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The Meaning of Love

Vladimir Solovyov (Author), Owen Barfield (Introduction)

Buy this book at Amazon.com or try Amazon.co.uk in England, Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.de in Germany, Amazon.fr in France, Amazon.it in Italy, Amazon.es in Spain. ASIN=0940262185, Category: Philosophy, Language: E, cover: PB, pages: 124, year: 1995.

Review © (2008) by interesting-books-selector.com

Quote from the preface of the German edition of this book (translated from German by interesting-books-selector.com):

Who would have suspected to find the term "gravitational pull" combined with "aspiration" in this book? (p107), as well as words like "atoms" and "immaterial matter" on the following pages?

Although I've not yet understood everything he writes, -that remains for the re-readings (plural!),- rarely I've read a more profound book which left me with higher aspirations out of admiration for the grace that potentially we got the chance to discover the secrets of life and cosmos. This little book's title suggested it already: there's actually a meaning in love; especially revealing is the relation between faith and love. It would seem that the title's subject couldn't be profoundly discussed on 101 pages, but Soloviev actually and miraculously achieved it.

Some quotes from the first chapter:

Three preconditons which in our egalitarian time seem antiquated must be fulfilled in order for sexual love to make sense:

In this respect another quote of 'meaning of love' is appropriate:

"In regard to the female complement man (the man) is consequently not per se the creative, formative principle, but mediator or leader of the divine force."

What is true art? That's one of the topics in Solovyov's writings about "The Philosophy of Love" of which "The Meaning of Love" is one part.

According to Soloyov, art is nothing but "the sense-perceptible presentation of whatever object under the viewpoint of its finalized state, or what is the same, in the light of the higher world, in which mankind and with him the whole creation find again their lost homeland. 'Ars est artium, ars amoris*'."
-- quote p194, from vol. 7 (cognition theory) of Solovjov's complete works (in German) (my translation from the German)

For another explanation, what art is, see e.g.: Joseph Beuys' book "What Is Art?: Conversation with Joseph Beuys". Note, one of the key phrases in Beuys book is the name Rudolf Steiner, referring to Steiner's book "Threefold Social Order" which inspired Beuys.

*) "The art of love is the arts of arts" is a quote from Ludovicus van Leuven, Amoris divini et humani antipathia (1629).

An explanation for non-native English speakers on what the part in parenthesis on p91 "(for whose, pray, is it?);" means, - full quote:

Since I thought, maybe it is just my bad English which is my problem, I asked two friends, one from India (about my age, computer scientist, based in England) and a young one (under 30 years) from england who studied philosophy in england and then schamanism in southern and northern America to practice it for healing people. none of them has yet read anything from Soloviev (this is why the second person was astonished about Soloviev's world view and asked back about the term "one whole.")

Here is their answers, the indian on the left and the English on the right:

For your question, it is referring to the "subjective understanding". i.e. if it is subjective - then whose i.e. who is the subject as in simple English it translates to ( whose understanding, please tell me is it then ? ). So author is indirectly saying that it is an objective understanding that "Perfection is already real for God." or God is already perfect.

Actually, this para is very profound and points us to the fact that the aspiration of the world is unity with the truth (God) and is the purpose of life (i.e. end of the cosmic and historical process" in author's word).

Hope this helps.

Now then,

What your man Solovyev means is that the 'ideal unity' is not one's person's understanding, because ultimately who would that independent 'other' be? I.e. he is suggesting that at a certain point separation dissolves and there is only object, or oneness! Interestingly, though, Solovyev appears to be seeing the cosmos, and everything in it, as one whole but god as a separate entity to it ... what about God as the Cosmos??

the use of pray in this way is thus a rhetorical device ...

Hope that helps some!"

Product Description
What is the meaning of love's intense emotion? Solovyov points to the spark of divinity that we see in another human being and shows how this "living ideal of Divine love, antecedent to our love, contains in itself the secret of the idealization of our love."

According to Solovyov, love between men and women has a key role to play in the mystical transfiguration of the world. Love, which allows one person to find unconditional completion in another, becomes an evolutionary strategy for overcoming cosmic disintegration.

About the Author
Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900), one of the greatest philosophers of the nineteenth century, was the founder of a tradition of Russian spirituality that brought together philosophy, mysticism, and theology with a powerful social message. A close friend of Dostoevsky, a Platonist, and a gnostic visionary, Solovyov was a prophet, having been granted three visions of Sophia, Divine Wisdom. He was also a poet and a profoundly Christian metaphysicist. His most important works include Lectures on Divine Humanity; The Justification of the Good; and War, Progress, and the End of History.