The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

"Love potion" of ancient Greeks

28 October 2014 / 16:10:24  GRReporter
4970 reads

Has it crossed your mind that love is such a complex and complicated emotion that it is even impossible sometimes? The essence of the word "love" is so loaded with expectations and filled with requirements, that there could hardly be a living person who can meet them all. Nowadays we expect to find in the beloved one what in the past and in terms of personal qualities could be found in the people living in one village.

Four kinds of love

Ancient Greeks distinguished several kinds of love. Although at first glance it may seem that this complicates the problem, it makes it more comprehensive in fact. Before combining everything in a single mix that we call "love", let us look at the main ingredients and manifestations of love in Greek culture:

Eros (ἔρως)

The first kind of love is named after the Greek god and it expresses the idea of ​​sexual passion and desire. In a broader sense, Eros means contemplation of the beauty of youth, which contributes towards understanding the spiritual truth. Plato thoroughly reflected on the relationship between physical beauty and its spiritual manifestation. He concluded that it is not even necessary for sexual desire to exist to have love, which is known as "platonic love."

Philia (φιλία)

The second kind of love is a deep friendship, affection. It is a virtuous way of expressing loyalty to family, friends and community. Philia requires virtue, equality and knowledge. It can exist between lovers too. Aristotle is the one who thoroughly examined the meaning and manifestations of this kind of love.

Agape (ἀγάπη)

Agape is selfless love. It is the brotherly love, affection and kindness. It is used to denote the love of children and the spouse, and in a religious sense, of God for man and of man for God.

Storge (στοργή)

The fourth kind of love is manifested as love and affection especially between parents and children. It mainly reflects the relationships in the family. In the relationship between partners, this kind of love is presented as a deep respect and friendship, dedication, which is a consequence of a long-term relationship.

Let us make a "love potion"

Let us mix a little all these ingredients to see what will happen.

We begin with Philia. This regards friendship and affection, the willingness to help, even to sacrifice yourself. If a person does not feel the same way about the loved one, then it is not possible to have a relationship based on trust and sincerity. Interestingly, the three prerequisites for the existence of this kind of love that we mentioned previously are as follows: virtue, equality and knowledge.

Love, understanding and acceptance of the self are the basis of our love potion. A person must be aware of, and know, himself or herself, he or she must be honest and able to accept himself or herself, with all his or her good and bad sides. This requires great inner strength. Self-discovery and acceptance are a process, not a single act, and therefore they are time-consuming. Nevertheless, one should be aware of them and constantly try to know oneself. Why? Because it is a natural law, according to which we attract people that resemble us. If you have a series of very unsatisfactory relationships and have the feeling that you constantly meet the wrong people, it is time to look at yourself.

Equality is very important too. Perceiving your partner primarily as a human being rather than through the prism of the sexual role of a man or woman will give you another basis on which to build your relationship.

The next step in making a love potion is to add Eros. Ancient Greeks took the human body as something beautiful and natural. Not surprisingly, the root of the word gymnastics and gymnasium is γυμνός - "naked". Unfortunately, due to many historical and cultural reasons, many people have taboos and inhibitions towards human nudity and the erotic desire that it brings. Sexual energy is a powerful creative force that can create new life. Sexual energy is the charisma we see in famous artists and public figures. It is the inspiration of the artist, the passion, which is leading in every creative act. Eros brings a touch of playfulness, the ability to have fun and enjoy life. Don’t we want to create an inspiring relationship that brings mutual happiness?

Now it is Agape’s turn, which is the unconditional love. It does not impose conditions and ultimatums, such as "I will love you just as much as you will love me." Unconditional love requires compassion and acceptance, not a desire to change people because we ourselves do not want to change and develop. Agape also requires a lot of inner power that comes from knowledge of the self.

The last ingredient is Storge, the deep respect and understanding verified through years of living together. Storge is the cream of our love potion and is only possible in the presence of the other ingredients. In no case is Storge the boredom and resignation due to the long relationship about which we say that "respect" remains after love has gone.

You may come across pieces of information that the ancient Greek words for love are six in number, but it is not quite correct. They mention Ludus, which is a word of Latin origin. This classification is the work of theologian Clive Lewis and it was formulated at the beginning of the last century.

Aris’ Chariot

What do you see in the two images below?

GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus