The Nature of the Truest Love

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by immortalitylost, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    I've been pondering love. Real love, and as I've looked at definitions, and explanations, I've found them all rather egocentric. "My life wouldn't be the same without that person." "I have very strong feelings for that person." "I can't think of anything except that person."

    Well, it struck me that real love, "true love" if you don't mind the term, would be a complete giving up of yourself, not to the other, but because of the other. Because the part of you that looks out for number one, has redefined number one. A complete surrender of all that is you, because it takes all of your being to concentrate on their happiness, and their well-being. You care more for them than yourself. You are, indeed, focused more on them than yourself. Your ego ceases to be "you" and becomes a part of them, outside of themselves. All happiness and sadness in you comes from their joys or sorrows.

    If love is one-sided, you can see the danger in this. If you cease to look out for yourself, and they don't take up the job, well, disaster can strike.

    But, the circle completed, the "true love" reciprocated, and you'd have the perfect merging of two souls into one. With the ego gone, given to the other, the couple would be close as no others could, out of consenting necessity. (If, indeed, you can consent to love, or do have a choice in the matter, which is debatable.) Each could no longer function separately, as that part of each that looked after it's own well-being would be gone.

    A surrendering of your ego to another, trustingly, and unconditionally, and theirs to you.

    To me, that is the truest love between two people that I can conceive of. But I've only seen and felt love from my perspective, and with my experience.

    What is it to you?

    What would you consider the perfect philosophical love?
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Appears we are talkin eros, not agape or familial?
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi everybody!

    True love is when, for a short time, I forget my own need for happiness, and think about what I can do to make the other person happy. At that moment, their happiness becomes more important than my happiness. So, my definition of true love is, "Your happiness is more important than my happiness."

    Most people make a huge mistake and confuse romantic love with becoming emotionally attached to somone. When we say we are falling in love with someone, we really mean we are becoming emotionally attached to that person, and this has nothing to do with true love.
     
  4. Shergar

    Shergar Interfaith Forums

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    Only a tiny number of people ever make the kind of sacrifice you describe. And that is sacrifice, not love. Love, on the other hand, has direct correlation to need. Perceived, unconscious, healthy or detrimental. Love is invariably selfish and thus works best when all parties stand to benefit.
     
  5. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Shergar,

    can you gives examples of both the love and sacrifice you are talking about?
     
  6. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Wil, I was thinking in terms of eros, but it wouldn't necessarily need to be so. It wouldn't even need to be human-to-human. Think of the bond between a dog and his master. The dog is completely dependent, completely without ego, in tune with it's master in a way that can only be described as a kind of love. But that is almost always one sided. We may love our dog, (have strong affections towards), but most wouldn't reciprocate the dog's love for us to quite the same degree... :)

    We're not dependent on the dog for the keeping of our very being.

    I was also thinking of the love between a parent and child. I think there is an almost instinctual giving up of ego there. Not the same, but just as strong, definitely.

    Shergar, a giving up of one's ego to another creates a need without selfishness. You need that person to love you as you do them because you trust them so implicitly with everything that is you, they can cause great damage to you if they choose. You need them to love you for your own well-being. But if they do not love you, if they would be happier without you, that is where the sacrifice comes in. And someone who loves another so much would never flinch from a giving up of their own happiness. Their ego is no longer their own. Such love can't, by definition, be greedy.

    If it is reciprocated, it's far from a sacrifice. It's the holding of another person's being in your hands, so to speak, and trusting them fully with your own. It's mutual, a sharing of souls.
     
  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    IL,

    I just had a student of mine tell me in a speech in class about how it is having someone who will hold my hand and touch my heart.
     
  8. Shergar

    Shergar Interfaith Forums

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    Immortalitylost has done just that, lets use hers.

    Love is a word we attach to something we value in some way. A commodity if you like. When two or more people all have a commodity and there is reciprocal give and take it all works well. But when value is lost, or there is selfish exploitation with no reciprocity then happiness cannot be sustained. Then what is called sacrifice in the above post becomes cutting ones losses and running. However prettily or poetically you may wish to put it. Love is far more easily understood in terms of economics than in the emotional quagmire of the poet. However the world of the poet does hold it attraction.
     
  9. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    And both the economist and the poet have only touched on the topic superficially from their own paradigms.
    God is LOVE, it has been said.
    That speaks to it (LOVE) being far more than an estimation of value or a sentimental notion/emotion.

    What does love have to do with it?
    the singer has crooned.......................everything, absolutely everything.

    LOVE is a word, but do we understand it in its full meaning or are we stuck in a limited percentage viewpoint?
     
  10. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Nick, that's great, and very prettily put. Hold my hand and touch my heart... nice.

    Thanks for teh posts all! Keeps it up!
     
  11. blazearmstrong

    blazearmstrong New Member

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    I think it's pointless to say "true love". If we attach the adjective "true" to it, it makes the opposite possible: "false love". If false love exists then it is not love, therefore cannot exist. If false love cannot exist then neither can true love. There is only love, neither true nor false.
     
  12. Nerosis

    Nerosis New Member

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    Knowing I would jump in front of a bullet to save my brothers life, that is love.
     
  13. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    blaze, I think true love is a useful term to a point, because it separates love from other "conditions" lol, that are not love, but are called love.

    It's not really a matter of true and false, but real and imagined.

    There are all sorts of love. I've no problems with clarifications and distinctions given to a word with a broad range of meaning.

    Nerosis, that brings up an interesting connection in our minds between love and sacrifice. It's interesting the way we find sacrifice to be the ultimate proof of love, and the most moving display of it. Hmm... just something I'm interested in, lol, don't mind me!
     
  14. Nerosis

    Nerosis New Member

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    hi immortalitylost...

    yes you are right...it is the ultimate way to prove your love...to be so selfless that you are prepared to end your own existance to preserve that of another! Very romantic too :)
     
  15. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Can I use your definition of true love? I like it!
     
  16. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Ahanu,

    Yes! I have a lady friend (I am a guy), and things do not always go smoothly between us. But I definitely keep her happiness as a high goal of mine. At times I completely forget about myself and only focus on what she is doing and what I can do to make her happy. To me, this is true love. True love is not romance in any form. True love can lead to romance, and vice versa, but there the similarity ends. Of course, many people think romance will always lead to true love, which is wrong.

    I also want to stress that many people think that becoming emotionally attached to someone (usually identified by "butterflies in the stomach" and a pounding heart) is a true symptom of falling in love. Sadly, it is not, and many people think they are in love when they are actually not in love at all.
     
  17. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Sounds like the classic symptoms of being in "extreme like", lol.

    I like how you say that true love can lead to romance and vice versa, but doesn't have to. Well put!
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi everybody!

    Here is a quote on the difference between love and compassion that I just ran across.

    "Mrs. [Annie] Besant once said, 'Love is the response that comes from a realization of oneness.' I have never heard it put better. We look at someone we love, at our cat, at our dog, and for a moment there is a tremendous realization of unity, isn’t there?… And instantly on realization of that unity there is a rush of feeling that we call love. It is a natural consequence to that realization.

    "Compassion, I believe, is impersonal love. Mrs. Besant was describing the love of an individual love. Compassion is an impersonal love, perhaps for an individual, but usually it is thought of more as universal. And compassion, from my point of view, comes from a realization of a greater unity."
     

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