The Misconception of Love Vol.3, No.2

A celibate once told a girl, “I love you.” The girl overwhelmed by confusion starred at the man and retorted “but you are a celibate!” For the naïve girl, a celibate has been denied the faculty to love. It is only through a letter clarification of the concept of love that she could understand that celibacy offers one unlimited opportunity to love freely and universally.
Well, I would like to express the thought that the misunderstanding depends the one’s level of exposure. That is to say, the more exposed, educated, and liberal hearted people are, the more they understand the true meaning of love. For me therefore, there is no misconception. The concept remains unchangeable, ageless and constant. We come to get acquainted with the true concept of love by what Karl Popper calls verisimilitude (Meaning getting nearer to the truth) through a gradual process of human exposition to reality. Our lack of exposition makes us feel that love is merely man woman affair. But that is very far from the truth. A man and a woman can have affair without love. Love is more supreme that genital sex.
More often than not, we apply love to mean sex that “to have sex” means to make love.” Again, feelings of affection and admiration are mistaken for love. This is because when such feelings are aroused in one because of another’s beauty, character, heroic or terrific act, the expression of feeling will be “I love you,” as if such love can endure the disappearance of what aroused the affection.
Against this backdrop therefore, I stand tall to affirm that love is not likeness in as much as likeness cannot envelop the whole object and transcend it. Love is not infatuation which ends in carnal pleasure of ephemeral passing ecstasy. Love is not feeling of affection, attraction or admiration that cannot transcend the immediate enjoyment of the object “Loved.” Love is not friendship because friendship and its goal are merely manifestations of one of the many effects of love. Above all, love is not sex, because the goal of sex is procreation. While that of love is the eternal happiness of eternal good. God.
The above mentioned qualities could be categorized as constitutive elements of human love but they are not love in the true sense of the word. Filial, erotic and romantic love are simply grades of human affection but love itself is not gradable because it is the matrix, most fundamental, universal and container of all other virtues. Love, like other supernatural virtues defies all definitions. We can imperfectly describe love by positing its genuine manifestations. Like all other virtues, love is a tendency towards good (to our neighbour) even to the point of heroism. By implication, “I love you” means that I am unquenchable and excellently disposed to do good to and for you. Now let us grab this logic. If the goal of love is good, and God is taken as the supreme good, conscious of the fact that the goal of a subject constitutes its melting point beyond which it cannot transcend, we can therefore conclude that love reaches its perfection in God, for God is love (1 Jn 4:8). Hence, love, good and God are perfectly convertible. In loving therefore, let us love God for his own sake, and our neighbour for the sake of god, since God, the supreme good is the finality of love. Next series shall reveal the best way to exercise the game of love.

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