Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
Reading time: 8 min

About love.

Now they are talking about sex. Love began to seem like an anachronism. What is love?

Maybe I'm wrong, but in the last two or three decades, they almost stopped talking about love. The theme of love, which filled lyrical poetry, music, visual arts, our daily life, has gone somewhere. It even seems strange to suddenly talk about love - the answer will be ironic smiles.

Now they talk about sex, boyfriends and things like that. What kind of love is it when newspapers advertise young girls offering their services? Love began to seem like an anachronism. And this is very sad and disturbing, because the ability to love is a hallmark of a person. Losing the ability to love, we lose the human in ourselves, we become closer to animals that also mate.

An ordinary normal person who needs to earn a living, feed children, pay rent and travel in public transport, as a rule, does not think about any philosophy. People related to higher education have heard something about philosophy and can justify their negative attitude towards the teaching of this discipline at a university.

Love is a very broad and very vague concept. In Antiquity, the Greeks distinguished two types of love. A calm, stable feeling - reverence, affection, devotion - they called "filia". This is love for parents, for some kind of occupation, for the native city, for the fatherland. Some of our modern words come from this root: "philanthropy" - love for a person, "philosophy" - love for wisdom, "philadelphia" - love for brothers and sisters. Sometimes philia can turn into a passion, such as the love of power, wealth, fame or pleasure, but then it deserves condemnation.

Sexual love has a different character. The Greeks called such love "eros" and deified it as an unstoppable elemental force that fertilized the entire cosmos. Unlike philia, erotic love is spontaneous, unrestrained and fickle. Through it, a powerful desire of life for its continuation, reproduction, its impulse to immortality is realized. Therefore, it is characteristic not only of man, but also of animals. Eros is an irresistible attraction to the opposite sex. It is vividly and clearly manifested in early youth, when a young man falls in love with all women. Remember Cherubino from the comedy by Beaumarchais or Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro: he flares up with passion at the sight of the countess, and her maid, and the first villager he meets. It was sexual love that poets sang, it permeates dramaturgy, literature, music, and painting.

In a person with a fully developed consciousness, erotic attraction acquires specifically human features. We are not attracted to all members of the opposite sex, but only to one. Only one in millions of people can give us the highest erotic pleasure - that unbearably acute experience with which nature rewards us for the conception of a new life. Man is not just an animal endowed with physiological instincts, but a personality, mentally and spiritually unique, and it is the personality in all its bodily and spiritual fullness that attracts us. Spiritualized eros is what we call sexual love.

What is the essence of the spiritual side of love? The Russian philosopher V. Solovyov believed that the spiritual meaning of love lies in overcoming natural human egoism. Of course, every person sees the highest value in himself, he loves himself first of all, takes care of himself and takes care of himself. Each person is the center of his inner world, the pivot around which his feelings and thoughts, his desires and thoughts revolve. But when a person is captured by love, it suddenly turns out that another person - a loved one - is dearer to you than yourself. The other becomes the center of your inner world. His existence fills your whole life with new meaning, you are no longer alone in your inner world, there are two of you. The pattern of the clouds reminds you of her delicate profile; inhaling the fragrance of a flower, you imagine how she would admire him; while reading an interesting book, you mark places that she would like. A beloved person, like the sun, illuminates the whole world of your consciousness, all things around you seem to acquire new fresh colors, and your soul is filled with endless joy. Two loving people are like a double star: each revolves around the beloved, lives and breathes him.

The garden where I lived - I would have blossomed with you, The house where I would have slept - I would have furnished with you, I would have made the constellations shine with you And your distant voice would have given the leaves.

Love elevates a person, makes him more sensitive, noble, tolerant. Love encourages a person to self-improvement. You treat your loved one with tender attentiveness, you strive to become better in order to be worthy of reciprocal love. And mutual care for each other, complete physical and spiritual fusion delivers such a crushing, such a stunning pleasure that the satisfaction of a simple physiological attraction is not capable of delivering.

Yes, many of us - believers and atheists - believe that stealing is not good, killing is not allowed, that you need to be honest, treat others kindly, etc. But why do we consider these moral norms to be obligatory? Why do we feel remorse when we retreat from them? Here, the supporters of religious morality have a strong position and a clear answer: because God commanded so, breaking His commandments, we commit sin. A believer has a supreme authority that sanctifies and substantiates his moral principles. But what can an atheist appeal to?

Many thinkers paid attention to another side of love: along with overcoming egoism, along with the deification of a loved one, in love there is also a feeling of compassion, sympathy for a loved one. “If love-Eros is not combined with love-pity, then its results are destructive and painful. In Eros itself there is cruelty, he must be humbled by pity ”(Berdyaev N. Self-knowledge. Paris, 1949. P. 87). Apparently, this is true: in the life around us there is a lot of dirt and filth, there is a lot of rudeness, suffering, pain in it, and you yourself are able to involuntarily hurt your loved one. Realizing this, you strive to protect your loved one from the blows and bruises of life, to protect him from those experiences and troubles that threaten us from all sides. You sympathize with your loved one and together with him you experience his pain, his grief, his resentment.

Alas, love does not always meet with a reciprocal feeling, there is also unrequited love. But she is beautiful and necessary for a person! It also illuminates the soul, just as elevates, like mutual love.

I was not her friend, I was not her husband, I only followed in the footsteps, - Today I gave her the whole sky, And tomorrow I will give the whole earth!

Walk. Lovers. Mark Shagal.

It seems that spiritualized eros - the highest kind of love - is leaving our lives. Only philia remains, and even then it is not love for people, for the fatherland or for friends, but for things, comfort, and physiological pleasures. In a world dominated by commodity-money relations, people get used to looking at other people as a commodity that can be bought. Even worse, they begin to look at themselves as a commodity! The girl who won the Miss Russia contest proudly declares: “Now I can marry an oligarch!” Her value in her own eyes has increased, and now she is ready to sell only to a very rich person. What love is there! All that remains is sex - a physical exercise that relieves sexual tension, and people turn into partners in sexual physical education. And it doesn't even matter what gender your partner belongs to. Does this not indicate that the modern post-industrial civilization is gradually turning us into animals?

Poets and philosophers for thousands of years tried to understand what love is, described its manifestations, its types and stages, but still love still remains something incomprehensible. In fact, why, why do we suddenly fall in love with some person? It often seems that there are no grounds for love, sometimes we see a person for the first time, but it suddenly flares up in our soul and nothing can be done about it: “Love jumped out in front of us, like a killer jumps out of the ground in an alley, and hit us right away. both! This is how lightning strikes, this is how a Finnish knife strikes! (Bulgakov M. Master and Margarita). This unpredictability, the unexpectedness of love, its inexplicability by any rational considerations, is its greatest secret. You are told that he (she) is ugly, not very lucky and does not know how to earn money or does not know how to cook dinner, but a loving person does not care about all this. Moreover, the shortcomings of a loved one turn into virtues in his eyes, acquire the character of cute, peculiar features, no less precious than the virtues and achievements themselves. Therefore, there is no person unworthy of love, everyone has the right to hope to love and be loved.

But just as unexpectedly, love can leave. Even today, a person illuminated and warmed your life, and tomorrow he became indifferent to you and a gray fog enveloped your soul. Why? This question is sometimes difficult to reasonably answer. All that remains is the hope that this capricious amazing feeling will one day flare up in your soul again. Author: Alexander Nikiforov