Love and the Meaning of Life

But what was it that delighted me save to love and to be loved? Confessions, Book II. Ch.1:3 Trs. Albert C. Outler


The works of the flesh are… adultery… The fruit of the Spirit is love.. (Gal. 5:19,22)

Love is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom 13:10)

[If I] have not love, I am nothing. (1Co 13:2)


We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles…. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.”

That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife’s image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.
(Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (Washington Square Press, 1959, 1984), pp.56-57)


Jesus said to him, “`You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it:`You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Mat 22:37-40)


Pothi padhi padhi jag muva pandit bhaya na koy
Dhai akshar prem ka padhei so pandit hoy

One doesn’t become wise by studying many books;
One becomes wise by studying the two and half word, Prem (Love)
(Kabir)

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