“To love is an expression of one’s power to love. And to love somebody is the acualization and concentration of this power with regard to one person. It is not true, as the idea of romantic love would have it, that there is only the one person in the world whom one could live and that it is the great chance in one’s life to find that one person. Nor is it true that, if that person be found that love for him (or her) results in a withdrawal of love for others. Love which can only be experienced with regard to one person demonstrates by this very fact that it is not love, but a symbiotic attachment. The basic affirmation contained in love is directed toward the beloved person as an incarnation of essential human qualities. Love of one person implies love of man as such. The kind of “division of labour” as William James calls it, by which one loves one’s family but is without feeling for the “stranger,” is a sign of a basic inability to love. Love of man is not, as is frequently supposed, an abstraction coming after the love for a specific person but it is its premise, although, genetically it is acquired in loving specific individuals.”
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