Motivation of Love


Things and persons have other aspect besides utility for us, their own intrinsic value. When we are dominated by the utility of things we fail to see their character of intrinsic beauty. To a farmer a sunset means it is time to finish his work. The sunset serves for him the factory horn blowing that the time of work is over. The farmer feels no relation to the sun set except as a time-keeper. But the sunset has another aspect—the gorgeous riotous play of colours, a thing of beauty which is, joy for ever. It is an artist that gives us eyes to see the intrinsic beauty of the sunset. The sunset acquired the utility of time-keeper with the advent of man or even animals. But it was beautiful even when there was none to take advantage  of its utility. An artist rises above the utility aspects of things to penetrate into their inner intrinsic beauty. The ecstasies of a poet in the presence of physical beauty show how the inanimate world has immense values of its own. The unconquerable Himalayan heights and the fathomless oceans, no less than the humble speck of rays of light and little drops of dew have inexhaustible beauty for the entire capacity for love in mankind. The insatiable eye of an artist vainly attempts to exhaust the infinite beauty of natural objects. An artist’s activities express altruism of love. His eye is keen to appreciate the intrinsic beauty wherever it exists, be, it a west wind, daffodil, a lamb or a Highland girl. His artistic gifts put him in spiritual fellowship with those values in things and persons which constitute their real being. A poet’s heart dances to see the daffodil for the poet’s love is witness to the beauty of the daffodil. He sings of this beauty and calls mankind to share this love with him and be heir to a treasure house of beauty.

As we pass from the level of things to the living world plants, animals and human beings, the intrinsic worth shoots up to new heights. An amoeba challenges in quality the immensity of dead matter. A bird flits about in absolute freedom from tree to tree which are chained to earth. A man, though physically the humblest, has capacity to the lordship of all the three levels of existences. Though things have inner worth, yet they donor have equal intrinsic worth. Love as a basis of relationship rises in glory as its object of love moves from inanimate things to man. So great is the intrinsic worth of self-consciousness in man that poets and philosophers in their love of the Universe interpret it to consist of centers of consciousness or that the whole universe is one universal-consciousness or Brahman.

Love of mankind is a supreme example of altruism of love. However love for mankind is not pity for mankind. Love is not pity. Pity is very inferior basis of relationship to love. A simple example can dispense with the need for scientific or philosophic definition of them. If I see another person’s child in distress, I feel pity for it and run to help it. If my child is in distress, I feel love for it and run to help it. Aparent’s attitude towards his own child is one of love; to others in distress that of pity. Pity is a desire to remove the suffering of another without acceptance,of it as an object of absolute worth. Love is also a desire to serve another but the other is accepted as superior to all our devotion to it. To a mother her child’s helplessness is no hindrance to her to accept him as superior to all her services to him. The mother accepts the child as of absolute intrinsic worth and not in terms of how he is going to be useful for her. This utility aspect is most repugnant to the mother’s love and this poison is introduced by the social conventions. When a hen attracts the hawk to herself to protect. Her young ones, her mute love is Eloquent. It is this purity of love that makes a mother to cling to the service of her child even when it suffers from incurable diseases of body, mind and morals. What are of absolute worth are not child’s helplessness weaknesses and wickednesses. What is of absolute worth is the child.

A Mother knows that her child is physically weak or diseased. But she believes, like a doctor, that weakness or disease is not essential to her child’s body but accidental to his body. The essential thing about her child’s body is its health, not its diseases. It is the health of the body which is of intrinsic worth, which a mother loves in the child. It is pathetic to see a mother cling to the child who suffers from an incurable physical disease. She still prays and hopes for the cure. Only ignorance of the medical profession stands between her faith and the cure of the child. Again, a mother knows that her, boy is, for instance, a thief, a liar. But she believes, like a psychologist, that these are not the definitions of the boy’s psyche, these are removable aspects of the boy’s psyche. Sometimes the psychologist gives up the case of her boy as hopeless. But for the mother the helplessness of the psychologist is not the hopelessness of the boy. In the face of brutal realities of the situation, she continues her simple faith in the intrinsic worth ofher child.

A mother’s services are humble but purity of her love challenges the best services, of the highest among, men. Her love is unconditional, her service is unsparing and her faith in her child’s worth unshakeable and eternal. So nothing can removeher love—the ungrateful and cruel conduct of her child, the uncharitable opinion of the worldly-wise and the cynicism of world philosophies.

Only if the mother’s love could have as much extent and quality as it has purity, it would put the best among the great men, to adore her,

Love is unconditional acceptance of the other as of intrinsic worth, as an end in itself and service of it as the whole meaning of one’s life. Love does not appreciate the other for its utility to it. It appreciates its intrinsic worth, for which it feels unconditional obligation of devotion. The Christian mythology gives the psychology of altruism of love. It is held that God loved mankind so much that he sacrificed his only son for the service of mankind. God is conceived as all-perfect and man as a congenital sinner. Yet it is thought to add to the glory of God to love mankind, and make for it the highest sacrifice of his only son. Man thought of such intrinsic worth as to be object of love for even a perfect being, though man could be of no utility to a perfect being. God loves man not for his utility to Him, for man can do-nothing for Him; but for his intrinsic worth in spite of his sins and stupidities. God made the limit of sacrifice for man when He got His son crucified for him.

This mythology is bad metaphysics. There is no God, no,son of God. But this mythology has profound ethics. If it is highest ethics for God to love man, it is no less high ethics for man to consider fellow men as of intrinsic worth. If it is highest ethics for God to bear the crucifixion of His only son, it is highest ethics for man to serveman to the point of crucifixion.

It is a fundamental character of altruism of love that devotion and service are not conditioned by -what others can mean to us but what they are in their essential nature. It was, profound love for mankind that made Christ to ask for forgiveness of those who put him to cross. He could ask for forgiveness for his prosecutors for he still felt they were of intrinsic worth inspite of barbarous injustice and cruel death they were dealing out to him. He looked on their intrinsic Nature.They happened to be wicked, for they did not know what they were doing.

We have reached the following conclusions: Things and persons have both utility and intrinsic worth. When we are appreciative of the utility of others, we develop gratitude in relation to them and when we are appreciative of their intrinsic worth, we develop love for them. Just as utility relationship can degenerate into exploitation. And hatred, love relationship can degenerate into attachment and partiality. This happens when utility and love are based on pleasure principle. But when, utility is based on truth principle; it becomes gratitude; when love is based on truth, then it rises above attachment, Partiality and becomes pure altruism.

Just as there is distinction between sentiment of gratitude and altruism of gratitude, there is distinction between sentiment of love-and altruism of love. Sentiment of love may be for the virtues of one’s father and mother, teacher or Guru. Altruism of love includes these but goes beyond to the unknown humanity, to the world of animals and plants and the infinite world of space and time.

The artist represents altruism of love for the beauty of things. The philosopher and the scientist represent altruism of love for the truth of things. The moral genius represents the altruism of love for the goodness of things. No wonder an artist thinks of the Universe as an order of beauty, a philosopher as an order of truth, and a moral genius as a moral order.

Though, the artist, the philosopher and the moral genius represent the altruism of love, altruism controlled by truth rises to the highest glory. It is when beauty is truth, and goodness is truth, that truth, goodness and beauty become one. Hence it is when the artist rises from the worship of sensuous beauty to the worship of truth in life and universe that he attains to the highest achievement and becomes the philosopher poet or the moral genius poet.

When love of truth is the, basis of relationship to things and persons, we realize that the whole meaning and significance of our life lies in unconditional service; utter devotion and ultimate sacrifice for them.

Unless we appreciate the inner and intrinsic worth of what we serve, service is contemptible patronage and hence no service. Patronage is motivated by pity and not inspired by love.  It degrades the giver and the receiver of the service. The receiver feels humiliated and the giver feels arrogant and both feel maladjusted to truth of inter-personal relationship.

There is no meaning in the service of mankind unless mankind is appreciated as of intrinsic worth. Imagine a state of affairs in which the whole humanity is destroyed by atomic warfare except one young couple in some hilly area. This pair may be of very mediocre abilities and character. Yet in their lives they have the power to create a new humanity when all other existences of the three orders of existence stand helpless to give birth to a human being, a being who has the capacity to discover or understand truth, to create and appreciate beauty or to behold some good and live it. What is of intrinsic worth in a man is his, capacity to move under certain conditions, some untruths and evils in him and contemplate and live some. Truth and goodness in his life.

It is the characteristic of lover-beloved relationship whether their love is divine or human- that it sheds, ego-cent the beloved takes the place of the lover’s ego.The lover’s thoughts are thoughts about, his beloved. His desires are directed on her. His actions are geared to her. A young woman when she becomes a mother, undergoes, a complete transformation of her psychology. Her thoughts are for tiny child. Her desires and dreams are for him. Her activities are centered on him. In the altruist of love, as his love widens and deepens his ego shrinks towards zero and he enjoys the freedom from ego-centrality in the service of the four orders existences. He realizes his destiny of static or altruistic life.