On love


One of the problems we have in talking about friendship comes about because we have such a limited vocabulary in English:

I love my god.

I love my dog.

I love mashed potatoes.

I love my wife, my kids, my students, my friends….

The old Greeks had a rich love vocabulary:

eros passionate love with sensual desire

agape holding one in high regard

philia friendship

storge affection of parents for offspring

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. – Aristotle

To understand how friendship works, we need first to understand how we relate to ourselves. Aristotle arrives at this point by noting that anything we wish or might wish from our friends we also wish for ourselves. So, let’s check that out first by asking what we wish from others. He suggests five points.

* (A friend is) (I am) someone who wishes for and does what is good for me.

* (A friend is) (I am) someone who actively wishes for your my existence and life.

* (A friend is) (I am) someone who spends time with me (myself).

* (A friend is) (I am) someone who desires what I desire.

* (A friend is) (I am) someone who shares my sorrows and joys.


Love is an emotion, just an ordinary, non-cosmic luxurious but not essential emotion.

Love is more a process than a single scenario.

Love is a development, a matter of mutual creation.

Love is an emotion through which we create for ourselves a little world — the loveworld, in which we play the roles of lovers and, quite literally, create our selves as well.

Love is a decision.

Love is a process, a dialectic, a movement.., toward a shared identity, the creation of a shared self.

2 thoughts on “On love

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