We have suffered for a long time to think about the end of a relationship as a failure. We blame ourselves, or our partners, or both. There comes a time when we finally recover from our miserable time, we search for a new partner afterwards; in hoping that this new relationship won’t fail us again or we won’t fail the relationship. The truth is the hope will be unfounded because we have no real understanding of what has been reached, and nothing would ensure the failure won’t repeat itself.
Plato stated that humans are constructed in three planes; Soma (body), Psiche (soul), and Nous (divine consciousness or spirit). These three dimensions –physical, psychological, and spiritual– are actually required for our journey in understanding true love.
In its original state, our soul lived among the gods, enjoying the true being of eternal forms. As they become human beings, most souls forget their divine origin. In all three dimensions, humans naturally search for completeness and eternity, because as divine creatures, we would have an innate wish to return to our original state – the state of union with God. Aristophanes himself had explained to us that love is our search for our alter ego, a part of us that will make us whole again. Love is then, the force that moves human towards this original condition.
What most people don’t understand is that they cannot both hold the definition of love and expect human being to fulfill it. I’m sorry, my friend, we can only get more disappointed with it. What we need to understand first is the human construction based on what Plato had said that we, humans, always crave for the physical plane more than anything without realizing and considering other planes. We have known in physical plane, we search for the beautiful Forms (ideas in mind), but we often forget the other. I could say that in order to get the fully understanding of true love, we might not only focusing on it, because in a higher realm (psychological plane), we also have a natural tendency to search for the divine and should feel impelled towards virtuous people in order to give birth to moral virtues and spread the seeds of eternity by building projects and reaching objectives that will leave a trace of our existence. And in the highest of three dimensions which is spiritual plane, love appears as the most important thing that pushes everything back to unity (the original state).
Plato had taught us that love is desire for the perpetual possession of the good. Desire happens because we want to possess something good, something beauty. What is truly beautiful must be good and what is truly good must be beautiful. To the Greeks, beauty was a function of harmony; it arose from harmonious relationship between parts that couldn’t cohere unless they were good for one another. Thus Socrates modifies his earlier definition that to love beauty is to wish to bring forth in beauty. To possess it perpetually would be to re-create endlessly. Consequently, love must by its very nature be the love of immortality as well as the beautiful.
From this perspective, it’s easy to identify the reasons behind our unhappy relationships. True love as Plato defended, is when one finds another person whom he or she can manifest love in all three levels of existence and feel fulfilled in all three dimensions.
In my own understanding, platonic love doesn’t mean sexless love. Rather, it means love that is not only commanded by instincts, not governed to satisfy only the body, but a kind of love that also fulfills the spiritual needs, which is be the reason why most of our relationships ended the worst; we often forget that this kind of love transcends the boundaries of the material life.
Platonic Love itself occurs when one realized the beautiful of other person inspires the mind and the soul and it directs one’s attention to the higher things.
This is what matters most in this life; A love that transcends.