Freidrich Nietzsche said once,
"What else is love but understanding and rejoicing in the fact that another person lives, acts, and experiences otherwise than we do…?"
For someone who was so entirely unlucky in love, he wrote and even said a great deal about it. Some reflected of his bitterness towards the matter, some showed how much he longed to comprehend its depths.
It just goes to show that even the most complex of minds is sometimes wrapped in what we think, or what we wish love to be like. Dictionary.com defines love (n.1) as A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness. And I guess different people would define their love differently, depending on their a priori knowledge of the subject.
A single bachelor would define love as someone being by his side, since he is single.
A love sick teenager would define love as some over the top feeling that can only be expressed artistically and with actions.
A woman recently divorced would probably give a bitter definition of love, maybe somewhat implying upon how at times it can be fickle.
However, what if we asked someone who has been "in love" for over half their life? Or someone whose love was kept frozen and constant due to loss?
Would their thoughts and definitions not be different? How can we judge what we perceive as the strong feeling of love if the only knowledge we have of it comes from the opinions of other people who are biased due to their own happiness or bitterness?
More importantly, how do those such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Needleman, Plato, many others even dare to write of love when at times they themselves do not purely know what they mean to perceive.
Perhaps they are like me, and they write for what they don't understand or wish to understand. Developing theories in the fickle hope that they one day will be recognized for trying to figure out that which makes the world move.
In his book, The Gay Science, Nietzsche states,
"Even the most beautiful scenery is no longer assured of our love after we have lived in it for three months, and some distant coast attracts our avarice: possessions are generally diminished by possession…"
Is this not how most who perceive love end up?