Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
Love is a command to rise to one's highest potential, the best and noblest vision of oneself. Love is a reward, the greatest we can earn, granted to us for the moral qualities we have achieved in our life.
Love, friendship, respect, admiration are the emotional response of one man to the virtues of another, the spiritual payment given in exchange for the personal, selfish pleasure which one man derives from the virtues of another man’s character.
A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving.
Romantic love, in the full sense of the term, is an emotion possible only to the man (or woman) of unbreached self-esteem: it is his response to his own highest values in the person of another —an integrated response of mind and body, of love and sexual desire. Such a man (or woman) is incapable of experiencing a sexual desire divorced from spiritual values.
Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.
“To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'”
To love is to value. The man who tells you that it is possible to value without values, to love those whom you appraise as worthless, is the man who tells you that it is possible to grow rich by consuming without producing and that paper money is as valuable as gold....
There are two aspects of man’s existence which are the special province and expression of his sense of life: love and art.
I am referring here to romantic love, in the serious meaning of that term — as distinguished from the superficial infatuations of those whose sense of life is devoid of any consistent values, i.e., of any lasting emotions other than fear. Love is a response to values. It is with a person’s sense of life that one falls in love —with that essential sum, that fundamental stand or way of facing existence, which is the essence of a personality. One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person’s character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul—the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness. It is one’s own sense of life that acts as the selector, and responds to what it recognizes as one’s own basic values in the person of another. It is not a matter of professed convictions (though these are not irrelevant); it is a matter of much more profound, conscious and subconscious harmony.
Many errors and tragic disillusionments are possible in this process of emotional recognition, since a sense of life, by itself, is not a reliable cognitive guide. And if there are degrees of evil, then one of the most evil consequences of mysticism —in terms of human suffering— is the belief that love is a matter of “the heart,” not the mind, that love is an emotion independent of reason, that love is blind and impervious to the power of philosophy. Love is the expression of philosophy —of a subconscious philosophical sum— and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy quite so desperately. When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then —and only then— it is the greatest reward of man’s life.