Councils on Love
Joe Provisor, Circle Ways
This time calls for deepening our understanding of what connects us. The Greeks called this glue “Eros.” We call it “Love.” But what is love? How do we understand it? How do we know it when we see it? Even the Greeks described SIX types of love.
Here is a sequence for a wisdom council on love:
Warm-up: Ask the group, “How many of you have ever felt this thing we call ‘love’? How many have felt love for someone? How many have felt someone’s love for you? Now, think about a person for whom or from whom you have felt this thing called ‘love.’ Think of a place or an occasion when you felt it.” (Perhaps give some examples.)
Brainstorm round: Just say the name of the person you associate with “love.” Or just say the place or occasion.
Story round: Tell about a time you KNEW you felt this thing called love, either for someone or from someone toward you (or even a time of self-love).
Echo round (witnessing): Say something you heard another person say in the story round. (A deeper witnessing would be to also say what it was the resonated for you in the story of another.)
Harvesting round: Given the stories we just heard, what can we say about this thing humans call “love”?
With older students or adults, you might want to use the same process to explore the subtle differences between and within the six types: Eros (sexual love), Philia (deep friendship), Ludus (playful love), Agape (love for all beings), Pragma (longstanding love), and Philautia (love of self)
Game option: Participants tell a story of an experience of any form of love. After the story, the group can guess the type.