Meaning of Platonic Love

Platonic Love

The love is a feeling that one experienced person to another when it causes him happiness, pleasure and comfort. When a human being loves someone, he tries to generate in the other those positive things that he feels inside him.

Platonic, meanwhile, is an adjective that refers to what is linked to the doctrine of the Greek philosopher Plato and to what is sincere and disinterested.

The idea of ​​platonic love, in this way, is associated with the concept of love relationship raised by Plato in “Phaedrus” and “The Banquet”. For the philosopher, love arises from the desire to discover and admire beauty. The process begins when someone appreciates physical beauty and then progresses to spiritual beauty.

The maximum stage of platonic love implies the pure, passionate and detached admiration of the essence of beauty. This essence is eternal, perfect and unalterable and does not include a sexual interest. Platonic love is not oriented to the person, but to beauty itself.

On a simpler level, Platonic love is understood to be one that is idealized and does not encompass sexual desire. By extension, in colloquial language Platonic love is mentioned as the romantic feeling that one has for a person that, for some reason, is unattainable. Therefore, such love cannot include a sexual bond.

Platonic love is very common during adolescence, a stage in which people begin to know each other more from an emotional point of view, and very often we fall in love with famous artists, our teachers or some adult with whom it is not possible to be, for different social reasons.

It is very important to highlight that this idea of ​​an impossible to reach or unrequited love with which the concept of Platonic love is defined in everyday speech is not correct, since it has no relation to what is described in the Platonic dialogues mentioned above, who has a very different philosophical approach.

According to Plato, when we meet beauty, love arises in us, which can be defined as the impulse or determination that pushes us to know and contemplate it. It is a series of phases that occur gradually; In each of them, the human being appreciates a particular type of beauty, as we can see below:

* body beauty: this first phase can be divided into two steps, since first we feel love for a beautiful body in particular, and then we appreciate physical beauty in general;

* the beauty of souls: once we have gone through the appreciation of the physical aspect of a person, we begin to focus within, on the moral and cultural plane, and thus love can transcend the flesh and target the soul;

* the beauty of wisdom: the admiration of the spirit leads to a love of knowledge, something that goes beyond the concrete servitude of beings;

* beauty in itself: if we have been able to overcome each of the previous phases, then the love for beauty in itself, detached from any object or subject, is revealed to us. It is the highest level of love.

This last step is characterized by knowing passionately, disinterestedly and purely beauty, a feeling that is not corrupted or altered with the passage of time, and which also points to the cause and origin of such beauty, which is unique in itself. Therefore, it is not an impossible love, but one that is based on the appreciation of ideas and perfect, intelligible and eternal forms.

Platonic Love