In our search for the meaning of material world love, what are the core elements that distinguish it from positive thought, sweet emotions, and pleasurable sensory experiences? For me these include, but are not limited to, awareness of truth, acceptance of self, non-judgement, non attachment, unconditional positive regard, empathy, respect, compassion, patience, courage, honesty, faithfulness, kindness, selflessness, personal responsibility, genuine concern for the welfare of its objects, manifest appreciation, and loyalty. These basic constituents occur in thought, emotion, word, and action. When realized, they generate hope, trust, and inspiration. Depending upon the accompanying relational roles (e.g. parent-child, spousal, friendship), they may also be linked to the survival basics of food, clothing, shelter, and sex. Like energy, they cannot be created or destroyed; but rather discovered and developed when chosen. They are generally stable and continuous, although the egoic mind and emotions may create the illusion that they come and go, rise and fall, live and die. Such fluctuations, along with the instability they generate, derive from the shifting thoughts of our ego, and the emotions it generates; not from the presence of love. Once discovered and developed, love is there whether we recognize it or not. Our roles may change, our perceptions may evolve (or devolve); but the love, like its truth, will endure.
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