AN IMAGINARY DEBATE ABOUT LOVE
Gao Xingjian opens the debate with:
Love is so holy, so confusing. It makes a man anxious, tormented.
Love, how can I define it?
Ayn Rand offers her own definition of it:
Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person.
Zhang Yimou objects:
Love that can be explained is not love!
Gerald Jampolsky also disagrees:
Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement.
And so does an Unknown:
Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it a meaning, Love is just love, it can never be explained!
Madame de Stael presents another aspect of it:
Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.
Gabriel Rossetti agrees with her:
Yes, love is the last relay and ultimate outposts of eternity.
Anita Brookner adds that:
Real love is a pilgrimage.
A pilgrimage to where?
There is only ONE real destination.
Another Unknown disagrees with her:
Love is like a mirror. When you love another you become his mirror and he becomes yours… and reflecting each other’s love you see infinity.
Osho thinks so too:
Love is the only quality, a natural quality, which has something of eternity in it. Hence love is the first experience of god, the beginning of the experience of god.
And so does Karen Sunde:
To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.
Victor Hugo nods his agreement:
Love is the reduction of the universe to a single being, the expansion of a single being even to God.
Emily Dickinson offers a parallel insight:
Love is Immortality.
John Updike speaks from his own experience of it:
We are most alive when we’re in love.
The Dalai Lama warns that:
Love…is the absence of judgment. Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
Nisargadatta Maharaj agrees:
In my world love is the only law. I do not ask for love, I give it.
Such is my nature.
Joyce Brother adds that:
Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.
Fernando Passoa disagrees:
We never love someone. We just love the idea we have of someone. It’s a concept of ours – summing up, ourselves – that we love.
Thich Nhat Hanh compassionately asks him:
How can you love if you are not there?
Teilhard de Chardin presents yet another aspect of it:
Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world… Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.
And so does Wayne Dyer:
Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.
Tom Robbins goes deeper into the issue:
We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
Julia Roberts agrees with him:
True love doesn’t come to you; it has to be inside you.
The Quest asks:
Actually, it always is inside us. Why aren’t we usually aware of it?
Peace Pilgrim mentions the higher aspects of Love:
Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return.
Michael W. Smith agrees with her:
Love isn’t love until you give it away.
Elbert Hubbard enthusiastically nods his agreement:
The love we give away is the only love we keep.
H. Jackson Brown Jr is also of the same persuasion:
Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.
And J. P. Godek as well:
Love is the harmony of two souls singing together.
Philip Barry sees it similarly:
Love is two minds without a single thought.
And so does Aristotle:
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
Han Suyin disagrees:
Love from one being to another can only be that two solitudes come nearer, recognize and protect and comfort each other.
A monk quotes the Bible and warns the debaters that:
He who does not love does not know God; for God is love
Osho points out that:
Love is nothing but the disappearance of the dewdrop into the ocean, a process of purification, and only those who are ready to become nobodies are able to love.
Helene Cixous is thinking on similar lines:
Only when you are lost can love find itself in you without losing its way.
Ian Philpot presents yet another aspect of it:
Love is like energy. It can never be created nor destroyed…it is just always there.
Teilhard de Chardin also thinks so:
Love is a sacred reserve of energy; it is like the blood of spiritual evolution, the affinity linking and drawing together the elements of the world.
And the Book of Privy Counseling as well:
Love is the Fire of Life; it either consumes or purifies; is not something you feel, it is something you do; perhaps the only glimpse of eternity.
Does you love consume or purifies?
According to Pierce Brosnon:
Love is a lot like dancing; you just surrender to the music.
How good are you at it?
An Unknown goes deeper into the issue:
Love is the energizing elixir of the universe, the cause and effect of all harmonies.
Erich Fromm points out that:
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery agrees with him:
Love is the process leading you gently back to yourself.
Victor Hugo makes a very important point:
Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise. To love another person is to see the face
Osho says that:
Love and meditation are two names of almost the same experience.
John Lennon sings:
Love is all, love is new, Love is all, love is you…everything is clearer when you’re in love.
George Harrison sings with him:
With our love, we could save the world.
Paul McCartney sings with them:
Love is all you need…Love is all you need…
Euripides nods his agreement:
Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.
Ayn Rand adds that:
Love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores.
Unfortunately, this is what most use it for.
To Nikki Giovanni,
We love because it’s the only true adventure.
Rumi wins and closes the debate with something that has already been mentioned but need to be repeated:
This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils
to fall each moment. First to let go of life.
Finally, to take a step without feet.