Looking at love may allow greater understanding of its nature and practice.
This is an original essay written by Edward fagan.
Looking at love in greater detail can help us gain a clearer and better understanding of the importance of love. It can also help us understand the wonderful quality and practice that constitute love.
A clearer understanding of the wonderful quality and practice that make up love can help us in several ways. Such understanding can help us develop love’s quality more completely, and master its practice more perfectly.
We’ll start with the correct, though different, definition of the word love. Love is outgoing care and concern for the next person. It is necessary to know that love exists through action. We give and receive love through the actions we perform toward each other.
The practice of outgoing care and concern for the other person, active practical love is important. This active practical love always indicates the presence in us, of love the inner quality.
Love, the personal quality and practice
In terms of language, love is both a verb and an abstract noun. Both love in action, expressed and practical, and love, the inner quality, are spiritually good. Love, the good spiritual quality, can be a permanent trait of our character during every moment of our existence.
When love, the inner quality, is present in us we practise love, the expressed action toward others. Our outgoing care and concern toward others will aim at helping their person, or their circumstances, or both.
Practised love builds or repairs all types of relationships. Love helps, gives to, cherishes, protects, maintains and preserves the other person and their circumstances.
Love never leads to harm or destruction of the other person. It is therefore impossible for someone to truthfully claim that they killed or harmed someone because they loved them.
We experience the presence of love, the good spiritual quality, when we practise it toward others. We also experience this quality when others practise it toward us.
Our response to our experience of the presence of love as givers or recipients matters. That response may involve our experiencing a certain emotional state. This may result in the expression of one or another type of emotional behaviour. This happens, for example, in romance and marital situations.
Love is always permanent. Emotional experience and expression do not perform the role of love, they come and go, they are not love.
They are, in a way, similar to sexual foreplay and sexual intercourse. These are not love, but are activities through which a husband and wife can express their love for each other.
There is a course of behaviour that can get in the way and prevent us from practising love. This course of behaviour can be avoided if we uphold certain practices in our daily living.
The practices we can uphold in our daily living to prevent behaviour that obstructs the practice of love include:
Honouring our parents, as well as others in authority over us, and our elderly
Avoiding to commit murder, and avoiding to harm the other person physically or otherwise
Practising faithfulness to the other person with whom we have a romantic or marital relationship
Refusing to steal from the other person
Speaking the truth or remaining silent about the other person, instead of telling lies against him or her
Refusing to covet that which belongs to the other person; refusing to practise envy or jealousy toward him or her.
Love, or outgoing care and concern for the other person, whenever it is practised, always faithfully serves its intended purpose. The practice of love can be the backbone of all human relationships if we would allow this to happen. It can be of great spiritual and other benefit to individuals and groups alike, wherever and whenever it is practised.
By Edward Fagan