“Some people are naturally solitary. They want to live lone lives, and are content. Most, however, have a need for enduring, close relationships. These provide both a psychic and social framework for personal growth, understanding, and development. It is an easy enough matter to shout to the skies: "I love my fellow men," when on the other hand you ronn no strong, enduring relationship with others. It is easy to claim an equal love for all members of the species, but love itself requires an understanding that at your level of activity is based upon intimate experience. You cannot love someone you do not know-not unless you water down the definition of love so much that it becomes meaningless.
To love someone, you must appreciate how that person differs from yourself and from others. You must hold that person in mind so that to some extent love is a kind of meditation-a loving focus upon another individual. Once you experience that kind of love you can translate it into other tenns. The love itself spreads out, expands, so that you can then see others in love's light.
Love is naturally creative and explorative-that is, you want to creatively explore the aspects of the beloved one. Even characteristics that would otherwise appear as mults attain a certain loving significance. They are acceptedseen, and yet they make no difference. Because these are still attributes of the beloved one, even the seeming faults are redeemed. The beloved attains prominence over all others.
The span of a god's love can perhaps equally hold within its vision the existences of all individuals at one time in an infinite loving glance that beholds each person, seeing each with all his or her peculiar characteristics and tendencies. Such a god's glance would delight in each person's difference from each other person. This would not be a blanket love, a soupy porridge of a glance in which individuality melted, but a love based on a full understanding of each individual. The emotion of love brings you closest to an understanding of the nature of All That Is. Love incites dedication, commitment. It specifies. You cannot, therefore, honestly insist that you love humanity and all people equally if you do not love one other person. If you do not love yourself, it is quite difficult to love another.”