[This is part of a meta-thread on Love and Romance.]
One of the big hits by the band Foreigner was a song called, "I Wan to Know What Love Is." They made a lot of mileage out of the line, but there was a hidden assumption in the lyrics, that the singer would know it when he saw it.
A lot of philosophers have also got a lot of mileage from the question. My teachers in high school spent a not-insignificant amount of time on it.
Sometime during high school, I developed a simple formulation that seemed to work for me.
Love was constructive and hate was destructive.
I think one of my teachers asked me about passion, and I kind of ignored the question.
Another word that caught my attention back then was "intercourse". Without some modifier, it seemed to be understood to mean "sexual intercourse". But there are many kinds of intercourse.
Financial intercourse is not prostitution. Or, I guess I should say that prostitution is not the only kind of financial intercourse. Social intercourse is not a euphemism for sex orgies, or, at least, it shouldn't be. Political intercourse is not ...
Oh, never mind. Look it up if you don't believe me. Dealings, communications, interchange, interactions, relations.
Well, if I could use the word "intercourse" without being misunderstood, love is "constructive, or positive intercourse", and hate is "destructive, or negative intercourse."
But something kind of sticks out here.
There is a confusion about love, too. There have been many people, including famous political and social leaders, and philosophers, who seem to have this idea that love is always sexual.
My purpose in this blog is to tell you that is not the case. Pardon my turn of phrase here, but you don't have to screw everyone and everything that you love.
Love is desire, yes, but the kind of love that Jesus teaches us is the desire for the welfare of the other person.
You don't have to be in or under control of someone else to love.
Passion is not the love that Jesus teaches, and the Passion that Jesus suffered is not the same as the passion that causes abuse and failed relationships and crimes. Jesus voluntarily assumed the burdens of our sins. That is anything but passive.
So, if there is confusion, what is the cause?