What is love? Is it sex? Is it an emotion? A feeling? Or its something else..
In “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, the whole dialogue goes like this- Pyaar dosti hai (Love is friendship) agar wo meri sabse achi dost nahi ban sakti, toh mein usse kabhi pyaar kar hi nahi sakta. (If she cannot be my best friend, then I can’t fall in love with her).. On the other hand, its BDSM in Fifty Shades of Grey….
Pyaar Kya Hai?? It varies from person to person, there are approximately seven billion people in this world. Every individual has their own perception of everything. However, it’s still a question to many people and they spend an entire life trying to resolve it. It makes us excited, it makes us scared, it makes us vulnerable. Is it such a complex emotion as people make it out to be? Or is it because we ourselves have been accused of not showing love for someone? And why is that, even when we don’t fully understand what exactly love is, we tend to make decisions based on love whether its good or bad?
Well, Love is a set of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs characterized by intimacy, passion, and commitment. It involves care, closeness, protectiveness, attraction, affection, respect for each other, and most importantly trust. Love is a force of nature. We cannot command the moon, stars, wind, and rain according to our whims. Same as that in case of love we cannot demand or take away the love forcefully. Love is bigger than you are. You can invite love, but you can’t dictate how, when, and where love expresses itself. You can choose to surrender to love or not, but in the end, love strikes like a thunderstorm: unpredictable and irrefutable. You can even find yourself loving people you don’t like at all.
Love doesn’t come with any conditions, manuals, and addenda. Love is also applicable to non-humans also like animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, one might say he/she is madly in love with his/her dog, loves freedom, or loves god.
Love has been a favored topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition. From a scientific point of view, love is powerful, and permanent neurological condition. Love is chemistry and it’s not something you can necessarily control. Love is inherently free. It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. You cannot make someone love you, nor can you prevent it – at any cost or any amount of money. Love has no borders, no territory, or no quantifiable mass.
There are 8 types of Love that you can experience in your life according to the Ancient Greeks.
- “Eros” or Erotic Love.
- “Phillia” or Affectionate Love.
- “Storge” or Familiar Love.
- “Ludus” or Playful Love.
- “Mania” or Obsessive Love.
- “Pragma” or Enduring love.
- “Agape” or Selfless Love.
- “Philautia” or Self Love.
1. “Eros” or Erotic love:
The first kind of love is Eros that is named after the Greek God of Fertility. Eros represents the idea of sexual passion and desire. The Ancient Gods considered Eros to be dangerous and frightening as it involves “loss of control” through the primal impulse to procreate. Eros is a passionate and intense form of love that arouses romantic and sexual feelings. Eros is a primal and powerful fire that burns out quickly. It needs its flame to be fanned through one of the deeper forms of love below as it is centered around the selfish aspect of love, which is personal infatuation and physical pleasure.
Love Catalyst: The physical body.
2.”Phillia” or Affectionate love:
Plato felt that physical attraction was not a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction”. It often involves the feeling of loyalty among friends and a sense a sacrifice for your pack.
Love catalyst: The mind.
3. “Storage” or Familiar love:
Storage is a normal form of affection experienced between family members. This protective, kindship-based love is common between parents and their children, and vice versa. Storage can also be described as a sense of patriotism toward a country or allegiance to the same team.
Love catalyst: Casual (Memories).
4. “Ludus” or Playful love:
The Ancient Greeks thought of Ludus as a playful form of love. Although Ludus has a bit of the erotic eros in it. It is that felling when we go through the early stages of falling in love with someone. For example, the fluttering heart, flirting, teasing, and feelings of euphoria.
Playfulness love in love is an essential ingredient that is often lost in long-term relationships. Yet playfulness is one of the secrets to keeping the childlike innocence of your love life, interesting and exciting.
Love catalyst: Astral (Emotion).
5. “Mania” or Obsessive love:
When love turns to obsession, it becomes Mania. It occurs when there is an imbalance between eros and Ludus. To those who experience mania, love itself is a means of rescuing themselves; a reinforcement of their own value as the sufferer of poor self-esteem. This person wants to love and be loved to find a sense of self-value. Because of this, they can become possessive and jealous lovers, feeling as though they desperately “need” their partners. Stalking behaviors, co-dependency, extreme jealousy, and violence are all symptoms of Mania.
Love Catalyst: Survival instinct.
6. “Pragma” or Enduring love:
Pragma is a love built on commitment, understanding, and long- term best interests. It is a type of love that has aged, matured, and developed over time. It is beyond physical, and it is unique harmony that has formed over time. Unlike the other types of love, pragma is the result of effort on both sides. It is the love between people who have learned to make compromises have demonstrated patience and tolerance to make the relationship work. You can find pragma in married couples who have been together for a long time, or in friendships that have endured for decades. Unfortunately, pragma is a type of love that is not easily found.
Love catalyst: Etheric (Unconscious).
7. “Agape” or Selfless love, Universal love:
Agape is somewhat called spiritual love. The kind of love towards strangers, nature, or God. This love is unconditional, bigger than ourselves, boundless compassion, an infinite empathy. It is the purest form of love that is free from desires and expectations. Agape is the love that is felt for that we intuitively know as the divine truth: the love that accepts, forgives, and believes for our greater good.
Love catalyst: Spirit.
8. “Philautia or Self love:
The Greeks understood that in order to care for others, we must first learn to care for ourselves. Philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the Buddhist philosophy of “self-compassion” which is the deep understanding that only once you have the strength to love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin, only then you will be able to provide love to others. You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find unconditional love for yourself. Often learning to love yourself involves embracing all the qualities you perceive as “unlovable”, this is where shadow work comes in. This form of self-love is not unhealthy vanity and self-obsession that is focused on personal fame, gain, and fortune as in the case with Narcissism.
As Aristotle said, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself”.
Love catalyst: Soul.
One can buy sex partners and even marriage partners but love itself cannot be sold. One can buy loyalty, companionship, but love itself cannot be bought. An organism can be bought, but love cannot. It comes, or not, by grace, of its own will and in its own timing, subject to no human’s planning.
Love speaks out for justice and protests when harm is being done. Love points out the consequences of hurting oneself or others. Love allows room for anger, grief, or pain to be expressed and released. But love does not threaten to withhold itself if it does not get what it wants.
Love does not say directly or indirectly, “If you are a bad boy, Mommy won’t love you anymore”. Love does not say, “If you want to be loved, you must be nice”, “Do what I want,” or “Never love anyone else, or “Promise you’ll never leave me”. Love is inherently compassionate and empathic. This is the true nature of love, and love itself cannot be manipulated or restrained. Love honors the sovereignty of each soul. Love has its own laws. Love has many different forms. We can each experience love in our own way, which is why defining the term ‘LOVE’ is complicated. And so we find ourselves lying awake at night, searching the internet for an exact definition because our culture creates a need for one we want to know how others perceive love so we can determine how our love stacks up against that definition. Think about it, if you say you are in love with someone, but your friends or family do not see the chemistry, you might be angry when they tell you that it ‘doesn’t look like love”. Are they wrong? Or are you? How does one know who to believe?. Thus, as we do in this age, we search the internet, desperately seeking to know what, exactly, is love.