Being called beautiful or handsome may be seem so great a compliment, but I find it more meaningful in being respected not due to one's physical attributes but by the personhood and the ideals that a person upholds. One's body is not of one's choosing. One's race, one's nationality are not part of the agreed contract to be born, they are not chosen by the person and therefore are not worthy to be taken as basis of one's compatibility with others. The physical body is nothing more than just a representation, an instrument of a higher, much more complex being, the self.
If someone could delve into another's mind, and appreciate him/her for his thoughts and ideals, then that perhaps is of a higher form of association than physical intimacy. To know a person is to deny oneself the luxury of being fixated on another's physical limitations, see past all the blemishes and pimples and cracks that line their faces, but instead see them as a person. Another individual with their own unique storyline, their own personalized character, their own identity. To see the person as he/she sees himself, to accept him/her wholly and not conditionally, to come to understand that what is he is, is so, because he is given the right to choose the way he wants to be. To be really serious with a person, one perhaps should see beyond the limitations of the eyes, but instead to meet each other and see each other within one's minds.
Just a thought. :D"
I'll start by saying I generaly agree with the above. While I'm not going to presume to know either way what our current positions in life are due to, or if they are due to anything. I tend to think there's some reason behind the permiting of all things but that would get deeper into a side issue.
A few questions came to mind as I thought on this.
First off how much can we really know a person on an intellectual and/or emotional level? I've gotten to be use to a good many people I fell are close to me. My Father, Mother, siblings, a few close friends. But a quote I've read comes to mind when I think of knowing people."What a laugh, though. To think that one human being could ever really know another. You could get used to each other, get so habituated that you could speak their words right along with them, but you never knew why other people said what they did, because they never even knew themselves. Nobody understands anybody.
And yet somehow we live together, mostly in peace, and get things done with a high enough success rate that people keep trying. Human beings get married and a lot of marriages work, and they have children and most of them grow up to be decent people, and they have schools and businesses and factories and farms that have results at some level of acceptability—all without having a clue what’s going on inside anybody’s head.
Muddling through, that’s what human beings do."
-Beans thoughts from the book "Shadow of the Hegemon" by Orson Scott Card
In advance I ask you to excuse the disorderly shape this whole post will likely take. I'm winging it.
So looking at the above and thinking, with regard to the connection I believe there is between love and knowledge between two entities in which love exists. One thing I get to wonder about, with respect to this correlation and the realization that we don't really know each other, can't, on our own, know each other would this demand that for love to exist that there would have to be some outside capacitor of such? I mean since we are unable to really, fully, know someone, then the only way (assuming my assumptions are correct) we could truly love someone would be to have the capacity granted to us vicariously through some other being who DOES know the being we desire to love.
Then, another pontification, can we utterly isolate various aspects of ourselves with regard to love in the context of certain relationships? I mean clearly most relationships can only be love when it is utterly platonic. Only love between life mates, those who are meant to share their souls completely, on both a physical, mental and spiritual level, are those in whom physical relations are manifestations of parts of the wholeness of love. I think it's important to emphasize that external interactions, be they sexual or those carried out through other forms of languages and interchange, can never be, by themselves, love. It seems to me that when one truly 'loves' a person, again in context of the paradigm of the particular relationship, when they have attraction, interaction and communion with that person in every dimension appropriate to that particular relationship.
I believe this can account for the need of trust on all levels. Since trust defied, or maintained, is reflected in all aspects of ones interaction with someone else, the only thing that trust, or it's absence can do, in any part of a relationship, is to build or destroy the whole of the love in the relationship.
Loyalty and honor are demanded. But true loyalty and honor, while they demand one not have unjust prejudices, they also, in our finite state, demand that we hold to what we perceive to be truth, and that we act in our relationships in accordance to our understanding of truth. My point then is, if one is to love someone, to love them regardless who they are, what they chose, what they can and can't accomplish or be, if they are to truly love and to try to know this person they must, at some point, agree to some conditions. To me the idea of 'unconditional love' in it's sense of FOREVER discarding conditions, past, present and future, seems impossible, for love, at it's core, is a judgment. It is a pronouncement of what is and isn't acceptable and when and where it is and isn't acceptable. For love to have any meaning it must have some law, something within it that validates it and vindicates it in light of all other conditions. It must, itself, BE a condition. And you can't have a conditionless condition. For if such could momentarily exist it could just as quickly loose it's existence. So if love is a condition, and if that condition has parts and segments, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual (and whatever other unknown "-al"(s} that may or may not exist).
So I might say that love is in the eye of the beholder, or conversely, that it's NOT in the eye of the one who refuses to see. Those who set up their paradigms so that they can never come to know truth, those who tell and/or accept lies or refuse to publish or learn truth, damn themselves to never being able to access love. While I don't agree with all the lyrics, nor the overall political view, of the song "Where's the love y'all?" it's true in it's connection. But what would then be more important than trying to achieve the best knowledge one could have of love?
I'm not pretending that I'm even close to having a comprehensive definition. I agree that we need to come closer to a divine view of others-- 7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
So it may come down to the 'heart'. I think that the heart, when good, can accent even physical aspects in a person.
For example there are some women that, at initial view, my hormonal, biological, indicators will make the general rash judgment based on the 'outward appearance'. Yet as time goes on it seems that the substance, or lack thereof, in a person’s heart (as long as the perceiver doesn't allow their biology to totally overcome all reason and logic and sense of truth) seems to even be manifested in their physical appearance. Some of the most normal, ordinary in physical features-even deficient in such, people I've met have been able to seemingly actually enhance, at least my, perception of them physically. I know that this is probably partly due to simple subjective perception, and it's limitations. But I can't help but think that there are, in people that are good at heart SOMETHING that becomes at least partially apparent in the physical persona to those that are perceptive. Likewise with those who are vile at heart. They may be striking people, may have incredible personalities, but I think they cannot avoid some degree of actual physical, outward, appearance of beauty when their hearts are not right. So often the only way in which they can overcome this seems to be by intentionally blinding those who view them. They take purposeful actions to try and compensate, through means of some type of deception, to fool the perceptive abilities of those that they wish to overcome so that their deficiencies, both internal and external, can be hid.
Anyway. I don't know how much of that's an actual answer, but It's a response. I hope it enlightens someone so they can then enlighten me. Remember
“If you tell what you know, everybody is wiser. If you keep a secret, than everyone is a fool.”
Of course the above is only true if telling what you know will actualy be accepted by others as appliable knowledge, otherwise it's simply casting pearls before swine. And that does little good for the swine or the one casting.