“What is love?” According to Joseph Rey F. Celestino, M.A, this is a question that excites and stirs a thousand fold of other questions in our minds. That’s a verbatim of what he had said in an article he made, called Love’s Pain is It’s Own Redemption. It is an article that opened my eyes to the reality of love. It’s an article that never seizes to amaze me, to amuse me, to make me question my beliefs, and change my views and opinions (in a good way), no matter how many times I read it. It continues to serve as an instrument of wonder, challenging me to go out, explore, and experience the magic, the marvel, and the astounding beauty of love.
It’s an article about the enticing world something that we all know of, but only get a glimpse of its true form. I have never viewed love in a way that’s even just a tiny bit close to the way I see it now. I gained a deeper understanding of how love moves and works, but I know that I still have a long way to go before I figure out what love really is, or who knows? Maybe I’ll never find the right words to define what it is. Maybe I’ll never know what love means. The possibilities are endless. But this article is my guide, so that I won’t get lost, as I start my quest on finding clues that might lead me to the answers I’ve been looking for, to questions I never thought I would ever ask, about things I never thought I‘d be curious about.
According to the author, “What is love?” is a question that knows no barriers, knows no bounds, and knows no age and generation. He also made a statement which I find very agreeable. He said that “love is the most celebrated theme of human existence (…)” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. No matter who you are, where you’re from, how old you are, or what gender you are, you absolutely, positively have something to say about something is related to love, or when love itself is being talked about. We each have our own views and opinions regarding love. These may be brought about by mere experiences, or our beliefs, or other factors that may affect or form our ideas and judgments.
He further stated that the untangled web of mystery of love is what binds us all. He said that “As we are drawn to the nearness of its answer, the more that we find ourselves confused and puzzled.” Pertaining to the question being discussed. He explained how love or the question of what it is, is in fact too close to being a paradoxical phenomena. Maybe that’s why people try so hard to find a definition for love. Maybe that’s why people try to put love in words. Because people do not want things and questions left unanswered and undefined.
Being curious is in our nature. We hunger and thirst for answers to things we do not even fully understand. We find it hard to “let things be”. Because we exist questioningly. And we do not easily let things go. That’s why, each of us, whether we say it or not, has our own definition of love. We on our own try to define it, or share our ideas about it to find common things with others’ ideas, and formulate a concrete explanation or definition of love. For what reasons, there may be a lot. But the point is, the mere presence of love in a conversation, or discussion, or anything, really, we automatically get excited and pay attention, because we want to know what it is.
The author, through the article, further explained thing about love that might deepen, or cut our curiosity about it. He explained that the on-going controversy about the definition of love is not new to the world. He said that that controversy went even way, way back before some of us existed. He said that Philosophy has been trying to reckon prominent questions, such as “Is love and unanswerable question, or an unquestionable answer?”, and “Why is there love, rather than no love at all?”. As I said earlier, according to the author, Philosophy has been trying to reckon these questions for more than two and a half millennia of its existence. This means that Philosophy has been trying to approach these problems for over 2,000 years.
He further stated that Socrates and Plato, on the one hand, and the poetic movement led by Homer, on the other hand, opened their respective conversation tables on the subjects of love and intimacy in that ancient far away. He also said that scholars of the present day, still linger on the ideas left by these past masters. Countless books have already been published, (and still publishing), of millions of films have already been produced, just to give us an inch of hope or a glimpse of the definition, or the answers to the questions about love. It’s taking so long, for people to find love’s meaning. And yet, we never get tired.
With each experience we gain, we get bits and pieces of ideas of how we can define love. But still, despite all efforts given by our ancestors, and us, people in the present, we only see a blur, of loves true form. Maybe it’s about time we stop trying to define love, and just let it be. Let love be love. Maybe, we should start experiencing it, and enjoying it, instead of stressing ourselves trying to find meaning to something this mysterious, this big, this amazing. Yes, maybe we should do that. But there’s something about trying to define love, that gives us this sense of satisfaction, because that more we try to find meaning for it, the more we get to experience it. Our hearts burst with so much happiness when we know that we are in the presence of love.
Mr. Celestino, got into a deeper explanation of tons more interesting topics, like, the myths created by society, about love, about Aristophanes’ narrative that concerns human relationship, and a lot more, Part of this “a lot more” topics included on of my favorite arguments ever. Love at first sight. I have never been a believer of love at first sight. This may sound offensive to those who believe, but, I think the idea is pretty unrealistic. Yes, it’s a really good idea. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to see someone and automatically know that that person is “the one”? Isn’t that what happens in most romantic movies? Two people just happens to be in the same place,, at the same time, and look at each other at the same moment. They look into each other’s eyes, and poof! They’re in love. It would be nice. I really would. But as I said earlier, that’s what happens in most movies. That’s what happens in most romantic books or novels, even.
These are made to tickle our systems and trick us into believing that these things could actually happen in to us real life. Truthfully speaking, nothing that perfectly constructed, and well-made could happen in real life. We exist in reality. We don’t live in some 2-hour-or-so film that is so beautifully made, it may be close to perfection. That’s not how life works. That’s not reality is all about. On the contrary, in reality, nothing happens the way we imagine it would, let alone like what would happen in films or books. That’s exactly why people make films and movies. They make things that they imagine come to life. They make their imaginations seem real, by putting them into films or books. This is where people get the concept of love at first sight. And upon reading through the article, I just found more proof to what I believe in. Mr Celestino said that there is no such thing as love at first sight. In verbatim, he said “Love does not bite on a first sight.”
He explained that “The presence of the other that is brought to one’s sight appears as an assembly of physical qualities and in turn, the one beholding such sight finds himself or herself being caught in a feeling that is simply stated as attraction.” This statement sums up my thoughts, and puts them into words. As I most commonly say it, “Love takes time. Baka infatuation lang yan.” He further explained that the attraction brought about or formed by meeting or seeing someone particularly attractive, may breathe two things. Infatuation and affection.
He said that infatuation is a shadow of love’s true form. He said that infatuation is confined as mere liking of corporeal qualities that are usually pleasing aesthetically to one’s sight for a short-lived time. Affection, on the other hand is love in its potential state. Affection is something that may grow to be love. Love is neither infatuation, nor is it affection. Although affection may grow to be love, it is not love. At least, not yet. These two are commonly mistaken to be love. But as I always say, “love takes time.” It doesn’t happen in a blink of an eye.
He explained other topics, like the famous clichés, “Love is blind”, “First love never dies”, what love is in the Philippines, and another one of my favorite topics, rejection. According to the article, “Rejection is painful but it is liberating in the sense that the self that is being refused is set free to reclaim himself/herself in order to heal the wounded soul and to love again when the right time comes.” Yes, love is liberating, it may take some time to make all the pain go away, because nothing hurts more than the refusal of one to receive the self that is being offered. It traps the soul of the lover into a world of agony and pain, and sometimes, the lover finds no other meaning in life, since he and his love had been rejected. This is why rejection is crucial in a lover’s life. Simply because the pain inflicted to that person, may cost him his very life.
The author also explained what pain is, and what it’s all about, selfishness, and divorce and separation, how God’s love for humanity, and Christ’s crucifixion is the concretion of love in an ultimate sense. And he ended this beautiful article with a just conclusion, he said, “To love, therefore, is to face even what is uncalled for and to manifest unselfish goodwill towards the other. It could be painful in the process but love will find a way to surpass it. That is why there is resurrection in every instance of death.” I was left with no words, as I reached the last page of the article. It was beautiful, breathtaking, and heart stopping. It spoke from a view that is totally different from others. And it may still not contain answers to my question, but it made me hunger for more, thirst for answers, and crave for the experience of love in it’s fullest.
For me, to earn a symbiotic and intact relationship, there are a lot of values needed. Love, as there core, with others such as trust, understanding, disciple, respect, etc. In spite of all these, I think a symbiotic relationships would not exist without respect. Because, well, love and respect would not be right without one another. If you love someone, you are going to respect him/her. And the everything else will follow. Respect comes with trust, and understanding. If you respect a person, you will trust him, that he/she’s doing things for the better. You would come to a deeper understanding because you respect each other, and each other’s opinions. You will be discipline, because you respect your loved one, and if you respect them, you won’t do anything that would bring them harm. All, in all, I think respect is an essential in a mutual loving relationship.
After reading the article, honestly, I was left with no words. I was too breathless, too astonished, too bewildered to even speak. I had to process my thoughts, and get the thoughts of the author in synced with my own. I had to clear my head and catch my breath. I’m not saying that the article gave me too much to handle. All I’m trying to say is that the article is something different from all others that I have read. And now that it’s been a while since I last read the article, I can finally confide with my thoughts and put them into words. After reading this article, I have learned so much, and I can easily say that I have more knowledge about love than I could ever imagine. I never thought I’d see myself writing this essay about love, (which isn’t really my specialty), yet here I am, close to my fourth page.
I never knew I had so much to say about love until now. I never knew the impact and effect that article had on me. And all my thoughts, put into a statement after reading Love’s Pain is Its Own Redemption is found in the very first sentence of this entire essay. It seems to me like I just went back to where I started, and let me state (or ask) it again. “What is love?” I learned that no matter how hard we try to define love, it’s just too big of a paradox to start with. It’s too broad of an idea to put in just a few words in the dictionary. It’s too extraordinary to try and figure out. It’s to magical, to be given any scientific explanation. So I want to end my essay the way I started it. After reading the article written by Joseph Rey Celestino, M.A., I’m left with only one question (and a gazillion more underneath it). What is love?
Courtney from Study Moose
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