John (bippus1) wrote in radical_love,

The thinkers who were heroes...

Radical love... what is it? I think the closest way to describing it, or the form it takes in actions is "returning love for hate." There are all sorts -- "returning honesty for deception", "returning compassion for coldness," "returning acceptance for fear," "returning understanding for closed-mindedness"... and all seem based on the idea that we should increase the amount of love, acceptance, trust, honesty, etc. -- that is our most important job on earth. In my mind, it takes the form of a force called Love, or agape, that we increase with every positive action, and decrease with every negative action. With others, it's a god. But its the idea that living the right life is the most important thing about love, perhaps even more important than life itself. Maybe Love, in its many, many forms, is all that matters in life? I wonder about this sometimes. And it might make sense, because I believe happiness comes from acceptance, intrinsically valuing, and I think wonder and amazement and joy and beauty come from it too.

There have definitely been thinkers in the past who have embraced a similar vision. The ones that come first to my mind are Gandhi, Jesus, the present Dalai Lama, and Martin Luther King. Concepts of satyagraha, civil disobedience, turning the other cheek, losing one's life to save it, nourishing and poisoning the soul, all of these combine with and swirl around the concept of radical love, I think. I'm sure there are more thinkers, but none off the top of my head who have made such a central feature of it in their lives.
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