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Man and Love

PHENOMENOLOGY OF HUMAN LOVE


Pius G. Morados

What is LOVE?

ROMANCE Many of us have the tendency to equate love with romance.

POSSESSION Love is an act of possessing or being by another person. People fight and struggle in the
name of love. I love you has come to mean You are mine and I want you to do the things I want, I
want you to be what I want you to be. Or else, it has come to mean I am yours, and you can do
whatever you want to me.

INFATUATION Love is to be attracted to the good qualities of the other. Love is blind, and lovers do not
see. Love has been equated with admiration.

SEX Love has become synonymous with sex for many young people. To love another means to be
passionately attracted to her and to bring her to bed with me.

Love is a many-splendored thing. There are many viewpoints and aspects of love. Let us take one of
the most human and true-to-life viewpoints an experiential or phenomenological description of the
experience of unselfish love and then only can we arrive at the realistic meaning or philosophy of love.

Love is an activity of giving, the disinterested giving of self to the other person whereby I enhance the
others unique value and in so doing enrich my own.

A Phenomenology of Love

The experience of love begins from the experience of loneliness. The experience of loneliness is basically a
human experience.

Loneliness ends when one finds or is found by another in what we call a loving encounter. (Love at first
sight)

The LOVING ENCOUNTER is a meeting of persons. The meeting of persons is not simply bumping into
each other, nor is it simply an exchange of pleasant remarks, though these could be embodiments of a
deeper meeting. The deeper meeting here in love happens when two persons or more who are free to
be themselves choose to share themselves. Love is a CHOICE. Loving is a DECISION.

Love is more than a feeling, its a choice.

THE APPEAL OF THE OTHER is not his corporeal or spiritual attractive qualities. I can conceptualize the
other into a list of beautiful qualities (which I myself may lack) but they can only at best give rise to
enamoredness, a desire to be with the other. But once the qualities cease to be attractive, love also
ceases. Love is more than mere infatuation, more than mere liking such and such qualities of the other.
The other person is more than his qualities, more than what I can conceptualize of him. And love is the
experience of this depth and mystery of the other and the firm will to be with her.

Nor is the appeal of the other an explicit request.

The appeal of the other is herself. The other in her otherness is herself a request. The appeal of the
other is the call to participate in her subjectivity, to be with and for her.

Because of you, I understand the meaninglessness of my egoism.Perhaps, I am not meant to be alone,


perhaps I can only be truly myself with you.

WHAT THEN IS MY REPLY?

Since the appeal of the other is not his quality or an explicit request, it follows that my response cannot
be an outpouring of my qualities to the other or the satisfaction of his request. Compatibility is not
necessarily love. Neither is submission necessarily love. Sometimes refusing the request of the other
may be the only way of loving the person in a situation, if satisfying it would bring harm to the person.

If the appeal of the other is herself, then the appropriate response of that appeal is MYSELF.

His appeal then to me means an invitation to will his subjectivity, to consent, accept, support and share
his freedom. Love means willing the others free self-realization, his destiny, his happiness. When I love
the other, I am saying I want you to become what you want to be, I want you to realize your happiness
freely.

THE CREATIVITY OF LOVE

Madaling maging tao sa pagmamahal. Subalit mahirap ang pagpapakatao sa pagmamahal.

Love is creative. Love creates a new person, either in myself or in the other. Each of us is created,
molded and remolded by those who loves us. But it is difficult and takes time to get to know the real
person, the person behind the mascara (mask). We often appear what we are not. When a guy is
courting a girl, he always has his best foot forward; but once married, the real guy surfaces. Love is full
of surprises or can be a real eye opener. Love creates a new you this is the you-for-whom-I-care
which cannot be discovered by scientific inquiry. This new you can only be discovered by one who loves.

Love is becoming. Love is the acceptance of the other as the other makes the other become. By love I
create a new meaning for the other. But love is reciprocal. In making the other be, he also makes me
be. An appeal of love from another makes me discover a new me, who I really am and who I can
become. We see ourselves better in others; they mirror the real me. What I am and the meaning of
my life depends very much on others. We need one another to become human, to become new
persons. People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.

Love gives meaning. Up to the point of our lives, others (parents, family, teachers, classmates, friends)
have given meaning to our lives. We begin to love when we begin to give meaning to the lives of others.
This is what it means to be loved, to become a new person. What does the other make me when he
loves me? He simply makes me become; he gives meaning to my life.

Love creates a unity. Love creates a new you and I a we. The other makes me authentically
myself and I make the other authentically the other. What a boring and dull world this would be, if
everybody was like me. The we that is created in love is the union of persons and their worlds.

A Philosophy of Love

THE REALISM OF LOVE

It is very important to love a person from the inside, not merely from the outside, to love the real
person behind the appearances. What is the difference between knowing and loving? I know her
could mean I have an objective and impersonal information about the UP girl, e.g., five feet two, lives
in Quezon City, has an IQ of 110, is taking AB or Mass Comm. I love her means I know her subjectively
and personally as a person either because she is my sister, my good friend or my girlfriend.
However, to really know is to love and to love is to really know another as a subject or person.

Many fall in love with an IDEA rather than with a PERSON; they fall in love with a dream or an ideal
girl rather than a real girl. Falling in love with love is falling for make believe. The so-called ideal
boy or girl simply does not exist, but each one of us can make that ideal person become because
love is creative. No two people are ever compatible to begin with; they have to become compatible
and often enough this is the task of a lifetime.

CHARACTERISTIC OF LOVE

1. Love is the gift of self. Love is a giving, a giving of the best, the giving of the self to the other. One of
the highest expressions of a life of giving and a giving of life is in the case of married love. It is better to
give than to receive this is the paradox of love. It is only in enhancing the others unique value that I
enrich my own value; it is only in fulfilling the other as a person that I fulfill and realize myself as a
person.

It if better to give than to receive, not because giving is difficult but it is a joy. When I give myself, it is
the highest expression of what I can become, of my power to love. Whatever goodness is in me be it
my time, advice, talent, patience, a word of encouragement is truly valuable because somebody needs
my love. Paradoxically, it is in giving that we receive.

If someone believes in me and trusts in me, I try to live up to her faith and trust and will try never to
hurt, disappoint or fail her.

2. Love grows and should grow. Love must not be taken for granted. Just as one can fall in love, so too
she can fall out of love.And when love dies, it is difficult to resurrect it. The relationship between an
unfaithful husband and a faithful wife can never be the same again. Hurt or wounded love takes time to
heal and sometimes it never heals. Ones love should deepen over the years. The I do of a married
couple is different from the I do when they became a lolo and lola. They have gone trough a lot but
their love for one another has never died. For somebody who mean a lot to us, we must continually
make the effort to know the other. If our love grows cold and dies, someone too will die. We are
responsible for those whom we love. It is the number of years that I have wasted on my rose that
makes it so unique and important. (The Little Prince).

Winning the girl is not the accomplishment, but keeping her is.

3. Love is shown by deeds rather than words. Love is not only saying it, it is DOING it. Love is effective, it
takes actions (Action speaks louder than words.) I will her bodily being and consequently her world.
Love is inseparable from care, from labor. To love the other is to labor for that love, to care for her body,
her world, her total well-being.

If love is not to become domination, it must be balanced by a certain RESPECT, respect for the
uniqueness and otherness of the other. Accepting the person as she is, different from myself. Respect
also means being patient.

4. Love is creative. Love creates the lover. If I love a person, I am never the same again. I change. Love
also creates the beloved. Although he knows me from within, even the worst of me, he still loves me. I
must be good and therefore can become better.

5. Love is mutual or reciprocal. How can I love the other unless he has already begun to love me. Love is
an appeal. How is it possible that I can love a person very much and yet that person does not love me as
much? This is the mystery of freedom and love. Love cannot be forced or bought; possessed or
dominated; it can only be given freely.

There is no shop in the world that sells love Manuel Dy

Reference:

A Phenomenology of Love by Manuel Dy S.J.

Human Love by Vitaliano Gorospe S.J.