The three forms of love: Eros, Philos, Agape

Paulo Coelho

[...]

“Agape is total love, the love that devours those that experience it. Whoever knows and experiences Agape sees that nothing else in this world is of any importance, only loving. This was the love that Jesus felt for humanity, and it was so great that it shook the stars and changed the course of man’s history.”

“During the millennia of the history of civilization, many people have been smitten by this Love that Devours. They had so much to give – and the world demanded so little – that they were obliged to seek out the deserts and isolated places because love was so great that it transfigured them. They became the hermit saints that we know today.”

“For me and you who have experienced another form of Agape, this life here may seem hard and terrible. Yet the Love that Devours makes everything lose its importance: these men live only to be consumed by their love.”

He took a pause.

“Agape is the Love that Devours,” he repeated once more, as if this was the phrase that best defined that strange type of love. “Luther King once said that when Christ spoke of loving our enemies he was referring to Agape. Because according to him, it was impossible to like our enemies, those who do us harm and try to make our daily suffering all the worse.”

“But Agape is a lot more than liking. It is a sentiment that invades everything, fills all the cracks and makes any attempt at aggression turn to dust.”

“There are two forms of Agape. One is isolation, life dedicated only to contemplation. The other is precisely the opposite: contact with other human beings, and enthusiasm, the sacred sense of work. Enthusiasm means trance, ecstasy, connecting with God. Enthusiasm is Agape directed at some idea, something.”

“When we love and believe in something from the bottom of our soul, we feel stronger than the world and we are imbued with a serenity that comes from the certainty that nothing can conquer our faith. This strange force makes us always make the right decisions at the right time, and we are surprised at our own capacity when we fulfill our objective.”

“Enthusiasm usually manifests itself in all its power in the early years of our life. We still have a strong tie with the divinity and we give ourselves with such zeal to our toys that dolls take on a life of their own and little tin soldiers manage to march. When Jesus said that the kingdom of Heaven belonged to the children, he was referring to Agape in the form of Enthusiasm. The children reached him without paying any attention to his miracles, his wisdom, the Pharisees and the apostles. They came happily, driven by Enthusiasm.”

“May you never lose your enthusiasm at any moment for the rest of your life: it’s your greatest strength, intent on the final victory. You cannot let it slip through your fingers just because as time passes we have to face some small and necessary defeats.”

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Comments

  1. Robert Harrington says:

    if anyone has read the bible there r 4 types of love
    Agape Love god gives to us
    Philia love between close friends
    Storge love for family
    eros sexual love

    look it up 4 urself

  2. Marie-Christine says:

    El amor es Universal.
    C’est aimer ton frere et ta soeur.

  3. Ca says:

    Anna: J’ai eu la même pensée aujourd’hui, je pense comment toi par apport a ça. Je me réveille chaque jour avec mon enthousiasme et la première chose qui je fais c’est remercier. Dans la journée je remercie tout le temps. C’est une des choses qui me lie a la source, a Dieu, à la lumière. La méditation, l’yoga, aussi me lient à la source, venir ici sur ce blog, me joindre à Paulo e à a vous me lie à la source, à Dieu. Et je vous remercie pour cela. Cette vibe de la source c’est qui me fais ne pas répondre de la même façon a des mauvaises énergies qui vient de mon prochain. Si je réponds de la même façon qui mon « ennemie » en quoi je serai différent de lui ? En effet ça ne m’attire pas d’être dans cette énergie car je suis dans l’énergie de la source de l’amour, donc, pour moi le combat c’est pour continuer dans cette source et pouvoir être dans la lumière, ce n’est pas contre mon « ennemie », la lumière de mon « ennemie » ne veut pas dire mon ombre, et si mon « ennemie » vois ma lumière comment leur ombre, leur ombre c’est pas la mienne non plus, et je suis dans le bons sens. Ne pas répondre de la même façon pour des attitudes négatives donne a moi la possibilité de continuer mon dans mon énergie, d’amour… L’ennemie peut beaucoup m’apprendre de ça car je pratique beaucoup mon infinie énergie de patient et amour. La meilleure parte du combat a mon avis c’est quand « l’ennemie » veut utiliser tout les mesures possibles pour provoquer un énorme piège dans ta vie, qui pourrait emmener même au fin du combat pour toi. Il n’arrive pas a faire cette piège. Toi, tu as trois fois la piège qu’il est en train d’essayer de te préparer, mais tu n’utilise pas car tu sais qui ça leur causerait l’ombre totale pour lui et ce n’est pas ça qui tu veux. Tu es devant ton ennemie Just pour pouvoir continuer a avoir ta place au soleil, pas pour le causer l’ombre. D’ailleurs, s’il n’avait pas essayé de t’enlever de ton chemin tu n’aurais même pas a combattre, car tu es et serait toujours dans la lumière et l’ennemie ne pourrait jamais t’enlever de ton chemin. Car ta lumière c’est une menace a eux. Il y a ceux qui au lieu de garder leur énergie de la source veulent t’enlever de la tienne en vain. C’est une énergie qui est dispensé pour rien. Combien de couples dépensent des fortunes avec les avocates pour se séparer, en faisant la guerre, en sachant qu’il y a des nombreuses personnes qui passent la faim pour toute la vie et sont au combat pour survivre et pour donner le mieux ? Je pense qui c’est a ce moment qu’il faut voir bien « l’éducation » dont Marie Christine parle. LOVE!
    Marie Christine: Comment je disais a Anne, c’est cette énergie qui me correspond le plus de mon être dans tout ma vie. Dans une église et dans nous même pouvons trouver cette énergie. Nous sommes tous un et il n’y a pas d’équipe meilleure, il a ceux qui cherchent la lumière, il y a ceux qui cherchent l’ombre. Et ces personnes qui cherchent l’ombre n’aiment pas ta lumière et veulent t’apporter a l’ombre aussi. Je ne sais pas comment ils ne se fatiguent pas… mais l’important c’est qui toi tu n’est pas dans la même énergie qu’eux. Et tu ne réponds pas de la même façon. Tu n’as pas une meilleure équipe, mais tu es dans la lumière, et rien ni personne peut t’enlever de la. Personnellement, je préfère cette énergie.
    N’importe quoi peut nous arriver et le meilleur est a venir…
    LOVE.

    Anna: I had the same thought today is incredible! I think through how you input it has. I wake up every day with my enthusiasm and the first thing I do is thank them. During the day I thank all the time. It is one thing that binds me to the source, God, to light. The meditation, yoga, also bind me to the source, coming here on this blog, join Paulo and you had to lie to the source, God. thank you for that. The vibe of the source is that I do not respond the same way a bad energy that comes from my neighbor. If I answer the same way that my “enemy” what I am different from him? Indeed it does not me to be in this energy because I’m in the energy of the source of love, so for me the struggle is to continue in this source and be in the light, it is not against my “enemy”, the light of my “enemy” does not mean my shadow, and if my “enemy” see how my light shade, their shadow is not mine either, and I’m in the right direction. Do not respond in the same way for negative attitudes gives me the opportunity to continue my in my energy, love … The enemy can teach me much about it because I love my practice patient infinite energy and love. The best part of the battle in my opinion is when the “enemy” wants to use all measures possible to cause a huge trap in your life that could even take the fight to end for you. It can not make this a trap. You have three times the trap he is trying to get ready, but you do not use because you know that it would cause the total shade for him and that is not who you want . You’re Just in front of your enemy to continue to have your place in the sun, not to cause shadows. Indeed, had he not tried to kidnap your way you would not even a fight, because you are and will always be in the light and the enemy could never kidnap your way . Because your light is a threat to them. There are those who instead of keeping its energy from the source to the kidnap held in vain. It’s an energy that is provided for nothing. How many couples spend a fortune with the lawyers to secede, by waging war, knowing that there are many people who spend the hunger for life and are fighting to survive and give the best? I think that this is a moment that we can see the “education” which Mary Christine speaks. LOVE!
    Marie Christine: How I said to Anne, it is this energy that is most of me throughout my life. In a church and we even can find that energy. We are all one and there is no team better, he has those who seek the light, there are those who seek the shade. And people who seek the shade do not want your light and shadow bring you too. I don’t know how they do not get tired … but the important thing is that you just is not in the same energy as they do. And you do not respond the same way. You do not have a better team, but you are in the light, and nothing and nobody can kidnap of. Personally, I prefer this Energy.
    Anything can happen and the best is yet to come …
    LOVE.

    Querido Paulo,

    BOM DIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Uma otima semana!!!

    Que Deus abençoe vc, Cristina e à todos!!!

    Obrigada por tudo.

    MARG,

    Ca

  4. Marie-Christine says:

    Anna M
    Thanks for your comment.
    The enemies are not the problem, the “allies” are.
    The best way to deal with it,is to remove yourself from the situation and move on and see what happens.
    Love

  5. Anna M says:

    To wake up everyday with enthusiasm seems really hard, but it’s not impossible.
    If we find love in everything we do, we’ll also find the enthusiasm we are looking for.

    Marie-Christine: I agree with what you said, but I also believe that’s why we should love our enemies; I mean, if they feel hate, anger, rage, or any other negative feeling towards us, and instead of striking back with negative feelings too, we strike back with love, we’re fulfilling ourselves with pure positive vibrations by not letting their negative vibes get us. I believe that the purest love is the one we feel for the ones who doesn’t love us back, it’s the hardest, but the purest, because it’s seeking always the good in others. And that’s Agape.

    Love,
    Anna

  6. THELMA says:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/enthusiasm
    Definitions of Enthusiasm.
    I am amazed again by the …Greek language!! To be full of God, means enthusiasm. {Εν Θεώ!}
    So Agape means to be connected with the Source, the Light, the Divine.
    To become a … little girl again playing with my dolls!! Or to play ..’ dolls’ with all the … adults! To become children again, because to them belongs the Heavens. To love unconditionally, purely, eternally ..
    LOVE,
    Thelma

  7. Marie-Christine says:

    Ca
    Thank you.
    This reminds me of the energy we use.
    For example, I have read ,if you go to a church and start singing you get a lot of positive energy. Why? Because you follow the rythm of the others around you, the same can be applied in a negative way in a big crowd where people start singing – the type -” my team is better than yours.”except the rythm this time is channelled in a negative way.and when you are in a big crowd….anything can happen.

    Personally, I prefer to apply the first one.

    Education as a last recourse,perhaps?
    Love

    Ca
    Merci.
    Ceci me fait penser a la facon dont nous utilisons notre energie.
    Par exemple, j’ai lu que lorsque nous allons a l’eglise et commencons a chanter, nous recevons de l’energie positive. Pourquoi? Parceque nous suivons le “rythme” nous sommes tous ensemble, la meme chose peut se produire d’une facon negative, cette fois-ci, par ex un endroit ou il y a beaucoup de personnes et les gens commencent a chanter leur “Mon equipe est meilleure que la tienne” genre.Le rythme est transmis d’une facon negative.
    et quand vous etes dans la foule…. n’importe quoi peut arriver…

    Personnellement je prefere la premiere solution.

    Education est un autre recours a notre disposition peut etre?
    Love

  8. Ca says:

    Maria Christine,

    Linda!!! Sim, é contagiante e faz mto bem esta energia!!!

    Belle!! Si, c’est contagieux, et ça fait enormement du bien cette ennergie!!!

    LOVE,

    Ca

  9. Precioso, siempre me gustó este escrito Paulo que en los dias difíciles de mi vida me ayudó y experimenté Agape, el amor que debora y me sentí tan fuerte que caminaba como en una nube, necesité la fortaleza y la fortaleza vino a mi. Es como una droga.
    Un beso.

  10. Alexandra says:

    Thanks Laudy.I think you are right.Everybody has the sparkle of divinity.I dont think I am always right,I appreciate others help .Thank you

  11. Marie-Christine says:

    Ca
    I like what you are saying
    Bom dia etao bom vir aqui…embora nao haja o contato humano, a energia deste blog e tao boa, tao pura, faz tao bem…mto obrigada
    Good day, it is good to come here, although not there is the human contact, the energy from this blog is so good, so pure, it makes you feel good…thank you very much.
    ca -
    J’aime ce que vous dites
    Bonjour, ca fait du bien de venir ici, malgre qu’il n’y soit pas, on peut sentir le contact humain,l’energie de ce blog est tellement bonne, tellement pure, ca fait du bien …merci beaucoup

    Oui, c’est contagieux, n’est ce pas?
    Love

  12. Ca says:

    Querido Paulo,

    Bom dia!!!!!! é tão bom vir aqui… embora não haja o contato humano, a energia deste blog é tão boa, tão pura, faz tão bem… mto obrigada!!!
    As três fases do amor são maravilhosas, e cada uma nos faz aprender mto e sentir de uma forma diferente da outra, mas ao final tudo se resulta em amor, e isto é oque é mais valido na vida, amor!! Não importa como, amar é oque podemos fazer de melhor… Se depois de passar esta vida oque me sera pedido é a forma que amei, quero dar meu melhor a cada dia, incondicionalmente… Sentir o amor por Deus, pela vida, pelo meu proximo, por mim, todo o tempo… o caminho do amor sempre vence!!! é neste caminho que vou seguir minha trilha pro resto dos meus dias!!! Obrigada por tudo!!!

    MARG,

    Ca

  13. aditya says:

    “May you never lose your enthusiasm at any moment for the rest of your life: it’s your greatest strength, intent on the final victory.”

    amen to that !! for all of us here who keep on walking the path despite ‘all this’.

    savita, interesting story u shared ! i too have a freind who is almost 60 years old and i may be forty in few years. tell me something what is it about answers comming from ‘high’.

    love
    aditya

  14. Borgny Sofie*Norway says:

    When one experience agape* It`s the pure light of God loving through us – as we empty ourselves and become filled with His spirit only… Enthusiasm? Yes!
    Easy and hard at the very same time -
    May God challenge us to to agape loving*

  15. En mi Hi5, escribi esta interpretacion de lo que creo es el amor, y ya que he finalizado de leer las formas del amor, mas aun cuando tengo un pretendiente del que creo puedo enamorarme, me hace analizar que el tipo de amor que yo puedo sentir es el de Agape, verdaderamente es asi. Gracias Coelho, por esos maravillosos escritos sobre el amor, tu siempre nos inspiras y nos guias.
    Aqui le dejo esta interpretacion que he hecho sobre el amor, que al igual puede encontrarlo en mi espacio.

    El amor es Materia, no se crea ni se destruye, solo se transforma, y como dice Cabral, el amor nunca se muere, solo cambia de lugar. El amor Es y nada más. No creas que cuando lo tienes es tuyo solo, el amor es de todos, no lo puedes poseer, no lo puedes manipular, no lo puedes esclavizar. Las personas somos quienes hacemos eso, no el Amor.Pamela Angeles interpretación.

  16. Savita Vega says:

    The relationship of Shams of Tabriz and Jelaluddin Rumi: Shams, a wandering dervish, had travelled all of his life in search of a mate to his soul – someone, anyone, who could meet and match the fervor he felt in his heart for the Divine. Rumi, a scholar and mystic, even a well known teacher already, similarly, had not yet fathomed the heights of spiritual knowledge to which he would ascend in his ecstatic union with this mysterious man. When the two met, Shams was around sixty; Rumi, only about forty; but instantly they found unity of spirit, beyond age and time, in the ecstatic love they both held in their hearts for God.

    Not long before they met, Shams made a desperate plea to God, asking God to send him someone who would be a mate to his soul. That prayer was answered by a voice from on high that said, “The one you seek is Jelaluddin Rumi of Konya.”

  17. beeba says:

    Not every concept, feeling, thought or emotion can be forced into words and I find that love is one of those things. Love is capable of altering everything with us so unaware that we wouldn’t really know that there has been a change.
    A mystery regarding love is that we never choose it, it comes to us as life does: it is born, grows, and may die. Throughout its life, it develops its character and makes its own decisions.
    I’m in love. So in love. And sometimes, I know that I am not the one making the decisions that I am actually making. I wouldn’t normally say the things that I find myself saying, or acting or feeling the way that I sometimes do.
    It is both simple and complicated and analysing or conceiving anything about it is impossible. Love is so personal.
    Love is what we live for..

  18. Mirela Baron says:

    Well AGAPE will be my TARGET on this World in this Life!
    To reach it maybe ,I will be guide by my MAISTER!
    With Agape I asociate also THE MONASTERY AGAPIA,in ROMANIA which i should probabily visit in sommer?who know`s?….

    Love,
    Mirela(the woman in elevator)

  19. Irina Black says:

    “I have found nothing half so good as my long-planned half solitude,when I can sit up half the night with some friend,that has the wit not to allow his looks to tell when I am unintelligible”W.B.Yeats. Agape-acceptance,unconditional Love,the look into other Realms.

  20. Laudy says:

    Do you think that in the above description of Agape, that enthusiasm that is referred to, can also be referred to as passion?
    I find that I am a very passionate person, even if it is the smallest things that I believe in…. but I am not so sure if I am enthusiastic… can anyone help?

    Alexandra – I love your question ‘Then, what can make me love them?’
    I once heard a saying or a quote ‘to see God in everyone’…. everyone has a little bit of God in them, so we need to look for the little bit of God and love that part of our enemies, but of course, it’s easier said than done.

    It’s 2AM in Sydney, so goodnight everyone!

    Love Laudy

  21. candie says:

    Agape started to show his face the day you walked into our lives.
    You are Agape.

    …”You could take all this, take it away

    I’d still have it all

    ‘Cause I’ve climbed the tree of life

    And that is why, no longer scared if I fall

    When I get lost in space

    I can return to this place

    ‘Cause, you’re the one

    Nothing fails

    No more fears

    Nothing fails

    You washed away my tears

    NOTHING FAILS

    No more fears

    NOTHING FAILS

    NOTHING FAILS

    I’m not religious

    But I feel so moved

    Makes me want to pray

    Pray you’ll always be here

    I’m not religious

    But I feel such love

    Makes me want to pray..” Madonna

  22. Alexandra says:

    I guess Agape is more my way of loving.About loving our enemies,I cannot lie.For me ,at times seems that loving our enemies is sort of masochism.If we think at the fact that we all are creation of God,is right.But for me.seeing many reasons to love my enemies,is pretty hard.Generally my enemies are dishonest,greedy,liars,aggressive,who dont respect law,humans,nature.Than,what can make me love them?

  23. and i love human beings, god’s greatest creation

  24. after going through the three forms of love i feel that it may vary in any number of ways, but love is one. it cannot be described in mere words. it is an experience permeated by compassion. it is wonderful feeling to be in love with anything that has life or no life.

  25. munrocea says:

    agape is quite unequivocably life-giving love..

    and yes, that enthusiasm is the best form of relationship to bond us to life – pure, innocent et al.

    Losing enthusiasm is not just in view something that is created through loss of innocence; losing enthusiasm can also reshape our timeline and sense of continuity. The future seems to become cut off; the past seems to be lost; the present becomes ??!!

    “They had so much to give – and the world demanded so little – that they were obliged to seek out the deserts and isolated places because love was so great that it transfigured them.”
    I am happy to know of this reason now ;o) Thank you!!!

  26. luce says:

    Yes to Agape, to enthusiasm !
    I do hope and pray with all my heart never to lose it at any moment for the rest of my life !

    Thank you Paulo for reminding us !

    Love
    Luce