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Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and
mental states A mental state, or a mental property, is a state of mind of a person. Mental states comprise a diverse class, including perception, pain experience, belief, desire, intention, emotion, and memory. There is controversy concerning the exact definitio ...
, from the most sublime
virtue Virtue ( la, virtus) is morality, moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is Value (ethics), valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. In other words, it is a behavior that sh ...
or good habit, the deepest
interpersonal The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Interpersonal relationships vary in their degree of intimacy or self-disclosure, but also in their duration, in t ...
affection Affection or fondness is a "disposition or state of mind or body" that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning emotion, disease, influence, and sta ...
, to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which differs from the love for food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of a strong attraction and emotional attachment.''Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary'' (1998) Love is considered to be both positive and negative, with its
virtue Virtue ( la, virtus) is morality, moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is Value (ethics), valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. In other words, it is a behavior that sh ...
representing human
kindness Kindness is a type of behavior marked by acts of generosity, consideration, rendering assistant or concern for others, without expecting praise or reward in return. Kindness is a topic of interest in philosophy, religion, and psychology. Kin ...
,
compassion Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to relieve the physical, mental or emotional pains of others and themselves. Compassion is often regarded as being sensitive to the emotional aspects of the suffering of others. When based on n ...
, and
affection Affection or fondness is a "disposition or state of mind or body" that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning emotion, disease, influence, and sta ...
, as "the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another" and its
vice A vice is a practice, behaviour, or Habit (psychology), habit generally considered immorality, immoral, sinful, crime, criminal, rude, taboo, depraved, degrading, deviant or perverted in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refe ...
representing human moral flaw, akin to
vanity Vanity is the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others. Prior to the 14th century it did not have such narcissism, narcissistic undertones, and merely meant ''futility''. The related term vainglory is now often seen as ...
,
selfishness Selfishness is being concerned excessively or exclusively, for oneself or one's own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of others. Selfishness is the opposite of altruism or selflessness; and has also been contrasted (as by C. S. Lewis) w ...
,
amour-propre ''Amour-propre'' (; ) is a French term that can be variously translated as "self-love", "self-esteem", or "vanity". In philosophy, it is a term used by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who contrasts it with another kind of self-love which he calls ''amour ...
, and
egotism Egotism is defined as the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself and generally features an inflated opinion of one's personal features and importance distinguished by a person's amplified vision of one's self and self-importan ...
, as potentially leading people into a type of
mania Mania, also known as manic syndrome, is a mental and behavioral disorder defined as a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level, or "a state of heightened overall activation with enhanced affective expression together w ...
, obsessiveness or
codependency In sociology, codependency is a theory that attempts to explain imbalanced relationships where one person enables another person's self-destructive behavior such as addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-ach ...
. It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self, or animals.Fromm, Erich; ''The Art of Loving'', Harper Perennial (1956), Original English Version, In its various forms, love acts as a major facilitator of
interpersonal relationship The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Interpersonal relationships vary in their degree of intimacy or self-disclosure, but also in their duration, in t ...
s and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the
creative arts The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling Storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing narrative, stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatre, theatrics or embellishment. E ...
. Love has been postulated to be a function that keeps human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.Helen Fisher. ''Why We Love: the nature and chemistry of romantic love''. 2004. Ancient Greek philosophers identified six forms of love: essentially,
familial love Storge ( ; ), or familial love, refers to natural or instinctual affection, such as the love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interper ...
(in
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
, '), friendly love or
platonic love Platonic love (often lowercased as platonic love) is a type of love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interpersonal relationship, inte ...
('),
romantic love Romance or romantic love is a feeling of love for, or a Interpersonal attraction, strong attraction towards another person, and the Courtship, courtship behaviors undertaken by an individual to express those overall feelings and resultant emot ...
(),
self-love Self-love, defined as "love of self" or "regard for one's own happiness or advantage", has been conceptualized both as a basic human necessity and as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness, synonymous with amour-propre, conceitedness, ...
('), guest love (), and divine love (). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love:
unrequited love Unrequited love or one-sided love is love that is not openly reciprocated or understood as such by the beloved. The beloved may not be aware of the admirer's deep and pure affection, or may consciously reject it. The Merriam Webster Online Dict ...
, empty love,
companionate love The triangular theory of love is a theory of love developed by Robert Sternberg. In the context of interpersonal relationships, "the three components of love, according to the triangular theory, are an intimacy component, a passion component, and ...
, consummate love, infatuated love,
self-love Self-love, defined as "love of self" or "regard for one's own happiness or advantage", has been conceptualized both as a basic human necessity and as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness, synonymous with amour-propre, conceitedness, ...
, and
courtly love Courtly love ( oc, fin'amor ; french: amour courtois ) was a medieval European literary conception of love that emphasized nobility and chivalry. Medieval literature is filled with examples of knights setting out on adventures and performing vari ...
. Numerous cultures have also distinguished ', ', ', ', ', ', ', ', ', ', ', ' (and other variants or symbioses of these states), as culturally unique words, definitions, or expressions of love in regards to a specified "moments" currently lacking in the English language. (J. Mascaró, translator) Scientific research on emotion has increased significantly over the past two decades. The color wheel theory of love defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The
triangular theory of love The triangular theory of love is a theory of love developed by Robert Sternberg. In the context of interpersonal relationships, "the three components of love, according to the triangular theory, are an intimacy component, a passion component, and ...
suggests "intimacy, passion and commitment" are core components of love. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.


Definitions

The word "love" can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Many other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that in English are denoted as "love"; one example is the plurality of Greek concepts for "love" (''agape'', ''eros'', ''philia'', ''storge'') .
Cultural differences Cultural diversity is the quality of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to Monoculturalism, monoculture, the global monoculture, or a homogenization of cultures, akin to cultural evolution. The term "cultural diversity" can also refer to ha ...
in conceptualizing love thus doubly impede the establishment of a universal definition. Although the nature or
essence Essence ( la, essentia) is a polysemic term, used in philosophy and theology as a designation for the property (philosophy), property or set of properties that make an entity or substance theory, substance what it fundamentally is, and which it ...
of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what ''isn't'' love (antonyms of "love"). Love as a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of ''like'') is commonly contrasted with
hate Hatred is an intense negative emotional response towards certain people, things or idea In Usage (language), common usage and in philosophy, ideas are the results of thought. Also in philosophy, ideas can also be mental representational imag ...
(or neutral
apathy Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. It is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation Motivation is the reason for which humans and other animals ...
). As a less-sexual and more- emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with
lust Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for something, or circumstance while already having a significant amount of the desired object. Lust can take any form such as the lust for Human sexuality, sexuality (see libido), money, ...
. As an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is sometimes contrasted with
friendship Friendship is a Interpersonal relationship, relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an "acquaintance" or an "association", such as a classmate, neighbor, coworker, or colleague. In so ...
, although the word ''love'' is often applied to close friendships or platonic love. (Further possible ambiguities come with usages "girlfriend", "boyfriend", "just good friends"). Abstractly discussed, ''love'' usually refers to an experience one person feels for another. Love often involves caring for, or identifying with, a person or thing (cf.
vulnerability and care theory of love James Giles (born 1958) is a Canadians, Canadian philosopher and psychologist. He has written about personal identity and the self,James B. Sauer (1997)''No Self to be Found: The Search for Personal Identity'' by James Giles (review) ''The Pers ...
), including oneself (cf.
narcissism Narcissism is a self-centered personality style characterized as having an excessive interest in one's physical appearance or image and an excessive preoccupation with one's own needs, often at the expense of others. Narcissism exists on a co ...
). In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after
the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
, although the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry. The complex and abstract nature of love often reduces discourse of love to a thought-terminating cliché. Several common
proverb A proverb (from la, proverbium) is a simple and insightful, traditional saying that expresses a perceived truth based on common sense or experience. Proverbs are often metaphorical and use formulaic speech, formulaic language. A proverbial phra ...
s regard love, from
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...
's " Love conquers all" to
The Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ...
' "
All You Need Is Love "All You Need Is Love" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a non-album single in July 1967. It was written by John Lennon and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The song was Britain's contribution t ...
". St. Thomas Aquinas, following
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
, defines love as "to will the good of another."
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, ar ...
describes love as a condition of "absolute value," as opposed to relative value. Philosopher
Gottfried Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz . ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat. He is one of the most prominent figures in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathema ...
said that love is "to be delighted by the happiness of another."
Meher Baba Meher Baba (born Merwan Sheriar Irani; 25 February 1894  – 31 January 1969) was an Indian spirituality, spiritual master who said he was the Avatar, or God in human form, of the age. A major spiritual figure of the 20th century, he had a ...
stated that in love there is a "feeling of unity" and an "active appreciation of the intrinsic worth of the object of love." Biologist Jeremy Griffith defines love as "unconditional selflessness".


Impersonal

People can be said to love an object, principle, or goal to which they are deeply committed and greatly value. For example, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be born not of interpersonal love but impersonal love,
altruism Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for the welfare and/or happiness of other human beings or animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core ...
, and strong spiritual or political convictions.Fromm, Erich; ''The Art of Loving'', Harper Perennial (5 September 2000), Original English Version, People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things. If sexual passion is also involved, then this feeling is called
paraphilia Paraphilia (previously known as sexual perversion and sexual deviation) is the experience of intense sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, fantasies, behaviors, or individuals. It has also been defined as sexual interest in anything o ...
.


Interpersonal

Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a much more potent sentiment than a simple ''liking'' for a person.
Unrequited love Unrequited love or one-sided love is love that is not openly reciprocated or understood as such by the beloved. The beloved may not be aware of the admirer's deep and pure affection, or may consciously reject it. The Merriam Webster Online Dict ...
refers to those feelings of love that are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with
Interpersonal relationship The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Interpersonal relationships vary in their degree of intimacy or self-disclosure, but also in their duration, in t ...
s. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as
erotomania Erotomania, also known as de Clérambault's Syndrome, named after French psychiatrist A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry, the branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study, and treatment of mental d ...
. Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the 20th century, the science of
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
,
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because i ...
,
neuroscience Neuroscience is the science, scientific study of the nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system), its functions and disorders. It is a Multidisciplinary approach, multidisciplinary science that combines physiology, an ...
, and biology have added to the understanding of the concept of love.


Biological basis

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a
mammal Mammals () are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia (), characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a neocortex (a region of the brain), fu ...
ian drive, much like hunger or thirst. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and human behavior researcher, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust is the feeling of
sexual desire Sexual desire is an emotion and Motivation, motivational state characterized by an interest in sexual objects or activities, or by a drive to seek out sexual objects or to engage in Human sexual activity, sexual activities. It is an aspect of human ...
; romantic attraction determines what partners mates find attractive and pursue, conserving time and energy by choosing; and attachment involves sharing a home, parental duties, mutual defense, and in humans involves feelings of safety and security. Defining the Brain Systems of Lust, Romantic Attraction, and Attachment by Fisher et al. Three distinct neural circuitries, including neurotransmitters, and three behavioral patterns, are associated with these three romantic styles.
Lust Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for something, or circumstance while already having a significant amount of the desired object. Lust can take any form such as the lust for Human sexuality, sexuality (see libido), money, ...
is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes
mating In biology, mating is the pairing of either opposite-sex or hermaphrodite, hermaphroditic organisms for the purposes of sexual reproduction. ''Fertilization'' is the fusion of two gamete, gametes. ''Copulation (zoology), Copulation'' is the uni ...
, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as
testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate The prostate is both an Male accessory gland ...
and
estrogen Estrogen or oestrogen is a category of sex steroid, sex hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics. There are three major endogeny (biology), endogenous estrogens th ...
. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in
neuroscience Neuroscience is the science, scientific study of the nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system), its functions and disorders. It is a Multidisciplinary approach, multidisciplinary science that combines physiology, an ...
have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including the neurotransmitter hormones,
dopamine Dopamine (DA, a contraction of 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is a neuromodulatory molecule that plays several important roles in cells. It is an organic compound, organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families. Dopamine const ...
,
norepinephrine Norepinephrine (NE), also called noradrenaline (NA) or noradrenalin, is an organic chemical in the catecholamine family that functions in the brain A brain is an organ (biology), organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in ...
, and
serotonin Serotonin () or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Its biological function is complex and multifaceted, modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and numerous physiological processes such as vomiting and v ...
, the same compounds released by
amphetamine Amphetamine (contracted from Alpha and beta carbon, alpha-methylphenethylamine, methylphenethylamine) is a strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolep ...
, stimulating the brain's
pleasure center The reward system (the mesocorticolimbic circuit) is a group of neural structures responsible for incentive salience Motivational salience is a cognitive process and a form of attention that ''motivates'' or propels an individual's behavior tow ...
and leading to side effects such as increased
heart rate Heart rate (or pulse rate) is the frequency of the cardiac cycle, heartbeat measured by the number of contractions (beats) of the heart per minute (bpm). The heart rate can vary according to the body's Human body, physical needs, including the need ...
, loss of
appetite Appetite is the desire to eat food items, usually due to Hunger (physiology), hunger. Appealing foods can stimulate appetite even when hunger is absent, although appetite can be greatly reduced by Hunger (motivational state), satiety. Appetite ex ...
and
sleep Sleep is a sedentary state of mind and body. It is characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited Perception, sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefuln ...
, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years. Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals
oxytocin Oxytocin (Oxt or OT) is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide normally produced in the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. It plays a role in Human bonding, social bonding, reproduction, childbirth, and the Postpartum period, pe ...
and
vasopressin Human vasopressin, also called antidiuretic hormone (ADH), arginine vasopressin (AVP) or argipressin, is a hormone synthesized from the AVP gene as a peptide Hormone, prohormone in neurons in the hypothalamus, and is converted to AVP. It th ...
to a greater degree than short-term relationships have.
Enzo Emanuele Enzo Emanuele (born June 10, 1977) is an Italians, Italian Clinical pathology, clinical pathologist known for his Interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary research in the field of biological psychology. He has studied the biochemical basis of romant ...
and coworkers reported the protein molecule known as the
nerve growth factor Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a neurotrophic factor and neuropeptide primarily involved in the regulation of growth, maintenance, proliferation, and survival of certain target neurons. It is perhaps the prototypical growth factor, in that it was on ...
(NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these return to previous levels after one year.


Psychological basis

Psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon.
Psychologist A psychologist is a professional who practices psychology and studies mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. Their work often involves the experimentation, observation, and interpretation of how indi ...
Robert Sternberg formulated a
triangular theory of love The triangular theory of love is a theory of love developed by Robert Sternberg. In the context of interpersonal relationships, "the three components of love, according to the triangular theory, are an intimacy component, a passion component, and ...
and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives, and is usually shown in friendships and romantic love affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last form of love is sexual attraction and passion. Passionate love is shown in infatuation as well as romantic love. All forms of love are viewed as varying combinations of these three components. Non-love does not include any of these components. Liking only includes intimacy. Infatuated love only includes passion. Empty love only includes commitment. Romantic love includes both intimacy and passion. Companionate love includes intimacy and commitment. Fatuous love includes passion and commitment. Lastly, consummate love includes all three components. American psychologist
Zick Rubin Isaac Michael "Zick" Rubin (born 1944) is an American social psychologist Social psychology is the scientific study of how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people or by social norms. S ...
sought to define ''love'' by
psychometrics Psychometrics is a field of study within psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including fe ...
in the 1970s. His work states that three factors constitute love: attachment, caring, and intimacy. Following developments in electrical theories such as
Coulomb's law Coulomb's inverse-square law, or simply Coulomb's law, is an experimental law of physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, ...
, which showed that positive and negative charges attract, analogs in human life were developed, such as "opposites attract". Over the last century, research on the nature of human mating has generally found this not to be true when it comes to character and personality—people tend to like people similar to themselves. However, in a few unusual and specific domains, such as
immune system The immune system is a network of biological processes that protects an organism from diseases. It detects and responds to a wide variety of pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, as well as Tumor immunology, cancer cells and objects such ...
s, it seems that humans prefer others who are unlike themselves (e.g., with an orthogonal immune system), since this will lead to a baby that has the best of both worlds. In recent years, various
human bonding Human bonding is the process of development of a close, interpersonal relationship between two or more homo sapiens sapiens, people. It most commonly takes place between family members or friends, but can also develop among groups, such as sport ...
theories have been developed, described in terms of attachments, ties, bonds, and affinities. Some Western authorities disaggregate into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. This view is represented in the works of Scott Peck, whose work in the field of applied psychology explored the definitions of love and evil. Peck maintains that love is a combination of the "concern for the spiritual growth of another," and simple narcissism. In combination, love is an ''activity'', not simply a feeling. Psychologist
Erich Fromm Erich Seligmann Fromm (; ; March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher A philosopher is a person who practices or investigates philosophy Philosophy ...
maintained in his book ''
The Art of Loving ''The Art of Loving'' is a 1956 book by psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm. It was originally published as part of the ''World Perspectives'' series edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen. In this work, Fromm develops his perspective on human ...
'' that love is not merely a feeling but is also actions, and that in fact, the "feeling" of love is superficial in comparison to one's commitment to love via a series of loving actions over time. In this sense, Fromm held that love is ultimately not a feeling at all, but rather is a commitment to, and adherence to, loving actions towards another, oneself, or many others, over a sustained duration. Fromm also described love as a conscious choice that in its early stages might originate as an involuntary feeling, but which then later no longer depends on those feelings, but rather depends only on conscious commitment.


Evolutionary basis

Evolutionary psychology Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in psychology that examines cognition and behavior from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify human psychological adaptations with regards to the ancestral problems they evolv ...
has attempted to provide various reasons for love as a survival tool. Humans are dependent on parental help for a large portion of their lifespans compared to other mammals. Love has therefore been seen as a mechanism to promote parental support of children for this extended time period. Furthermore, researchers as early as
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin ( ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, widely known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended ...
himself identified unique features of human love compared to other mammals and credit love as a major factor for creating social support systems that enabled the development and expansion of the human species. Another factor may be that
sexually transmitted disease Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the older term venereal diseases, are infections that are Transmission (medicine), spread by Human sexual activity, sexual activity, especi ...
s can cause, among other effects, permanently reduced
fertility Fertility is the capability to produce offspring In biology, offspring are the young creation of living organisms, produced either by a Asexual reproduction, single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organisms. Collective ...
, injury to the fetus, and increase complications during
childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour and delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies exits the internal environment of the mother ] A mother is the female parent of a child. A woman may be considered a mother by virtue of h ...
. This would favor monogamous relationships over
polygamy Crimes Polygamy (from Late Greek (') "state of marriage to many spouses") is the practice of marriage, marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at the same time, sociologists call this polygyny. When a woman is ...
.


Adaptive benefit

Interpersonal love between a male and a female is considered to provide an evolutionary adaptive benefit since it facilitates mating and
sexual reproduction Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that involves a complex Biological life cycle, life cycle in which a gamete (haploid reproductive cells, such as a sperm or egg cell) with a single set of chromosomes combines with another gamete to p ...
.Michod, R.E. (1989). What's love got to do with it? The solution to one of evolution’s greatest riddles. The Sciences, May/June, 22-27. DOI:10.1002/j.2326-1951.1989.tb02156.x However, some organisms can reproduce asexually without mating. Thus understanding the adaptive benefit of interpersonal love depends on understanding the adaptive benefit of sexual reproduction as opposed to asexual reproduction. Michod has reviewed evidence that love, and consequently sexual reproduction, provides two major adaptive advantages. First, love leading to sexual reproduction facilitates repair of damages in the DNA that is passed from parent to progeny (during
meiosis Meiosis (; , since it is a reductional division) is a special type of cell division of germ cells in sexually-reproducing organisms that produces the gametes, such as sperm or egg cells. It involves two rounds of division that ultimately ...
, a key stage of the sexual process). Second, a gene in either parent may contain a harmful
mutation In biology, a mutation is an alteration in the nucleic acid sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal DNA. Viral genomes contain either DNA or RNA. Mutations result from errors during DNA replication, DNA or viral repl ...
, but in the progeny produced by sex reproduction, expression of a harmful mutation introduced by one parent is likely to be masked by expression of the unaffected homologous gene from the other parent.


Comparison of scientific models

Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst. Psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. Certainly, love is influenced by
hormone A hormone (from the Ancient Greek, Greek participle , "setting in motion") is a class of cell signaling, signaling molecules in multicellular organisms that are sent to distant organs by complex biological processes to regulate physiology and beh ...
s (such as
oxytocin Oxytocin (Oxt or OT) is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide normally produced in the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. It plays a role in Human bonding, social bonding, reproduction, childbirth, and the Postpartum period, pe ...
),
neurotrophins Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that induce the survival, development, and function of neurons. They belong to a class of growth factors, exocytosis, secreted proteins that can signal particular cells to survive, differentiate, or grow. G ...
(such as NGF), and
pheromone A pheromone () is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species. Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting like hormones outside the body of the secreting individual, to affect the behavio ...
s, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
is that there are two major drives in love:
sexual attraction Sexual attraction is interpersonal attraction, attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest. Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is an individual's ability to attract other people sexually, and is a factor i ...
and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of
companionate love The triangular theory of love is a theory of love developed by Robert Sternberg. In the context of interpersonal relationships, "the three components of love, according to the triangular theory, are an intimacy component, a passion component, and ...
and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate); companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.


Cultural views


Ancient Greek

Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
distinguishes several different senses in which the word "love" is used. Ancient Greeks identified four forms of love: kinship or familiarity (in
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
, ''
storge Storge ( ; ), or familial love, refers to natural or instinctual affection, such as the love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interper ...
''),
friendship Friendship is a Interpersonal relationship, relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an "acquaintance" or an "association", such as a classmate, neighbor, coworker, or colleague. In so ...
and/or platonic desire (''
philia ''Philia'' (; ), is one of the four ancient Greek words for love: ''philia'', '' storge'', '' agape'' and '' eros''. In Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek phil ...
''), sexual and/or romantic desire (''
eros In Greek mythology, Eros (, ; grc, wikt:Ἔρως, Ἔρως, Érōs, Love, Desire) is the Greek god of love and sexual intercourse, sex. His Roman mythology, Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire").''Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia'', T ...
''), and self-emptying or divine love (''
agape In Christianity, agape (; ) is "the highest form of Greek words for love, love, Charity (virtue), charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". This is in contrast to philia, Brotherly love (philosophy), brotherly love, or philautia ...
''). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of romantic love. However, with Greek (as with many other languages), it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally. At the same time, the Ancient Greek text of the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of ...
has examples of the
verb A verb () is a word (part of speech) that in syntax generally conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''become''), or a state of being (''be'', ''exist'', ''stand''). In the usual descrip ...
''agapo'' having the same meaning as '' phileo''. ''
Agape In Christianity, agape (; ) is "the highest form of Greek words for love, love, Charity (virtue), charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". This is in contrast to philia, Brotherly love (philosophy), brotherly love, or philautia ...
'' ( ''agápē'') means ''love'' in modern-day Greek. The term ''s'agapo'' means ''I love you'' in Greek. The word ''agapo'' is the verb ''I love''. It generally refers to a "pure,"
ideal type Ideal type (german: Idealtypus), also known as pure type, is a typological term most closely associated with sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jur ...
of love, rather than the physical attraction suggested by ''eros''. However, there are some examples of ''agape'' used to mean the same as ''eros''. It has also been translated as "love of the soul."Anders Theodor Samuel Nygren, ''
Eros and Agape ''Agape and Eros'' ( sv, Eros och Agape) is a treatise A treatise is a Formality, formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigatin ...
'' (first published in Swedish, 1930–1936).
''
Eros In Greek mythology, Eros (, ; grc, wikt:Ἔρως, Ἔρως, Érōs, Love, Desire) is the Greek god of love and sexual intercourse, sex. His Roman mythology, Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire").''Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia'', T ...
'' ( ''érōs'') (from the Greek deity
Eros In Greek mythology, Eros (, ; grc, wikt:Ἔρως, Ἔρως, Érōs, Love, Desire) is the Greek god of love and sexual intercourse, sex. His Roman mythology, Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire").''Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia'', T ...
) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Greek word ''erota'' means ''in love''.
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
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 ''Philia'' (; ), is one of the four ancient Greek words for love: ''philia'', '' storge'', '' agape'' and '' eros''. In Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek phil ...
'' ( ''philía''), a dispassionate virtuous love, was a concept addressed and developed by
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
in his
Nicomachean Ethics The ''Nicomachean Ethics'' (; ; grc, Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια, ) is Aristotle's best-known work on ethics, the science of the good for human life, which is Teleology, the goal or end at which all our actions aim. (I§2) The aim of the i ...
Book VIII. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. Philia is motivated by practical reasons; one or both of the parties benefit from the relationship. It can also mean "love of the mind." ''
Storge Storge ( ; ), or familial love, refers to natural or instinctual affection, such as the love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interper ...
'' ( ''storgē'') is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. '' Xenia'' (ξενία ''xenía''), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, classical antiquity ( AD 600), th ...
. 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 A major branch of classical mythology, Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical co ...
—in particular,
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') (born ) was a Greek poet who is credited as the author of the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'', two epic poems that are foundational works of ancient Greek literature. Homer is considered one of the ...
's ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; "a poem about Ilium") is one of two major ancient Greek Epic poem, epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still widely read by modern audiences. As with t ...
'' and ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major Ancient Greek literature, ancient Greek Epic poetry, epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still widely read by moder ...
''.


Ancient Roman (Latin)

The
Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
has several different verbs corresponding to the English word "love." '' amō'' is the basic verb meaning ''I love'', with the infinitive '' amare'' ("to love") as it still is in Italian today. 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 , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
—in Latin: ''Roma''—can be viewed as an
anagram An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word or phrase, typically using all the original letters exactly once. For example, the word ''anagram'' itself can be rearranged into ''nag a ram'', also the word ...
for ''amor'', which was used as the secret name of the City in wide circles in ancient times), 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 ''Ars amatoria'' ( en, The Art of Love) is an instructional elegy series in three books by the Ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet Ovid. It was written in 2 AD. Background Book one of ''Ars amatoria'' was written to show a man how to find a woma ...
'' (''The Art of Love''), which addresses, in depth, everything from extramarital affairs to overprotective parents. Latin sometimes uses ''amāre'' where English would simply say ''to like''. This notion, however, is much more generally expressed in Latin by the terms ''placere'' or ''delectāre'', which are used more colloquially, the latter used frequently in the love poetry of
Catullus Gaius Valerius Catullus (; 84 - 54 BCE), often referred to simply as Catullus (, ), was a Latin poet of the late Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the ancient R ...
. ''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. ''Observare'' is a synonym for ''diligere''; despite the cognate with English, this verb and its corresponding noun, ''observantia'', often denote "esteem" or "affection." '' Caritas'' is used in Latin translations of the Christian Bible to mean "charitable love"; this meaning, however, is not found in Classical pagan
Roman literature Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings written in the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was origi ...
. As it arises from a
conflation Conflation is the merging of two or more sets of information, texts, ideas, opinions, etc., into one, often in error. Conflation is often misunderstood. It originally meant to fuse or blend, but has since come to mean the same as equate, treati ...
with a Greek word, there is no corresponding verb.


Chinese and other Sinic

Two philosophical underpinnings of love exist in the Chinese tradition, one from
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism or Ru classicism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a Religious Confucianism, religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, ...
which emphasized actions and duty while the other came from
Mohism Mohism or Moism (, ) was an ancient Chinese philosophy of ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behav ...
which championed a universal love. A core concept to Confucianism is (''
Ren Ren or REN may refer to: Abbreviations * Orenburg Tsentralny Airport : ''Tsentraly may also refer to airports in Spilve Airport, Riga, Khodynka Aerodrome, Moscow, Omsk Tsentralny Airport, Omsk, or Saratov Tsentralny Airport, Saratov.'' Oren ...
'', "benevolent love"), which focuses on duty, action, and attitude in a relationship rather than love itself. In Confucianism, one displays benevolent love by performing actions such as
filial piety In Confucian ethics, Confucianism, Chinese Buddhist ethics, Buddhism, and Daoism, Daoist ethics, filial piety (, ''xiào'') (Latin: pietas) is a virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors. The Confucian ''Classic of Filial Piety ...
from children, kindness from parents, loyalty to the king and so forth. The concept of (Mandarin: ''ài'') was developed by the Chinese philosopher
Mozi Mozi (; ; Latinization (literature), Latinized as Micius ; – ), original name Mo Di (), was a Chinese philosophy, Chinese philosopher who founded the school of Mohism during the Hundred Schools of Thought period (the early portion of the ...
in the 4th century BC in reaction to Confucianism's benevolent love. Mozi tried to replace what he considered to be the long-entrenched Chinese over-attachment to family and clan structures with the concept of "universal love" (, ''jiān'ài''). 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. Later in
Chinese Buddhism Chinese Buddhism or Han Buddhism ( zh, s=汉传佛教, t=漢傳佛教, p=Hànchuán Fójiào) is a Chinese form of Mahayana Buddhism which has shaped Chinese culture in a wide variety of areas including art, politics, literature Liter ...
, the term ''Ai'' () was adopted to refer to a passionate, caring love and was considered a fundamental desire. In Buddhism, ''Ai'' was seen as capable of being either selfish or selfless, the latter being a key element towards enlightenment. In
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Chinese (Sinitic) dialects that are natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's Li ...
, (''ài'') is often used as the equivalent of the Western concept of love. (''ài'') is used as both a verb (e.g. , ''Wǒ ài nǐ'', or "I love you") and a noun (such as ''àiqíng'', or "romantic love"). However, due to the influence of Confucian (''rén''), the phrase (''Wǒ ài nǐ'', I love you) carries with it a very specific sense of responsibility, commitment and loyalty. 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. Consequently, "I like you" (, ''Wǒ xǐhuan nǐ'') is a more common way of expressing affection in Mandarin; it is more playful and less serious. This is also true in Japanese (''suki da'', ).


Japanese

The
Japanese language is spoken natively by about 128 million people, primarily by Japanese people and primarily in Japan, the only country where it is the national language. Japanese belongs to the Japonic languages, Japonic or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages, Ryukyu ...
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. The term , which is often associated with maternal love or selfless love, originally referred to beauty and was often used in a religious context. Following the
Meiji Restoration The , referred to at the time as the , and also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Regeneration, Reform, or Renewal, was a political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. Although there were ...
1868, the term became associated with "love" in order to translate Western literature. Prior to Western influence, the term generally represented romantic love, and was often the subject of the popular
Man'yōshū The is the oldest extant collection of Japan, Japanese (poetry in Classical Japanese), compiled sometime after AD 759 during the Nara period. The anthology is one of the most revered of Japan's poetic compilations. The compiler, or the la ...
Japanese poetry collection. ''Koi'' describes a longing for a member of the opposite sex and is typically interpreted as selfish and wanting. The term's origins come from the concept of lonely solitude as a result of separation from a loved one. Though modern usage of ''koi'' focuses on sexual love and infatuation, the Manyō used the term to cover a wider range of situations, including tenderness, benevolence, and material desire. The third term, , is a more modern construction that combines the
kanji are the logographic Chinese characters taken from the Chinese family of scripts, Chinese script and used in the writing of Japanese language, Japanese. They were made a major part of the Japanese writing system during the time of Old Japanese ...
characters for both ''ai'' and ''koi'', though its usage more closely resembles that of ''koi'' in the form of romantic love. , referring to the desire to be loved and cared for by an authority figure, is another important aspect of Japan's cultural perspective on love, and has been analysed in detail in Takeo Doi's '' The Anatomy of Dependence''


Indian

In contemporary literature, the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...
words for love is "sneha". Other terms such as Priya refers to innocent love, Prema refers to spiritual love, and
Kama ''Kama'' (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predeces ...
refers usually to sexual desire.James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 1, Rosen Publishing, New York, , p. 340 However, the term also refers to any sensory enjoyment, emotional attraction and aesthetic pleasure such as from arts, dance, music, painting, sculpture and nature.See: * Kate Morris (2011), The Illustrated Dictionary of History, , p. 124; * Robert E. Van Voorst, RELG: World, Wadsworth, , p. 78R. Prasad (2008), History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, Volume 12, Part 1, , pp. 249–270 The concept of kama is found in some of the earliest known verses in
Veda FIle:Atharva-Veda samhita page 471 illustration.png, upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the ''Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (, , ) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Co ...
s. For example, Book 10 of Rig Veda describes the creation of the universe from nothing by the great heat. There in hymn 129, it states:


Persian

Rumi Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī ( fa, جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), also known as Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (), Mevlânâ/Mawlānā ( fa, مولانا, lit= our master) and Mevlevî/Mawlawī ( fa, مولوی, lit= my ma ...
, Hafiz, and Sa'di are icons of the passion and love that the
Persian culture The culture of Iran () or culture of PersiaYarshater, Ehsa, ''Iranian Studies'', vol. XXII no. 1 (1989) is among the most influential in the world. Iran, also known as Name of Iran, Persia, is widely considered to be one of the Cradle of civili ...
and language present. The Persian word for love is ''
Ishq Ishq ( ar, عشق, ''‘išq'') is an Arabic word meaning "love" or "passion", also widely used in other languages of the Muslim world and the Indian subcontinent. The word ''ishq'' does not appear in the Quran, which instead uses derivatives o ...
'', which is derived from
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
language; however, it is considered by most to be too stalwart a term for interpersonal love and is more commonly substituted for "doost dashtan" ("liking"). In the Persian culture, everything is encompassed by love and all is for love, starting from loving friends and family, husbands and wives, and eventually reaching the divine love that is the ultimate goal in life.


Religious views


Abrahamic


Judaism

In
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
, (''ahava'') is the most commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love between God and God's creations.
Chesed ( he, חֶסֶד, also Romanized: ) is a Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the ...
, 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 The Torah (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Numbers a ...
, which states, "Love your neighbor like yourself" ( Leviticus 19:18). The Torah's commandment to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might" (
Deuteronomy Deuteronomy ( grc, Δευτερονόμιον, Deuteronómion, second law) is the fifth and last book of the Torah (in Judaism), where it is called (Hebrew: hbo, , Dəḇārīm, hewords f Moses label=none) and the fifth book of the Chr ...
6:5) is taken by the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Tor ...
(a central text of the Jewish
oral law An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or community application, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is orally transmitted. M ...
) 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 9:5).
Rabbinic literature Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Judaism, Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabb ...
differs as to how this love can be developed, e.g., by contemplating divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature. As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: "See life with the wife you love" (
Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes (; hbo, קֹהֶלֶת, Qōheleṯ, grc, Ἐκκλησιαστής, Ekklēsiastēs) is one of the Ketuvim ("Writings") of the Hebrew Bible and part of the Wisdom literature of the Christianity, Christian Old Testament. The titl ...
9:9). Rabbi David Wolpe writes that "...love is not only about the feelings of the lover...It is when one person believes in another person and shows it." He further states that "...love...is a feeling that expresses itself in action. What we really feel is reflected in what we do." The biblical book Song of Solomon is considered a romantically phrased metaphor of love between
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
and his people, but in its plain reading, reads like a love song. The 20th-century
rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi – known as ''semikha'' – following a course of study of Jewish history and texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of ...
Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler (1892 – 31 December 1953) was an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox rabbi, Talmudic scholar, and Jewish philosopher of the 20th century. He is best known for being the ''mashgiach ruchani'' ("spiritual counselor") of the Pone ...
is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point of view as "giving without expecting to take" (from his ''Michtav me-Eliyahu'', Vol. 1).


Christianity

The Christian understanding is that love comes from
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
, who is himself Love (1 John 4:8). 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. There are several Greek words for "love" that are regularly referred to in Christian circles. * ''
Agape In Christianity, agape (; ) is "the highest form of Greek words for love, love, Charity (virtue), charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". This is in contrast to philia, Brotherly love (philosophy), brotherly love, or philautia ...
'': In the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
, ''agapē'' is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional. It is parental love, seen as creating goodness in the world; it is the way God is seen to love humanity, and it is seen as the kind of love that Christians aspire to have for one another. * '' Phileo'': Also used in the New Testament, ''phileo'' is a human response to something that is found to be delightful. Also known as "brotherly love." * Two other words for love in the Greek language, ''
eros In Greek mythology, Eros (, ; grc, wikt:Ἔρως, Ἔρως, Érōs, Love, Desire) is the Greek god of love and sexual intercourse, sex. His Roman mythology, Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire").''Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia'', T ...
'' (sexual love) and ''
storge Storge ( ; ), or familial love, refers to natural or instinctual affection, such as the love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interper ...
'' (child-to-parent love), were never used in the New Testament.
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
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 The Torah (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Numbers a ...
, according to
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
; cf.
Gospel of Mark The Gospel of Mark), or simply Mark (which is also its most common form of abbreviation). is the second of the four Gospel#Canonical gospels, canonical gospels and of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptis ...
chapter 12, verses 28–34).
Saint Augustine Augustine of Hippo ( , ; la, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berbers, Berber origin and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia (Roman pr ...
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 The First Epistle to the Corinthians ( grc, Α΄ ᾽Επιστολὴ πρὸς Κορινθίους) is one of the Pauline epistles, part of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The epistle is attributed to Paul the Apostle and a co-author ...
, 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." (
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John (; ') is a common male given name in the English language of Hebrew language, Hebrew origin. The name is the English form of ''Iohannes'' and ''Ioannes'', which are the La ...
3:16–17, NIV) John also wrote, "Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. 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 Augustine of Hippo ( , ; la, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berbers, Berber origin and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia (Roman pr ...
wrote 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. He even says, "I was in love with love." Finally, he does fall in love and is loved back, by God. 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." According to Saint Augustine, to love God is "to attain the peace which is yours." (Saint Augustine's '' Confessions'') 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'' (1.22.21–1.40.44;). Christian
theologians Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the ...
see God as the source of love, which is mirrored in humans and their own loving relationships. Influential Christian theologian C. S. Lewis wrote a book called ''
The Four Loves ''The Four Loves'' is a 1960 book by C. S. Lewis which explores the nature of love from a Christianity, Christian and philosophical perspective through thought experiments. The book was based on a set of radio talks from 1958 which had been crit ...
''.
Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: link=no, Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate of the Catholic church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereign ...
named his first
encyclical An encyclical was originally a circular Circular may refer to: * The shape of a circle * Circular (album), ''Circular'' (album), a 2006 album by Spanish singer Vega * Circular letter (disambiguation) ** Flyer (pamphlet), a form of advertisement * ...
'' 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 In Christianity, agape (; ) is "the highest form of Greek words for love, love, Charity (virtue), charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". This is in contrast to philia, Brotherly love (philosophy), brotherly love, or philautia ...
) 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
Mary, the mother of Jesus Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; grc, Μαρία, translit=María; la, Maria; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria was a first-century Jews, Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Saint Joseph, Jose ...
and is the direction Christians take when they believe that God loves them.
Pope Francis Pope Francis ( la, Franciscus; it, Francesco; es, link=, Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church. He has been the bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 13 March 2013. ...
taught that "True love is both loving and letting oneself be loved...what is important in love is not our loving, but allowing ourselves to be loved by God." And so, in the analysis of a Catholic theologian, for Pope Francis, "the key to love...is not our activity. 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
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Order, OP (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar and Catholic priest, priest who was an influential List of Catholic philo ...
, who defined love as "to will the good of another," or to desire for another to succeed. This is an explanation of the Christian need to love others, including their enemies. As Thomas Aquinas explains, Christian love is motivated by the need to see others succeed in life, to be good people. Regarding love for enemies, Jesus is quoted in the Gospel of Matthew: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. 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? 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 woman from those who would stone her. A world of wronged hypocrites needs forgiving love. Mosaic Law would hold Deuteronomy 22:22-24 "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 Tertullian (; la, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; 155 AD – 220 AD) was a prolific early Christianity, early Christian author from Roman Carthage, Carthage in the Africa (Roman province), Roman province of Africa. He was th ...
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."


Islam

Love encompasses the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold faith. Amongst the 99 names of God (
Allah Allah (; ar, الله, translit=Allāh, ) is the common Arabic language, Arabic word for God in Abrahamic religions, God. In the English language, the word generally refers to God in Islam. The word is thought to be derived by Contraction ( ...
), there is the name ''Al-Wadud'', or "the Loving One," which is found in Surah as well as Surah . 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." The Qur'an exhorts Muslim believers to treat all people, those who have not persecuted them, with ''birr'' or "deep kindness" as stated in Surah . ''Birr'' is also used by the Qur'an in describing the love and kindness that children must show to their parents. ''
Ishq Ishq ( ar, عشق, ''‘išq'') is an Arabic word meaning "love" or "passion", also widely used in other languages of the Muslim world and the Indian subcontinent. The word ''ishq'' does not appear in the Quran, which instead uses derivatives o ...
'', or divine love, is the emphasis of
Sufism Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mysticism, mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spiri ...
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 seeing the beauty inside the apparently ugly. Sufism is often referred to as the religion of love. God in Sufism is referred to in three main terms, which are the Lover, Loved, and Beloved, with the last of these terms being often seen in Sufi poetry. A common viewpoint of Sufism is that through love, humankind can get back to its inherent purity and grace. The saints of Sufism are infamous for being "drunk" due to their
love of God Love of God can mean either love for God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Ox ...
; hence, the constant reference to wine in Sufi poetry and music.


Bahá'í Faith

In his Paris Talks, `Abdu'l-Bahá described four types of love: the love that flows from God to human beings; the love that flows from human beings to God; the love of God towards the Self or Identity of God; and the love of human beings for human beings.


Dharmic


Buddhism

In
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
, '' Kāma'' is sensuous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, since it is selfish. ''
Karuṇā ' () is generally translated as compassion Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to relieve the physical, mental or emotional pains of others and themselves. Compassion is often regarded as being sensitive to the emotional as ...
'' is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom and is necessary for enlightenment. ''Adveṣa'' and '' mettā'' are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex and which rarely occurs without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare. The
Bodhisattva In Buddhism, a bodhisattva ( ; sa, 𑀩𑁄𑀥𑀺𑀲𑀢𑁆𑀢𑁆𑀯 (Brahmī), translit=bodhisattva, label=Sanskrit) or bodhisatva is a person who is on the path towards Enlightenment in Buddhism, bodhi ('awakening') or Buddhahood. In ...
ideal in Mahayana Buddhism involves the complete renunciation of oneself in order to take on the burden of a suffering world.


Hinduism

In
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
, '' kāma'' is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god
Kamadeva Kama ( sa, काम, ), also known as Kamadeva and Manmatha, is the Hindu god of love and desire, often portrayed alongside his consort, Rati. The Atharvaveda, Atharva Veda regards Kamadeva as the wielder of the creative power of the universe ...
. For many Hindu schools, it is the third end (''
Kama ''Kama'' (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predeces ...
'') in life. Kamadeva is often pictured holding a bow of
sugar cane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, Perennial plant, perennial grass (in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae) that is used for sugar Sugar industry, production. The plants are 2–6 m (6–20 ft) tall with ...
and an arrow of flowers; he may ride upon a great parrot. He is usually accompanied by his consort
Rati Rati ( sa, रति, ) is the Hinduism, Hindu Devi, goddess of List of love and lust deities, love, carnal desire, lust, passion, and sexual pleasure. Usually described as the daughter of ''Prajapati'' Daksha, Rati is the female counterpart, th ...
and his companion Vasanta, lord of the spring season. Stone images of Kamadeva and Rati can be seen on the door of the Chennakeshava temple at Belur, in
Karnataka Karnataka (; ISO 15919, ISO: , , also known as Karunāḍu) is a States and union territories of India, state in the southwestern region of India. It was Unification of Karnataka, formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reor ...
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
. ''Maara'' is another name for ''kāma''. In contrast to ''kāma'', ''prema''or ''prem''refers to elevated love. '' Karuna'' is compassion and mercy, which impels one to help reduce the suffering of others. ''Bhakti'' is a
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...
term, meaning "loving devotion to the supreme God." A person who practices ''bhakti'' is called a ''bhakta''. Hindu writers, theologians, and philosophers have distinguished nine forms of ''
bhakti ''Bhakti'' ( sa, भक्ति) literally means "attachment, participation, fondness for, homage, faith, love, devotion, worship, purity".See Monier-Williams, ''Sanskrit Dictionary'', 1899. It was originally used in Hinduism, referring to ...
'', which can be found in the ''
Bhagavata Purana The ''Bhagavata Purana'' ( sa, भागवतपुराण; ), also known as the ''Srimad Bhagavatam'', ''Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana'' or simply ''Bhagavata'', is one of Hinduism's eighteen great Puranas (''Mahapuranas''). Composed in Sa ...
'' and works by
Tulsidas Tulsidas (; born Rambola Dubey; also known as Goswami Tulsidas; c.1511pp. 23–34.–1623) was a Ramanandi Sampradaya, Ramanandi Vaishnava Hindu saint and poet, renowned for his devotion to the deity Rama. He wrote several popular works in San ...
. The philosophical work ''
Narada Bhakti Sutra The ''Narada Bhakti Sutra'' (IAST: ) is a well known sutra venerated within the traditions of Hinduism, reportedly spoken by the famous rishi, sage, Narada. The text details the process of devotion (Bhakti), or Bhakti yoga and is thus of particul ...
s'', written by an unknown author (presumed to be
Narada Narada ( sa, नारद, ), or Narada Muni, is a sage divinity, famous in Hindu traditions as a travelling musician and storyteller, who carries news and enlightening wisdom. He is one of mind-created children of Brahma, the creator god. H ...
), distinguishes eleven forms of love. In certain Vaishnava sects within Hinduism, attaining unadulterated, unconditional and incessant love for Godhead is considered the foremost goal of life. Gaudiya Vaishnavas who worship Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the cause of all causes consider Love for Godhead (Prema) to act in two ways: sambhoga and vipralambha (union and separation)—two opposites. In the condition of separation, there is an acute yearning for being with the beloved and in the condition of union, there is supreme happiness and nectarean. Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider that Krishna-prema (Love for Godhead) is not fire but that it still burns away one's material desires. They consider that Kṛṣṇa-prema is not a weapon, but it still pierces the heart. It is not water, but it washes away everything—one's pride, religious rules, and one's shyness. Krishna-prema is considered to make one drown in the ocean of transcendental ecstasy and pleasure. The love of Radha, a cowherd girl, for Krishna is often cited as the supreme example of love for Godhead by Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Radha is considered to be the internal potency of Krishna, and is the supreme lover of Godhead. Her example of love is considered to be beyond the understanding of material realm as it surpasses any form of selfish love or lust that is visible in the material world. The reciprocal love between Radha (the supreme lover) and Krishna (God as the Supremely Loved) is the subject of many poetic compositions in India such as the ''
Gita Govinda The ''Gita Govinda'' ( sa, गीत गोविन्दम्; ) is a work composed by the 12th-century Hindu poet, Jayadeva. It describes the relationship between Krishna, Radha and ''gopis'' (female cow herders) of Vrindavan. The ''Gita G ...
'' and ''Hari Bhakti Shuddhodhaya.'' In the Bhakti tradition within Hinduism, it is believed that execution of devotional service to God leads to the development of Love for God ''(taiche bhakti-phale krsne prema upajaya)'', and as love for God increases in the heart, the more one becomes free from material contamination ''(krishna-prema asvada haile, bhava nasa paya)''. Being perfectly in love with God or Krishna makes one perfectly free from material contamination. and this is the ultimate way of salvation or liberation. In this tradition, salvation or liberation is considered inferior to love, and just an incidental by-product. Being absorbed in Love for God is considered to be the perfection of life.


Political views


Free love

The term "free love" has been used to describe a
social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a particular goal, typically a social or political one. This may be to carry out a social change, or to resist or undo one. It is a type of group action and ...
that rejects
marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
, which is seen as a form of social bondage. The free love movement's initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage,
birth control Birth control, also known as contraception, anticonception, and fertility control, is the use of methods or devices to prevent unwanted pregnancy Pregnancy is the time during which one or more offspring develops (gestation, gestates) i ...
, and
adultery Adultery (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...
. It claimed that such issues were the concern of the people involved, and no one else. Many people in the early 19th century believed that marriage was an important aspect of life to "fulfill earthly human happiness." Middle-class Americans wanted the home to be a place of stability in an uncertain world. This mentality created a vision of strongly defined gender roles, which provoked the advancement of the free love movement as a contrast.Spurlock, John C. ''Free Love Marriage and Middle-Class Radicalism in America''. New York, NY: New York UP, 1988. Advocates of free love had two strong beliefs: opposition to the idea of forceful sexual activity in a relationship and advocacy for a woman to use her body in any way that she pleases.Passet, Joanne E. ''Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women's Equality''. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 2003. These are also beliefs of
feminism Feminism is a range of socio-political movements and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that society prioritizes the male po ...
.


Philosophical views

The philosophy of love is a field of
social philosophy Social philosophy examines questions about the foundations of social institutions, social behavior, and interpretations of society in terms of Value (ethics), ethical values rather than empirical relations. Social philosophers emphasize understand ...
and
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, alo ...
that attempts to explain the nature of love.Soren Kierkegaard. ''Works of Love.'' The philosophical investigation of love includes the tasks of distinguishing between the various kinds of personal love, asking if and how love is or can be justified, asking what the value of love is, and what impact love has on the
autonomy In developmental psychology and morality, moral, political, and bioethics, bioethical philosophy, autonomy, from , ''autonomos'', from αὐτο- ''auto-'' "self" and νόμος ''nomos'', "law", hence when combined understood to mean "one who g ...
of both the lover and the beloved.


See also

* Color wheel theory of love *
Human bonding Human bonding is the process of development of a close, interpersonal relationship between two or more homo sapiens sapiens, people. It most commonly takes place between family members or friends, but can also develop among groups, such as sport ...
*
Love at first sight Love at first sight is a personal experience as well as a common trope (literature), trope in literature: a person or character feels an instant, extreme, and ultimately long-lasting Romance (love), romantic attraction for a stranger upon first s ...
* Love-in *
Pair bond In biology, a pair bond is the strong affinity that develops in some species between a mating pair, often leading to the production and rearing of offspring and potentially a lifelong bond. Pair-bonding is a term coined in the 1940s that is freque ...
*
Polyamory Polyamory () is the practice of, or desire for, romantic relationships with more than one partner at the same time, with the informed sexual consent, consent of all partners involved. People who identify as polyamorous may believe in open re ...
*
Relationship science Relationship science is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to the scientific study of interpersonal relationship processes. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, relationship science is made-up of researchers of various professional backgrounds wi ...
*
Romance (love) Romance or romantic love is a feeling of love for, or a Interpersonal attraction, strong attraction towards another person, and the Courtship, courtship behaviors undertaken by an individual to express those overall feelings and resultant emot ...
*
Self-love Self-love, defined as "love of self" or "regard for one's own happiness or advantage", has been conceptualized both as a basic human necessity and as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness, synonymous with amour-propre, conceitedness, ...
*
Social connection Social connection is the experience of feeling close and connected to others. It involves feeling love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest I ...
* Traditional forms,
Agape In Christianity, agape (; ) is "the highest form of Greek words for love, love, Charity (virtue), charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". This is in contrast to philia, Brotherly love (philosophy), brotherly love, or philautia ...
,
Philia ''Philia'' (; ), is one of the four ancient Greek words for love: ''philia'', '' storge'', '' agape'' and '' eros''. In Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek phil ...
,
Philautia Self-love, defined as "love of self" or "regard for one's own happiness or advantage", has been conceptualized both as a Maslow's hierarchy of needs, basic human necessity and as a morality, moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness, synonymous ...
,
Storge Storge ( ; ), or familial love, refers to natural or instinctual affection, such as the love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interper ...
,
Eros In Greek mythology, Eros (, ; grc, wikt:Ἔρως, Ἔρως, Érōs, Love, Desire) is the Greek god of love and sexual intercourse, sex. His Roman mythology, Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire").''Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia'', T ...
: Greek terms for
love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interpersonal relationship, interpersonal affection, to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of ...


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

*


External links


History of Love
''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' * * * {{Authority control Emotions Ethical principles Fruit of the Holy Spirit Personal life Virtue