This early morning, courtesy my kitten on loan from my daughter, obviously what’s becoming a great time for meditation and wonderful time for the kitten to play with me, another thought came to me. The thought as subject above on Love.
Love is an odd subject. We have so many different ways of defining it. English is a bad language for it though, having only one word. Greek is better having four different words to show the gradations of love. However in English, I see the beauty of the expansive notion of Love and the danger of categorizing Love in such limited fashion. Why?
Let’s take for instance the Greek words for Love: Agápe (ἀγάπη); Éros (ἔρως); Philia (φιλία); Storge (στοργή). Respectively and roughly meaning unconditional love, erotic love (sex), love between friends, and love one gives to subordinates (parents to children). Please note these are all rough descriptions and subject to variation.
Now in English, I can tell someone I love them and it could mean anyone of the above. Sometimes female friends might misunderstand male friends notions of love as an invitation for sex when no connotation or denotation was ever implied or given. Such is the danger of having a limited language such as English.
Now in the sense I got this morning, when we attempt to categorize Love we run the danger of actually ruining the very nature of Love. Love is an act of giving of oneself. Love is never kept to oneself. Self-love is important but only in the context in the completion of the love of another. All consuming self-love is really just narcissism. Healthy self-love seeks to complete itself in another or others.