As a native American English speaker, I can totally see there are differences between American English and different International versions of English. But but again, for 'Love', Oxford English dictionary, Merriam English dictionary, and probably every other English dictionary, place romantic attraction, sexual and lustful attraction, in a very prominent place, and I believe the dictionaries under sell its prominence by not placing it in the #1 position. Just look at classic English language literature from any era, how is 'love', romantically, regarded? How do modern westerners react every time they hear that word, 'love'?mikenz66 wrote: ↑Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:18 pmHi Frank,I wonder if there are, perhaps, some variations of interpretation between those of us who speak different varieties of English. Perhaps those of use who are native British or Australasian English speakers don't have the same baggage with regard to the word "love". I certainly don't think it's perfect, but I see flaws in the alternatives as well, as I pointed out above.
I wonder this partly because, not being a native American English speaker, I sometimes find Thanissaro Bhikkhu's writing style very obscure, whereas some think it's wonderfully clear.
And not even English speakers, I believe it's a universal phenomena, you ask most people what is the meaning of life, what's the purpose for existence, probably most of them are going to rank romantic/sexual 'love' as #1.
'metta' does not have romantic love in there.
the English 'love' does.
It's very clear cut 'right' and 'wrong' situation, (as of the current time and conventional agreed dictionary definition of 'love'), unlike many pali word translation choices.
When I first saw B. Sujato's translation of metta as 'love' a couple of years ago, I too thought, 'okay, that's interesting.' And being liberal myself and appreciating people risk taking and exploring different possibilities, I just sat with my opinions. But recently when I researched into metta and its counterparts such as vihesa, ill will, and the other brahmaviharas, when I researched carefully I realized metta as 'love' is just plain wrong. It's very clear cut if you think it through carefully.
I talked to some Chinese friends and asked them about how metta was translated in the Agamas, and the result is very telling.
Like the Pali metta, the Chinese word used to translate metta absolutely has no romantic or sexual lust associated with it. In classical Chinese, it's more of a paternal and grandparent having care and regard for their younger relatives.
Now here's the real kicker. You know how the Agamas translate the word 'tanha', thirst/craving, the source of dukkha? The Chinese word they use, is the Chinese word for 'romantic Love'!
Now while I don't exactly agree with that, I definitely agree with the part where there's a clear division between friend-kindness and romantic love & lust, and the the latter is a defilement, in no way to be ambiguously associated with 'metta' and brahma viharas.