May 6, 2012
It is often hard to write about ‘love’ because people always have the tendency to make it emotional. Moreover, when people see you write about ‘love,’ they will most likely ignore it because, again, they would probably assume it to be another one of those cheesy blog entries about heartbreak or bliss or whatnot. Another reason why I shy away from writing about this topic is because people don’t associate me with ‘love’ (palibhasa wala kasi akong love life, lol). That is why when I write about the topic, I anticipate that it would come as a shock to those who know me. But come on, we are all people and there will definitely come a point in our life when we would want to talk about this complex word called ‘love’. In my case, that point is now. So please bear with me for a while as I try my best not to be emotional or cheesy in this blog entry. :))
According to the book I’m currently reading (A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry), the Christian idea of love has three levels: (1) Love-as-attachment, (2) Compassion, and (3) Love-in-God. The first level is when we love someone so dearly that we cannot imagine life without them. This level of love is usually governed by jealousy and possessiveness, which consequently cause us much suffering. A higher form of love, compassion, is when we unconditionally care for others who are in need. This level of love is selfless. The highest form of love is love-in-God, which is when we love what is eternal in other people. I do not understand completely how this goes. I guess it is when we love someone not because of physical or outside appearances, but because of who they are inside. Okay, so perhaps we know this one already. Why then are many people still suffering because of ‘love’ even though they have learned to look beyond physical appearances? I will deviate from the book and just base my answer from observation and experience.
People still suffer because love needs to be mutual. I mean imagine, even if you learn to love all the people in the world, but not a single one would love you back, would you be happy? Of course not (unless you’re a martyr or something, but hey, let’s be realistic. You won’t be happy if no one loves you back!). Love should be two-way. Give and take as they say. So others suffer because they are forcing themselves into the heart of someone who cannot love them back.
People suffer because of fear. Fear of being left for another, fear of death, fear of criticism, etc. Fear breeds jealousy and insecurity. That other person is more beautiful than I am, that other person is more sensible, that other person has more sense of humor, and so on and so forth. Obviously, love with fear is in the lowest level of love-as-attachment. This is probably the reason why the Bible stresses that “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).
But how can we as humans be capable of giving out this “perfect love”? Perhaps you would say, “by love-in-God”, or by loving what is eternal in another person. But such an answer would only bring us back to where we started (see the last part of the second paragraph).
Okay, I don’t know how this “perfect love” works. Is there even such a thing as perfect in this world? There is still a lot to learn.