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History of love
Is there a history of love, times when romantic love meant something different?  Perhaps we are persuaded into a particular way of relating to one another by the needs, the demands of our culture, it’s template of love.  If so, will we love differently with a changed culture?

Are there any indications of how love will change?  Do you think anything is wrong with our current view of love?
It's a wonderful question. Not long after reading it I found, taking a book off my shelf, a piece of paper on which I'd recorded my reactions to a certain love story, one from a seemingly different era but one almost too familiar to see clearly. For what it's worth, here is what was written:

Love as the longing which drives us outside ourselves, which gives the single point of focus, opens the channel of desire which afterwards makes possible the entire encounter with the world. One throws open the window --
Romeo&Juliet. Is there anything more explicit, more carefully & clearly descriptive of love, as the secret flight under cover of darkness through the delightful garden, the entrance through the window, the great delight? Love does not enter through the door, it comes like the air, like a ray of light or the promise of summer, through the window, not always in human form -- And then to climb out at dawn.

In response to Mia Vialti
Mia, those were the exact words I needed to hear: 

the secret flight under cover of darkness through the delightful garden, the entrance through the window, the great delight? Love does not enter through the door, it comes like the air, like a ray of light or the promise of summer, through the window, not always in human form -- And then to climb out at dawn.


I've been looking for a redefinition of love away from the exclusively romantic, to kind of escape... your definition reminds me that my personal salvation has always been from being creative, and that personal love only feels right if the first love is satisfied.  Thanks. Thats for the inspiration, which comes "as the secret flight..."

In response to Mia Vialti
Mia,
That description fits very well and is beautifully descriptive of Erotic love, as the Greeks describe it.  Their language recognizes three kinds or levels of Love:  The Erotic (purely sexual or romantic), Platonic (between/among friends)--both limited to chronological time [from Cronos, i.e. Kronos, the Father God who ate all his male children because he feared that they would usurp his power and overthrow him when they grew up. One escaped that fate and did do that, predictive of Oedipus, who killed his Father and married his Mother.] and Agape, the highest form of love which contains both of the others, adds the spiritual dimension and can exist in Kairos [Eternal] time.

As we know, the last form of love is more rare, probably because it requires that a person capable of it be a more fully-developed Human and there aren't too many of us who have been able, humble and willing enough to sustain the task of working on our spiritual development. It's so much "easier" to make "whoopee."  That is why, the Greeks said, there are more who follow Bacchus, the God of wine and revelry and very few who go through the development that Aphrodite made possible for Eros and Psyche, namely, to learn the skills necessary for mating that produces Joy. 


Interesting to me, in contrast to  the Bacchanalians, the mostly male followers of Bacchus, were the other
 main spiritual/religious group in Greece of the so-called Age of Pericles, @450 BCE when the oppression of women was well established and the civilizations which were more advanced for both women and men, the early Sumerian, Egyptian and Minoan, had been overthrown by barbaric invaders. This group was was mainly female, women who celebrated the Eleusinian Mysteries in honor of the original Trinity: Demeter, the Goddess of Motherliness, Fertility and  Domesticity, Persephone, her daughter and Goddess of Maidens as well as Queen of the Underworld for six months of the year, and Hecate,Goddess of The Crossroads who could see in three directions at once and of Older Wise Women. 

Of course, many thousands of years preceding there had been, for both men and women, celebration of The Great Mother in all her manifestations in Goddesses and Gods.  Think of Inanna, Isis, etc.  We have been on a lower rung of the ladder of Human development, or a bypass, for @ five thousand years, substituting warfare, science and amassing possessions by the few, for cultural evolution and progress in societal functions for all Humans 
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Latest Post: January 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM
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