THE 7 KINDS OF LOVE
How many ways can you experience love? According to the ancient Greek philosophers there are exactly 7 types of love. Have you experienced any of these in your relationships?
Eros – Physical Love
The Greeks used Eros to describe sexual attraction and passionate love. Eros is sexual desire in its purest form, and is really the closest thing to the modern romantic love we see in the movies. Eros is both intense, consuming, and sometimes quick to burn out or fade away. Relationships built purely on Eros do not last, which provides immense insight into the many short-lived relationships in our society. The word erotica comes from Eros. Eros is characterized by a loss of control and sometimes poor judgment. It was not without its practical uses though, as the Greeks generally felt Eros was the primary impulse behind procreation. Eros stems from the root and sacral chakras. It is raw, pure, primal and burns hot and quick like a flame.
Ludus – Playful Love
Playful love is known as Ludus. Seduction, flirtation and whirl-wind affairs all stem from Ludus. Ludus love thrives without attachment or commitment. The focus of Ludus is self-discovery and self-growth through enjoyment. It is found in the early stages of falling in love or the playfulness that exists between new lovers. It’s characterized by teasing, euphoria, flirting, and butterflies in the stomach. This kind of love allows us to become children again, regardless of our age. Truly successful long-term relationships need Ludus in order to survive the test of time. It’s the secret ingredient to keeping love fresh and exciting as well as a powerful binder when times get tough. Ludus is light, free and airy. It is connected to the sacral chakra.
Philia – Friendship Love
Philia is the deep and wholesome love you feel towards your friends, colleagues or team mates. Philia is companionship, trust, and friendship. When you feel closely connected to someone after having gone through a difficult time together, this is Philia. When you first encounter Philia you may have the sensation that you have already met each other before. It is free from physical attraction, flexible in nature and rooted in loyalty. Plato (for whom platonic love gets its name) felt that Philia was the highest form of love. His student Aristotle disagreed. Aristotle felt that the friendship between lovers was the highest form of love. True friendship inspires a desire for truth, fullness, and authenticity. Philia stems from the solar plexus chakra. It is gentle, deep and glowing. This love can glow for many years even without communication or contact.
Storge- Maternal Love
Storge is the profound and sacrificial love that parents have for their children. It is characterized by unconditional acceptance, profound forgiveness and self-sacrifice. Through this love, children come to understand comfort, nurturing, security, and safety. This creates a foundation for the child to be capable of feeling other kinds of love in the future. Storge is similar to Philia in that there is no physical attraction. Storge is a very powerful form of love, claimed by many parents to be the greatest form of love that a person is capable of feeling. Because of this intensity, it can create obstacles in our lives. When our closest family members don’t align with our values, we can feel incredibly conflicted. Storge comes directly from the heart chakra. When a Storge love is lost, the pain can literally be felt in the chest.
Pragma – Long-lasting Love
You’ll find Pragma love with couples who have been together many years. Pragma develops over time. Pragma transcends beyond the physical world. There is an easy harmony and balance here. Pragma is a rare type of love in our societies today. Our culture puts emphasis on finding love, not on maintaining and nurturing it. Unlike Storge, Pragma requires effort from both parties. It is the art of learning compromise, developing patience, and being tolerant. It is characterized by communication, duty, respect, admiration, compromise, and common goals. Some often differentiate Pragma from Eros by saying that it is like ‘standing in love,’ rather than ‘falling in love.’ Pragma love comes from the throat chakra as communication is key.
Philautia – Self Love
Our sense of belonging and purpose come from Philautia. Self-love is a foundation love. It is impossible to have real love for others unitil you first love your self. Philautia is not to be confused with narcissism. The Buddhist philosophy of self-compassion speaks of acceptance of your own imperfections allowing for the compassion of yourself and others. The Greeks believed that the only way to true happiness was to learn unconditional love for yourself. Self love takes time and perseverance to harvest. Those who are naturally inclined to be comfortable having a human experience will tend to have greater ability to enjoy Philautia love. Others will have to work hard to achieve true Philautia. Self love comes from the all-seeing third eye chakra. In order to love yourself you must first see yourself.
Agape – Universal Love
Agape is our connection to the infinite power of love as it applies to humanity, Earth, and the Divine. When we speak of connecting to our self, our tribe, our world and beyond we are calling for connection to Agape love. We tap into Agape most easily through meditation, time in nature, and following our intuition. We can also reach agape by doing those things which put us in a state of “flow” -when our subconscious is in control and our monkey mind is quiet. Agape is best enjoyed when feelings and actions are in alignment with the highest interest of all creatures. Agape is the glue that binds us socially, psychologically, and environmentally. You could argue that modern cultures indicate a current lack of Agape worldwide. Agape is given without expectation of anything in return. Agape is connected to all seven major chakras and associated mostly with the crown chakra.