The term has been knocked around a whole lot – over eons, I guess. We ‘ve heard the lament before from the disillusioned, as well as certainty from folk living in some mysterious fantasy-world of their own who swear that they are either capable of it, or that they are the beneficiaries of it. Java admits that for a brief time even he thought that our adorable dogs belonged to just about the only species around that were blessed with the trait, but floating off on that stream provided by the spectacular Early Misty a couple of days back made him re-assess.

As a starting point, we would consider ‘unconditional love’ to be that kind of ‘love’ (for surely there are degrees of ‘love’) that is not dependent on anything that the object of the feeling does or feels towards the one that’s doing the ‘loving’. In more simplistic terms, there would be no room for jealousy, anger, envy or any of the emotions that sour a relationship. So is this possible?

Folk speak of, and have written volumes on ‘love’ that know no boundaries and persist through all manner of circumstances, but if one is to look objectively, could one find any instance of a ‘love’ that is not sullied by negative emotions? The ‘unconditional’ aspect would imply that whatever action the object of the love indulges in, there would be no wavering in the intensity of the ‘love’.

We don’t want to get into the nebulous religious flotsam that talks about the mythical ‘all encompassing’ love God has for ‘his children’.

Java flashed on the fact that even our dogs, devoted though they are to us, are solely governed by the fact that we provide the food, shelter and affection that determines the extent of their ‘love’. And if we were to stop providing these elements that sustain their devotion and someone else takes over these functions, their ‘love’ for us would erode and be directed to the new provider. It’s a basic trait of ‘natural selection’, where the dogs would need to adapt to survive – the primal instinct. So, he figured, rather ruefully, that even our dogs were not capable of ‘unconditional’ love.

I, on the other hand, figure I would keep loving the dogs ‘no matter what’, which set Java to start lighting up another doob and thinking more about it.

So is there such a thing as ‘unconditional love’? Or isn’t there?

What do you think about it?