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what is love

in early 2003, i grandly opined to myself...

"what is true love but a selfless obsession?
to put the best honor and benefit of the beloved
always and irrevocably above, beyond, and before
any love or hatred of self,
to be wholly rapt and unaware of one's own existence
in the presence of the beloved,
to be concerned only with the desire and interest of the beloved,
are not these things the only true evidence of true love?"

as ideas about love go,
i figure that was chivalrous, simple, eloquent and wrong,
closer to idolatry than love.
love does put the other before any love or hatred of self,
but it is no selfless obsession, unaware in rapt awe.
obsession, sure, but not selfless.
adoring, yes, but not unaware.
to tango, it takes at least two who can tango.
love is not love if its object is an object.
and love is not love if the lover is annulled therein.
such loves are idolatry, love's evil twin,
another sick, sad surrogate for the Real.
the idolater naively abrogates himself
in a feigned relationship with the temporal others:
stone and wood, money and fame, image and fantasy.
all dead, all dead.
the lover knowingly gives himself
in true relationship with the eternal, immortal others.
and i'll take it further.
love is not agnostic.
love is of God.
every love finds it source in Him.
there is no other.
we cannot speak of true love without speaking of Him.
for the second commandment is like the first,
it cannot stand on its own.
we cannot truly love our neighbor without in some way loving Him.
when we find true love,
He must have some part of it,
however obscured or impure,
else it is merely idolatry,
beautiful, in clever disguise.
This is no encouragement to doubt your loves;
look for Him in them and praise Him for his part,
that it may grow.
anyway, i wonder how much of this i'll disagree with in five years...
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