Love: is it the absence of fear?


I’ve struggled with the word ‘love’ since forever. A word which can describe a feeling for which you will give your all, and then describe how you feel about chocolate ice-cream is too vague to be useful.

As a word is seems to exist at the far end of many continuums, and change in relation to its objects. I’ve even tried card games with people to arrange a set of related words to better understand people’s mental models of love and affection. This is probably just part of the reason why the Greeks have 7 words for it.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that perhaps I’ve been going about this the wrong way.

It’s clear that love is clearly a combination of sensations all of which can be positively named and defined.

But perhaps it’s also the absence of sensations in that combination? Perhaps love is the absence of fear.

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons

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