Love is that state where another's happiness is crucial to your own. It is not jealous, quite. Lovers should recognize the need for personal time, though there is often regret that such a need exists. Love allows silence, and is not demanding.

Being in love with someone is different from loving someone. The emotion is more intense, more demanding, and usually includes physical desire. Lust is often mistaken for being in love, but when the lust is sated the difference becomes apparent. It is possible to have both love and physical desire, yet not be in love.

Love is both selfish and self-sacrificial in nature. By making the other person so important to your happiness you become willing to risk yourself, and forego other pleasures, that your lover might be happy. This is one of the noble traits of love and traditionally should be selfless, with virtually no thought of return. Actions like this should not be calculated for greatest efficiency, but love at its best is a reciprocal relationship. To truly experience love, your love should be returned. It is that sharing which glorifies existence.

Eros and Agape are both forms of love. Eros is often mistaken for the entirety of love, and the union of groping bodies portrayed as the ultimate human relationship. Sex, with a proper attitude, can join relative strangers with a joy and tenderness that enriches both parties. Alone, it is not the pinnacle of love. Agape is the joyous union of spirits who delight in pleasing each other and rejoice in each other's company. When Eros and Agape are combined then the results are so far beyond sex as to constitute a different act entirely.

Above all, Love IS! It is uncapturable by words and only partially describable. Love can only be evoked by the proper images (poetic, visual, musical) if it exists in the heart of the perceiver. Searching the world over for this greatest treasure is useless. Until you find love within yourself you will not find it elsewhere.

Preface  Aphorisms  The Warrior  Women Warriors  Love  Duty  Death & Suffering  Assurance  Learning  Absorb What is Useful  Knighthood  Reading List 
Copyright 2000 by Gregory R. Gagnon