Clearing Up Love ~ Eros #6 of 8
Our culture seems to have eros for the concept of eros! This is the love that, even though feared in ancient times, we seem to obsess over from fantasy to entertainment. When balanced with the other forms of love, eros can be incredibly fulfilling and can last an adult's lifetime.
It's interesting how Jung made the distinction between eros being the feminine approach to romantic love and logos was the masculine approach. When both genders embrace the opposite genders approach then the love becomes transcendent. Men and women both have masculine (Yang) as well as feminine (Yin) aspects to their psyches not to mention how all of our bodies operate best when these two energies are in balance (left to right, top to bottom). So even in relationships where the genders are the same, the approach to love can still vary based on each person's dominant energy.
For example, I am a female but a Yang Earth element in Traditional Chinese Medicine so it's no surprise that I may have an easier time taking an "objective interest" (logos) in my romantic relationships than a woman who is primarily Yin. My son is Yin Water and he is gifted at the "psychic relatedness" (eros) in his approach to love. Interestingly, he has offered me sage advice on that approach more than once!
The key is recognizing your preferred approach and noticing when you project or judge another person's approach and take that as an opportunity to look within with the goal of individuation.
Other loves: Philia, Agape, Ludus, Storge, Pragma, Mania, Philautia
Agape comes from a spiritual perspective but someone who strives to balance their overall wellness, mind, body and spirit, can appreciate agape's intent. This is not a love exclusive to any religion. You can appreciate this love even if all you know of spirituality is the awareness of your body's natural rhythm's being in sync with other humans, nature, the seasons, and even feeling crazier than usual on a full moon. Think about how your food cravings change based on physical health, seasons and moods and you're on your way to understanding this universal truth, regardless of your beliefs.
I grew up as a very devout Christian. I studied Art History, Philosophy and World Religions in college and my #1 takeaway was that the more you know yourself, the more confident you are in your own values, the less threatened you are by someone else's beliefs or values. The people I would witness becoming combative were the ones who believed what they were told to believe without question. Courage is to stand in the face of everything that goes against your personal values undaunted and even more certain without feeling the need to compromise your principles or try to get someone to compromise theirs.
On that note, agape love, for me, has been to learn about other people's interpretation of that love, from Taoism to Islam and feel all those interpretations coarse through my own veins. To feel all the different languages of love unaltered but in fact, finding my ability to relate to their form of love and see it all as one. I now understand why I can feel as though I fall a little bit in love with people I connect on a deep level to, even if only for a moment.
I encourage you to look into these resources, especially if you are curious on Islam's teaching of this type of love. Believe that there are people in other countries that believe in the same kind of unconditional love that you do.
Other loves: Philia, Ludus, Storge, Pragma, Eros, Mania, Philautia
Agape Love - A Tradition Found in Eight World Religions by Sir John Templeton
A Jihad for Love: the Quest for Agape in Islam