What Is Love?

An ongoing exploration of images, words, expressions and meanings of Love
The LOVEolution

Being a part of The LOVEolution is all about attitude. Embodying these attitudes is a life-long pursuit that will transform your life and the world around you, one day at a time.</p>
<p>JOY<br />
A LOVEolutionary does things that bring her joy because she knows that joy is contagious and that it heals emotional wounds.</p>
<p>SELF-DISCIPLINE<br />
The LOVEolutionary practices self-discipline, because it allows him to give his gifts fully to the world</p>
<p>OPTIMISM<br />
The LOVEolutionary is optimistic because she knows that her optimism gives others hope</p>
<p>FORGIVENESS<br />
The LOVEolutionary forgives because it benefits her as much as the person she is forgiving.</p>
<p>GENEROSITY<br />
The LOVEolutionary is generous because it feels good to give, and because he trusts his generosity will be paid back many times over</p>
<p>KINDNESS<br />
The LOVEolutionary practices kindness toward all people because she wants to be treated kindly by others</p>
<p>GRATITUDE<br />
The LOVEolutionary practices gratitude because he realizes that everything he has in this world is a gift</p>
<p>COURAGE<br />
The LOVEolutionary courageously steps just beyond her comfort zone to overcome fear, which is the opposite of love</p>
<p>SELF-AWARENESS<br />
The LOVEolutionary practices self-awareness because he must know his strengths and weaknesses in order to fulfill his mission in the world</p>
<p>INTEGRITY<br />
The LOVEolutionary lives with integrity because he trusts that doing the right thing will always pay off in the end</p>
<p>CREATIVITY<br />
The LOVEolutionary is creative because she knows that deep creativity is required to solve the paradoxes of the world

Aaron Mangal

Hello LOVE Lovers!

I have started a new series “What Is Love?” because to me, that question NEVER gets old. There are always new and modern manifestations and expressions of Love and it is truly a joy to encounter and highlight each of them.

My Love research for this question “What is Love?” yielded hundreds and hundreds of results. I have done my best to break them down into logical topics of organization so that you might be able to explore your most interesting Love niches first.

General Definitions Of Love

This section was more of a collection of general, mainstream and reference based writings on Love. I was excited to see Love in headlines like the Economist and NPR’s blog. Of course, there is also the infamous Wikipedia with its crowd sourced encyclopaedic goodness.

65 Definitions Of Love – Our most popular LOVEolution article ever and a collection on ideas of Love from various people in our LOVEolution network.

What is Love? by Sally Kempton from Yoga Journal.com – A heartfelt article and exploration of Love told in a brief story.
What Is Love for Teens – Aimed at teens and their understanding of Love as adolescents.
What Is Love by NPR author Alva Noë – Alva shares thoughts on Love on the NPR blog.
What Is Love? by Andrew Cohen – Andrew Cohen, spiritual thought leader and founder of EnlightenNext explains “What Is Love?”
Love Is…What Is by Jason Gregory – A concise yet hard hitting writing, challenging us to see through the smoke and mirrors of the ego and question our beliefs.
What Is Love by Angela Tung[*Editors Choice*] – A great modern look at Love, including pop culture references and other memes (culturally significant concepts).  An editors choice because of it’s modern relevant synthesis of Love in today’s world.
Wikipedia entry on Love – The great Wikipedia has great general and comprehensive information on Love.
Meanings Of Love – An look at Love and its meanings
A Historical Look At What is Love? – A look at Love from the past including Chivalry and The Victorian Era
WALB News Report What Is Love? – A news report and article from Albany, GA highlighting various perspectives from local citizens on Love.
Economist Article “What Is Love?” – Google offers some insights to life’s big questions
What is Love, Anyway? – Article by a coach and specialist in positive psychology for people and the workplace.
Love from Cracked.com – A zany and cynical yet colorful and entertaining look at Love.

Philosophical Perspectives

Philosophy is super important when it comes to Love in order to really understand the various definitions of Love. Love doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Most people assume when you say Love you mean a certain kind (typically romantic Love). The idea here is to expand our view and definition of Love so that we may understand the many meanings of Love and be more precise when we say we Love.

Entry on Love from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, aka a VERY scholarly and academic source. Lot’s of academic oversight which allows a great academic exploration of Love from a philosophical standpoint.
Is Love An Art? By Dr. Kathleen O’Dwyer – A sample of an article on Love from Philosophy Now magazine. (Subscription required to see full article)
Philosophers Ponder: What Is Love? – The Marin Independent Journal interviews Troy Jollimore associate professor of philosophy at California State University at Chico.

Scientific Research and Considerations

Love in science is absolutely fascinating. There are consistently new discoveries and information being learned partially due to new technology like being able to see brain function previously inaccessible from even our best technology available. The articles in this section explore the internal mechanisms that make Love work in our heart and minds.

What Is Love by Deborah Taj Anapol Ph.D – Deborah Anapol, Ph. D shares why she believes Love is inherently free and cannot be bought, sold or traded
How Do I Love Thee? Experts Count 8 Ways – A scientific look at why we Love by LiveScience.
What Is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me…) – Researchers at Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging hosted 1st Annual Love Competition using fMRI machine.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, What is Love? – An empirically-based essentialist account of what Love is. A two-part study which investigates new possibilities in our understanding the nature of love.
What Is Love? By Chris Smith – Chris Smith lecturer at Cambridge University writes about the neurological and chemical clockwork underlying love.
How Love Works – How Stuff Works breaks down the mechanics of Love and how it works.
“What Is Love? A Brief History of its Many Medical Meanings” – Time magazine examine Love, health and medicine from a historical perspective.
Human Nature Watch “What Is Love?” – A look at what is love which also challenges various scientific research out there.
The Brain On Love – Diane Ackerman from The New York Times discusses the exciting new field of Interpersonal Neurobiology
150 Definitions Of Love – Despite this less than great looking website, there is some incredible information about past and present theories of Love as well as a look into chemistry. Definitely great for stimulating further Love study and concept understanding.
What exactly is Love? – A look at Love from a scientific perspective with references to various research.

Religious and Spiritual

Religion and Spirituality in general are consistently discussing such concepts as Love. Love thy neighbor is the Golden Rule in Christianity. Hillel the elder from the Talmud tells us to Love one another and that this is the most important lesson from the sacred Judaic text. Hinduism and Buddhism are known for philosophies supporting all life. Islam also touts loving oneself, each other and God.

At the end of the day no matter what our history, background, faith and tradition, if we’re talking about Love we are part of a Universal consciousness of Unconditional Love. And that is truly a great thing.

What Is Love: A 4 Part Series - A 4-Part Series on various facets of Love from Andrew Cohen founder of EnlightenNext.
What is Love from Soka Gakkai International – From the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist movement with over 12 million members globally.
What Is Love–Real Lasting Love? – A excerpt from the book “Head to Heart” by Gila Manolson
What’s This Thing Called Love? – Bob Deffinbaugh uses various examples of Love from the Bible.
What Is Love? By Jennifer E. Jones – Jennifer explores Love from 1 Corinthians 13 and what it means.
What Is Love by Peter Kreeft – A look at 6 common misunderstandings of Love.
What is love? How to love? – A graphical display of various forms of Love.
What is Love? – Lee Younger explores 1 Corinthians 13 along with his own personal commentary.
What Is Love by Peggy O’Mara – A Jewish Mother discusses Love with excerpts from sacred Jewish texts
What Is Love? – Commentary on Love from people of various religious and spiritual backgrounds.

Movements, Art and Discussion

There are many Love movements out there and it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones to check out. I’m confident there are many other movements and discussions out there I have omitted, however, these are particularly noteworthy choices exploring Love in interesting, unique and inspiring ways.

The Love Foundation – The Love Foundation, founded by Harold Becker, contributor to LOVEolution and creator of Global Love Day
The What Is Love Project – A collection of interviews and ongoing experiment that looks at love, intimacy and commitment
What Is Love by Dr. Robert Gordon -  – Dr. Robert M. Gordon shares his thoughts on creating a Love that lasts
What Is Love By Hellen Keller – A heartfelt commentary on Love from an excerpt of Helen Keller’s book.
What Is Love by Kent Pitman – Philosopher, technologist and writer Kent Pitman shares his thoughts on Love from Valentines Day last year.
What Is Love? [tumblr] – Various photos from random people who posted about Love
What Is Love Squidoo Lens – A squidoo lens for the concept “What Is Love?”
What Is Love? [Discussion On TED.com] – “What Is Love?” discussed by various TEDsters on the forum.
What Is Love? – Latina Mom Blogger shares her heart and thoughts on Love.
What Is Love Art Project – Project by the Brooklyn Museum where visitors can show their love for objects by adding them as favorites on the website.
What is Love from 9gag.com – Interesting thoughts on “What Is Love?”
What Is Love: A Debate Between Wikipedia and Haddaway – A funny commentary (debate) starring Wikipedia and Nestor Alexander Haddaway, famous for the “What Is Love?” hit song.
What Is Love by Ben Kling – A cool young man sharing his thoughts on Love.

Romance

The Love list would truly be incomplete without Romantic Love. This is usually what people think you mean when you say “Love”. These articles take a look at the intimate side of Love from the perspective of finding an intimate partner, spouse or other form of Lover.

The Meaning and Definition of Love – A romantic oriented look at Love.
Assume Love – A blog aimed at spousal relationships.
Love is Respect – A site aimed at healthy relations and safe dating.
Love Gives Me Hope -A collection of various short thoughts on Love.
The Man’s Guide To Love – A site for men asking men for advice about Love.

Poetry

Poems are one of the oldest art forms of Love and I found quite a few great ones from such greats as Sir Walter Raleigh and Rumi.

Rumi Quotes and Poems – Rumi shares his thoughts and feelings on Love.
Now What Is Love by Sir Walter Raleigh – The late Sir Walter Raleigh shares a poem on the meaning of Love.
Egyptian Love Poetry – Egyptian poetry from 2000-1100 BCE.

Audios

Here are a few different lectures, presentations and thought streams around Love.

What Is Love [Part 1] – Daisaku Ikeda from Soka Gakkai International shares his thoughts on the various aspects of Love.
What Is Love [Part 2] – A continuation of SGI’s Daisaku Ikeda’s chat and his thoughts on Love.
What Is Love from The Youth Media Project – A young man from the Youth Media Project answers “What Is Love?”.
What Is Love By Pastor Toler – “What Is Love?” discussed by Pastor Gene Toler on Blog Talk Radio.
Good News For A Change – Pastor discusses what is Love and its definition.

Videos

I found some videos on Love including a BBC documentary and Stanford Research exploring the complexities of Love.

What Is Love? (TEDxRaleigh) – Yours truly, author of this article, shares his thoughts on the meaning and exploration of Love philosophically, scientifically and spiritually at TEDxRaleigh 2011.

What Is Love? (Stanford Research) – Researchers at Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging hosted 1st Annual Love Competition.

BBC Documentary What Is Love – BBC producer Neil Trevithick explores how people think, feel and deal with Romantic Love across the globe.
What Is The Man’s Guide To Love – A video explaining the Man’s Guide To Love website and purpose.
Where Love Begins – Silvie and Maryl TV, created by holistic lifestyle coaches, passionately help people upgrade from the inside out.

Free Material and Downloads

If you are serious about exploring Love, you will be happy to find lots of free resources out there. I found some substantive PDFs from Spiritual, Scientific and Social perspectives on Love.

The Love That Does Justice by Michael Edwards – The Love That Does Justice by Michael Edwards, free PDF download from his website. Have read through this (376) page before and used this when preparing my TedxRaleigh talk on What Is Love
What Is Love? A Conceptual Analysis – A scholarly analysis focusing on Love theories of Plato, St Augustine and Freud.
“What Is Love, What Is Sex?” – From Human Relations Media: A teachers guide to teaching adolescents about the challenges of sex vs. Love and provide guidelines for making health decisions.
Mind Map On Love – Keith Rice has a mind map on Love, very in-depth but a little hard to read.

As always thanks for reading and feel free to stay a while and take a look around. We’ll be bringing you more Love Media on a daily basis from across the world.

Much Love,

~Aaron

 
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