Is love unwholesome or wholesome?


Question: What about love, is that unwholesome or wholesome?

Answer: We have to consider carefully what reality is represented by that

word. Love can represent the reality which is kindness towards other people.

It arises when we consider their welfare. However, love can also represent an

unwholesome reality. When we are attached to a person we actually think of 

our own pleasure, then there is an unwholesome reality. When we have to be

separated from such persons the attachment conditions aversion and

displeasure. When there is unselfish loving kindness you don’t think of

your own pleasure.


Question:  Should there be no attachment between husbands and

wives, parents and children? When I consider the many broken families

around me I am inclined to think that attachment is good. Why do you think

there should not be love?

Answer: It is not a matter of should or should not. You are as you are. 

However, there can be a more precise understanding of what is unselfish

love, or true considerateness for others and what is attachment, selfish love.

We should understand the difference between unselfish love and selfish love.

Unselfish love is characterised by considering the welfare of others.

Attachment to other people is for the sake of one’s own pleasant feeling.

When we like to be with people who are dear to us, and like a pleasant home,

there is attachment; we think of ourselves.

Topic 154