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What is ‘Love’?

“All you need is love”, sang the Beatles, in their classic “Yellow submarine”. But what is love? Is it the same as ‘sex’, or is sex an expression of love, its servant?


Nigel Pocock


What did the great prophet of 2000 years ago mean, when he said that he ‘came not to be served, but to serve’.

Is this ‘love’?

The prophet’s disciple wrote that “love does not insist on its own way”, and hardest of all, as his master said, “Love your enemies, and bless those who curse you”.

Is love, then, the hardest of hard roads? The facing of reality at its most profound level, not going into denial, but ‘biting the bullet’, as it is said―and still being able to seek the best interests of the other?

“Best interests” begs the question? On whose terms? Mine, yours, or Putin’s? Sowing not love, but multigenerational hatred and trauma of those he conquers by unspeakable violence? What does ’love’ mean in this context? How can anyone love such a liar and mass murderer? What does such ‘love’ mean?

Such love is the hardest of hard ways. There is nothing romantic about it.

Paradoxically, Putin’s love for Russia is romantic fantasy, and a love of his own fantasy of power, of an idealised past.

Psychologists might comment on Putin’s inner motives, his childhood, his macho sexuality, and his notions of super-high self-esteem, alas, a deeply threatened and fragile self-esteem, which will leave thousands dead.

Others, personality psychologists, will comment on his ‘p’ type (psychotic) personality. Ruthless, egocentric, impassive, the con-man of the world. All are part of the equation, but are they an excuse? He, and his cohorts, know that they are lying, they know that others know they are lying, but they persist with their charade, nonetheless.

Being personally conscious and aware of his goals, and the means by which he is implementing them, means that Putin is responsible and accountable.

What does it mean, then, to ‘love’ Putin, as the prophet required of us? For us to be a ‘servant’, but not a doormat? This will be different for different people. But, first and foremost, it means to call out the truth, as best we can.

We are to expose (as Scott Peck put it so well) the ‘people of the lie’. This cost the prophet his life. For some of us―it will cost us, too. “Love does not seek its own way”. It is not a bully. But in seeking to protect those who are bullied, we must speak truth. He came “not to be served but to serve”―and so must we. Indeed, to love Putin, is to undeceive him, to tell him what he does not want to hear.

(Photos: Pixabay)

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