It follows that all which is not love is lust. This means that lust comes in a variety of shapes, forms, and manifestations, given that all that is not love encompasses many conditions and states. There is lust for power, sex, money, fame, notoriety, and so forth. As Nietzsche wrote: “This parable I speak to you sentimental hypocrites, to you ‘pure knowers!’ I call you – lustful! You too love the earth and the earthly: I have seen through you! – but shame is in your love and a bad conscience – you are like the moon! Your spirit has been persuaded to despise the earthly, but your entrails have not: these, however, are the strongest in you!”
In turn, lust has no bounds or limits, which means that unless lust is replaced with a condition and state of love through both intellectual and spiritual methods, lust cannot be satisfied, and in turn, this lack of satisfaction translates into conditions and states such as populist anger and frustration and so forth. Excessive political activism or ‘irrational activism’ to borrow from Carroll Quigley is also a reflection of an anger and frustration that stems from a condition of lust that is not replaced with love. Arguably, lust is an ontological condition of a hellish nature. As Shakespeare wrote in his “Dark Lady Sonnets” in terms of lust:
“The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action: and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.”
In turn, the hell of lust is overcome through action and praxis. As the Quran states in Maryam, verse 96: “The Kind Lord will put love for those who believe and do righteous deeds in people’s hearts.” Arguably, everything amounts to a struggle out of a hellish ontological condition stemming from one kind of lust or another until love is attained. “Loving others and trying to benefit them” then becomes the highest and loftiest of all ideals and virtues. In Christian moral theology, this “impartial love of mankind” is known as agape.
But love also has an aesthetic element which enables and fosters love’s moral character, given that “love of another’s beauty can be a royal road to love of beauty itself and thence to intellectual love of the highest beauty of all, which is ‘the Good.’” Arguably, all love is figurative and metaphorical until a “Platonic love” that amounts to “the soul’s love for God” is achieved and when “after ascending through levels of knowledge, it achieves unmediated contact with him.” This “unmediated contact” is facilitated first and foremost by a “guide” of sorts, which means that love begins with love for one’s guide, who in turn fosters a love for the “spiritual poles” who have mediated between the divine and the terrestrial throughout history. Once the love for the “spiritual pole” is fostered, there comes a “metaphorical love” for a man in the case of a woman and a woman in the case of man, until finally, the greatest love is achieved, namely, the “Platonic love” or “love for God.”