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Born in the UK but now living in Australia, Paul Fox has travelled to many places throughout China. He has seen the lighter side, the darker side, both the gentle and the seedy sides. He documents his experiences and is willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. He is not afraid to say things exactly how he sees them, and is quite happy to "name and shame" when necessary.
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What Is Love? Part 2

By Paul Fox
408 Views | 18 Comments | 6/16/2018 8:13:02 AM
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So, what is 'Love'? John Abbot wrote in his initial comment in part 1 of this blog, love is 'subjective'. I disagree with him on this, simply because I think that we SEE it as being subjective, rather than it actually BEING subjective. Let me explain why...

I'm going to use 3 x words from Ancient Greek - because they are legendary when it comes to the subject of 'love' - in order to explain what love really is...

The first Greek word is 'Eros'. 'Eros' is the name of the Greek God of 'erotic love', and it's easy to see that the English word 'erotic' comes from this name. So, for this type of 'love' we are looking at 'instant attraction' that leads to the ripping off of each others' clothes, followed by mad, rampant sex... luvverlie !

As wonderful as that may feel at the time, is it 'true love', or just 'lust'? Yep, that's a rhetorical question, since we all know the answer...

Next we have the Greek word 'Agape', (pronounced 'a-gah-pay'). This describes the kind of 'brotherly love' you would have for members of your family, close friends, etc. A love that is generally platonic in nature, but could also be used to describe an 'FWB' relationship, (Friends With Benefits), that included casual, occasional, sex.

The two types listed above are the 'potatoes', so let's get on to the 'meat'...

This time the Greek word is 'Philos'. 'Strong's Concordance' Dictionary gives the meaning as follows -  phílos – a friend; someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection. In other words, your partner / wife / husband... but wait... doesn't the first definition say 'friend'? 

Stay with me on this, cos it's not easy to explain...

I'm fairly certain that people such as Map1, for example, would be quick with some Biblical quotes, so I'll get in first...

I must, again, reiterate that I am not in the slightest bit religious, I never have been, and never will be. The Bible is just a 'book' in which, I reckon, contains about 80% nonsense, but the remaining 20% is 'pure gold', when you can find it.

(Note, while editing this blog post I have just discovered that Thomas Jefferson said that 80% of the Bible is 'dung', and 20% is 'diamonds', so I guess we've both come to the same conclusion).

In this case, the quote is a simple one, though widely misunderstood, and it's this:     Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

'Lay down your life'? WTF? So, when a man with a gun comes to shoot you, you're supposed to say "Shoot me, not him!" ???? Utter BS, IMHO.

If we take this simple sentence and analyse it further, the true meaning of 'love' is revealed in all its glory. In the original text, the word 'love' is 'philos', and the Biblical meaning of 'friend' is - someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.

In other words, your partner / wife / husband / LOVER! Now, if that nasty man with a gun came to shoot your LOVER, you might JUST say... "Shoot me, not her/him!", but again, the meaning is twisted.

To 'lay down one's life' doesn't mean you have to become a 'sacrificial lamb' in order to save your partner from dying / being killed - nothing of the sort... The words in John 15:13 are not the words of John, but the words of 'The Christ', which means they have a certain 'divinity' about them; we're talking about 'divine love' here!

To lay down your life simply means to put your friend's, (partner's / LOVER'S), needs, wants, and desires, above your own needs, wants, and desires. It's THAT SIMPLE!

If your partner puts YOUR needs, wants, and desires above his/her own, then you have the perfect, divine, wonderful, relationship, that is ... TRUE love.

Sure, there's more to it than that. One has to have a certain amount of physical attraction, etc, and a couple have to be compatible in order for it to work, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that 'true love' is not just about YOU, and how he/she makes YOU feel...

Remember, you cannot GIVE what you haven't GOT, so one could argue that it's impossible to GIVE love if you haven't got that love to give. 

However, you don't need to have, or own, anything, in order to put your partner's needs, wants, and desires, above your own.


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#2018-06-16 08:12:27 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Paul, I really don't disagree with anything you've said here, except your initial claim that the meaning of 'Love' is not subjective. On that point, let's be clear. By subjective I mean that for different people "love" means different things. I think that is patently true, and your own blog here proves it. Your whole discussion is about separating what is 'true love' from other types of love. You would not need to do that if there was not many more than one meaning of the word 'love' and that different people use those different meanings when speaking of love.

When speaking of the same specific woman, three different men might say "I love that woman?".

One might mean 'I consider that woman to be my lifemate and I would die for her.'

The second might mean 'I find that woman to be really sexy and wish I could have sex with her.'

The third might mean 'I find that woman to be incredibly entertaining and watch her on TV every chance I get.'

There are probably countless other possible meanings of that statement. Hence your need to switch from explaining "love" and actually explaining "true love".

Many, many people are incapable of ever feeling, believing in or even understanding "true love" as you have explained it. They will never use the word "love" in the sense of "true love" because it is beyond their comprehension. Again, this all just confirms that "love" is a subjective word. 

As for your ultimate point that "true love" is about (or must include) loving someone so much you would put their own needs and wants above your own, and even "take a bullet" for them, I agree that is an ultimate condition of "true love" between spouses, be they male/female or same sex and be they legally married spouses or committed life partners.

However, please note that you are talking about love between two people who intend to share their life together as a couple, presumably to the exception of anyone else. But you could also apply "loving someone so much you would put their own needs and wants above your own, and even "take a bullet" for them" to 'maternal love' and 'paternal love'. For some people it might even apply to their love of their dog or cat.

#2018-06-16 18:55:12 by Barry1 @Barry1

@paulfox1

 

"you cannot GIVE what you haven't GOT, so one could argue that it's impossible to GIVE love if you haven't got that love to give"

 

I disagree with this, Paul.

 

Surely it has happened many times before, that love and intense feeling for someone can grow unexpectedly from nothing? Akin to a green shooting plant miraculously sprouting from dry barren ground where formerly everyone had said nothing could ever grow there?

 

Love is not a commodity that one either possesses or doesn't possess. It can suddenly manifest.... when the circumstances, the person and the situation are just right.     :^)

#2018-06-16 20:21:17 by Sunshineinwinter @Sunshineinwinter

Love have conditions, maybe when we are in school, the love at that time are pure, but when we grow up, love usually have conditions

Some men said he loves a woman, because that woman is beautiful, some because that woman is rich, some because he need comfort from a woman at that time, there are various reason, some are unspeakable, when a man claims that he loves a woman, what does he really love her for?

And the same when the women said she loves a man, there must be something about this man attracted her, appearance, money, good personality, good job

Sorry to say this, but the truth is brutal, and nothing wrong with it, we live in reality, we need to eat and sleep well

Love is just a word that people use everyday, sometimes it is a wonderful word to cover many things, but it can't solve things, you can't use love to find food or get the things we need in life

Many people use the name of love to demand on others, the bottom line is give and get should be equal, and to know what the woman you love, what does she really need? and what do you really need? can you and her satisfy each other's need?

 

#2018-06-16 21:02:20 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@JohnAbbot

Your whole argument about love being subjective is like the Chinese attitude towards the English word 'F*ck'.

Is it a verb; an adjective; an adverb, or a noun?

I call it the 'eggs of English' because you can use that word in more ways than you can cook an egg, yet to the Chinese it only has ONE meaning.

Likewise with the word 'love'.

My attempt was to define the REAL meaning of the word 'love' in the same way you'd define the word 'f*ck'

Subjective? Objective?

A word without a context is a pretext.

Definitions of words mean different things to different people depending on their indoctrination system.

#2018-06-17 13:05:37 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@paulfox1 - this time I think every word you just wrote proves my case entirely. Whatever were you imbibing last night? Isit exclusive to Oz?

#2018-06-17 14:07:12 by Barry1 @Barry1


@paulfox1

 

"Subjective? Objective?....A word without a context is a pretext."


Au contraire, Paul  - an objective context is in fact equivalent to a subjective pretext, but only where the subject cannot ordinarily be classed as an object, or where the pretext is subjectively used as a de facto context, in sentences involving both subjective and objective contexts and pretexts.



You of all people, should be well aware of this, I hope.  :^)

#2018-06-17 21:34:48 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@JohnAbbot

You want a pint of whatever it is I'm drinking, right?

Help yourself, it's just water !

#2018-06-17 21:57:30 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@Sunshineinwinter

Thanks for your reply. The first few things you mentioned have nothing at all to do with 'love'. You don't LOVE someone because they LOOK pretty or handsome. You don't LOVE someone because they are rich or have a big house.

You are correct when you ask 'if a man loves a woman what does he love her for?'

You are correct because that's the ultimate question. Is it 'love' or just infatuation?

I'm sure that anyone reading this will have come across at least ONE person in their life who looks beautiful/handsome, yet is generally not a 'nice person'. Conversely, we've all met someone who is gentle, kind, loving, and generally wonderful, who we are not attracted to because they are not so pretty or handsome.

So which do you prefer? The handsome guy who's just horrible, or the ugly guy who's wonderful?

When I wrote this blog I knew what I was going to get, from CLM members, and the criticism that would follow.

Everyone THINKS they know what 'love' means, because the word 'love' is used so frequently and in so many different ways and circumstances.

All I am trying to highlight is that TRUE LOVE has only ONE MEANING, (when referring to your life-partner).

To put his/her needs, wants, and desires, above your own.

Needless to say, you hit the nail on the head when you said;

"what does she really need? and what do you really need? can you and her satisfy each other's need?"

That comment alone just proves my point entirely. Thank you !

 

@Barry. Point taken, but even if love manifests itself from nothing, (a bit like the big-bang theory where nothing suddenly became everything), one must still have love INSIDE in order to give that love to another person.

Or perhaps you're relating your whole argument to the 'big-bang theory' by trying to convince us that 'everything' is already contained in 'nothing', so when 'nothing' kind-of 'explodes', out comes everything?

For once I'd love to hear @Imi and @Melcyan comment.

#2018-06-18 13:26:47 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@paulfox1 - I'm not getting the same effect from the water I drink here. Maybe this explains why you Aussies are all kind of weird. I suggest you bottle that stuff up and start to drop ship it around the world. You could make a killing.

#2018-06-19 00:10:23 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@Barry1

Au contraire, Paul  - an objective context is in fact equivalent to a subjective pretext, but only where the subject cannot ordinarily be classed as an object, or where the pretext is subjectively used as a de facto context, in sentences involving both subjective and objective contexts and pretexts.

Have another bird-seed cocktail !

 

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