Author Topic: What is love?  (Read 2256 times)

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Offline Christianus

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What is love?
« on: October 27, 2010, 01:17:18 AM »
What is love?





Especially love for one's neighbors?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 01:18:34 AM by Christianus »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 01:30:08 AM »
Are you familiar with 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, or with the story of the Good Samaritan?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2010, 04:10:01 AM »
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." -John 15:13
Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2010, 07:09:29 AM »
It's not a feeling.

It's attentive full presence of body and heart (in the patristic sense of the word "heart", in which feelings are just part of it).
Many energies, three persons, two natures, one God, one Church, one Baptism.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 07:36:34 AM »
What is love?

Especially love for one's neighbors?

What we call love is chemicals in the body reacting to sensory input and ideas in your head. ;) But that doesn't give an answer to what you're really asking, I suppose. A description of love could be a sense of personal attachment or affection, a feeling of attraction, or perhaps an experience involving passion, caring, or a proverbial warm heart. To love is to sincerely wish well for someone, and to be happy to help them succeed. It can also be a feeling of closeness, of tender and vulnerable familiarity. It is sometimes a relationship that is at once close friendship, and yet transcends friendship to become something much deeper and more profound. Love for one's neighbor would thus fit into some aspect of the above description, probably the past that I italicized.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2010, 08:39:27 AM »
What is love?

Especially love for one's neighbors?

What we call love is chemicals in the body reacting to sensory input and ideas in your head. ;) But that doesn't give an answer to what you're really asking, I suppose. A description of love could be a sense of personal attachment or affection, a feeling of attraction, or perhaps an experience involving passion, caring, or a proverbial warm heart. To love is to sincerely wish well for someone, and to be happy to help them succeed. It can also be a feeling of closeness, of tender and vulnerable familiarity. It is sometimes a relationship that is at once close friendship, and yet transcends friendship to become something much deeper and more profound. Love for one's neighbor would thus fit into some aspect of the above description, probably the past that I italicized.

It's not a feeling, nor a subjective experience. You are right in so far that this what the word means in daily usage. But that is not what it is in Christian jargon, be it in the Bible or in the Fathers. In this context it is, as I said, the giving of yourself, even when you don't feel like it. That is why, for example, perseverance is possible be it in marriage, in fasting, in vows. You simply stay there, you don't retreat, even when *everything* in you tells you to do it, even when you'd be "happier" doing so. Ultimately, with the building of your character and spirit, you'll stay there even in the face of your own death.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 08:39:50 AM by Fabio Leite »
Many energies, three persons, two natures, one God, one Church, one Baptism.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2010, 08:43:09 AM »
Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see everything as a subjective experience ;)

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 09:03:29 AM »
Sacrifice for the benefit of the other.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 09:07:14 AM »
To love is to find a second self-St. John Chrysostom (IIRC).
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 02:59:37 PM »
Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see everything as a subjective experience ;)
Well I certainly hope you outlive us all, just in case the sun and moon phase out of existence the moment you pass :P
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 02:59:55 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 03:03:11 PM »
Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see everything as a subjective experience ;)
Well I certainly hope you outlive us all, just in case the sun and moon phase out of existence the moment you pass :P

I was speaking about our ability to perceive reality, not about whether a real world exists independent of our subjective experience.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 03:15:07 PM »
Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see everything as a subjective experience ;)
Well I certainly hope you outlive us all, just in case the sun and moon phase out of existence the moment you pass :P

I was speaking about our ability to perceive reality, not about whether a real world exists independent of our subjective experience.
Then why do you assume that the love you have known is Love itself?
Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

http://hyperdoxherman.tumblr.com/

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2010, 03:19:54 PM »
Then why do you assume that the love you have known is Love itself?

I only assume that what we experience is subjective. I should have written my previous statement differently, something more along the lines of: "Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see every experience that we have as being a subjective experience".


Offline Papist

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2010, 03:23:11 PM »
Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see everything as a subjective experience ;)
Even the objective statement that everything is subjective experience?  ;)
My posts no longer forum here.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 03:37:53 PM »
Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see everything as a subjective experience ;)
Even the objective statement that everything is subjective experience?  ;)

It's not an objective statement, just an assumption. But we're seriously derailing the thread here... (perhaps a mod could split the posts off?)

Offline Heorhij

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2010, 06:02:02 PM »
It's all we need (Copyright The Beatles").

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLGWyfGk_LU
Love never fails.

Offline Gamliel

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2010, 07:07:20 PM »
Love is a verb.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2010, 07:17:55 PM »
It's what we get when we do it to other human beings (Matthew 7:12 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTUi9l84fRw&feature=related).  :-*
Love never fails.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2010, 10:33:37 PM »
Well I could hardly agree, seeing as how I see everything as a subjective experience ;)
Even the objective statement that everything is subjective experience?  ;)

It's not an objective statement, just an assumption. But we're seriously derailing the thread here... (perhaps a mod could split the posts off?)
I'm not going to, but if you really want to continue this tangent, there's nothing stopping you from starting a new thread on this or another board to do so. ;)
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2010, 12:45:44 AM »
What is love?

"Baby don't hurt me...don't hurt me...no more"

I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist. Perhaps I should go to bed...  ;D

Offline Heorhij

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2010, 12:43:33 PM »
It's when you sacrifice, and forgive, and be there for the other person, "come what may," "till your dying day."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1hz1xrqvos
Love never fails.

Offline xariskai

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2010, 09:32:27 AM »
Here's something I wrote on this some years ago.


THE GREATEST VIRTUE

If we were to ask "what is the greatest Christian virtue" many would say "it is faith." But faith is not the greatest Christian virtue. As Paul informs us in 1 Cor 13:2, "If I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love I am nothing." So much for sola fide unqualified. Paul is pretty blunt about it. If you don't love, you are nothing, and your life counts for nothing but wasted space.

It is often said that there are four Greek words for love. In a sense this is true; in a sense it is a misunderstanding. The four words are: eros (desire/physical love), storge (familial love), philia (fondness), and agapan. Agapan originally was just a synonym for philia in Classical Greek -nothing more. In ancient Greece, the birthplace of philosophy, the entire concept of agape as we understand it remained yet unborn and un-thought of...

Jesus and the NT authors had a concept so bold, so revolutionary, so far beyond what the great sages and philosophers had that they invented a new name for it: agape, as a noun -well, almost. Very rarely in Classical Greek the noun was used, but it never meant anything beyond philia until Jesus of Nazareth emerged on the scene. To understand how remarkably revolutionary this concept was, we can compare it to the highest form of love known to the pagan Greeks: philia.

As I said, philia is fondness. It is warmth, intimacy. It can refer to physical love; the verb philein can men to caress or kiss, but even then philia is more than merely physical. Philia IS beautiful. But it is conditional. Aristotle wrote that only those who have attractive qualities can expect to be loved. He said that of people who desire to be loved but have no outstanding qualities, that they are being ridiculous. Aristotle insisted that no one can expect to be loved "if there is nothing in him to arouse affection." Plato said it most succinctly: "love is for the lovely."

By contrast, Christian love is an obligation and ability to love the unlovely. The leprous, the prisoner, the sinner, the beggar, the homeless, the tax-gatherers, the enemy.

Aristotle also said love cannot be widely diffused. The circle of friendship must be narrow. Christian love is the opposite. It is all embracing. Augustine said God loves all of us as if we were the only one. Philia is a reaction of the heart -it happens effortlessly. But mere sentimentality is love's counterfeit. Agape can involve the heart, but it requires the whole personality. It requires in addition, the will: it can embrace even a hated enemy. At such times it can be more a conquest than sentimentality which involves a victory over the self. Eph 3:19 says it passes knowledge. If this sounds lofty and abstract it is not. It is simple and concrete, but still profound. We truly embrace it not through scholarship, but daily, listening closely as a child must learn:

Mk 10:15 says "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter at all."

Prayer: Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us, sinners. Help us to bring love into our loveless world. Without love we are nothing and our lives count for nothing.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 09:35:56 AM by xariskai »

Offline Heorhij

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2010, 01:18:43 PM »
Love never fails.

Offline peteprint

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2010, 04:09:57 AM »
xariskai,

Thank you for your post.  That is beautiful and says it all.

In Christ,

Peter

Offline xariskai

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2010, 05:26:19 AM »
Thanks Peter, I appreciate your kindness
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 05:26:54 AM by xariskai »

Offline Tallitot

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2010, 08:47:30 AM »
Proverbs 22:7

Offline synLeszka

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2010, 08:58:14 AM »
definition by examples

Love can be,
high heels and topless,
divine and eternal,
to one's self and to your graven image, the image of yourself you see in another person,
to money and power,
to one's fatherland,
et cetera.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2010, 08:58:44 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J-6ZZLMzjE&feature=related
Why is this video here? The fact that all the actors in this vid quote the whole of 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 does not change the other fact that this is a political campaign ad against California Proposition 8, a recent proposed legislation crafted to ban same-sex marriage.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Tallitot

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Re: What is love?
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2010, 09:11:03 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J-6ZZLMzjE&feature=related
Why is this video here? The fact that all the actors in this vid quote the whole of 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 does not change the other fact that this is a political campaign ad against California Proposition 8, a recent proposed legislation crafted to ban same-sex marriage.

because i thought the way it was read was beautiful. the legislation was voted on 2 years ago, so that part is no longer relevant. other posters have added things they thought were relevant to the topic.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 09:35:32 AM by Tallitot »
Proverbs 22:7