What is Love that Everyone Should be of Love?
Being For: The perfect one is in an intimate relation with those that are from Him/Her. This relationship can never be broken because by all means the creatures just have to depend on Him and He just has to be there for them. It cannot be otherwise because in self, we are all beings for others. This is an effect that follows from the Cause, who by nature, we would say, is “Being-For” in totality. His/Her being is for no more than being for us the creatures. He/she or It is the necessary being on which all dependents, limited or imperfect beings depend. How best can we then describe our relationship with this being who is for us in totality? In the Bible, St. Paul having thought about the ways in which we express our ‘being-for ness’ says that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a brother/sister. Taking from that, we can decipher that only love allows us contingents to be for others even to the extend of accepting death. If that is the case, and we already know that effects follow from the cause, it is agreeable if we conclude that God is a being-for in totality because He is of the perfect, total love. I think we can more than readily agree with St. John who aptly declares that God is Love and them that dwell in Love dwell in God and God is with them or in them.
Inquiry into Love: What is love? From our discourse so far, we seem to be saying that love is that quality or aptitude that makes us ‘beings-for’. It is the inclination that pulls and attracts us towards standing by, accepting and wanting to be with others. Love is an attraction or pull on rationality by that which is good, beautiful, wonderful, cool and worthy. It is a rational choice that occurs by necessity in the event of being before what is good. Goodness is a transcendental attribute; it applies to everything that is. So are beauty, truth and love. So for each thing that is, goodness, beauty, truthfulness and love can be said of it. The given attributes therefore are rooted in the act of being of things and flow from the act of being in self; the act of being in itself is goodness, beauty, truth, lovely and loving.
Human love involves movement of all faculties (immaterial powers that frame our material self) towards that, which is good, beautiful, and truthful. It is a rational decision that leads to our mind instructing I to move in anticipation of a spiritual union with the other. This anticipation affects me totally such that in its purest form, I have no other as the object of my attention rather than the loved one and in a sense all I am and all I think is the loved one. Pure love (when the whole of our faculties have been brought to attend to what is good) engrosses pulls and perplexes. It is not love that perplexes or engrosses but the object of love in its divineness. So love is the numbing of everything else, the perplex, the marvel, the wondering of the mind when one beholds what is good. It begins when one makes a decision that this is good thus allowing no room for indifference but just desiring, anticipating and accepting.
I know that love is a very complicated phenomenon. However, it is not hard to tell about love because all human beings experience and participate in love. They are because they are loved and other creatures’ fulfilling existence depends on their loving actions. I have heard statements like ‘Love is blind’. Those who say that aim at justifying their irrational actions in the name of love. They are wrong who think that love is an emotion; to them actually love is blind. Love is characterised by a number of feelings or emotions; in self it is not an emotion but a rational choice that ignites certain emotions. It is a rational choice to affirm what is good. This rational choice induces into one feeling like affection, warmth, joy, enthusiasm, and general happiness. He/she can only be happy who has capacity to love and to allow others to love him or her in return.
We started our work by considering what development is. We said development is about gaining capacity for more self-determination. We added that development anticipates development. I wish to state it here that development and happiness go hand in hand. The more one develops, the more one should be happy. Development anticipates development, so does happiness anticipate happiness. Given he/she can only be happy who has capacity to love and allows others’ love in return, therefore, development or attainment of happiness is about growth in love. It was stated that love is a movement of our faculties towards what is good in anticipation of a spiritual union. Therefore, love depends on the process of identification of the good.
Inquiry into Goodness: What is the good? Is this good? Once those questions are answered affirmatively then love is evoked. Therefore, we can accurately state that development depends on our capacity to identify the good i.e. that which we can love; that which brings fulfilment to me as a whole. The proper way towards development therefore consists in development of capacity for identification of what is really good. It is not about what is good according to me, what people say is good or what may be good but what is good per se. We have already stated that whatever that is, is good; it is made of or posses goodness. What is goodness?
It is not easy to define the word well. Good can mean superior, fine, high quality, morally right, nice, excellent etc. It is a word that is commonly used with a myriad of connotations. However, all the connotations used only but help to describe the nature of goodness. Goodness as a transcendental aspect of things is not definite and can therefore not be adequately defined. The best that can be given is a descriptive definition. Goodness is that which, when beheld, brings fulfilment to the soul. It has excellence, wonderfulness, beauty, and truthfulness for description.
It is that which the mind beholds and desires i.e. are forced into an anticipatory movement or stance. Once the mind beholds what is good, a sense of satisfaction grips one. So, goodness we can say is what satisfies the unrestricted desire of the human soul. It is that which is anticipated by all correct, relevant and necessary questions. Love therefore as a rational choice to affirm what is perceived as good anticipates what all-correct, necessary and relevant questions anticipate. This is the way of development that we anticipate and strive towards love, which in itself is a movement towards affirming nothing but what is good and in the final analysis anticipates nothing but totality i.e. the whole.