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I'm wondering if this can start a flame war? Probably. The topic is universal love, and not the romantic kind, or at least not exclusively. The "all creatures great and small" kind. The 11th Commandmant that you love each other. 

So what do you think about:

You spend a great portion of your life working at minor activities rather than the major ones—for example, washing the dishes, talking to a friend, or driving to work. Therefore, it is precisely in these daily activities that you walk your loving path, or else you have at most a few isolated loving events. Regardless of how you fare with major activities, you need the skills to love even the smallest creature and the humblest activity in order to cherish the day-to-day circumstances of life. You don’t have to gain evidence of success or find somebody mind-shatteringly wonderful in order to be able to live in love.

Excerpt from The Art and Practice of Loving by Frank Andrews, PhD. and part of my Shabbat readings today.

Usually the off-topic starts about mid-way down the first page. The first quip within one or two comments. Flames on the bottom of page two...

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1 minute ago, Gatogateau said:

You don’t have to gain evidence of success or find somebody mind-shatteringly wonderful in order to be able to live in love.

There are also the distinctions between loving somebody -- be it romantic, or familial, or whatever -- and the broader concept of "agape," for which the model is, in the Christian tradition, divine love. Agape is about understanding and working in concert with the connections that bind all people and things in creation -- it's the "love," not really comparable to normal human love, that was the force and the creative magic behind God's creation of, well, everything. For humans, it's more of an aspirational thing -- because God literally IS love, in the Judaeo-Christian tradition -- but it's an ideal for which we should strive.

I'm not religious, but I like the idea of agape. A lot. I think of it as a personal celebration of the connections of all people and things, and of the creative force of love.

But I think all kinds of love are hugely important, and that those who choose to live without it (like Lucifer) reside in a private hell of their own construction. And I think it should be a goal of everyone to reach out to those who are deprived of love, and gift it to them, in whatever way seems most appropriate and possible.

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15 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I'm not religious, but I like the idea of agape. A lot. I think of it as a personal celebration of the connections of all people and things, and of the creative force of love.

But I think all kinds of love are hugely important, and that those who choose to live without it (like Lucifer) reside in a private hell of their own construction. And I think it should be a goal of everyone to reach out to those who are deprived of love, and gift it to them, in whatever way seems most appropriate and possible.

Agape is a good description of the topic, and yes, it is perfectly possible to do the universal love thing without any religion or religious overtones. 

I think it also goes to respect, awe, wonder...

Also, if you want to pull Hinduism into it, some namaste "The divine in me recognizes the divine in you."

But in the original quote, in the OP, it talks about things on a much less grand scale. Finding the love in the day-to-day. Do you (not specifically Scylla "you" but general reader "you") think it is possible and/or necessary to find love in doing the dishes or trying to locate the missing sock from the laundry? Do you feel the love when cleaning the bathroom? Running your kids to soccer? Scooping the kitten's litter box? Pulling weeds from the garden? Answering the phone at work?

Is this all just pie in the sky uber hippy liberalism?

 

Edited by Gatogateau
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Just now, Gatogateau said:

Do you (not specifically Scylla "you" but general reader "you") think it is possible and/or necessary to find love in doing the dishes or trying to locate the missing sock from the laundry? Do you feel the love when cleaning the bathroom? Running your kids to soccer? Scooping the kitten's litter box? Pulling weeds from the garden? Answering the phone at work?

I agree totally that agape has correspondences in other belief systems. I'd argue that it can even be used to describe, in interesting ways, the laws of physics.

And I think that agape IS, or at least can be, present in the doing of dishes, laundry, and so on. It's a full participation in the universe!

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There is also the aspect of cruelty in love. Endless suffering that cannot be helped, is not a merciful killing an act of love? A petulant child that doesn’t understand the realities of economics, is it not love to deny them what they cry for? A young woman who is scared that she will have to become a responsible parent, is it not love to protect her unborn child? If an army marches on your land, is it not love to protect yourself and your family by taking up arms and murdering your enemy?

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Ok, we need some humorous, topic tangent remarks here.

Also this topic was created because so many people complain that the only thing on the General Discussion is about games or one particular poster. So here's an opportunity to pretend you are in a college dorm, passing around a .... smokey thing, and getting all intense and "Duuuuuuuude." :)

 

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4 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

There is also the aspect of cruelty in love. Endless suffering that cannot be helped, is not a merciful killing an act of love? A petulant child that doesn’t understand the realities of economics, is it not love to deny them what they cry for? A young woman who is scared that she will have to become a responsible parent, is it not love to protect her unborn child? If an army marches on your land, is it not love to protect yourself and your family by taking up arms and murdering your enemy?

Duuuuuuuuuude. The love isn't the thing you're "doing". Just as sex isn't "love" by itself. It's in process, the creation.

In other words, it's all about context and motivation. Love can, in theory, be in anything.

ETA: /me passes the spliff

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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8 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

There is also the aspect of cruelty in love. Endless suffering that cannot be helped, is not a merciful killing an act of love? A petulant child that doesn’t understand the realities of economics, is it not love to deny them what they cry for? A young woman who is scared that she will have to become a responsible parent, is it not love to protect her unborn child? If an army marches on your land, is it not love to protect yourself and your family by taking up arms and murdering your enemy?

Excellent point!

There were a few reasons for this OP, and one of them was my thinking about "American Idol" judge, Simon Cowell. (seriously, my mind does some odd turnings :) ) So many people thought Cowell was just a big meanie asshat. Sometimes he was. But while he was often devastatingly blunt, and definitely not NICE, I think some of his "don't quit your day job" remarks were actually KINDness. I'd rather have kindness than niceness, and I think kindness is an aspect of this whole "love" thing. And as you pose, sometimes the kindness can be harsh.  I was weighing some of my recent forum comments in the light of "just being an asshat?" or "blunt kindness?" in that harsh words can sometimes get someone's attention versus pats on the head (much like denying the kid the toy they are crying for).

Edited by Gatogateau
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6 minutes ago, Gatogateau said:

Excellent point!

There were a few reasons for this OP, and one of them was my thinking about "American Idol" judge, Simon Cowell. (seriously, my mind does some odd turnings :) ) So many people thought Cowell was just a big meanie asshat. Sometimes he was. But while he was often devastatingly blunt, and definitely not NICE, I think some of his "don't quit your day job" remarks were actually KINDness. I'd rather have kindness than niceness, and I think kindness is an aspect of this whole "love" thing. And as you pose, sometimes the kindness can be harsh.  I was weighing some of my recent forum comments in the light of "just being an asshat?" or "blunt kindness?" in that harsh words can sometimes get someone's attention versus pats on the head (much like denying the kid the toy they are crying for).

I think you do a disservice when you try to be nice when kindness, even if harsh, would be better.   Going with your American Idol reference, is it kind for a parent to tell a child how well they can sing when in reality, they can not?  It might be the nice thing to say but when they finally get hit with the reality, then it definitely wasn't kind to let them think something that wasn't so.  I think, as a parent, I've tried to be kind to my son.  He may not like what I have to say but in saying it, I hope to save him some heartache down the road.  I'd classify it as an act of love in that respect.  Sugar coating life?  That just sets people up for greater disappointment.  You can't protect someone you love from never being hurt or disappointed but you also shouldn't say things just to make them feel better even if it isn't so.

As far as finding love or loving things we do in life such as dishes or laundry?  I think it's more a sense of contentment with your life.  I'm not sure I'd say I love doing those things but odd as it might seem, I feel content, fulfilled, peaceful even when I'm doing them.

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Feeling unsure, I went back  to look up the definition of agape love, and was reminded that it is defined many ways.  It is sometimes described as the “highest form” of love.  For others agape consists of two sides: on one side is compassion (the prevention of pain), and on the other side is loving kindness (the promotion of happiness). Agape can refer to Gandhi’s belief that “peace between countries must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.” If this is one view of it, is universal love political? Does it include non-violent civil disobedience? AND blissing out while doing the dishes?

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It's very easy to get caught up in the mindset of 'getting something' externally in order to feel happy or content. In meditation I can clearly see my mind striving, usually trying to solve some problem. If I'm lucky and have a good meditation I arrive at the place where I'm just be-ing, feeling love for no reason really. This can go quite deep -- far deeper than I'm able to go most of the time.

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Love is contextual. For some of us doing the dishes (etc) is an act of self love which we strive for before we are able to give of ourselves to others, who are also us, as myriad expressions of the Divine, the source of which is infinite.

/takes a drag and passes it on..

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   I think that people trying to find a broader meaning of love to make it fit menial tasks is misguided. 

   If you have enough spare time to 'philosophise' about how cleaning the dishes is a step along the path of love, you should find a more meaningful way to contribute to society. The concept of love is infested with the aspect of divinity, of fate; love isn't something you find, it's not something you're entitled to, it's a bond that two people build together through a mutual exchange.

   People are obsessed with it. The expectations people have from life are irrational to the bizarre. But most people don't have the time to reflect and consider how skewed their perspectives are, and so quite readily throw their attention at the feet of anyone who can offer them a glimpse of hope through a factually wrongful and misleading piece of text that they can consume, feel wiser for browsing the words of a self-proclaimed philosopher, and think that it makes them happier.

   I blatantly don't care about PhDs, they toss those out at the drop of a hat these days; besides, appeal to authority seldom rubs me the right way. Heck, I know of people who earned a PhD in 'the history of cow names', whose pursuit was purely for the sake of getting to attach a few letters to their names to make them feel important. 

   I'm also wary of folks who use fonts based off of Chancery script on their books. That's an abomination. Especially when it's in partial all-caps. I mean the way that title has been printed, you know it's just going to be a bunch of touchy-feely rot. 

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4 minutes ago, Orwar said:

 If you have enough spare time to 'philosophise' about how cleaning the dishes is a step along the path of love, you should find a more meaningful way to contribute to society.

Thanks Orwar. What are some more meaningful ways to contribute to society? What do you do in your spare time?

5 minutes ago, Orwar said:

People are obsessed with it. The expectations people have from life are irrational to the bizarre. But most people don't have the time to reflect and consider how skewed their perspectives are, and so quite readily throw their attention at the feet of anyone who can offer them a glimpse of hope through a factually wrongful and misleading piece of text that they can consume, feel wiser for browsing the words of a self-proclaimed philosopher, and think that it makes them happier.

Do you need a hug?

6 minutes ago, Orwar said:

I blatantly don't care about PhDs, they toss those out at the drop of a hat these days; besides, appeal to authority seldom rubs me the right way. Heck, I know of people who earned a PhD in 'the history of cow names', whose pursuit was purely for the sake of getting to attach a few letters to their names to make them feel important. 

   I'm also wary of folks who use fonts based off of Chancery script on their books. That's an abomination. Especially when it's in partial all-caps. I mean the way that title has been printed, you know it's just going to be a bunch of touchy-feely rot. 

The OP predicted this 😮

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17 minutes ago, Orwar said:

I'm also wary of folks who use fonts based off of Chancery script on their books. That's an abomination. Especially when it's in partial all-caps. I mean the way that title has been printed, you know it's just going to be a bunch of touchy-feely rot. 

They should have used a little print of your Hannibal Lecter-looking face in place of each of those pretty flowers on the cover....   :)

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1 minute ago, LexxiXhan said:

Thanks Orwar. What are some more meaningful ways to contribute to society? What do you do in your spare time?

   My spare time is rather uninteresting seeing as it's my spare time. I'm not a professional quack-salver like a lot of modern 'doctors of philosophy' though. My professional time does appear to contribute however, as it generates a taxable income and provides a service to those who want and can afford it.

5 minutes ago, LexxiXhan said:

Do you need a hug?

   Awh, because I don't buy into some silly theory about how love is everything and everything is love, I must need a hug! Let's repel critical thinking with acts of love, and smother free thought with hugs until there's no opposition? 

8 minutes ago, LexxiXhan said:

The OP predicted this 😮

   All hail @Gatogateau the seer! Let us erect a temple of worsh--! 

   . . Oh, wait. No. This is neither off-topic nor flaming, so. Meh?

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Just now, RowanMinx said:

It never hurts to be ahead of schedule.

   Unless you're a train.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/17/611860169/japanese-rail-operator-says-sorry-for-inexcusable-departure-25-seconds-off-sched?t=1599339986689

   . . . Okay, now we're derailing. Whilst talking about trains. Gee. 

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1 minute ago, Orwar said:

I'm not a professional quack-salver like a lot of modern 'doctors of philosophy' though.

You just do it as a hobby?

2 minutes ago, Orwar said:

Awh, because I don't buy into some silly theory about how love is everything and everything is love, I must need a hug! Let's repel critical thinking with acts of love, and smother free thought with hugs until there's no opposition? 

I'm sure you've heard of oxytocin, dopamine and seratonin?

4 minutes ago, Orwar said:

Oh, wait. No. This is neither off-topic nor flaming, so. Meh?

See? Hug needed..

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