Two Perspectives-Love the Most Misused Word in the World


Two perspectives’ is a monthly column with two different perspectives from two different continents, genders and cultures on the same topic viz. 
Janet Smith Warfield (based in Florida, USA) and 
Dr Amit Nagpal (based in New Delhi, India).

Janet Smith Warfield’s Perspective
What is love?
Yesterday, in preparation for writing this blog, I reread Plato’s Symposium. In the Symposium, Socrates and his friends, Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, and Agathon take turns conversing about love. Their offerings end with a dialog between Socrates and Socrates speaking as Diotema, a wise woman of Mantineia, who was Socrates’ instructress about love.
Phaedrus speaks of love as being courageous, true, and honorable - a willingness to die for another.
Pausanias differentiates between heavenly love and earthly love. Heavenly love has a noble purpose, is faithful to the end, and has no shadow of lust. Earthly love is a coarser kind of love - love only of the body.
Eryximachus, the physician, focuses on the reconciliation or harmony which unites opposites. Love which is just and temperate has the greatest power and is the source of happiness.

Aristophanes professes that love is the desire for the whole. The pursuit of the whole, or reconciliation with God, is called love.

Agathon states that love dwells in the hearts and souls of men and can neither do nor suffer wrong. Where there is love, there is obedience. Where there is obedience, there is justice. Love is temperate, courageous, and wise.

Then Socrates, speaking as Diotema, dialoging with Socrates himself, begins his discourse by saying that his friends have spoken only what is good about love and not what is true about love. Socrates speaking as Diotema continues by saying that love is the son of Plenty and Poverty, both full and squalid; a mean between ignorance and knowledge, neither mortal nor immortal, never in want and never in wealth. Love interprets between gods and men. Love desires birth in beauty and the everlasting possession of the good - immortality in a mortal creature through the creation and invention of conceptions of wisdom and virtue.
The discourse is interrupted by Alcibiades, a drunken and disappointed lover of Socrates, who joins in the discourse to sing the praises of Socrates, proclaiming him a great speaker and enchanter who ravishes the souls of men and convinces their hearts. Alcibiades has suffered agonies from Socrates and is at his wit’s end. He relates Socrates’ superior powers of enduring cold and fatigue and how Socrates saved Alcibiades’ life. Socrates is the most wonderful of human beings and also a satyr. He uses the commonest words as masks for divine truths.

And then, this morning, as I was luxuriating in bed, pondering what I had read the day before and asking myself, “Well, what is love anyway?” I found myself challenged by the words with which to express the experience. We all know love when we experience it, but how can we create the words to describe it? The words can only point to the experience. They cannot accurately communicate it.

I loved my parents, even though they mistakenly guided me into physical marriage and only partially into being the creative being that I am. I loved the father of my children, even though he brought suffering into my life through an affair. I know what it feels like to love a soul mate and then be brutally abused by him. I love being immersed in beautiful sunsets, fine art, mountain waterfalls, and angelic choirs.

So what is love?
For me, it is simply a state of creative being, a dynamic energetic flow, a creative life force, constantly shifting in form as I dance my own dance of consciousness with the other life forms around me. It is the conscious choice to be the divine and support the manifestation of the divine in everything around us.
_____________________________________________________
Janet Smith Warfield works with wisdom-seekers who want understanding and clarity so they can live peaceful, powerful, prosperous lives. Through her unique combination of holistic, creative, right-brain transformational experiences and 22 years of rigorous, left-brain law practice, she has learned how to sculpt words in atypical ways to shift her listeners into experiences beyond words, transforming turmoil into inner peace. For more information about Janet, go to www.janetsmithwarfield.com; www.wordsculptures.com; www.wordsculpturespublishing.com.
Copyright © 2011 - Janet Smith Warfield. All rights reserved.



----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr Amit Nagpal’s Perspective

 When we say, “I love you”, most of us are actually saying, “I need emotional energy. Do you also need it? Can we exchange it?” Some of us will say, “So what is wrong, everything is give and take in this world.” And others will say, “Sadly this is true, even love has become a business of emotions.”

I am a true Libran and I am always trying to achieve that delicate balance (though I may not succeed all the time). On one hand I agree there is no harm in give and take (In fact my favorite Hindi song Sach mere yaar hai has a similar tone) and it is difficult for a human being to love someone who does not love you in return. On the other hand if every time you tell your loved one, “See I have done this for you and now you must do this for me in return, it can become a very logical love.” Love is of course a very beautiful emotion which should not get too logical.

Business of love
For most of us love is a business where we invest emotional energy to get equal emotional energy in return. I sometimes jokingly use the management term ‘Return on investment’ or ROI. Though our economies keep on fluctuating between recession and boom, I think love in this world has been in the depression stage for quite some time. The return on the investment on love has become very low. The next thing which immediately strikes our mind is, “Does unconditional love exist in today’s world?”

Unconditional love
I once posted on Facebook, “Since you have met my conditions, now I shall give you unconditional love and the human story goes on.” Sadly this is the true state of affairs. So why is LOVE disappearing into thin air?
Love in a materialistic world

As our greed for material becomes stronger and stronger, the life span of love becomes shorter and shorter. “Kab aata hai, kab jaata hai…” Love comes and goes but as long as it stays it takes you through a heavenly experience. Since the world has become too materialistic, the relationships have become too vulnerable. But we need to remember, the less love we get, the more we try to feed our insecurities with money and material. Money can never give the lasting happiness which loving relationships can. But our greed for money and increasing distrust in the negative society we live in has created a question mark on the status of love.

Is true love possible?
Love is a much glorified word and is probably the most misused word in the world. I am reminded of a famous quote which is probably true for love too, “Love is dead. Long live love.” The base human feelings of selfishness must be conquered first to be able to love someone. In fact my experience has been, you should be either too mature or too spiritual to develop the capacity to love truly.

Though love is a very broad word and covers love for living and non-living things but love in a narrow sense is used for life partner. In fact as the society evolves, we will move from the concept of life partner to life purpose partner. When we discover our deepest passion and life purpose we would want a life purpose partner who supports us in our mission. That’s why they say, “Love is not looking into each other’s eyes but looking together in the same direction.”

I remember receiving a beautiful New Year message from a friend sometime back, “Faith makes all things possible, hope makes all things work and love makes all things beautiful.” We have moved from love to business of love and now to tamasha of love. Will love stage a comeback in the society? Is there a hope in the near future? Will we achieve a delicate balance between love and money, emotion and material? I am keenly awaiting your answers.

Inspiring Quotes on Love
To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.
Lao Tzu

A man travels all over the World to find what he needs and returns home to find it
George Moore

Copyright © 2011 - Dr Amit Nagpal. All rights reserved.
____________________________________________________________________________________
Dr. Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant, passionate Blogger, and Motivational Speaker based in New Delhi, India. He specializes in personal branding with a holistic touch. His philosophy is “Take Charge of your Life and your Brand” 

Popular posts from this blog

Personal Branding as an Empowerment Tool

Why Introverts are Often Misunderstood and What They Can Do About It

How We Created a Bestseller in Just Six Months?