Born in 1749, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is one of the most esteemed German romantic philosopher poets of the 18-19th century.

In this collection we’ve listed some of his most notable quotes on love.

Let us begin:

Love does not dominate, it cultivates. And that is more.

How can love be a dominating force? If anything that is a primitive and ignorant view of what love is. Goethe shows here that rather than domination love is a cultivating and of course a unifying force. Cultivation and unity is more than domination.

The errors of a man are what make him really lovable.

We may not realize it but often we love the flaws of another person. The imperfections accompanied with the good parts that make up the whole. If the individual was perfect, it simply wouldn’t be the same.

What’s it to you if I love you?

Sometimes loving can be ones own private relationship as Goethe hints at above. We do not need the others consent nor to love them. The more you love the richer you are.

A world without love would be no world.

Yes. True. Very True. What would we do without love to accompany us from the cradle to the grave. We would be stumbling in the dark. The universe is a big place and we as a species are infinitesimal in comparison. However with love, we are infinite and so is the potential for this blue-green world of ours.

Very few people love others for what they are; rather, they love what they lend them, their own selves, their own idea of them.

This is true and is most apparent in the love of parents. They tend to see themselves in their children and thus the child becomes “theirs” so to say. Very few individuals love others for what and who they are independent of themselves. This is rare but glorious.

We can’t form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us. Raise them the best we can, and leave them free to develop.

This proves my previous point in perfect wordings. We have to love the children as independent free individuals while giving them the best guidance we can provide with.

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.

Loving truth is a great form of love. Some may call it abstract and vague but for the insightful man its palpable as the love of your significant other or what have you. Truth is one.

Love of truth shows itself in this, that a man knows how to find and value the good in everything.

Again another clarification (how nice of you Goethe!), the love of truth triumphs and in this quote Goethe clarifies what exactly he means by tis statement.

Know you the land where the lemon-trees bloom? In the dark foliage the gold oranges glow; a soft wind hovers from the sky, the myrtle is still and the laurel stands tall do you know it well? There, there, I would go, O my beloved, with thee.

When we come to a certain age we all long for that sense of becoming one with another. That romantic love if you will. Its the source of creation and life. There’s a reason why we as a species have been and still are so infatuated with love stories. Romeo and Juliet, Mem û Zîn and what have you.

The arrows of Love are various: some scratch us,
And our hearts suffer for years from their slow poison.
But others strong-feathered with freshly sharpened points
Pierce to the marrow, and quickly inflame the blood.

Love works in mysterious ways. What is love really now that we’re on that topic? Is it one fixed thing that we as human beings feel? Perhaps its much more dynamic than that. We all feel different kinds of love. That is to say, love to a parent seems to differ to the love to a partner. But how different is it really?

Fill your heart to overflowing, and when you feel profoundest bliss, then call it what you will: Good fortune! Heart! Love! or God! I have no name for it! Feeling is all; the name is sound and smoke, beclouding Heaven’s glow.

This is a magnificent line by Goethe. Whether we call it love or bliss, joy or supreme happiness doesn’t matter. What does matter is the sensation and experience of “love”. Become immersed with this experience as much as you can.

Nature’s crown is Love. Only through Love can we come near her. She puts gulfs between all things, and all things strive to be interfused. She isolates everything, that she may draw everything together. With a few draughts from the cup of Love she repays for a life full of trouble.

Last but definitely not least is this astounding quote. Here the essence and drama of love is displayed in poetic perfection. Nature’s crown is love, not intelligence, honour, glory or what have you, but love.

Final thoughts

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a insightful individual whose influence on western culture has been immense. These quotes accompanied with illuminating comments from NirvanicInsights has been a delight for us to share.

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