Stories & Reflections
According to the dictionary: from the Latin amor: strong affection that drives us towards the object of our desires; inclination of the soul and heart; affection; passion; exclusive inclination; theological grace.
In the New Testament: So faith, hope and love endure. These are the great three, and the greatest of them is love. (Corinthians 13:13)
In the Qur’an: And of His Signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you might find peace of mind in them, and He put between you love and compassion (Chapter 30, verse 21 )
In the Kabbalah: The pure impulse of dynamic creation is formless; and being formless, the creation it gives rise to can assume any and every form.
According to etymology: the Greeks had three words to designate love: Eros, Philos and Agape. Eros is the healthy love between two persons that justifies life and perpetuates the human race. Philos is the sentiment that we dedicate to our friends. Finally, Agape, which contains both Eros and Philos, goes far beyond “liking” someone. Agape is total love, the love that devours those who feel it.
For Oscar Wilde:
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
(Ballad of Reading Jail, 1898)
In a late 19th century sermon: Pour your love generously on the poor, which is easy; and on the rich, who distrust everybody and cannot see the love that they so need. And on your neighbor – which is very difficult, because it is towards him that we are most selfish. Love. Never lose a chance to give joy to your neighbor, because you will be the first to benefit from this – even if nobody knows what you are doing. The world around you will become happier, and things will become easier for you.(Henry Drummond The Supreme Gift, [1851-1897])
In an e-mail received by the author: “While I kept my heart to myself, I never had a single morning of anguish or a single night of insomnia. Since I fell in love, my life has been a sequence of anguish, losses, confusion. I think that God, by using love, managed to hide hell in the middle of Paradise” (C.A., 23/11/2006)
Scientific paper: In the year 2000, researchers Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki, of University College in London, located the areas of the brain activated by romantic love by using a series of students who claimed to be madly in love. In the first place, they concluded that the zones affected by the sentiment are far smaller than they had imagined, and are the same as those activated by stimuli of euphoria, such as in using cocaine, for example. Which led the authors to conclude that love is similar to the manifestation of physical dependence provoked by drugs.
Also using the same system of scanning the brain, scientist Helen Fisher, of Rutgers University, concludes that three characteristics of love (sex, romanticism and mutual dependence) stimulate different areas of the cortex, and further conclude that we can be in love with one person, want to make love to another, and live with a third.
A poet: Love possesses nothing and does not want to be possessed, because it is enough in itself. (The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran [1883-1931])