Love [5]: Love and greed


Love is equally different from greed. Greed is possessiveness in all its gross and subtle forms. It seeks to appropriate persons and gross objects, as well as such abstract and intangible things as fame and power. In love, the annexation of another person to one’s individual life is out of the question, and there is a free and creative outpouring that enlivens and replenishes the being of the beloved independently of any expectations for the self.

We have the paradox that greed, which seeks the appropriation of another object, in fact leads to the opposite result of bringing the self under the tutelage of the object. Whereas love, which aims at giving away the self to the object, in fact leads to a spiritual incorporation of the beloved in the very being of the lover. In greed the self tries to possess the object, but is itself possessed by the object. In love the self offers itself to the beloved without any reservations, but in that very act it finds that it has included the beloved in its own being.

-Discourses 7th Ed., p113



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