Love is Harmony. It is the sense...even if just for a moment...everything is right and perfect for that moment. Whatever elicits this sense of Harmony is Loved whether it be an animal, a child, a husband or wife, a sunset, a painting, music or Faith. Such Love is the same for all things. One thing may be Loved more than another in that it may seem to affect more strongly than another, but all Love of varying degrees and of various things is one Love.
The essence of Love does not vary from one thing to another any more than the essence of water varies in a raindrop or an ocean. Each is essentially the same, only differing in degree.
Desire is not Love. Desire is a want to "have" something which is not implicitly one's own. To "have" something is to own it. What can not be owned can not be had, only shared in, if the circumstances allow.
Love has no wants. Harmony implies perfection...the perfect balance of factors creating that perfect "sense". How could there be more than "just right"? How could Harmony "want" for more? Love is a recognition of that perfection...that Harmony...and an appreciation for what that Harmony "has" in itself. Love can also appreciate that which is not its own, but does not "want" or expect to "have" that which is not its own.
Desire is by nature selfish and discontent; Love is by nature selfless and content. It is the coupling of such notions as desire along with Love which mislead to Love being segregated into many limited perceptions referred to as differing varieties of Love or differing emotions. This confusion not only dilutes Love by coupling to it the negative properties of some thing, such as desire, but also limits perception of what Love is, what can elicit Love, and from where Love emanantes.
Emotion is a perception of Harmony, or lack thereof, and thus all emotion is a perception of some state of Love. Happiness is contentment. Contentment is an appreciation, a Love, a sense of Harmony for a given state of circumstance or Being. Discontent is a lack of appreciation, Love, or Harmony for such a state. Sadness is discontent. It is a lack of appreciation for the current state in favor of lamenting what was desired. Greed and lust are desire. They too are discontent and thus also a lack of Love. Joy is a great feeling or expression of Love. Hate is a severe lack of Love. etc. etc. ad infinitum. All emotions are but small facets in an understanding of Love.
What elicits Harmony is Loved and what is Loved elicits Harmony. That which is Loved and elicits Harmony is called Beautiful. Beauty is not a physical characteristic. It is the degree to which something elicits Harmony, or Love.
A sunset is Beautiful because it elicits a sense of Harmony. It is Loved for this and called Beautiful. An animal which elicits Harmony is Loved and this too is Beautiful. A child or spouse elicits Harmony and is Loved and is Beautiful for it. A piece of music is Beautiful when it elicits a sense of Harmony...of perfection...for that moment. When the composition of a painting or the proportions, expressions or ideals of a man or woman are "just right", they are in Harmony; they elicit Harmony and are Beauty. When Faith elicits an inner sense of Harmony it too is Loved and Beautiful.
Love is Harmonious and Beautiful. Beauty is Loved and elicits Harmony. Harmony is Beautiful and Loved. Each word contains the other two and can not exist alone. Each word is incomplete by itself and so too is any understanding which omits the other two.
It seems obvious to seek Harmony, Love must be sought; but so too must Beauty. Harmony and Love can not be nurtured from ugliness in conduct or thought or any other form.
As aesthetics is the philosophic study of Beauty, it is also necessarily the study of Harmony and Love. Aesthetics then is not limited to the arts or even materiality, but is a Spiritual concern of Love, Harmony and Beauty.