I have the opportunity to counsel people of various ages and backgrounds. Some of them are in that time of life where they are one of these three;
2. Courting and wanting to marry
3. Seperation or divorce
In the first most seem to surround the infatuation period where it is not true love. Of course, first I should define love in basic terms...
LOVE - it never fails, is kind, is considerate action, is compassion, is there when you are down, is there for you even when you make unwise choices and makes you feel happy and at peace.
This list can go on as there are so many aspects of love, but those are some of the basic ones.
Back to our 1, 2, 3, point above... So, 2. is a period where you really consider marriage, often I meet people that want to marry, but they do not know if they really love each other. Most couples ask this because they have not asked other basic questions like;
- Who will take out the garbage if we were married?
- Do you want to have children?
- Why do you love me?
- If someone said something bad about me, is it likely you would believe them?
- Can you live with my weaknesses?
- Do I make you feel better about yourself when I am around?
- Do I make you feel at peace?
- Could I represent you anywhere I go or would you be in doubt?
Most of these questions are never asked, but if they are asked, you may well be suprised of the answer! Asking a lot of questions and expressing your feelings is an important part of finding out about love. If the answers are shady or unclear then you may have to start reviewing if the love expressed in a relationship is one sided or not even love.
For the third, it is really a time of evaluation and testing. The offending party will really have to show 'extra' love to the heart broken spouce (in the case of adultery, etc). If the cause is both parties it may be helpful to express your original feelings and thoughts before your marriage/divorce.
What are your thoughts on the differences of love and lust?
To begin with, love is inherently indefinable.
It defies all logic, all reason, and marches to a drummer that never makes any sense to the mind.
Love in the marriage is a relatively new concept. I'm not sure when it became a requisite in considering marriage partners, but it hasn't been very long. Probably late 1800s, early 1900s.
The basic Western distinction of love from lust stems from biblical translations of the words agape and eros, which were incorrectly bandied back and forth for a long time.
Agape doesn't really translate into the notion of romantic love as we starryeyed romantics of today understand the term, but refers more to respect, admiration, trust and loyalty.
Eros is translated simply as "desire", which encompasses everything from sexual desire to the desire for riches, a better life, or another's spouse. It can mean anything, and is not exclusively sexual.
Hence, the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of Eros, is not necessarily the goddess of sexual desire, but of a basic instinct. Although she is commonly referred to as the "goddess of love", that is a misrepresentation of what the Greeks were trying to show in the myth.
The stark separation of the sensual nature from the "spiritual" nature stems from a couple of monastic disciplines, Buddist and Catholic, that see a "war" inside of man, in which the spiritual side is charged to "overcome" the "base" nature of the physical, to reach a stage of "enlightnment".
This effort to "divide" human nature into warring camps is perhaps one of the most damaging philosophies to humans ever devised, and has created untold, unnecessary shame and guilt over a fundamental aspect of our being.
:spock: What the 'h', 'e', double hockey sticks are you talking about? Love is as eternal as the universe and encompasses all things. Hindus here STILL marry children based on contract, so I am well familiar with the concept, although not built on love, it can become love if they were fortunate. If there is no love at all it will be as distasteful as a business deal gone sour. This not about cultures or traditional beliefs, this is about the difference between love and lust, whether a year ago or 3000 years ago. For there to be a difference between love and lust each would have to be defined. I did not say how does each 'feels', which would be 'hard' to explain (since one can only describe with words), but what they are to us, or are you trying to say one cannot judge if one's spouse or friend really loves or not?
Your question emphasizes my initial point.
Love is such an indefinable thing that it defies our analytical urges to box it in, categorize it and reduce it to a term in the dictionary.
Love causes us to defy all the laws of survival, all the laws of man and all the laws of "god".
What is love? I don't know. I only know that I have felt it and would sacrifice my very life for it. Not for it, but for the one I loved.
I cannot tell you "what" love is, but I can tell you what it has inspired in me at times.
It has applied, not only to women I have loved, but also comrades and things- like my country.
In my humble opinion, no one can define love.
The juxtaposition between love and lust is an arbitrary concept proposed by religious philosophy, patriarchial to be exact.
There is no relationship between the two. They are two separate parts of the human makeup.
It is only through the dictates of religious dogma that they are presumed to be related. Religious dogma with an agenda, I might add.
One of the fundamental aspects of all patriarchial religions is ownership of the female. This is universal, and up until a century or two ago, included the power of life and death over the woman.
It most especially includes complete control over female sexuality.
The term lust has taken on a very negative connotation, implying immorality, decadence and "sinfulness".
You, I think, are approaching the issue through the lens of your religion. You are, therefore, reduced to looking at the issue through a hollow tube, as it were.
The world, and mankind, is far older than your religion, which is, after all, one of the latecomers to the scene.
Unless I am mistaken, you assume lust to be a "bad" thing. That is based on the dictates of your religion. That is not necessarily the facts.
In my humble opinion there is of course a huge difference between Love and Lust. Some people think they're in love with someone when the ONLY (and I emphasided the word ONLY) think about having sexual contact with the other person, there is not conexion between the two of them in any other sense, they're not alike, they don't share the same views in anything, they just have one thing in common...and we know already what is that thing. Now, a person who truly loves someone feels edified by the other person, the whole purpose of your life is to make the other person happy, there are conexions that makes them even more united. Of course, intimacy is part of love and desire also...BUT if the ONLY thing that a person can think of everytime they see someone is sex then definetly it's wrong in my point of view. How they can say they're in love? (I don't know Stranger if that answers your question ).about whether lust is right or wrong).
Some people may think it's impossible to define love, I think it may be impossible for those who didn't find love yet but those who have it in their lives well know what love is. Love is caring about someone, is showing him/her how much they mean to you, love is unselfish, love is to be willing to spend your whole Eternity with that special someone...
Love is the medicine for the one who is hurt. Like my friend Aristotle would say 'Love and Reason are two travelers that never abide in the same place. When one reaches...the other leaves" ;)
As usual you mess yourself up with your own words. You want to approch this subject with this...
|What is love? I don't know|
|Not for it, but for the one I loved. |
|There is no relationship between the two. They are two separate parts of the human makeup|
|Unless I am mistaken, you assume lust to be a "bad" thing.|
|(I don't know Stranger if that answers your question ).about whether lust is right or wrong).|
Perhaps the best way to approach this is to reduce it to its simplest terms.
Love seems to be centered on the well being of someone or something else.
Lust is essentially self-centered, being focused on one's own needs or desires.
If you don't don't know what something is, how can you elaborate on it?
By observing the effects it has had on me.
I will have to concde your point that, if something is part of a whole, then it cannot be entirely separate from one of its parts. Sloppy thinking on my part.
I wasn't questioning whether lust was right or wrong. As JB pointed out, I was ASSUMING that he thought it was wrong, and he called me on it.
[offtopic]Love that "assumption is the road to a bridge made of paper". Where did you find that?
Also loved the quote from Aristotle. Don't ever remember seeing it in his writings, but it's great. And very apropos[/offtopic]