Higher Love in the Symposium a

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Love as a Higher Form
Love has always been a sensation that has both mystified and captured humanity. It is a unique emotion and, while it means something different to everybody, it remains to all a force that is, at its purest form, always one step above mankind. In love's ability to exist differently from person to person, one can find love to be a conglomeration of different branches. It can be said that there are six such categories: Agape, a love which sets store on physical attraction in order to remain all-giving and intense; Eros, a love based on high passion; Storge, a love that is friendship-based and down to earth; Pragma, the searching for a partner to build a life with; Ludus, a love that is low on emotional feeling and high on sexual tendencies (often involving several partners); and Mania, a type of love that dwells on jealousy and possessiveness while creating an experience of great emotional highs and lows (Gayton v). Some branches of love are negative and unhealthy, while others remain positive and strong. One's opinion of love in general is often based one which branches of love he or she has encountered. This can best be seen when analyzing Plato's Symposium and Augustine's Confessions; because their visions of love were of different branches, their opinions on the value of love differ greatly. Plato's understanding of the concept of love leaned towards the branch of Eros, while Augustine's love was more Ludus based. In Saint Augustine's pubescent age he resigned himself to the urgings of the flesh, as he speaks about in Book II of Confessions. All too quickly he plunged deeply into the pleasures of fornication, and nobody was able to save him from this early mistake for his parents were more focused on his education. These sexual escapades continued right through his late teenage years in Carthage where, while he was sophisticated, many of his friendships involved sex as an inner core. He took upon a mistress, not to love, but...
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