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The Affective Aspect of Wisdom: Some Conceptions of Love of Humanity and their Use in Philosophical Practice.
לחכמה גם ביטוי רגשי: חשובה הרחבת הרגש לא פחות מהרחבת הדעת. אהבת האנושות מרחיבה את הרגש במסורות שונות. מה מקומן של תפישות שונות של אהבת האנושות בפילוסופיה מעשית?
The Affective Aspect of Wisdom: Some Conceptions of Love of Humanity and their Use in Philosophical Practice
Lydia B. Amir
Practical Philosophy: The Journal of Philosophical Practitioners, vol. 7, n. 1, pp. 14-
Ó 2004. All rights reserved Lydia Amir.
‘The good life is one inspired by love and guided by
knowledge.' (Russell, 1957, p. 56)
‘Perhaps one could stretch the comprehensiveness that
constitutes wisdom to include not only intellect but
also feeling. It is by no means uncommon to find men
whose knowledge is wide but whose feelings are
narrow. Such men lack what I am calling wisdom.'
Bertrand Russell (1956, p.174).
Bertrand Russell repeatedly wrote that philosophy should teach not only impersonal thought, but also impersonal feeling. This paper, which complements a previous one (Amir, 2002), addresses the issue of ‘impersonal feeling' by exploring the variety and viability of indiscriminate loves or loves of humanity, advocated by some Eastern and Western philosophies and religions.
The philosophies surveyed include those of the Stoics, Hume, Schopenhauer, Bergson, Kierkegaard, Weil, Lewis, Buber, Santayana and Russell, in the West. The religions include Christianity and Jewish Mysticism known as the Kabbalah, in the West; Buddhism, Confucianism, Mohism, Taoism, Zarathustra's Mazdeism and Sufism, in the East. Criticism of the possibility and the desirability of the love of humanity are represented by Freud's and Popper's views.
The purpose of this paper is to propose to the philosophical practitioner a survey of the variety of loves of humanity found within the philosophic and religious traditions. A better knowledge of these loves can be helpful to the counselor in the following cases. First, it can be helpful as an aid to the counselor working with counselees who are concerned about having a duty to love humanity, who would like to understand both what it means and what its possible relations with romantic love could be. While this characterization seems to refer especially to religious persons pertaining to some established religions, it need not be so. The importance of love within ‘the New Age' movement indicates the interest some people might have in indiscriminate loves, regardless of any specific religious tradition.
Second, it can be helpful in broadening both the counselor's and the counsellee's conceptions of love. This comprehensiveness is beneficial in that it helps us lead a richer and more humane life. As many problems in people's life stem from too narrow a view of their selves and the relationships with others that follows, addressing the narrowness of feeling that accompanies that view might well be within the counselor's domain, and might even be justifiable as the counselor's initiative.
The purpose of this paper is to propose to the philosophical practitioner a survey of the variety of loves of humanity found within the philosophic and religious traditions. Irving Singer, a contemporary philosopher who has written extensively on love, suggested that ‘mapping out the conceptual terrain' of love involve being able to answer the yearning for love in different ways (Singer, 1994, p.176). One way is ‘the love of persons', advocated by Singer himself, which he deems ‘an advanced capacity that may not be realized in everyone ...In loving another person ...men and women create an affective bond that is required by neither their material nor their social existence. The love of persons may only be a relatively recent, and far from predominant, development of the human spirit.' (1994, p. 35-36).
Another way of answering the yearning for love might be through what I characterized elsewhere as ‘impersonal love' (Amir, 2002). Impersonal love is any love, with the exception of love of things, which is not directed towards a specific human being. This love represents a different strand within the philosophical tradition, which proposes a reform or ‘ascent' of (erotic) love, in order to convert the most urgent and potentially ambivalent of our emotions into a constituent of the good and reasonable life. Examples are Plato's Love of Wisdom (Amir, 2001), Spinoza's Love of God or Nature, Nietzsche's Love of Fate, Emerson's True Love and Russell's Impersonal Feeling (Amir, 2002). Still another way of answering the yearning for love is through indiscriminate loves, that is, love bestowed impartially on human beings, that prevail in the Eastern and Western traditions and which are the focus of this paper.
Differentiating between personal, impersonal and indiscriminate loves, is hardly the sole typology of love. Different typologies have been advanced, notably by Martin Bergman (1987), Robert C. Solomon (1988, 1990, 1991) and Irving Singer (1994). In The Pursuit of Love (1994), Irving Singer actually proposes two typologies. One differentiates between the love of persons, to which we referred above, the love of things and the love of ideals (1994, p. 35). The other has the advantage of differentiating between sexual love and religious love, as well as love of self, parental love of child, filial love of a parent, peer love, and group or social love (Singer, 1994, p. 44).
Regardless of the typology we embrace, in thinking about the different types of love we should realize that not only they are frequently compatible with one another, but also that they evolve and readily succeed one another. Especially important for this paper is the view that sexual love is not uniquely indicative of love in general. In the development of each person there are other kinds on love that have preceded it and are parallel to it, such as the love received from one's parents, filial love and friendship among peers. In the development of concepts of love, moreover, the history of ideas demonstrates that concepts of religious love existed long before humanity began to idealize the possibilities between or within the different genders.
For us at the end of the twentieth century, however, sexual love is the phenomenon that dominates our thinking about love. In the last two hundred years this kind of love has frequently be deemed the only relationship that can truly reveal the nature of love. For many people sexual love serves as the justification for interpersonal intimacy and for some, as the prerequisite for a lasting family, a good society, and an adequate participation in nature. In other words, in the modern world romantic love was often thought to be the basis of married love as well as the love for whatever children issued forth. This could have been the main source of power of Romantic love for most of the last two centuries.
Even without any necessary ties to either marriage or children, the idealization of sexual love that we call romantic love still dominates today many people's conceptions of love. (1) However, some people do express interest in other kinds of love, which might require the counselor's knowledge of varieties of love and of the ways in which they interact. Keeping this need in mind and complementing an earlier work on impersonal love (Amir, 2002), this paper offers the philosophical practitioner a survey of the variety of loves of humanity found within the philosophic and religious traditions. A better acquaintance with the various views of the love of humanity can be helpful to the counselor in the following ways.
First, it can be helpful as an aid to the counselor working with counselees who are concerned about having a duty to love humanity, who would like to understand both what it means and what its possible relations with romantic love could be. While this characterization seems to refer especially to religious persons pertaining to some established religions, it need not be so. The importance of love within ‘the New Age' movement indicates the interest some people might have in indiscriminate loves, regardless of any specific religious tradition.
Second, it can be helpful in broadening both the counselor's and the counsellee's conceptions of love. This comprehensiveness is beneficial in that it helps us lead a richer and more humane life. As many problems in people's life stem from too narrow a view of their selves and the relationships with others that follows, addressing the narrowness of feeling that accompanies that view might well be within the counselor's domain, and might even be justifiable as the counselor's initiative. This point will be further elaborated in the conclusion after the richness of the philosophic and religious traditions has been unfolded.
As Illman Dilman reminds us that ‘the civilization or spiritualization of the soul and of its capacity for love is not confined to Christianity' (Dilman, 1998, p. 197), I suggest to begin with non-Western views of indiscriminate love. Western views of the love of humanity, as well as criticism of the viability and desirability of these kinds of love, Eastern or Western, will follow. The relevance of the love of humanity to philosophical counseling will be further clarified in the conclusion.
1. Non-Western Views of the Love of Humanity
The non-Western views surveyed here include Buddhist, Confucian, Mohist and Taoist views. The last section says a few words on other religious Eastern traditions, such as Islamic Sufism and Zarathustra's Mazdeism. The Mystical Jewish tradition will be presented later as part of Western views.
a. Buddhism's Loving Kindness
Most people can feel sympathy for another human being. Buddhism deems it insufficient, for it can be shallow, both morally and emotionally, it scarcely specifies the nature of our bond and it does not indicate that we will do anything to help the other person. We feel that the world is alike for us, but otherwise our sympathetic response may be wholly vague and indeterminate. The kind of love that compassion fosters makes our identification with another human being more consecutive in our behavior than sympathy. (2) The imagination then presents the other not only as a human being who resembles us (if it is a human being) but also as one whose suffering we are prepared to alleviate or take upon ourselves even if we could avoid it.
Among the world religions, Buddhism best understands this employment of the imagination. It seeks to awaken compassion or loving kindness (Karuna) and Love (Metta in Pali; Maitri in Sanskrit) for all equally (Upekha is Pali; Upeksa in Sanscrit). The Buddha may be revered as a divinity, but he originates as Gautama who progressively earns the reward of Nirvana but then refuses to accept it. His perfection consists in attaining infinite compassion. That is why he refuses to enter into paradise unless all the rest of suffering life is also admitted: ‘As a mother watches over her child, willing to risk her own life to protect her only child, so with boundless heart should one cherish all living beings, suffusing the whole world with unobstructed loving kindness.' (Monroe, 1995, 143)
This gesture of universal love constitutes the supreme holiness of the Buddha, but it is also available to other men and women. They themselves, without Christ and without grace, learn how to work out their salvation through the diligence of a comparable love. (Cooper, 1996) It is true, though, that this kind of love, as other moral requirements, is only instrumental to salvation; once you are enlighten, you have no need of them.
b. Confucianism's Benevolence, Mohism's Universal Love and Taoist's Love of Tao
In a radical departure from the past in China, Confucius formulated an entirely new ideal, the superior man, one who is wise, humane, and courageous, who is motivated by righteousness instead of profit, and who ‘studies the way [Tao] and loves man.' He never explained how it is possible for one to become a superior man. He seemed to imply that ‘by nature men are alike but through practice they have become far apart.' Mencius, one of his major followers supplied the explanation of how we can know that man can be good. From the fact that all children know how to love their parents and that a man seeing a child about to fall in a well will instinctively try to save him, Mencius concluded that man's nature is originally good, possessing the ‘Four Beginnings.' - humanity (jen), righteousness (i), propriety (li) and wisdom - and the innate knowledge of the good and the innate ability to do good.
A common problem that confronted all the thinkers of the classical age was how to bring order out of chaos. By Mo Tzu's diagnosis, the chaotic was brought about by selfishness and partiality. And the cure? ‘Partiality should be replaced by universality.' ‘Universal (or undifferentiated) love (chien ai)' is the key-stone of Mo Tzu's teaching. Mo Tzu was dissatisfied with Confucianism for its gradation in benevolence, or ‘partial love (pieh ai)' and he exhorted everyone to regard the welfare of others as he regarded his own. Mo Tzu wanted people to love other people's parents as they love their own, whereas the Confucians, especially Mencius, insisted that although one should show love for all, one should show special affection to his own parents. Otherwise there will be no difference between other people's parents and one's own, and family relationship would collapse. He was convinced that the practice of universal love would bring peace to the world and happiness to man, and he took pain to demonstrate that the principle of universal love was grounded simultaneously in its practicability on earth and its divine sanction for Heaven.
Universal love for Mo Tzu was at once the way of man and the way of God. He advocated Love without distinctions, or universal love as superior to graded love. In contrast to most Chinese philosophers, Mo Tzu spoke of heaven with feeling and conviction; his conception of it was similar to the Western conception of God. The will of Heaven was to be obeyed by man and was to be the standard of human thought and action. Heaven loved all men, and it was the will Heaven that men should love one another (Mo Tzu, 1963; Pei, 1934).
In the Taoist Chuang Tzu's view, even Mo Tzu's conception of universal love is still narrow and partial. The proper ‘object' of love is the totality of all things (processes), designed as the Tao. One should not only be in love with life but with death, ugliness, injustice, war, crime and all the other evils. (Chuang Tzu, 1968; Fleming, 2001)
c. Other Eastern Religious Views
The Iranien school is one of the most important other Eastern religious views. There is no human community, no unity of civilization that is inspired any more of Zarathustra's Mazdeism; and never there has been one that was inspired by the Sufis' mysticism. Yet both proposed concepts of man and of love that are homologue to the Christian concepts, that is, to love one's neighbour in the sense of any human being (de Rougemont, 1996, pp. 228-232). ‘Many Sufis - at least until they fell foul of Islamic Orthodoxy - liked to stress the affinity between their doctrines and those of Christian anchorites, or even Buddhists', affirms D. E. Cooper (1996, p.186; Cf. Monroe, 1995, pp. 226-228). I suggest to probe now the Western tradition.
2. Western Views on the Love of Humanity
Western views will be represented here both by the (non-religious) philosophic tradition (Bergson, Hume, Schopenhauer, Russell), by the Jewish and Christian religions, and by religious philosophers and philosophies (the Stoics, C. S. Lewis, S. Weil, S. Kierkegaard, M. Buber).
a. The Stoics' Philanthropy
The idea of love for humanity, and consequently each man and woman within it, takes an importance in the West only among the Stoics and the Jews or Christians of the first century A. D. If one thinks that a single God created everything, and that each human being is fashioned in his spiritual likeness, one may very well conclude that people are all essentially the same. As children of God and members of the same biological species, they constitute a large family of resemblance. At least in principle, one could therefore feel toward them the type of love that ideal siblings might experience.
The life of reason recommended by the Stoics is sometimes characterized as a life from which all passions and emotions have been extirpated - the life of Stoic apathy. This is an exaggeration, for the Stoics approve of certain emotions. Joy or well-reasoned elation is appropriate, being based on reason, and so are well-reasoned appetite and avoidance. And the love of parents to their children is approved, being based on the natural togetherness or belonging (oikeiosis) constituting the relationship between them. The love of mankind is also considered rational - and indeed the foundation for the ideal Stoic society. Not only is the Stoic sage a social creature, he is a member of the human race, and, as Cicero reports, ‘the mere fact of their common humanity requires that one man should feel another man akin to him.'(3) This sense of the brotherhood of humankind is the outgrowth of the togetherness and belongingness, the same oikeiosis mentioned above; just as children naturally belong to their parents, all human beings belong to one another.
In this doctrine we find one of the grandest intellectual innovations of Western history. Whereas previous philosophers, even Aristotle, had made a sharp distinction between Greeks and all other people, whom they termed Barbarians, the Stoics urge that this distinction is artificial. All human beings are brothers and sisters. The Stoics come to this belief because of their view that there is one rational law, one logos, for all the world and hence all of humanity: ‘They hold that the universe is governed by divine will: it is a city or state of which both men and gods are members, and each one of us is part of this universe; from which it is a natural consequence that we should prefer the common advantage to our own.' (4) Whereas previous Greeks had distinguished people on the basis of their polis or their language, the Stoics claim that all human beings are part of one city, citizens of one state - the cosmopolis. And the divine rational law pervading all things is the source of the laws of this cosmopolis. This means that we should have equal concerns for all; and that equal concern is incompatible with special attachments to kin. This is the reason of the relative detachment that a Stoic is required to show towards its family. This is closely linked to the reform of love as passion: as all passions should be extirpated, ‘rational love' for mankind should replace the passion of erotic love. (5) As Stoicism had very few adepts within the more modern western civilization, I suggest that we consider how the Jewish and Christian religious traditions have tried to combine the love for humanity and the love for one's family and spouse.
b. The Jewish Mystical Tradition: Kabbalah's Love for All
One of the most important laws in Judaism is to love of ‘one's neighbor' - that is any other human being, as oneself. The Zohar, the central text of the Jewish mystical tradition known as the Kabbalah, contains similar ideas to Christianity, in that that law is made the foundation of everything (Epstein, 1959). Especially within the Musar (self-perfection) school, founded by Rabbi Yisrael Salanter (1810-1883), the premise was that if we grow on our relationship to God, we should also grow in our ability to relate in a positive way to our follow human beings. (Kaplan, 1985, pp. 161-165)
The relationship between this and the erotic love of married people should be the following: A husband and wife should see each other as being a reflection of the Divine. One is filled with a love towards one spouse that parallels the supernatural love between the masculine and feminine forces of the Divine. It is also significant that there is no encouragement of celibacy in the Jewish tradition, mystical or otherwise. When man and wife see each other as personifications of the divine image, then the sexual act becomes something holy (Kaplan, 1985, pp. 155-156). Let's see how the Christian religion addressed the relationship of the love of humanity
c. The Christian Love of One's Neighbor
In the West the fathers of the church defined their religion in terms of the Bible's two great commandments, the first enjoining a love a God and the second a love of ‘one's neighbor' - that is any other human being. But these sages also recognized that the love of humanity could create problems.
St. Augustine, himself a child of the old dispensation as well as the new, was particularly concerned about the dubious consequences that might result from distributing one's love without distraction. He saw how easily this could undermine the love we owe to our immediate family, and in general to those with whom we live moment by moment. He felt that a hierarchy had to be imposed among the recipients of our love, and he concluded that obligations to our own people should come first. Without denying the holiness in loving humans indiscriminately, regardless of propinquity or family ties, as Christ has done, St. Augustine argued that we exist in a moral universe that must extend outward from our intimate and daily relations with one another. No one could have contact with all other people, or even a significant number of them, and therefore our love for persons in the actual groups to which we belong requires our special attention. Through love for the human race is inherently commendable, it would have to be secondary or modulated in its effect. ‘All...men are to be loved equally; but since you cannot be of assistance to everyone, those especially are to be cared for who are most closely bound to you by place, time, or opportunity, as if by chance.' (Augustine, 1958, p. 126)
Christians - for instance, Luther - sometimes argue that by his nature man is unable to love: we can only be vehicles of God's love; others, such as Aquinas, insist that God bestowed the capacity for love on human nature as an act of grace. Irvin Singer might be right is remarking that ‘in either event Christianity, which calls itself the religion of love, must face the anomaly of believing that its own practitioners, however devout, cannot love anything except in a secondary manner.' (Singer, 1994, 117) (6) I propose, therefore, to look for a possible solution of this problem in some relatively modern Christian philosophers' views of love.
d. Charity in Some Modern Christian Theories of Love: C. S. Lewis,
S. Kierkegaard and S. Weil
Charity, or love of one's neighbor, as a supernatural love, are advocated by Simone Weil (1949), C. S. Lewis (1985) and of course Soren Kierkegaard (1962). For, the love of (the Christian) God would illuminate and therefore ameliorate, or ‘transmute' the natural element in our ‘natural loves' (namely, affection, friendship, eros or erotic love) (Lewis, 1985, p.125), or add a third party in the relationship, which is ‘a cooling factor' and ‘a soothing agent' (Kierkegaard, 1962, p. 313) (7).
Lewis thinks that ‘the natural loves are not self-sufficient. Something else, at first vaguely described as ‘decency and common sense', but later revealed as goodness, and finally as the whole Christian life in one particular relation, must come to help of the mere feeling if the feeling is to be kept sweet.' (1985, p. 107)
That ‘divine protection' (p. 82) may be the grace of God, but to invoke it calls for an inner work which Plato calls ‘purification of the soul' in the Phaedo and Kierkegaard ‘self-renunciation' in Works of Love (1962). Lewis expresses it clearly in connection to erotic love and marriage: ‘He (Eros), like a godparent, makes the vows; it is we who must keep them... We must do the works of Eros when Eros is not present... this program, modest as it sounds, will not be carried except by humility, charity and divine grace.' (pp. 105-6) ‘Natural loves can hope for eternity only insofar as they have allowed themselves to be taken into the eternity of Charity... The process will always involve a kind of death.' (p. 125) The death in question, as interpreted by Ilham Dilman, ‘is the death of the self or ego.' (Dilman, 1998, p.189)
By charity, Lewis means a supernatural gift-love, which is a share of God's gift-love towards others. This is a love that is ‘wholly disinterested' and is not put off by the repulsiveness, physical or moral, of those towards whom it is directed. Our natural loves, which are also God's gift to us, have a giving, caring aspect: they are in part ‘gift-loves'. Yet, while ‘Natural Gift-love is always directed to objects which the lover finds in some way intrinsically lovable ...Divine Gift-love in the man enables him to love what is not naturally lovable; lepers, criminals, morons, the sulky, the superior and the sneering.' (p. 117)
Ilham Dilham stresses a parallel to this in Simone Weil's notion of natural equilibrium and the way it distinguishes a ‘social' morality from one permeated by supernatural goodness. In times of stability and with social arrangements that ensure people more or less similar powers men respect each other, observe rules of justice, co-operate with each other and punish those who have transgressed such rules of law. But where the circumstances change in a person's or group's ‘favor' a new equilibrium is reached. The same person who previously respected others now starts taking advantage of them. ‘It takes a supernatural love, which establishes supernatural justice in the heart for a person to desist: to desist commanding wherever he has the power to do so.' (Dilman, 1998, p. 162; Cf. Weil, 1948).
Where we have such power we naturally are inclined to expand, to impose our will on others. There is in the soul, she writes, something like a phagocyte; it causes it to expand and fill in all the space, which the circumstances allow it. It takes supernatural love to bear this void, thinks S. Weil. All desire for reward, compensation, consolation, which mars so much of our moral life and actions has as its root this natural tendency of the soul to expand, its inability to bear the void created in our souls by what comes out of us, by what we give, so we expect a return, or by the hurt and humiliation we receive, so that we desire to return it. This is the desire for equilibrium which belongs to the part of our soul, which makes part of the nature we share of other human beings.
Equally, and in these terms, to love the lovable is easy, for the lovable attracts our love. The pleasure we find in doing so constitutes a return for what we give, of what goes out of us. The equilibrium remains, no void is created in our soul. But it is otherwise when it comes to loving the unlovable. ‘This is why charity which consists in doing so is supernatural; it goes again the grain of our nature, of our natural loves.' (Dilman, 1998, p. 163; Cf. Weil, 1949)
Finally, let's turn to Kierkegaard. There are passages in the early part of Works of Love where Kierkegaard speaks of erotic love and friendship in demeaning ways, as being corrupt in themselves. They are forms of ‘self-love' and ‘self-indulgence'. Whereas when Christian love is involved, one keeps loving one's wife and friend, but as one's neighbors (1962, pp. 73-4), that is, first and foremost, as human beings (p.142). When these are Christian relationships, a third part, God, is present: ‘The purely human conception of love can never go further than mutuality: that the lover is the beloved and the beloved is the lover. Christianity teaches that such a love has not yet found its proper object: God. The love-relationship is a triangular relationship of the lover, the beloved and love - but love is God. Therefore to love another person means to help him to love God and to be loved means to be helped.' (p. 124)
This is highly reminiscent of Plato's theory of love (Cf. Amir, 2001). Indeed, later in the book, Kierkegaard refers to Plato's idea of the good: ‘When there is no third in the relationship between man and man, every such relationship becomes unsound, either too ardent or embittered. The third, which thinkers would call the idea is the true, the good, or more accurately, the God-relationship; this third is a cooling factor in certain phases of a relationship and in others a soothing agent.' (p. 313) Again, he says that ‘according to the secular point of view many different kinds of love are discernible', whereas ‘Christianity ... recognizes only one kind of love, spiritual love.' (pp. 144-5)
In Stages in Life's Way, the pseudonymous voice articulates the perspective of ‘the married man', but it is meant to represent a ‘lower' point of view that will be finally superseded. In his dialectical way Kierkegaard is arguing that earthly love belonging to marriage must eventually be renounced for the sake of loving God exclusively. (8) The following thinker will immediately criticize this view.
e. Martin Buber's ‘Dialogical Principle'
M. Buber criticizes Heidegger's concept of care (who scarcely touches on attitudes such as love or friendship), and Kierkegaard's and Weil's views of the relationship between the love of God and the love of one's neighbor. Everything Buber writes arises from his assumption that our world reveals the presence of a personal deity with whom one may establish an I-Thou relationship, though he does not argue for this article of faith.
Buber calls this ‘the dialogical principle' by means of which one establishes an ‘I-Thou' relationship as opposed to an ‘I-It' relationship, regardless of whether one communicates with God, human beings, animals, or even non-conscious entities. What matters most is the immediacy, directness, and mutuality in the encounter. According to Buber, only the I-Thou relationship is ontologically ultimate. In it one attains reality in the sense that this and only this relation manifests the fundamental character of being. In the I-it relationship one reduces others to objects, things that can be enjoyed, used, or fitted into a system of knowledge. The I-Thou, however, is purely immediate: in itself it encompasses and reveals another's being in its totality.
Defining genuine love as a continuing commitment that is based upon the I-Thou principle and includes social or erotic feelings without being reducible to them, Buber believes that all love must ultimately be explained as the love of God. Everything Buber writes fit within the framework of Judeo-Christian teachings. At the same time his thought, ecumenical as it is, usually focuses on one aspect of this tradition: it reflects Hasidic ideas about the uniformity of love. As against Christians or Jews who stressed the differences between a love of God and a love of mankind in order to subordinate merely human love to a spiritual or ascetic type of religious love, Buber enunciates the Hasidic belief that no such distinction can be defended. He insists that all love is love for God inasmuch as God is present when we truly love our fellow man. And however far our carnal loves may fall, they too must be understood as an attempt to love God as he reveals himself in his creation. To say this, in the manner of Buber's Hasidic faith, is to say that the two Great Commandments about love in the Bible are really one. In loving our neighbor as ourselves, we are loving God. We cannot love God unless we also love the neighbor. If we truly love God, we do love the neighbor.
Medieval thinkers within Christianity and Judaism formulated similar beliefs. We may now notice how this approach issues into Buber's criticism of Kierkegaard, Heiddeger and Simone Weil. Buber maintains against them that neither self-love nor the love of God excludes the authentic love for other people. ‘Exclusive love to God (‘with all your heart'), Buber says, ‘is, because he is God, inclusive love, ready to accept and include all love. It is not himself that God creates ...His revelation does not have himself as object. He limits himself in all his limitlessness, he makes room for the creatures, and so, in love to him, he makes room for love to the creatures.' (Buber, 1967, pp. 51-52).
Criticizing Kierkegaard's view that earthly love belonging to marriage must eventually be renounced for the sake of loving God exclusively, he remarks: ‘This is sublimely to misunderstand God, Creation is not a hurdle on the road to God, it is the road itself.' (Ibid. p. 52). Coherent with this point of view, Buber defends marriage as an exemplary bond through which we can achieve the freedom that belongs to being genuine children of love. Though he cites the dangers in married life , as in all other ties related to our finitude, he tells us that ‘our hope of salvation is forged on this very danger, for our human way to the infinite leads only through fulfilled finitude.' (Ibid. p. 61; see also 1958, p. 106)
f. Bergson's and Hume's Love of Humanity
In Henri Bergson's philosophy one finds a very different approach to the love of humanity. Bergson distinguishes between ‘closed morality' and ‘open morality' in the hope that human beings will someday attain a universal society in which the latter supplants the former. As he defines the relevant terms, closed morality arises from instinctual bonds that impose a sense of obligation upon each individual, while open morality consists in sympathetic identification with the creative vitality in all people.
In the open society, which Bergson recognizes to be utopian, we love all members of our species with a love that is God himself. We do the right thing not because the voice of conscience tells us to, but rather through a spiritual impulse to bring the world closer to an absolute goodness. According to Bergson, that is what motivates the saints and the heroes who thereby transcend the limits of their own origins in a particular family, tribe, or country. Nature has provided us with instincts that enforce our allegiance to closed societies such as these. But the saints and heroes experience a love of humanity that Bergson deems superior. It represents a force in nature more ultimate than mechanisms of group survival or solidarity. Through this type of love, as Bergson describes it, the closed society is wholly displaced by the open society that truly shows forth our ultimate being (Bergson, 1977).
Bergson thought that the love of humanity is fundamentally different from the love of one's family or even of one's country. Hume had made a partly similar assertion. He called attention to the fact that the feelings we have for people who are remote from us are much weaker than our sympathy for intimates. He nevertheless thought that humanitarian love is strong in many persons and that it bestows upon strangers or unknown individuals a sympathetic concern that resembles what we experience toward those who are closely related to us. Since sympathy itself is limited in its scope, Hume concluded that we render our sentiments more general through an act of rationality. Our judgements tell us that all humans are alike and so we treat them in a similar fashion, even though the sympathy we actually feel is addressed only toward people we encounter. (Hume, 1988) At this point Bergson disagrees. To explain how the love of humanity differs from other social loves, he invokes a separate mode of feeling, an intuitional faculty that goes far beyond the intellect.
Hume's description may explain the behavior of most people when they contribute to causes that benefit mankind. The philanthropist writing a check for his favorite charity need not feel much at all. But love of humanity expresses itself in other ways as well. Though we may not wish to accept the mystical implications of Bergsonian intuitionism, we can agree that people do have sentiments of love that enable them to identify with distant and unrelated individuals. But this might require more than just the recognition that we belong to the same species. For one thing it involves what Shelley, in his essay on benevolence, describes as a unique employment of interpersonal imagination. (Shelley, 1954) We thereby put ourselves in the other position, and thus vicariously undergo what he or she experiences. We resonate with emotions - fear, longing, whatever - that results from our identification with this other person, whom we may never meet or even see.
This development out of, but also beyond, family love is suggested by phrases such as ‘the brotherhood of man'. Its imaginative and emotional charge was embodied in the concept of fraternité that meant so much to millions in the Romantic period, and has remained as an ideal of modern humanism. Fraternité is primarily a matter of feeling, rather than extrapolation through the intellect. But it is a feeling that presupposes our sense of life in the family. It is not a separate entity, as Bergson claims. To the extent that we can have an open society we do not discard but merely redeploy the energies that bring the closed society into being. Family love expands beyond its own domain and this transforms the nature of affective experience. But it is through, and not despite, their prior feelings that people acquire whatever humanitarian sentiments they may have. Reason is insufficient for this task, and nature affords us no other means of accomplishing it.
g. Schopenhauer's Universal Compassion
Sympathy and compassion are dispositions that can be religious as well as social. This kind of love derives its religious import from the fact that someone cares enough about others to treat them as joint manifestations of life while also recognizing that they are different realities. Every love of persons does something similar, but only in sympathy and compassion does one focus on the fellowship of living together in a largely hostile world and suffering in the way that animate creatures do. One does not have to agree with Schopenhauer when he claimed that suffering results from merely being alive, wanting what we need but do not have and never feeling completely satisfied with what we get. (Schopenhauer, 1969; 1965) Still he might be right in thinking that sympathy and compassion or Mankelieb can be directed toward whatever suffering does occur, and that these responses unite us most effectively with all the rest of life. According to Schopenhauer, no loving response could be more religious or more truly metaphysical than this. However, he scarcely tells us how we may attain the sympathy and compassion he so greatly admires.
As we noticed above, Schopenhauer maintained that even the most benign romantic love was not conducive to a happy or truly meaningful life. Love is considered an enslavement to natural processes, notably those required for the preservation of the species, that snares individuals by deluding them with hopes about everlasting happiness and ever-increasing meaning. There is no specified relationship, however, between Schopenhauer's view of romantic love and his view of compassion. Still, as he considered his philosophy to be a systematic account of what Western and Eastern mystics intuited, it might be implied that compassion is preferable to Romantic love.
h. George Santayana's Rational Philanthropy versus Spiritual Charity
George Santayana, a ‘Catholic atheist' as one commentator has called him (Donald C, Williams; Singer, 1984, vol. 3, p. 271), no less than a true follower of Shopenhauer, attempted in his philosophy to unite materialism and Platonism. The result was, among other things, a very interesting theory of love (9). As the focus of this paper is on the love of humanity, I cannot introduce his philosophy in all its originality and depth. One of the chapters of his Dialogues in Limbo, however, is especially relevant to our concern. In the dialogue entitled ‘The Philanthropist' Socrates and the Stranger converse about the two ways in which mankind can be loved. One is love coherent with what Santayana calls the life of reason and the other is love which issues from pure spirituality.
On the one hand, we are presented with a conception of humanistic ‘philanthropy', which Socrates defends. As against this idea, the Stranger argues for what he calls ‘Charity'. Philanthropy is a love of mankind which Socrates describes as really being ‘the love of an idea, and not of actual men and women.' (Santayana, 1925, p. 155) Philanthropy directs itself toward what is truly good for human beings; it is geared to the realities of their nature and aims for a ‘perfect humanity' that ideally would provide fulfillment, regardless of what some individual may happen to desire. The Stranger claims that ‘any adoration of mankind is mere sentimentality, killed by contact with actual men and women. Towards actual people a doting love signifies silliness in the lover and injury to the beloved, until that love is chastened into charity.' (Ibid.) Santayana employs the word ‘charity' in approximation of the mediaeval concept (caritas) and not as the word is more commonly used nowadays. He considers charity godlike even if it exists only in human beings. The Stranger calls it ‘a sober and profound compassion ...succoring distress everywhere and helping all to endure their humanity and to renounce it.' (ibid.)
In this notion of charity we may recognize the disposition that Santayana generally assigns to pure spirit. Transcending the search for perfection and aspiring towards emancipation from the world, the spiritual life is an exclusive commitment to charity. The Stranger remarks that charity ‘is less than philanthropy in that it expects the defeat of man's natural desires and accepts that defeat; and it is more than philanthropy in that, in the face of defeat, it brings consolation.' (Ibid., p. 139) Socrates sums this discussion with the suggestion that ‘philanthropy is a sentiment proper to man in view of his desired perfection, and charity a sentiment proper to a god, or to a man inspired by a god, in view of the necessary imperfection of all living creatures.' (Ibid., pp. 156-57)
Santayana leaves the dialogue with this minimal synthesis between the two ideals, the Greek and the Indian. On more than one occasion he insisted that he himself was close to the Greeks than to the Indians, and that he aspired to a life of rationality rather than spirituality. The former seeks a harmony of interests, whereas the latter is a single-minded pursuit that would seem to cast aside everything but itself. The question of the choice between these alternatives is examined dialectically in the chapter mentioned above.
The humanistic and pluralistic reach of Santayana's philosophy of love appears more prominently in his posthumous essay entitled ‘Friendship'. His remarks there serve as a corrective to the charge that Santayana's later philosophy seeks to orient all human relations toward the achievement of spiritual purity. For he insists on the differences between friendship and charity. The latter ‘not being intrinsic either to love or to friendship requires the intervention of imaginative reason, by which we detach ourselves from our accidental persons and circumstances and feel the equal reality of all other persons in all other plights.' (Santayana, 1968, p. 88) Santayana extols the infinite beauty in charity, but he points out that love or friendship or philanthropy can also be beautiful. Nowhere does he suggest that anyone must extirpate natural virtues or devote himself to the peculiar and exclusive interests of pure spirit. That remains a matter of individual choice.
i. Bertrand Russell's Impersonal Feeling
Bertrand Russell testifies in the first lines of his autobiography that three passions have governed his life: ‘the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.' (1967, p. 9) He sounds like Schopenhauer when he says: ‘United with his fellow-men by the strongest of all ties, the tie of a common doom, the free man finds that a new vision is with him always, shedding over every daily task the light of love.' (1978, p. 56) He relates himself to Buddhism when he says: ‘Buddha is said to have asserted that he could not be happy so long as even one human being was suffering. This is carrying things to an extreme and, if taken literally, would be excessive, but it illustrates that universalizing of feeling of which I am speaking.' (Russell, 1956, p.182). He relates himself to Spinoza when he writes: ‘Spinoza, who was perhaps the best example of the way of feeling of which I am speaking, remained completely calm at all times, and in the last day of his life preserved the same friendly interest in others as he had shown in days of health' (Ibid., pp. 183-4).
He seems to believe in the necessity of developing an impersonal feeling, that would be constitutive of wisdom: ‘Our age is in many respects one which has little wisdom, and which would therefore profit greatly by what philosophy has to teach. The value of philosophy is partly in relation to thought and partly in relation to feeling, though its effects in these two ways are closely interconnected. On the theoretical side it is a help in understanding the universe as a whole, in so far as this is possible. On the side of feeling it is a help toward a just appreciation of the ends of human life.' (1956, p. 178)
Closely parallel to the development of impersonal thought is the development of impersonal feeling, which is at least equally important and which ought equally to result from a philosophical outlook. Our desires, like our senses, are primarily self-centered. The egocentric character of our desires interferes with our ethics. In the one case, as in the other, what is to be aimed at is not a complete absence of the animal equipment that is necessary for life but the addition to it of something wider, more general, and less bound up with personal circumstances. We should not admire a parent who had no more affection for his own children than for those of others, but we should admire a man who from love of his own children is led to a general benevolence. We should not admire a man, if such a man there were, who was so indifferent to food as to become undernourished, but we should admire the man who from knowledge of his own need of food is led to a general sympathy with the hungry. (Cf. P. G. Kuntz, Bertrand Russell, 1986, p. 107f)
What philosophy should do in matters of feelings is very closely analogous to what it should do in matters of thought. It should not subtract from the personal life but should add to it. Just as the philosopher's intellectual survey is wider than that of an uneducated man, so also the scope of his desires and interests should be wider. A man who has acquired a philosophical way of feeling, and not only of thinking, will note what things seem to him good and bad in his own experience, and will wish to secure the former and avoid the latter for others as well as for himself.
Wisdom has an affective aspect, since ‘comprehensiveness alone... is not enough to constitute wisdom. There must be, also, a certain awareness of the ends of human life... perhaps one could stretch the comprehensiveness that constitutes wisdom to include not only intellect but also feeling. It is by no means uncommon to find men whose knowledge is wide but whose feelings are narrow. Such men lack what I am calling wisdom.' (1956, p.174). For example, the best way to overcome the fear of death, according to Russell, is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until ‘bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life.' (Ibid., p.52)
Maybe Russell's intention can be made clearer by referring to Mill: when he discusses ‘the ultimate sanction of the principle of utility,' he identifies it as the ‘powerful natural sentiment' of what he calls ‘the contagion of sympathy.' Sounding at times like Shelley (1954), he argues that a ‘firm foundation' for morality is to be found in ‘the desire to be in unity with our fellow creatures.' He writes of the feeling in many persons ‘that the interests of others are their own interests.' It is a ‘feeling of unity' with other people which leads a man ‘to identify his feelings more and more with their good.' (Mill, 1961, pp. 358-9)
Though Mill's emphasis is ethical, Russell seems to have a more comprehensive view of the importance of love in our lives. ‘The good life,' he writes, ‘is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge' (Russell, 1957, p. 56). Wisdom has an affective component that should and can be developed through philosophy. This ‘impersonal feeling', however, does not subtract anything from sexual love and marriage, which Russell advocated both in his writings and in his life (Russell, 1967).
3. Criticism of the Love of Humanity
Many criticized the ideal of indiscriminate love, among them Sigmund Freud and Karl Popper. Karl Popper's critique of this view is worth mentioning, I believe, for the political implications he sees in it. Sigmund Freud's, for its popularity.
a. Karl Popper's Criticism
Karl Popper views the love of humanity as neither possible nor desirable: ‘I admit', he says, ‘that the emotions of love and compassion may sometimes lead to a similar effort [of our imagination]. But I hold that it is humanly impossible for us to love, or to suffer with, a great number of people; nor does it appear to me very desirable that it should, since it would ultimately destroy either our ability to help or the intensity of these very emotions. ...A direct emotional attitude towards the abstract whole of mankind seems to me hardly possible. We can love mankind only in certain concrete individuals. But by the use of thought and imagination, we may become ready to help all who need our help.' (1962, p. 240, italics added). According to Popper, it is impossible to love mankind as a whole, for we cannot feel the same emotions towards everybody. Emotionally, we all divide men into those who are near to us, and those who are far from us. ‘The division of mankind into friend and foe is a most obvious emotional division; and this division is even recognized in the Christian commandment, ‘Love thy enemies!'' (Ibid., p. 235) We cannot really love ‘in the abstract'; we can love only those whom we know. Thus the appeal even to our best emotions, love and compassion, can only tend to divide mankind into different categories. And this will be more true if the appeal is made to lesser emotions and passions.
He sees a political danger in the rule of love, for he who teaches that not reason but love should rule opens the way for those who rule by hate. Socrates, he believes, saw something of this when he suggested that mistrust or hatred of argument is related to mistrust or hatred of man. (misology is distrust in rational argument and misanthropy is hatred of men; Socrates suggested this relation in Plato's Phaedo 89d). Those who do not see that connection at once, who believe in a direct rule of emotional love should consider that love as such certainly does not promote impartiality. And it cannot do away with conflict either, according to Popper. He adds, however, that he is quite prepared to admit that the Christian idea of love is not meant in a purely emotional way.
He sums up his view, by saying that no doubt, there would be heaven on earth if we could all love one another. But the attempt to make heaven on earth invariably produces hell. ‘Thus we might say: help your enemies; assist those in distress, even if they hate you; but love only your friends.' (Ibid., p. 237)
b. Sigmund Freud's Criticism
Another great critic of the love of humanity is Sigmund Freud. Freud recognizes that civilization itself develops by means of a love that is essential for its existence. This is the love that binds the members of a group who have common interests. It consists of sublimations that have turned into religious or humanitarian love - the love of God as well as attempts to love one's neighbor and even one's enemy. Freud considered such love to be aim-inhibited since he believes that all love, however remote from apparent sexuality, reduces to the drive for libidinal satisfaction. Though he is convinced that religious and humanitarian types of love are generally unrealistic, and therefore morally suspect, Freud explains their occurrence in terms of civilization's justifiable need to use them as instruments for the control of human aggressiveness (Freud 1949a; 1949b; 1961).
His criticism is far-reaching. He criticizes the possibility and even the desirability of the Judeo-Christian's precepts about a universal love of mankind. In his opinion, they are unreasonable, irrational and they even violate the original nature of man (Freud, 1961, pp. 56-59) (10).
With the exception of Freud and Popper, the philosophers and religious leaders presented in this survey consider indiscriminate love the pinnacle of human achievement, the essence of wisdom, and the highest ethical value giving meaning and purpose to life. It is interesting to notice that many of the ideas presented above have been incorporated in ‘the New Age' movement. It might well be, therefore, that the counselee would be familiar with them, albeit in the formulation given to them within the different views which constitute this movement. (11)
My aim in this paper has not been to recommend religious or spiritual love, much less, New Age thought. One way of understanding my interest as a philosophical counselor in the kinds of love surveyed above is to consider the structure of the self and its concern. Following Martha C. Nussbaum and other Neo-Stoics (2001), I think of emotions as evaluations, that is, as appraisals or value judgments, which ascribe to things and persons outside the person's own control great importance for that person's own flourishing. I picture the self as constituted, in part at least, by its evaluative engagements with areas of the world. Thinking of things in this way, one may notice a bifurcation in the emotions. Some expand the boundaries of the self, picturing it as constituted in part by strong attachments to independent things and persons. Some emotions, on the other hand, draw sharp boundaries around the self, insulating it from contamination by external objects.
I think that we should favor the emotions that expand the boundaries of the self. I believe that Martha C. Nussbaum is right when she says that love is paradigmatic of such emotions and that ‘compassion pushes the boundaries of the self further outward than many types of love' (2001, p. 300). I also agree with Bertrand Russell who deems it a good thing that ‘the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life' (1956, p.52). But some confusion might arise at this point, which calls for the following clarification.
The issue of the love of humanity, which has been addressed in this paper, has both narrow implications and wider implications. We can refer to the narrow ones as ‘moral' (concerning the way we treat others) and to the wider ones as ‘ethical' (concerning the quality of our life). I would like to ignore the more narrow moral implications, which have not been the focus of this paper, while emphasizing the wider ethical ones. Hence, I take the above quotes from Martha Nussbaum and Bertrand Russell to refer to ethical concerns, which are, according to the terminology adopted here, concerns regarding the quality of one's life.
In order to make my position clearer, I would like to refer once more to Bertrand Russell's views by reminding the reader of the motto(s) of this paper. Russell was quoted saying that ‘the good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge' (1957, p. 56) and that ‘perhaps one could stretch the comprehensiveness that constitutes wisdom to include not only intellect but also feeling. It is by no means uncommon to find men whose knowledge is wide but whose feelings are narrow. Such men lack what I am calling wisdom.' (1956, p.174). Following Russell's view of the good life, I think that philosophical counselors should not ignore the emotive aspect of wisdom; that consequently ‘comprehensive feeling' should be at least put on the agenda, and at most, taught to those who want to learn it.
Yet the views surveyed in this paper should not, even if they could (which is doubtful), be imposed on anyone, counselors as well as counselees. It is my humble opinion, however, that due to her awareness of the many avenues of love, the counselor could initiate a broader discussion on love than the one she was expected to provide, thereby not restricting herself to a reactive role.
When confronted with questions about love, therefore, the philosopher may have some advantages in comparison with the psychologist. For example, her awareness of very different kinds of love, her capacity of pointing to the possibility of redirecting the very strong emotion of love partly, at least, to impersonal objects, her encompassing goal of furthering the love of wisdom which includes, if Russell is right, an affective component.
The philosophical counselor's above mentioned capacities can be fully appreciated, however, by a rather specific group of counselees. For, in order to contemplate the possibility of either non-personal or indiscriminate loves, a differentiation between the desire to love and the desire to be loved may be in order. Whilst differentiating between the two is always helpful for diminishing confusion and clarifying expectations, it is essential when we approach the issue of indiscriminate love.
It might well be that those persons whose distress originate with, or interest lies in, a desire to love, would find this desire fulfilled much more easily. First, because the variety of loves available for them is much wider, as they could consider the loves proposed above as well as any kind of personal love. Second, because their love is independent of outward circumstances. Those persons, however, whose distress comes from, or interest lies in, a desire to be loved, will be forever dependent on some heteronomous source with all the precariousness it involves when the source is human. Though Spinoza memorably said that whoever loves God (or nature) could not wish that God would love him back (Ethics, part V, Prop. 23), most people might find this lesson too harsh, regardless of the object of love. The counselor's above mentioned capacities regarding love could be better appreciated, therefore, by those counsellees interested in the kind of inspiration that loving, in contradistinction of being loved, could bring to one's life.
Finally, the way in which different loves, both personal, impersonal and indiscriminate could relate to each other, is a matter of personal discovery. I think that Irving Singer is right in suggesting that ‘each man and woman must determine afresh which love matters most and is most justifiable in a particular circumstance.' In his opinion, ‘philosophers can sometimes help in this endeavor. They can reveal the logical and empirical implications within alternatives that are actually feasible. This is what I call mapping out the conceptual terrain.' (Singer, 1994, p.176) I hope that within the complex map of love, this paper has been helpful in calling attention to an aspect of it, which, though made fashionable by the ‘New Age' movement, may not have received recently within philosophy the attention it deserves.
I am indebted to two anonymous referees' invaluable comments on an earlier draft of this article. Their comments have been very helpful in transforming the first part of a paper presented at the 2000 Oslo International Conference of Philosophical Practice, into this present version. The second part of the same paper has been published as ‘The Role of Impersonal Love in Everyday Life', in Philosophy in Society, H. Herrestad, A. Holt and H. Sware eds. (Oslo: Unipub, 2002), pp. 217-242.
(1) For a characterization of the Romantic tradition, see I. Singer, The Nature of Love (1984), vol.2: Courtly and Romantic, chaps.12-13; T. Gould, Platonic Love, (1953) chaps.1 and 9; D. de Rougemont, Love in the Western World (1983) and Les Mythes de l'Amour (1996). For a new version of romanticism, ‘rational romanticism', see R. C. Solomon, 1993, chapter 2. For a philosophical criticism of Romantic love as ‘a love of love', see I. Babitt, Rousseau and Romanticism (1955); D. de Rougemont, Les Mythes de l'Amour (1996) and J. Ortega y Gasset, On Love: Aspects of a Single Theme (1957).
(2) Some clarifications of the terms are in order. I. Singer differentiates between sympathy, compassion and empathy (1994, pp. 111-2), A. Ben-Ze'ev differentiates between mercy, pity and compassion (2000, p. 131) and M. Nussbaum between compassion, empathy and mercy (2001, pp. 364-368). Plato, Seneca, Epictetus and Locke. Spinoza, Kant and Nietzsche - all criticized pity. For Spinoza's view see Ethics, Part IV, prop. 50. For Kant's view see (Kant, 1956, p. 123) and (Kant, 1996, p. 205). For Nietzsche on that matter, see J. Portmann (2000, pp.111-115). For the others, see A. Ben-Ze'ev (2000, chap. 3), E. Callan (1988), D. Cartwright (1984) and M. Nussbaum (2001, chaps. 6-8). She writes there: ‘The Stoic position on compassion and value is taken over with little change by Spinoza, and seriously influences the accounts in Descartes, Smith, and Kant. It is given an especially complex and vivid development in the thought of Nietzsche...' (2001, p. 358). Adam Smith's view of the relationship between sympathy and compassion has not been elaborated here, though it deserves attention. See Smith, 1976.
(3) J. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, (SVF) III, 340; p.126.
(4) SVF, III, 333; p.125.
(5) For a detailed analysis of the Stoics' extirpation of the passions, See M. Nussbaum, 1994, chap. 10.
(6) For Luther's view see the American Edition of Luther's Works (1955); for Thomas Aquinas' view see Summa Theologica (1945) and especially On Charity (De Caritate) (1960). For the theological debate between Catholicism and Protestantism about the nature of love see A. Nygren, Agape and Eros (1982). For further discussion of Nygren and concepts of Christian love in general, see G. Outka, Agape: An Ethical Analysis (1972). Unfortunately, the Catholic-Protestant theological debate is beyond the scope of this paper. As I try to focus on philosophic doctrines, I can only mention the Christian view(s) of indiscriminate love. Similarly, the following discussion of Buddhism will be on Buddhism as a philosophy rather than a religion.
(7) See I. Dilman' s interesting analysis of Kierkegaard's work in Dilman, 1998, chaps. 11-12.
(8) The Russian Christian Orthodox Existentialist Philosopher N. Berdiaeff (1936) holds similar views on love to those of Kierkegaard; see Mizrahi, 1999, pp. 57-62.
(9) For a discussion of George Santayana on charity and religious love in general, see I. Singer The Nature of Love: Plato to Luther, vol. 1 (1984, pp. 334-35, 358-59, and passim) and G. Santayana (1954, pp. 366-70). For his views on love in general, see G. Santayana (1936; 1942;1971;1980).
George Santayana has been greatly influenced by Neo-Platonism. The Neo-platonic interpretation of love has not been discussed within this paper, in spite of its immense influence on Christianity and on Renaissance thinkers. To sum it in a few words, love is a mystical ascent towards the one or the Alone, whose beauty is found everywhere in the world. The Neo-platonic mystic renounces the world of matter, with its sexual love, for a perfect merging of his spiritual self with the one, ‘the Alone with the Alone'. See Plotinus, The Enneads (1957).
(10) For S. Freud's views on the matter, so briefly summarized here, see Freud (1949a; 1949b and 1961). For Freud's criticism of the possibility and even the desirability of the Judeo-Christian's precepts about a universal love of mankind, see Freud (1961, pp. 56-59). For a criticism of Freud's views on religious love, see, for example, I. Singer (1984, vol. 2, particularly pp. 23-38, 97-99, 101-4, 173, 182-83, 198-200, 208-31, 234-36, 263-64, 302-7). Finally, for a criticism of his view of love, the sources are abundant: see, for example, E. Fromm (1979); T. Reik (1944) and I. Dilman (1998, chap. 6).
(11) For a good survey of love within the New Age movement, see Hanegraaff, 1998, pp. 297-299.
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