A Definition of Love

Is there scientific evidence for the phenomenon called love? What are the roles of science and religion in helping us to define it? Asking these questions can point out the inadequacies of both science and religion in helping us to see ourselves and our role in the universe truly.

See if you agree with this thought-provoking commentary:

Love is that which helps us to understand the truth about ourselves and our possibilities. Are there people and teachings, methods and disciplines, ideas, forms of organization and community pattern, attitudes toward death, sex, material goods, children, time and every other concern of human life which can awaken in us an ableness to hear and understand sacred ideas?

Religion has failed us by assuming that we have the ability to understand and take in the great teachings of the past. It fails by assuming that as we are, we are able to receive the love of which it speaks.

Science–especially psychology–is a reaction to this blindness of modern religion, a reaction that takes us far over to the other direction by assuming that there is no help for man “out there.” In moving to that extreme, in denying the existence of higher levels of intelligence in the external universe, it never finds its way to search for these same levels within man himself, levels of receptivity, organs of intelligence which can mirror in microcosm the laws of a conscious universe.

The error of humanism–the error of modern psychology–is not that it seeks for help within man alone, but that it so radically underestimates just what it is that can be found within man. But to glimpse such high possibilities in ourselves it is necessary to have a system of cosmology, a metaphysics, that communicates the existence in reality of these levels. Otherwise we are stranded with undeniable fact that, as we are, we are totally cut off from the great cosmos. Psychology underestimates what we can become; modern religion overestimates what we are.

Adapted from A Sense of the Cosmos, by Jacob Needleman (Monkfish Book Publishing, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Jacob Needleman. Reprinted by permission of Monkfish Book Publishing.
Adapted from A Sense of the Cosmos, by Jacob Needleman (Monkfish Book Publishing, 2003).

16 comments

Robert O.
Robert O3 years ago

Interesting. Thank you Annie!

Fiona T.
Fi T3 years ago

Being open to accept what and who comes to us

Teresa Fonseca
Teresa Fonseca4 years ago

love is absolutely important in our lives more than religion. some people can love humanity, animals, plants, the planet, the love exists.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad4 years ago

UNCONDITIONAL!

Zee Kallah
Past Member 4 years ago

Through the giving,
we become as one.

I am the giver.
In receiving
you give to me.

You are the giver.
In receiving
I give to you,

To give,
to receive,
to experience
oneness.

Zee Kallah
Past Member 4 years ago

I am a thinker, a philosopher.
I delight in words.

Once I asked myself the question, "What is love?"

Long did I wonder,
meditate, research.
What is love?

Love is an active verb.

Abbe A.
Azaima A5 years ago

Love is whatever makes the heart sing.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Mari Enchanted
Mari 's5 years ago

Interesting

Bon L.
Bon L5 years ago

Thanks for the info.