I don't think most people understand what love is. I mean love in the spiritual sense which is the real source of all other and lesser varieties. And I include many Christians in this. We think it means something like kindness or empathy or being non-judgemental, that sort of thing. Being, in effect, nice to everyone and treating everyone the same. It really has nothing to do with these things and, if you don't believe me, read the Bible and get an understanding of what Jesus taught and how he taught it.
Love is a fire that burns without fuel. It is not soft and gentle. It is hard, even violent at times. It does not take prisoners. It gives no quarter and is without mercy. It is relentless and accepts no compromise or challenge to its rule. Nothing is allowed to stand beside it. It brooks no rival.
Now, I have to confess that I know this not because I personally am loving in that way. I was specifically told by the Masters that I did not have the love of a truly spiritual person. They compared me to those that did and found me falling well short. However I can sense this kind of love as a real thing. I may not be able to express it myself, doubtless because of too much self-concern, but I can intuit its reality and, what is more, I have experienced its force from the Masters who certainly did express it in rather the same way I imagine Jesus might have done. That is to say, with majesty and authority, without falseness or affectation but full of power and truth. Love is the most powerful thing in the universe and power is not weak. This might be seen as a masculine sort of love but it is no less love for all that. By contrast, on the one occasion a feminine spirit spoke to me the love she showed was gentler but it was no less powerful. She seemed to have become one with the source of love and it was hard to say where she stopped and love began, so much had she identified her being with love.
Our concept of love is uniquely horizontal by which I mean it spreads out to the world and to other beings. But it does not go up. Very regrettably it has become entangled with the modern heresy of egalitarianism which is a perversion of the virtue of justice and a misunderstanding of unity. But spiritual love is not like this. It derives from the love of God. God is the only proper source of love. Deny him and you deny love. You really do. Humanistic love is but a second rate imitation, a shadow of the real thing, because it rejects its metaphysical roots which must be God. Can you have love without a person behind it? If love is to be a real thing in the universe then reality must be personal. If reality is personal that means God. God and love are completely inseparable. You cannot have one without the other. I do not present this as an argument but, like all truths, as something you either see or you don't.
What this amounts to is that love is not a feeling but intrinsic to being itself. Therefore our use of the word to express emotional states rather trivialises it. We live at a time when "the love of many has grown cold", but we still affect love because we know, and cannot deny, that it is the root of everything good. What we need to learn now is that we can only really know it when we acknowledge him who is the source of it.