Question: We cannot attribute the feeling of love to the still, vegetative, and animate levels because they do not have freedom of choice. The interaction of objects at these levels is due to genes, laws, and instincts. We can talk about love only where there is freedom of choice, where there is an opportunity to rise above one’s egoistic nature.
When we talk about divine or absolute, selfless love, then we are talking about love for the property of bestowal and this means one must be in this property all the time. Can we say that to love the property of bestowal is love?
Answer: Yes. At the same time, you treat the other in such a way that none of his bad effects on you prevent you from loving him.
Question: And the property of bestowal, is it in me or in him?
Answer: It is in you. The other person has nothing to do with it.
Question: How does one determine whether a person is loving purely selfishly or if it is altruistic love?
Answer: This is impossible to determine. To do this, you would need to find out whether he loves you for money or if he loves you selflessly. What is he selfless about?
There is no concept related to “love” in Kabbalah. Love is defined as pleasure. The so-called love for one’s neighbor, for the Creator, or for oneself, whether it is egoistic or altruistic love, is determined by the measure of the use of one’s own egoism for oneself in contrast with the use of one’s own egoism for the sake of another. Therefore, we move away from the concept of “love.”
Even when it is said, “love your neighbor as yourself,” this means that just as egoistically as you treat yourself, you should treat others in exactly the same way. That is, as you fill yourself, you should fill another to the same extent.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 10/23/20