What is love? To answer this question, let us first ask those who are alive, what is life? Ask those who are devout, what is God?
I don’t know the inner structure of others, nor of you, whom I am speaking to; I see others like me in some outward attributes; When I should share the sentiments and confide to them the depths of my soul, I find my words misunderstood as if they were the language of a distant and savage country.
The more people give me experience, the further the distance between us, the more understanding and empathy go away from me. With the emotion of being unable to bear this reality, in the gentle trembling and weakness, I searched for a bosom friend in the ends of the earth, but all I got was hatred and disappointment.
Do you inquire what is love? When we find a void in the valley of our own thoughts, so that we can call out in the universe, seek the synaesthesia correspondence with the things in us, and feel the involuntary and powerful feeling of the things we feel, fear and hope for. Attraction is love.
If we reason, we hope to be understood; if we daydream, we hope that the free-spirited child in our own head will be born in another’s; We resonate together, the eyes of others mingle with ours, and the eyes of others are as bright as ours; we pray that the cold lips of indifference and numbness will not sneer at the fiery, trembling lips of another heart. This is love, and this is the divine covenant and bond that unites not only man to man, but man to all things.
We are born with something deep within us that, from the moment we exist, craves something like it. Perhaps this coincides with the regularity of the infant sucking at the mother’s breast. This innate tendency develops with the development of nature. In the nature of thinking ability, what we vaguely see seems to be a microcosm of the complete self, which loses the elements we despise and dislike, and becomes an ideal model of perfect human nature.
It is not just an external portrait, but the finest and tiniest combination of particles that make up our nature. It is a mirror that reflects only pure and luminous forms; it is the soul that draws a circle beyond the paradise inherent in its soul that pain, sorrow, and evil cannot pass.
This spirit is associated with a desire for perceptions like or corresponding to it. When we have found the counterpart of the soul in the vast world, and found in the universe and the myriad things a bosom friend who can unerringly evaluate ourselves (it can accurately and sensitively capture everything we cherish and reveal quietly with joy), We and our counterparts, then, are like the strings of two fine harps, sounding to the accompaniment of a merry voice, which resonates with the vibrations of our own nervous tissue. This—is the invisible, unattainable goal of love.
It is it that drives man’s power to catch its pale shadow; without it the heart that rides on love can never be at rest, never rest. So, in solitude, or among people who don’t understand us (when we feel abandoned), we love the flowers, the grass, the river, and the sky. Under the blue sky, in the trembling of the leaves in spring, we find the answer of the secret heart: there is an eloquence in the wordless wind; there is a song in the flowing stream and the rustling reed leaves by the river. Their mysterious connection with our souls awakens the spirit within us to a dance of rapturous ecstasy, and fills our eyes with mysterious, tender tears, like the triumphant ardor of a patriot, or The voice of the beloved sings for you alone.
So, Stein said, if he was in the desert, he would love the cypress branches. Once the need or power of love dies, man becomes a living tomb, and what remains is only a shell.