17. jan. 2006


Amor est vitae essentia - Love is the essence of life

Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur
We choose to love, we do not choose to cease loving. (Syrus)

Amor caecus est
Love is blind

Amor est vitae essentia
Love is the essence of life. (Robert B. Mackay)

Amor ordinem nescit
Love does not know order. (St. Jerome)

Amor patriae
Love of country

Amor platonicus
Platonic love

Amor tussisque non celantur
Love, and a cough, are not concealed. (Ovid)

Amor vincit omnia
Love conquers all. (Virgil)

5. jan. 2006


Different cultures have deified love, typically in both male and female form. Here is a list of the gods and goddesses of love in different mythologies.

* Amor or Cupid — god of passionate love in Roman mythology
* Aphrodite — goddess of passionate love in Greek mythology
* Eros — god of passionate love in Greek mythology
* Freya — goddess in Norse mythology
* Kama — god of sensual love in Hindu mythology
* Rati — goddess of passionate love in Hindu mythology
* Venus — goddess of passionate love in Roman mythology
* Xochipilli — god in Aztec mythology


Judaism employs a wide definition of love, both between people and between man and the Deity. As for the former, the Torah states: "Love your neighbor like yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). As for the latter, one is commanded to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your possessions" (Deuteronomy 6:5), taken by the Mishnah (a central text of the Jewish oral law) to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one's life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all one's possessions and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity (tractate Berachoth 9:5). Rabbinic literature differs 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 9:9). The Biblical book Song of Songs is a considered a romantically-phrased metaphor of love between God and his people, but in its plain reading reads like a love song. The 20th century Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequenly quoted as defining love from the Jewish point-of-view as "giving without expecting to take" (from his Michtav me-Eliyahu, vol. 1). Romantic love per se has few echoes in Jewish literature, although the Medieval Rabbi Judah Halevi wrote romantic poetry in Arabic in his younger years (also he appears to have regretted this later).

Hesed , which basically combines the meaning of 'affection' and 'compassion' and is sometimes rendered in English as 'loving-kindness'. Hesed describes God's mercy.

Ahava for 'affection' or 'favour'. It is not as widely used as 'hesed'.


or divine love, is the emphasis of Sufism, Sufis 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 itself within the dynamics of nature. Since everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly.


In kāma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kama. For many Hindu schools it is the third end in life (artha ).

In contrast to kāma, prema or prem refers to elevated love.

Karuṇā is compassion and mercy which reduces the suffering of others.

Bhakti is a Sanskrit term from Hinduism meaning loving devotion to the supreme God. A person who practices bhakti is called bhakta.

Hindu writers, theologians and philosophers have distinguished nine forms of devotion that they call bhakti e.g. in the Bhagavatha-Purana and according to Tulsidas. The booklet Narada bhakti sutra written by an unknown author distinguishes eleven forms. Not all Hindu sects consider bhakti important.


In Buddhism, Kāma is sensous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, since it is selfish.

Karuṇā is compassion and mercy which reduces the suffering of others. It is complimentary to wisdom, and is necessary for enlightenment.

Adveṣa, Maitrī
Adveṣa and maitrī are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires a lot of self-acceptance. This is quite different from the ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex, which rarely occur without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare.


Christians believe that love to God and to other people (God's creation, as they see it) are the two most important things in life (the greatest commandment of God, according to Jesus Christ. See The Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 28-34 in the Bible). Saint Augustine summarised this when he wrote "Love God, and do as thou wilt". Many Christian theologists see God as the source of love which is mirrored in humans and their relationships.

In the New Testament, Agapē, is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional. Its fatherly love seen as creating goodness in the world, and is reciprocal between believers and God.

Nomos is devotion to God, and the subjugation of the will before Him and His divine law.


Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word love is used. For example, ancient Greek has the words philia, eros, agape, and storge. However, with Greek as with many other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally, and so we can find examples of agape being used with much the same meaning as eros. At the same time the ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo being used with the same meaning as phileo.

Agape is love that God has for mankind. Only God can express this kind of love.

Eros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing.
Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even become appreciation of beauty itself. Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers, artists, and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros.

Philia, a dispassionate virtuous love, was developed by Aristotle. 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.

Storge is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.

In ancient Greece, the concept of xenia was extremely important. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and their guest, who could previously be strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was only expected to repay with gratitude. The importance of this can be seen throughout myth, in particular Homer's Odyssey.


In Japanese Buddhism, ai (?)is passionate caring love, and a fundamental desire. It can develop towards either selfishness or selflessness and enlightenment.

Amae (甘え), a Japanese word meaning "indulgent dependence" is part of the child rearing culture of Japan. Japanese mothers are expected to hug and indulge their children, and children are expected to reward their mothers by clinging and serving. Sociologists have suggested that Japanese social interactions in later life are modelled on the mother-child amae.


The Chinese philosopher Mo Zi developed ai (愛) in reaction to Confucian jen (戀). Ai is universal love towards all beings, not just towards friends or family, without regard to reciprocation. Extravagance and offensive war are inimical to ai. Although Mo Zi was influential, the Confucian jen is how most modern Chinese conceive of love.

Gănqíng (感情), the feeling of a relationship. A person will express love by building good gănqíng, accomplished through helping or working for another.

In Confucianism, jen is a virtuous benevolent love. Jen should be pursued by all human beings, and reflects a moral life.

Yuanfen (缘份), a connection of bound destinies. A meaningful relationship is dependent on there being strong yuanfen.

4. jan. 2006

The Idea Of LoveThrough The Ages

The Impact of Love on the Concept of Man in Western Philosophy and Theology
By Tore Frost

"In this connection I want to remind you of the fact that in the classical tradition they used only one word to describe passion as well as suffering, namely "pathos", which means that Love explains the intensity in every kind of infernal suffering and bereavement as well as the more life-sustaining, divine moments of joy and happiness."

Kahlil Gibran, quote from "The Broken Wings"

"It is wrong to think that Love comes from long companionship or persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of a spiritual affinity, and unless that affinity is created IN A MOMENT, it will not be created in years or even generations."


"friendship": Greek term for a love relationship based on mutual admiration and respect rather than sexual attraction.

and storge describe friendship love and love for one's family.

This Greek word has the idea of emotional love. While AGAPE emphasizes the complete giving of love to another person, PHILEO emphasizes the affection, emotion, a fondness one person has for another.

A PHILIA is the love or obsession with a particular thing or subject. The suffix -philia is used to specify the love or obsession with something more specific. It is antonymic to -phobia.

Philia as a greek word for love refers to brotherly love, including friendship and affection. This contrasts to the Greek terms Eros, or sexual/romantic love, and agape, or detached, spiritual love. However, it should be noted that English usage differs in some cases from the eytmological use, and several of these words refer in English not to brotherly love but to sexual attraction.

The suffix -phile (or, in a few cases, -philiac) applies to someone who has one of these philia. It is the antonym of -phobic.

PHILANTHROPIA - Love for mankind
PHILADELPHIA - Brotherly love
PHILEMA - A kiss
PHILIA - Friendship love
PHILOS - A love for a friend or relative
PHILOSTORGOS - Tender love or affectionate love


- "natural affection": Greek word for love based a natural bond; e.g, the love between a brother and sister or a parent and child.

- primarily refers to love between parents and children. It sometimes refers to love between people and their ruler and to love between a dog and his owner.


- was, in Greek mythology, the god responsible for lust, love, and sex; he was also worshipped as a fertility deity. His name is the root of words such as erotic. His Roman equivalent was Cupid, "desire", also known as Amor, "love". He was often associated with Aphrodite. He was, like Dionysus, sometimes referred to as Eleutherios, "the liberator".
Throughout Greek thought, there appear to be two sides to the conception of Eros; in the first, he is a primeval deity who embodies not only the force of erotic love but also the creative urge of ever-flowing nature, the first-born Light that is responsible for the coming into being and ordering of all things in the cosmos.

- "desire): the Greek term for sexual attraction or romantic love.

- the word came from the Latin god of hormones, it was used to refer to sensual or sexual love.

- refers to love between a husband and wife. It is more than sexual ecstasy because it also includes embraces, longing, and caring.


- is the Greek word for divine, unconditional love. Greek philosophers at the time of Plato used it in a way that suggested a universal, as opposed a personal, love; this could mean love of truth, or love of humanity. The term was used by the early Christians to refer to the special love for God and God's love for man, as well as the self-sacrificing love they believed all should have for each other.

- "charity" or "devotion": Greek word signifying a particularly selfless and altruistic form of love.

- love is willful and deliberate. Unconditional.
The Latin word is "caritas" from which we get "charity."

- This word was used in Greek literature to refer to someone who was generously favored by a god. It has the idea of a person giving all his or her love or favor to another. It was used to speak of parents giving all of their love to their only child. So in the New Testament it is used to make the same point. God gives each of us all of His love.

Jesus, Gandhi, Tolstoy

"Shortly before his death in 1910, Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian author, wrote a letter to an admirer in South Africa. The letter asserted Tolstoy's belief in "the teaching of love," which Tolstoy found most completely embodied in the message of Christ. The recipient of the letter was Mohandas Gandhi, and the idea became reality in Gandhi's campaign of non-violence to oppose British rule in India. Inspired by the Sermon on the Mount, in particular, Gandhi used the most radical of tools - non-aggression - to stymie and ultimately overthrow the system of British colonial rule. By the time of Gandhi's martyrdom in 1948, the world had come to glimpse, if not appreciate, that revolutions based upon hope and non-violence, upon Christ's message of love and dignity, were difficult to repulse by the mechanisms of the State."


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