It must have been love…

Amor and PsycheSometimes there are these singer-songwriters that end up in the charts, with innocuous songs that you like but never really listen to because they just sound really nice in the background. But sometimes, people come into your life, that make you listen to those songs in a completely different way. All of a sudden, because of the connection you have with this person, you listen to these songs with different ears. You hear words that you haven’t heard before – and suddenly the words just make sense. You discover that the songs on the album – the ones that haven’t been released in the charts yet – are even better than the ones that have been marketed with the public.

It is the type of singer-songwriter that you wish you were yourself. You wish you could sing, you wish you could play an instrument like that. You wish you had written the lyrics to the music yourself. It all falls together. Some artists seem to be able to tap into something deeper, and have a way of putting into words.

There is only one thing that makes the world go round. Can you guess? It’s love. That may sound incorrect, as there are still wars ongoing. There is inequality, there is disease – simply put, there a lot of things in this world that don’t seem to come from a place of love. Which leads me to the next point; there are many forms of love. The love for money, the love for conflict, the passion to fight for a cause (good or bad). A lot of the messes in the world are caused by the fact that people love themselves more than they care to look at the consequences for other people. Still, it’s a form of love, albeit not a pure one, in my humble opinion.

There are more pure forms of love, however. The ancient Greeks were great at trying to grasp difficult concepts by cutting them up into smaller pieces. I still feel as though they were closer to the source of all, although I have no logical way of explaining that feeling. Anyway, the Greeks defined 4 types of love:

There is storgè (στοργή), which describes a bond of empathy. It is most commonly caused by feelings of familiarity, such as the bond between a parent and a child. This type of love does not pay attention to conditions that one would attach to being worthy of love. It is widespread, unconditional affection. This love comes naturally, based on familiarity, but is also likely to extinguish the easiest, when the need to give and receive love ceases to be met. 

Then there is is philia (φιλία); which describes the love between friends, as close as siblings in strength and duration. It is the love you feel for a friend who shares your values, your beliefs, maybe even memories. Of all four of the loves, it is the one that comes the least natural, for it is chosen, based on what you feel that deserves your love. It is civilized, because you consciously choose to connect with another person and gain the rewards that come from that friendly union. 

There is eros (ἔρως); this is the love between lovers, without focusing too overtly on the sexual aspect of the relationship. It is the form of love that makes you want the other person on more levels than just the mental. It is what separates ‘wanting a woman’ from ‘wanting that one woman’. Eros can be either good or bad, for although it may lead to the utmost appreciation of the physical connection between lovers, it may also drive people to the more darker side when the love is not reciprocated. 

But then there is agapè (agápή). Agapè can best be described as the highest form of love, the one that a person should seek to achieve above all others. It is unconditional, without circumstance, and without the need to be reciprocated. It is altruistic, timeless, and soulful. Some have tied it to the Christian form of love for God, or charity, but to those who don’t feel much for the idea of religion like myself, it might just be explained by the limitless love for everything in life, regardless of what is returned. It is Ubuntu, I am because we are. It is through an unconditional love for the self, that you love others. It it through the unconditional love you feel for others, that you love and honor yourself. Our souls are made from this pure form of love, and by showering others in this form of love, it splashes back onto you. It transcends time, space and matter. 

It should come as no surprise that even the Greeks in current times use the words ‘agapi mou’, my love, as a term of endearment. It is the purest feeling you can have for another person. The Turkish equivalent is canım, my soul. Language can never fully grasp the complexity of emotions, the complexity and simplicity of love all in one, but by distinguishing different forms, I’d say we can come a step closer to understanding what life is really about. When you’ve found agapè, canın, you’ll never want anything else.

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