The Four Kinds Of Love
Excerpted from Rollo May’s discussion of Greek Thought
The words in Latin are from Thomas Merton’s Lectures….
Agape/Delectio Unconditional or Holy Love. Love that has a spiritual, altruistic and unselfishness basis. All human interaction based on an active dialogue/tri-alogue with the Divine.
Eros Committed, objective loving relationship based on equal responsibility for the growth, stability and evolution of the partners . Historically considered to be heterosexual; but not exclusively. Includes concerns for children.
Philos/Fraternis The love bond of true friendship. Mutual support, admiration, equality, and respect. Between men and men, women and women, but not clear on its possibilities of a loving friendship between women and men
Lust Physical or carnal appetites needs, or drives. Procreative urges. Pornographic stimuli; the sexual and primarily self serving approach that sees a partner as the object of your personal satisfaction.
The Four Kinds Of Compatibility
Sex, but also levels of compatibility concerning privacy; touch, proximity; levels of physical comfort (hot vs. cold) habits or health routines; house styles, decor, etc. & cleanliness; sleeping patterns, etc..
Degree or level of emotional maturity; ability to express feelings clearly and openly; Level of independence/dependence; importance of family ties/parents; the roles one plays/expects from their mates.
Ideas that one generates; ability to express those ideas clearly and rationally; and hold in common- level of communication skills: Interests, hobbies; social concerns, personal opinions; openness to new stimuli; educational levels, etc.
Religious compatibility; ideals, goals, aspirations. Sense of purpose and ultimate concerns for their lives; Beliefs, standards of morality and the degree of shared foundational values. Quality of inspiration, understanding, and disciplines one is willing to practice for personal, relational and mutual growth.
The Six Questions Before Sex
1) Is this person trustworthy? Benevolent? How does she/he treat others in their life? Will he/she use me or empower me? Is he/she spiritually/ethically mature?
2) Would this person be worthy of my love, respectful of my vulnerability, and act non-judgementally toward me? Do they understand equality/reciprocity?
3) Would this person honor our relationship by keeping its intimacy? Would they keep its privacy, and would they continue to respectfully care for me after we have been together?
4) Would this person be a willing parent to any child conceived between us?
5) Is this person a qualified spouse? that is, do they share my spiritual
commitment and my sense of clarity and responsibility for our couple?
6) Is this person truly “right” for me? or am I wishing to satisfy ego needs and desires? Are we able to consecrate sex together or at the least be sure that we will “cause no harm” or by being together will create no pain?
After A While
[After a while, you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul… And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning, and that someone’s company doesn’t mean security, and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t compromises, and that presents are not promises, and after a while you begin to accept your defeats…
Now, with your head up and eyes looking clearly toward the future, now with the inward grace of being a woman or a man, no longer clinging to the grief of the child, you learn to build your tomorrows on the strength of your todays….
And so you plant your own garden, and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers…
And you learn, you learn that you truly can endure, that you truly have a value and a worth in and of yourself…
You learn that from failure, comes wisdom, and from wisdom, comes the risk of a new and real love, one that opens your heart and frees your soul….]
An Adapted version of the poem by Vernica Shortwell
A Sufi Love Poem/Dance
This 13th century Sufi poem (author name begins with M..) is one of the popular dance songs used in the Dances of Universal Peace. It is rich in marriage preparation metaphor and alchemical symbolism as it depicts the mystical path of the heart toward the realization of love, and the allness of God as Love.
“Go, sweep out the chambers of your heart….
Make it ready, make it ready…
To be the dwelling of the Beloved….
When you depart, love will enter,
When you, void of yourself, God will display true beauty…..
An Exegetical Synopsis:
In Sufism, the goal is unity with the divine, through the path of the heart. It is a relational spiritual quest where the person welcomes love into their reality by making ready sufficient room in one’s appreciation and awareness for such reality to become dominant in their mind and heart. That means moving the you or the ego out, or diminishing its centrality, so that a sustained sense of “The Blessing of Belonging” can predominate.
As a statement of the alchemical marriage between God and the soul, and between serious, spiritually attuned sexual partners, this poem speaks to the need to empty out all the historical preconceptions of self and one’s sexuality and be open to experience its connections and its depths freshly, innocently, and allow that level of vulnerability to bless one another…
We have to learn to radically accept the essence of the other person; their spiritual core that lives and sustains their being that exists deep within, within and beyond all the hold of the cultural norms and all the wounds of their psychological identity. Only as the ego recedes, does fear diminish…. Only as we identify with the spiritual qualities, noble virtues, and are guided by the requite levels of unselfishness, does the heart begin to heal and the lotus petals of the true self unfold…. .
Ralph Waldo Emerson gave us this reflection on the importance of love in our lives… He declared:
Give all to love; Obey thy heart- Friends, kindred, days, estate, or fame
Plans, credit and the Muse- Nothing refuse!
It’s a brave master; Let it have scope: Follow it utterly, hope beyond hope. It was never for the mean; for it requires courage stout.
Souls above doubt, valor unbending, it will reward-
They shall return, more than they were, and ever ascending….
Some selected quotes on Love…..
I define love thus; The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. M. Scott Peck
If you would be loved, then be worthy of being loved Ovid
Love and dignity cannot share the same abode.
Love consists of this: that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other. …
For one human being to love another, that, perhaps, is the most difficult of all our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The absolute value of love makes life worth while, and so makes Man’s strange and difficult situation acceptable. Love cannot save life from death, but it can fulfill life’s purpose. Arnold Toynbee
Few people know what they mean when they say, “I love you,” … Well, what does the word love mean? It means total interest. I think the reason very few people really fall in love with anyone is they’re not willing to pay the price. The price is you have to adjust yourself to them.
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get– only with what you are expecting to give– which is everything. What you will receive , in return, varies.
You give because you love, and cannot help giving. If you are lucky, you may beloved back. That is delicious, but it doesn’t necessarily happen.
One can discern the direction and the depth of one’s soul by HOW they love;
For as the Epistles state, that we are known by our love, then how we show that love or how we demonstrate it to others is the crucial indicator that shows how and how well we understand the higher nature and deeper purpose of love. PEL