Aspects of love

On the trail of our natural state

Author: Dolores Richter
Love is not just about our subjective feelings or the relationship between two people isolated from the outside world. The author takes a look at the spiritual, historical and social context of love. She speaks of her experience that a sustaining community is indispensable for love to succeed.

Much is spoken and written about love. There is a great desire for fulfilling love relationships. There are counseling sessions, therapies and seminars that support lovers. What I would like to add to this today is the context of love that goes beyond the persons of the lovers. It is the spiritual, historical and social context that we keep losing sight of, but which has a crucial impact on our love lives.

To make this clear, I have broken love down into four aspects. In my experience, it is the lived balance of these aspects that gives love the chance of lasting success. These are four aspects that nourish and fertilize each other.

You can also look at these aspects as four fields in a circle. There is a center and an outer boundary to these fields. The center represents the inner, the space, the essential, the universal aspect of the personal (vertical). The outer line (the periphery) marks the outer, the manifest, the form, the biographical aspect of the personal (horizontal).

Aspekte der LiebeAspects of Love© Shane Rounce

I begin with the self on the periphery. Usually we describe this I with our name, our profession or characteristics typical of us. We feel our identity in our body, through our actions, through the perception of the senses or our thinking.

The more we come to the center, the lighter, more essential, more flexible the sense of identity becomes. The personal has become permeable. It is still there, but interwoven with super-personal qualities. At the center is an I that can no longer be described by qualities. There is pure life, I like to call it a “sound of eternity.” What children radiate in the first months has such an attractive effect on us, because this sound resounds through them.

When I look into their eyes, I have the impression that I am looking into life itself.



I assume that there are and have been cultures and times in which the state of being right is part of life. In these cultures, spirituality did not have such a prominent role. Before mankind tried to limit life to matter, spirituality was intrinsic to life and celebrated in everything that served life. Only after dogmas and religions began to want to regulate and take over our contact with the source, and later the concept of existence was even reduced to matter altogether, did spirituality take on the present meaning of a practice that reconnects matter and spirit and gives birth to the dance between space and form, between periphery and center, back into our lives.

Provided we have a daily practice, it trains us to experience our person involved in ever greater dimensions. This is consolidation and dissolution at the same time: we experience love as the force that can flow through us ever more freely. We become permeable again to the reality that we actually are.

From our image, religion lies on the outer line. In the center, on the other hand, the very own direct access is experienced, which lets me know that life is more than what I can grasp physically, emotionally, biographically.

In touching this sound, this radiance, this light, this warmth, there is an inner power that guides me and brings me to rest. Questions of the kind about whether I am good enough, doing enough, what I should be doing, have become silent.

A Sufi wisdom is:

Do not seek God, seek the one who seeks God.
But why seek: He is closer to you than your own breath.



When I stand in front of a man, I usually see what I like and what he can be for me in my imagination. I would like to have a partner, I would like to have children, good sex, inspiration, an open heart, an understanding of my being, of how I function, an extension and complement, I would like to have security and support, at the same time freedom and autonomy. I would like to have all of that. In the other I see this because of how I have adjusted my looking.

We all know that no single person can fulfill all our needs. But we love and fall out of love as if we didn’t know. The great flaw in our culture is that there is little experiential opportunity for what it feels like for love to fall into place between two people, because the many expressions of need and intimacy can be answered by a much larger system.


Aspekte der LiebeAspects of love

Let me illustrate this very simply: When we put a man and a woman who are connected into a communal context and both feel included, even with their own sex, something very significant changes. I, as a woman, can look at this man and realize: He is not just the man I want to see. He is a man with a collective history, with a biographical origin. He has a certain relationship to his parents, he has qualities and weaknesses, he has needs that partly match mine, and others that do not, etc. All this can be perceived in a much clearer way when integrated into a larger social system. Because I can see him as a man among men and my narrowed view becomes larger. A relaxation in love occurs instantaneously.

To widen what is happening here between a man and a woman and allow us to see who the other really is, there is nothing better than a communal experience that has been put at the service of raising awareness.


About the author

Unsere Autorin Dolores RichterDolores Richter co-founded the ZEGG community in 1991. She is the author of the book “Love is a Social Work of Art” and has been accompanying people on their path in awareness, community building, love, partnership and sexuality for over 30 years. Today, her commitment is to building community networks where lovers embed and support each other. Read more at:





This article appeared originally on the German Homepage of Tattva Viveka: Aspekte der Liebe

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