Love is a many gendered and blendered thing

Confession – I copied this and closed the tab before i remembered to link back to the source – but since this is all Greek Philosophy – it belongs to the world – no matter what person wrote down the words:

a. Eros

The term eros (Greek erasthai) is used to refer to that part of love constituting a passionate, intense desire for something; it is often referred to as a sexual desire, hence the modern notion of “erotic” (Greek erotikos). In Plato‘s writings however, eros is held to be a common desire that seeks transcendental beauty-the particular beauty of an individual reminds us of true beauty that exists in the world of Forms or Ideas (Phaedrus 249E: “he who loves the beautiful is called a lover because he partakes of it.” Trans. Jowett). The Platonic-Socratic position maintains that the love we generate for beauty on this earth can never be truly satisfied until we die; but in the meantime we should aspire beyond the particular stimulating image in front of us to the contemplation of beauty in itself.

The implication of the Platonic theory of eros is that ideal beauty, which is reflected in the particular images of beauty we find, becomes interchangeable across people and things, ideas, and art: to love is to love the Platonic form of beauty-not a particular individual, but the element they posses of true (Ideal) beauty. Reciprocity is not necessary to Plato’s view of love, for the desire is for the object (of Beauty), than for, say, the company of another and shared values and pursuits.

Many in the Platonic vein of philosophy hold that love is an intrinsically higher value than appetitive or physical desire. Physical desire, they note, is held in common with the animal kingdom. Hence, it is of a lower order of reaction and stimulus than a rationally induced love—that is, a love produced by rational discourse and exploration of ideas, which in turn defines the pursuit of Ideal beauty. Accordingly, the physical love of an object, an idea, or a person in itself is not a proper form of love, love being a reflection of that part of the object, idea, or person, that partakes in Ideal beauty.

b. Philia

In contrast to the desiring and passionate yearning of eros, philia entails a fondness and appreciation of the other. For the Greeks, the term philia incorporated not just friendship, but also loyalties to family and polis-one’s political community, job, or discipline. Philia for another may be motivated, as Aristotle explains in the Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII, for the agent’s sake or for the other’s own sake. The motivational distinctions are derived from love for another because the friendship is wholly useful as in the case of business contacts, or because their character and values are pleasing (with the implication that if those attractive habits change, so too does the friendship), or for the other in who they are in themselves, regardless of one’s interests in the matter. The English concept of friendship roughly captures Aristotle’s notion of philia, as he writes: “things that cause friendship are: doing kindnesses; doing them unasked; and not proclaiming the fact when they are done” (Rhetoric, II. 4, trans. Rhys Roberts).

Aristotle elaborates on the kinds of things we seek in proper friendship, suggesting that the proper basis for philia is objective: those who share our dispositions, who bear no grudges, who seek what we do, who are temperate, and just, who admire us appropriately as we admire them, and so on. Philia could not emanate from those who are quarrelsome, gossips, aggressive in manner and personality, who are unjust, and so on. The best characters, it follows, may produce the best kind of friendship and hence love: indeed, how to be a good character worthy of philia is the theme of the Nicomachaen Ethics. The most rational man is he who would be the happiest, and he, therefore, who is capable of the best form of friendship, which between two “who are good, and alike in virtue” is rare (NE, VIII.4 trans. Ross). We can surmise that love between such equals-Aristotle’s rational and happy men-would be perfect, with circles of diminishing quality for those who are morally removed from the best. He characterizes such love as “a sort of excess of feeling”. (NE, VIII.6)

Friendships of a lesser quality may also be based on the pleasure or utility that is derived from another’s company. A business friendship is based on utility–on mutual reciprocity of similar business interests; once the business is at an end, then the friendship dissolves. This is similar to those friendships based on the pleasure that is derived from the other’s company, which is not a pleasure enjoyed for whom the other person is in himself, but in the flow of pleasure from his actions or humour.

The first condition for the highest form of Aristotelian love is that a man loves himself. Without an egoistic basis, he cannot extend sympathy and affection to others (NE, IX.8). Such self-love is not hedonistic, or glorified, depending on the pursuit of immediate pleasures or the adulation of the crowd, it is instead a reflection of his pursuit of the noble and virtuous, which culminate in the pursuit of the reflective life. Friendship with others is required “since his purpose is to contemplate worthy actions… to live pleasantly… sharing in discussion and thought” as is appropriate for the virtuous man and his friend (NE, IX.9). The morally virtuous man deserves in turn the love of those below him; he is not obliged to give an equal love in return, which implies that the Aristotelian concept of love is elitist or perfectionist: “In all friendships implying inequality the love also should be proportional, i.e. the better should be more loved than he loves.” (NE, VIII, 7,). Reciprocity, although not necessarily equal, is a condition of Aristotelian love and friendship, although parental love can involve a one-sided fondness.

c. Agape

Agape refers to the paternal love of God for man and of man for God but is extended to include a brotherly love for all humanity. (The Hebrew ahev has a slightly wider semantic range than agape). Agape arguably draws on elements from both eros and philia in that it seeks a perfect kind of love that is at once a fondness, a transcending of the particular, and a passion without the necessity of reciprocity. The concept is expanded on in the Judaic-Christian tradition of loving God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and loving “thy neighbour as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18). The love of God requires absolute devotion that is reminiscent of Plato’s love of Beauty (and Christian translators of Plato such as St. Augustine employed the connections), which involves an erotic passion, awe, and desire that transcends earthly cares and obstacles. Aquinas, on the other hand, picked up on the Aristotelian theories of friendship and love to proclaim God as the most rational being and hence the most deserving of one’s love, respect, and considerations.

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and here’s my words that I hope people will freely copy – whether they link back to me or not: (sorry Jenny – please know that I totally love you because without you having sent me Letters from a Skeptic by Dr. Gregory Boyd – I didn’t beleive that Christians were capable of feeling love – any love – so discovering how much Dr Gregory Boyd did and does, if he’s still alive) was the greatest shock to me.

It’s what made me cry – because that cry was what started healing me.

And I am not going to clarify that thought any further – I so adore Jenny and what she did – that Jenny and each person who reads that line – can read whatever they want into said line. Beleive whatever you want, I know what it means to me and that’s enough for me – and I humbly offer everyone to read into that line whatever makes them happiest to think – even if they don’t read any other post on my blog or my other blogs to try to figure it out.

There’s only one person who knows for sure and she’s not talking – because there’s this legal idea that spouses can’t testify against each other – that only comes with legal marriage – so there’s a reason why religion doesn’t get to have a say in who can be married or not – because individuals are the social unit of consequence, with the freedom to take liberties with whatever makes them happy.

And I am sorry that the spouses that some people don’t make them happy so they cheat on their spouses with live boys or dead girls.

But my spouse makes me happy and I make her happy and we are more than enough for each other – and I wish that everyone could be as happy with their spouse as I am with mine – that I married in 1994 at a Gay Pride Parade, and we were deemed common law in Canada in 2000 – so we had all the same legal rights and privedges as any married regular person – but we also got married in 2004 – after gay marriage became the law of the land in Canada – because Quebec Provincial laws are based in the Napoleonic Code – not British Common Law – and the French do not allow commoners much marriage protection, since after all, marriage is not about romance – marriage is about contract law – to protect family assets when merged from being devalued upon dissolution of said contract and to ensure that your spouse cannot falsely testify or honestly testify against you in court to gain control of your assets because she was mad that you were out chasing ass.

And if America wasn’t so hung up on being a classless society – they would remember that there are two kinds of laws – one you obey and one you skirt.

dot dot dot

and Christians are obey the letter of a divine law – while skirting around it’s meaning and intention – which was not to obey any letter of the laws.

In fact – the whole point of Christianity was to reboot Judaism and make it open to anyone – without being born to it or adapting Jewish customs – so Jesus was literally – sorry – in the story he was born to be the last sacrifice.

Thank you Jesus, got the memo.

Can you come back and tell your followers to stop sacrificing the rest of us now?

because I am outside of all the religions of the world – and I am talking to every single religious or spiritual person who ever and where ever and whatever you are:

it was never about any book or particular prophet or philosophy

it was about each and every person

being as loving a person as they can be

to everyone

no matter what tired yearning huddle mass

or huddled/hurt individual person

they are

without laying conditions or guilt trips or demanding obey me

and if your love is conditional love

then, thanks, I’ll pass

I am not as kinky as you are

my safe word is athiest

and I never meant it to be taken as a challenge

for some people across a spectrum of religions

to show me hell on earth

 

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