Valentine’s Day special on love by a Philophile.
Philophile [Lover of love]. Greek root ‘philein’ means “loving”
What is love?
Is it a February industry? Or is it many more things or many other things of which February industry is also one?
Can love be divided and described under various categories? What is wrong in doing that? Is it domain specific? Is it easily definable? Or does it defy any particular definition?
Or probably we may get drowned in an ocean of definitions?
Especially those defining in extremes that you may get confused by different waves and definitely get drowned like these Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind” or Ambrose Bierce in The Devil’s Dictionary: “Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage” or Susan Sontag, “Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love”.
Certain words have acquired such a vast carapace of connotations, its real denotation and etymology either gets faded in to insignificance or is hidden or is totally forgotten or gets totally mutilated into multiple pieces or is replaced by the multitudes of connotations each giving different meanings according to how those who look at it from their perspective, or perception or prejudice etc.
This word ‘LOVE’ likewise throws up some very usual, predominant and trite connotations, nothing wrong or immoral about them, like romance, beauty, sex, relationships, devotion, happiness, morality, religion, culture, society, thoughts, enjoyment etc, including in its cauldron almost everything to do with life on the whole and that is the reason this word rings a bell to all our senses whenever it is pronounced and make everyone to either to act or to react or to think or to do something about it. One may think of anything or do anything with this word but no one can afford to ignore it or be indifferent to it. That’s why it is supreme among words.
But despite all these, the beauty of certain terms is that they have a certain inherent attributes, intrinsic meaning, and values that pop out whatever is the connotation or context in which that word is either used or misused. This most vibrant word ‘LOVE’ too is one such word wherein the inherent attribute pops out every time either we use it or hear it.
Basically it is an emotion/feeling that everyone experiences and it is a vibration inherent in everything and therefore it could be or probably must be expressed in multiple ways. After all variety is the spice of love and life.
I am aware of the existence of vast and voluminous literature on love, lot of lovely interpretations of love, many marvelous descriptions of love etc so everyone may wonder and hesitate what more can one write on this subject and that too not expressing love or using love as a medium to express something or as an experience but to write something about love. I was emboldened and motivated again by words of love from Debbie Millman’s advice on Courage and the Creative Life, “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now, Now”.
For etymology though I have a Large Overdose of Very Exciting and interesting materials I would like to, for the sake of brevity, quote from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=love
“Old English lufu "love, affection, friendliness," from Proto-Germanic *lubo (cf. Old High German liubi "joy," German Liebe "love;" Old Norse, Old Frisian, Dutch lof; German Lob "praise;" Old Saxon liof, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, Germanlieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved").
The Germanic words are from PIE *leubh- "to care, desire, love" (cf. Latin lubet, later libet "pleases;" Sanskrit lubhyati "desires;" Old Church Slavonic l'ubu "dear, beloved;" Lithuanian liaupse "song of praise").”
I would like to argue why not for example include the French ‘L’œuf’ meaning ‘egg’ symbolically, referring to creation itself or the act of creation.
Even in the etymology given above the Sanskrit word ‘lubhyati’ has many meanings/connotations depending on the context with subtle nuances like desires of, entice, interested in, long for, allure, covet, be perplexed or disturbed mentally etc. Probably those who do not have a Sanskrit dictionary at hand may refer to this link http://sanskritdictionary.com/?q=lolubhyate
Incidentally Sanskrit has 96 words for love, the most of any language and no wonder from the love of karma, dharma to kama sutra they did everything with love and involvement in a language par excellence.
Though personally for me love with anything or for anyone or about and/or from anything or anyone is seldom a noun but always a verb, either transitive or intransitive defined in terms of simple grammar and it is as much about giving as about receiving a reciprocal affair 
Does love have an opposite? Yes, it does, and it is fear. These two are the two extremes of the spectrum of all human activities, thoughts, emotions etc. In fact all human activities, emotions, thoughts etc could be, if at all there is any single possibility of simplifying to understand life, classified broadly under these two categories with varying degrees of their manifestation like love into liking, desire, happiness, peace, pleasure, companionship, wish, wanting, affection, relationship, togetherness, co-operation, physical, emotional or psychological contacts, intimacy, enjoyments etc to name a few. Similarly fear can be said to manifest in varying degrees as hatred, indifference, judgmental, avoidance, unwillingness, disgust, destructiveness etc
While fear is just the hinge  love in its totality is a wonderful splendor beyond the realms of Time and Space and that’s why it is mad, stimulating, creative etc
Even the discrimination between love and lust is a feeling instigated more out of socio cultural morality than any inherent intentional vice or injury implied. Though morality is only contextual , like many other things in life, it gets injected into us through indoctrination and conditioning that we automatically resort to filtering or silting through socially approved sieves many actions, thoughts, emotions etc leading to many conflicts, confrontations, co-operations, collaboration etc and all these various appraisals of socio-cultural moral parameters have produced many wonderful literatures, arts, theories, great stories etc which too play their part in human evolution as part of life’s own process of polishing the rough edges of emotions, feelings, actions, thoughts etc to enable a less problematic social co- habitation of not only human beings but of human beings with other species and the whole environment.
While life is a circle or a cycle, human activities, thoughts and emotions in their geometric progression come in and take different shapes and also shape life in different ways and that’s why we have love triangles and squarely blame many things for many of our actions and describe tangential behavior patterns etc. Here are some of the things that I have written on these issues.[5,6]
Diane Ackerman, the great science historian when she wrote a book titled ‘A Natural History of Love , writes, “What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful it has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love’s spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable? If we search for the source of the word, we find a history vague and confusing, stretching back to the Sanskrit lubhyati (“he desires”). I’m sure the etymology rambles back much farther than that, to a one-syllable word heavy as a heartbeat. Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots stretching deep into dark and mysterious days.”
After reading such wonderful writing we are only tempted to quote more and more from that wonderful book to bring out the entire gamut of love in all its uses of glory as well as misuses of goriness. Let me reserve those for quotes section on the psychology of love.
By its very nature Love is Over flowing of excess with inherent Vital Equilibrium.
This is well portrayed in The Diary of Anais Nin, “Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”
Love is, Life Operating Vital Energy, and Live Operative Vibrant Energy often Lovingly Outpouring Virtual Emotions and Leverage to Operate Virtually Everything,perhaps, like electric current it is one, Lively Omnipresent Vibration Everywhere always live, useful, and extremely functional in myriad ways and could become lethal too.
Its manifestation varies in the applications it is put to, depending upon whether we use to illuminate a bulb; to cool a hot room with air conditioner; or to warm a cool place with a warmer; or to use to burn a cloth; or use it to wash a cloth in a washing machine; use it to char someone to death; or use it to treat someone or to cure a disease; whether we use to operate a computer or a crematorium incinerator.
So, by itself, it is an immense power and an inevitable powerhouse of a feeling but it gets modified in its manifestations of varying degrees of intensities depending upon who uses it, how they use it, what for they use it and why they use it at all. All these various aspects of uses, abuses, misuses of love are all excellently explained in Eric Fromm’s wonderful book ‘ The Art of Loving’.
LOVE is one of those words which is a Live wire Operating dynamically its Vibrations in Every domain and Lingers around either Obviously or opulently and Virtually gets Embedded or enmeshed or entangled.
For ordinary folks it Lives in and Operates in Varying degrees or intensities in Everything; for artists it renders Lively and Offers joys Verily in Every shade of color; for musicians it Lives in Obvious harmony of Vibrations of every Enchanting melody or sound; for the Lofty vocabulary loving and Over- sophisticated Versions preferring elitists it dazzles in Every facet; for the Learned scientifically spirited it Operates and Verily exists in every successful Experiment; for the religiously minded it Lives Obviously as per God’s Very authentic stamp in Every life; for the philosophically probing self it Leverages and Operates rationally in Very Enlightening ways as John Armstrong says, “Philosophy is the successful love of thinking”; for the spiritually enhanced it Lives , Operates Virtually in Every soul; for the adolescent youth it is Lively Overflow of Vast hormonal Exuberance Lingering in Overall Virile Enthusiasm; for a mathematician it is Living in a Overdose of Virtual world of Every number and shape; for a physicist it is Lively experimenting of the Overpowering Vast Expanse of universe defying his definitions; for a chemist it is Life of Objects in Verified and verifiable Elements; for a biologist it is Living Organisms Vying to Experience life; for small children it is Life in its Overabundant Vitality and Enjoyment; for adventurous spirits it is Living with an Objective of Verifying and Exploring everything through actual experience; for historians it is Life Over periods of Varying Engagements and exchanges; for the rich it is Luxury of Opulence and Viable Expensive experience; for the poor it is Living in Obnoxiously pitiable and Vilifying Environments; for the environment lovers it is Living along with Other species in Virtual respect of sharing and Exchanging of everything; for the sincere students it is Learning through Observation and Verbal as well as other non verbal understanding to get Educated; for teachers and preachers it is Lifting up Others’ understanding Via Enlightened communications; as per saints, sages and religious people it is about Linking of your individual self to the Other supreme self through Virtuous vibrations of living leading to Enlightened wisdom; for parents it is concern about the Life of their children Overzealously to become and remain Valuable on Earth for ever etching their name for posterity etc .
In way in everyone’s Life in every way it has or has become a lasting Over imposing Vital Element.
So, whatever profession, whichever perception, prejudice, priority, preoccupation, position, power from which you look at it, it is inherently Lively, Operative or operational, Vibrant and Ever present or at least enjoyable.
In short, it is a Lively Omnipresent Vibration Everywhere; it Lives Virtually On Everyone’s inner self; it Lingers Over Virtually Everything; Whether one Likes it Or not, no one can Vie with it to Escape; many Lives are Operated out of its Virtual Exuberance.
The different labels assigned to it , the adjectives adorning it, many prefixes and suffixes added to it, the multiple contextually confining definitions to describe it ranging from the Lusty Obnoxious ones tarnishing the Vitals of this lovely Emotion to the Lofty Outpouring of ascribing Virtues of Every hue to it are all the various manifestations, differing perceptions, multiple mutilations, myriads of perspectives etc.
They are all like that because this emotion is very plastic, pliable and elastic and allows itself to be used as however one wants to use it to be. The Loveliest part is from Outside it does not Vitiate anyone’s Endearing association with it.
Now let us move from these
Lovely Outpourings Of Valuable and worthy Endearments and Look at the many obvious and Operational metamorphosis of this Virtue or vice as it is Everywhere and how in many Literatures and Other domains it is Viewed by Everyone through the Lenses Of Various Enlightened individuals, through the Lovely Outpourings of Varied Experiences etc
Going back to where I started the topic defining LOVE thus: Love is Life Operating Vital Energy, and Live Operative Vibrant Energy.
So, Left to itself, it will Open up and blossom into a Very Energizing entity but will get modified, mellowed, mutilated, muddied, misinterpreted etc when we convert it from an vibrant and vital energy into a Lasting Obedient Valuable Entity to serve our Lewd, Lingering, Local, Lurking, Long term Objectives Of Very selfish Emotions and worse still expect it to be everlastingly embed in our confines then it would be wise to understand that no vibrant and dynamic energy is that vulnerable to us but on the contrary it is we who are vulnerable.
However if we Long with all Our intense concentrated sincerity and Very badly want it then be Ensured love never fails.
Love can be for anything as for me it is 
Here is a link for many interesting quotes on love.