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Blaise Pascal. Ann Landers. Lucille Ball. Albert Einstein. Princess Diana. The Greek word erota means in love. Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth.

Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. Some translations list it as "love of the body". Philia is motivated by practical reasons; one or both of the parties benefit from the relationship. It can also mean "love of the mind. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude. The importance of this can be seen throughout Greek mythology —in particular, Homer 's Iliad and Odyssey. The Latin language has several different verbs corresponding to the English word "love.

The Romans used it both in an affectionate sense as well as in a romantic or sexual sense. From this verb come amans —a lover, amator, "professional lover," often with the accessory notion of lechery—and amica , "girlfriend" in the English sense, often being applied euphemistically to a prostitute. The corresponding noun is amor the significance of this term for the Romans is well illustrated in the fact, that the name of the City, Rome —in Latin: Roma —can be viewed as an anagram for amor , which was used as the secret name of the City in wide circles in ancient times , [35] which is also used in the plural form to indicate love affairs or sexual adventures.

This same root also produces amicus —"friend"—and amicitia , "friendship" often based to mutual advantage, and corresponding sometimes more closely to "indebtedness" or "influence". Cicero wrote a treatise called On Friendship de Amicitia , which discusses the notion at some length. Ovid wrote a guide to dating called Ars Amatoria The Art of Love , which addresses, in depth, everything from extramarital affairs to overprotective parents. Diligere often has the notion "to be affectionate for," "to esteem," and rarely if ever is used for romantic love.

This word would be appropriate to describe the friendship of two men. The corresponding noun diligentia , however, has the meaning of "diligence" or "carefulness," and has little semantic overlap with the verb.

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Observare is a synonym for diligere ; despite the cognate with English, this verb and its corresponding noun, observantia , often denote "esteem" or "affection. As it arises from a conflation with a Greek word, there is no corresponding verb. Two philosophical underpinnings of love exist in the Chinese tradition, one from Confucianism which emphasized actions and duty while the other came from Mohism which championed a universal love.

In Confucianism, one displays benevolent love by performing actions such as filial piety from children, kindness from parents, loyalty to the king and so forth. In this, he argued directly against Confucians who believed that it was natural and correct for people to care about different people in different degrees.

Mozi, by contrast, believed people in principle should care for all people equally. Mohism stressed that rather than adopting different attitudes towards different people, love should be unconditional and offered to everyone without regard to reciprocation; not just to friends, family and other Confucian relations.

In Buddhism, Ai was seen as capable of being either selfish or selfless, the latter being a key element towards enlightenment. Instead of frequently saying "I love you" as in some Western societies, the Chinese are more likely to express feelings of affection in a more casual way. The Japanese language uses three words to convey the English equivalent of "love". Because "love" covers a wide range of emotions and behavioral phenomena, there are nuances distinguishing the three terms. Following the Meiji Restoration , the term became associated with "love" in order to translate Western literature.

In contemporary literature, kama refers usually to sexual desire. The concept kama is found in some of the earliest known verses in Vedas. For example, Book 10 of Rig Veda describes the creation of the universe from nothing by the great heat. There in hymn , it states:. The children of Adam are limbs of one body Having been created of one essence. When the calamity of time afflicts one limb The other limbs cannot remain at rest.

If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others You are not worthy to be called by the name of "man". Sa'di , Gulistan. Rumi , Hafiz and Sa'di are icons of the passion and love that the Persian culture and language present. Chesed , often translated as loving-kindness, is used to describe many forms of love between human beings. The commandment to love other people is given in the Torah , which states, "Love your neighbor like yourself" Leviticus The Torah's commandment to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might" Deuteronomy is taken by the Mishnah a central text of the Jewish oral law to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one's life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all of one's possessions, and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity tractate Berachoth Rabbinic literature differs as to how this love can be developed, e.

As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: "See life with the wife you love" Ecclesiastes Rabbi David Wolpe writes that " It is when one person believes in another person and shows it. What we really feel is reflected in what we do.

The 20th-century Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point of view as "giving without expecting to take" from his Michtav me-Eliyahu , Vol. The Christian understanding is that love comes from God.


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The love of man and woman— eros in Greek—and the unselfish love of others agape , are often contrasted as "descending" and "ascending" love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing. Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life the greatest commandment of the Jewish Torah , according to Jesus ; cf.

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Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 28— Saint Augustine summarized this when he wrote "Love God, and do as thou wilt. The Apostle Paul glorified love as the most important virtue of all. Describing love in the famous poetic interpretation in 1 Corinthians , he wrote, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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, and always perseveres. The Apostle John wrote, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Saint Augustine says that one must be able to decipher the difference between love and lust. Lust, according to Saint Augustine, is an overindulgence, but to love and be loved is what he has sought for his entire life. Saint Augustine says the only one who can love you truly and fully is God, because love with a human only allows for flaws such as "jealousy, suspicion, fear, anger, and contention. Augustine regards the duplex commandment of love in Matthew 22 as the heart of Christian faith and the interpretation of the Bible.

After the review of Christian doctrine, Augustine treats the problem of love in terms of use and enjoyment until the end of Book I of De Doctrina Christiana 1. Christian theologians see God as the source of love, which is mirrored in humans and their own loving relationships. Influential Christian theologian C. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves. Benedict XVI named his first encyclical God is love.

He said that a human being, created in the image of God, who is love, is able to practice love; to give himself to God and others agape and by receiving and experiencing God's love in contemplation eros. This life of love, according to him, is the life of the saints such as Teresa of Calcutta and the Blessed Virgin Mary and is the direction Christians take when they believe that God loves them.


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Pope Francis taught that "True love is both loving and letting oneself be loved It is the activity of the greatest, and the source, of all the powers in the universe: God's. In Christianity the practical definition of love is summarised by St.

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Thomas Aquinas , who defined love as "to will the good of another," or to desire for another to succeed. As Thomas Aquinas explains, Christian love is motivated by the need to see others succeed in life, to be good people. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

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And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Do not forget to love with forgiveness, Christ saved an adulterous women from those who would stone her. A world of wronged hypocrites needs forgiving love. Mosaic Law would hold Deuteronomy "If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die — the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.

If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor's wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you. Tertullian wrote regarding love for enemies: "Our individual, extraordinary, and perfect goodness consists in loving our enemies.

To love one's friends is common practice, to love one's enemies only among Christians. Love encompasses the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold faith. God is also referenced at the beginning of every chapter in the Qur'an as Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim , or the "Most Compassionate" and the "Most Merciful", indicating that nobody is more loving, compassionate and benevolent than God. The Qur'an refers to God as being "full of loving kindness.

Birr is also used by the Qur'an in describing the love and kindness that children must show to their parents. Ishq , or divine love, is the emphasis of Sufism in the Islamic tradition. Practitioners of Sufism believe that love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe. God desires to recognize beauty, and as if one looks at a mirror to see oneself, God "looks" at himself within the dynamics of nature.

Since everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly. Sufism is often referred to as the religion of love. A common viewpoint of Sufism is that through love, humankind can get back to its inherent purity and grace. All Rights reserved. Read the full story.

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