Ground ZER0 in the "UNgay" Paradigm Shift!

Word's Meanings have Importance!


The most sophisticated word in all of language:

The ancient Greeks were just as sophisticated in the way they talked about love, recognizing seven different varieties. They would have been shocked by our crudeness in using a single word both to whisper “l love you” over a candlelit meal and to casually sign an email “lots of love.” So what were the faces of love known to the Greeks?

Philia: Which the Greeks valued far more than the base sexuality of even eros. Philia concerned the deep comradely friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them. We can all ask ourselves how much of this comradely philia love we have in our lives. It’s an important question in an age when we attempt to amass “friends” on Face-book or ‘followers’ on Twitter — achievements that would have hardly impressed the Greeks. The city of Philadelphia is named after this form of love!

Eros:The most recognized kind of love was eros, named after the Greek god - and represented the idea of sexual passion and desire. But the Greeks didn’t always think of it as something positive, as we tend to today. In fact, eros was viewed as a dangerous, fiery and irrational form of love that could take hold of you and possess you — an attitude shared by many later spiritual thinkers, such as the Christian writer C.S. Lewis. Eros involved a potential for the loss of control that deeply concerned a number of the classical Greeks.

Ludus: This was the Greek’s idea of playful love, which referred to the playful affection between children or young lovers. We’ve all had a taste of it in the flirting and teasing in the early stages of a relationship. But we also live out our ludus when we sit around in a bar bantering and laughing with friends, or when we go out dancing. Dancing with strangers may be the ultimate ludic activity. Social norms frown on this kind of adult playful frivolity, but a little more ludus might be just what we need to spice up our love lives.

Philautia: This variety of love was philautia or self-love. The Greeks realized there were two types. One was an unhealthy variety associated with narcissism, where you became self-obsessed, and focused on gaining personal fame and fortune at the detriment of others. A healthier version of philautia enhanced your wider capacity to love. The idea was that if you like yourself and feel secure in yourself, you will have plenty of love to give others. Or as Aristotle put it, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of man’s feelings for himself.”

Storge: Similar to philia, embodies the love between parents and their children or adults who have parental temperaments. If you've ever wondered why people adopt children, operate orphanages, start recreational youth centers, organize scouts groups,  & all of the other activities that culture youth in society; - Storge is the reason.

Agape: Perhaps the most radical, was agape or selfless love. This was a love that you extended to all people, whet
her family members or distant strangers. Agape was later translated into Latin as caritas, which is the origin of our word charity. Lewis referred to it as “gift love,” the highest form of Christian love.  There is growing evidence that agape is in a dangerous decline in many countries. Empathy levels in the U.S. have dropped nearly 50 percent over the past 40 years, with the steepest fall occurring in the past decade. We urgently need to revive our capacity to care about strangers.

Pragma: Another Greek love was pragma or mature love. This was the deep understanding that developed between long-married couples. It was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance. The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm said that we expend too much energy on “falling in love” and need to learn more how to “stand in love.” Pragma is precisely about standing in love — making an effort to give love rather than just receive it. With divorce rates currently running at 50 percent, the Greeks would surely think we should bring a serious dose of pragma into our relationships.


-Excerpted & edited from several sources w. original unknown