One great difference between love and hate is that it only takes one to hate whereas love is a relationship, it’s exchange. It could be argued that hatred takes a hater and a hated to exist, but ultimately there is no exchange in it, the object is passive, it only fuels a self-serving projection. Love, on the other hand, flows back and forth and is cross-fertilizing, its grace never inward-looking.
I think this is more or less the same with the other “binaries” that the modern mind can conjure up. Moreover, one must not think too far to realize that while one is, the other can’t just “be”, but it “is not” what the other is. Darkness is the absence of light, silence is the suppression of sound. Hell is the withdrawal of the life-giving Logos.
To this, Tanya (springsprung) commented:
I’ve been thinking of all this lately too. So many strange oppositions are imposed on our minds by the language. I’ve never understood why the words love and hate, life and death are listed as antonyms in some dictionaries and are considered to denote opposite things. The opposite of love is its absence, be it hatred or plain indifference. The opposite of life is its absence as well, whereas death, like birth, is but a borderline between the periods when life ‘is’ and ‘is not’. It is nothing in itself – a 0-dimentional object like a point in geometry.
Yet, sometimes a close attention to the language can reveal to us some profound meaning that has been lost or neglected by the majority of speakers. I’ve just thought of the expression ‘to be in love with’. It seems, that initially it meant precisely the same kind of love as the one you speak about in your first paragraph. The preposition ‘in’ implies a particular, new form of existence, ‘with’ implies ‘togetherness’. And how is this expression used nowadays? A phrase like ‘A is in love with B, but B is indifferent to A’, is considered to be correct and to make sense. But doesn’t the language itself revolt against this strange usage? ‘With’ suggests mutuality. If a feeling is experienced by only one person, it can be referred to, depending on its character, as ‘admiration’, ‘adoration’, ‘fondness’, ‘idolatry’… In some cases, it can even be called ‘love’, but only in the sense of ‘charité’ – something that all Christians are supposed to have for everyone… But that’s already a different subject.