you’re feeling the same way
I hope you’re seeing what I say

It’s possible to love someone..

In this concrete jungle we live
Our survival is love that we give
Now my instinct is guiding my way
It’s true what they say
The world is your chance to create

- Dub FX

Exercise Your Rights. If You Don't Use Them, You Will Lose Them.
My News Twitter http://twitter.com/sharpsteve
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...kill the Buddha

The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.

We fight not against flesh and blood

Our true enemies are not the persons that are persecuting us or hurting us for no reasons. They are not our true enemies. Our true enemies are the spiritual forces behind those people. And there is no reconciliation between God and the devil. So there's no reconciliation between us and the force of evil, too, that is if we choose to stand on God's side.

I think the true unconditional love continues to love no matter what. Doesn't matter what the other person is or is doing, you still love them. That is God's love to the world. He loves the world regardless of who we are or what we have done. That's God's love.

However, being an enemy is a choice. You can love some one but don't have to agree with what they are doing. So, I think yes, you can love your enemy and they can choose to remain your enemy.

The opposite of fear.

It has degrees and flavors, but that is the bottom line. The man I love the most is the one I fear the least, he looks out for my well being more than I look out for my own.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Your words

"It has degrees and flavors, but that is the bottom line."

ring true with this:

1 John 4:18 KJV
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love

Anyways, as soon as I read them I thought of that verse. And I am glad that you are blessed with such a man that looks after your well-being. That is love in action! That makes me happy for you fishy.

Thanks, bear.

It is nice when God agrees with me... ;)

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

He He

you made me laugh :)

Wow. That's a good question.

That's a good question, Michael.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

ok back to the 80s

from 1984- you would have been a Junior!
This should bring back memories of
"Love's Great Adventure"