Tickled by the recent articles which tried to define friendship, without carefully investigating the topic, I have decided to provide an argument. While friendship is still just a word with the intention to define a type of relationship, from the beginning it was critical to remain as it is and not to be dissected, complicated with different types of layers. With our cognitive abilities and language as an instrument of thoughts, other conditions should bear a proper name, while friendship should remain a term with a strict focus on what it actually is.
If we examine the history, in the moment or situation which was unidentified among subjects, the question ‘friend or foe?’ was asked, aiming to reveal intentions of an unidentified party, finally to be accepted or refused. It is very unlikely that intentions of a foe would ever be openly revealed, however, there is a question if it could be identified and therefore friendship bares in its root a question of honesty (from a transmitter) and trust (from a receiver).
What I have been reading about recently about the ‘types of friendship’ (e.g. true, superficial, conditional, beneficial, etc.) are actually types of relationships.
It would be unwise to consider all the relationships as a type of friendship because friendship is a type of relationship and not vice versa.
As I have mentioned before, friendship represents a positive intention and should bare freedom, which is also a word that could be dissected, and include different attributes (e.g. complete, limited, etc.) and while some attributes are unnecessary, others will erase the basic meaning of the word or redirect the focus, when freedom becomes no more. The same can be applied to friendship.
The focus which is lately oriented on friendship has a different ‘material’ factors involved, which is a result of a spreading material world we have found ourselves and while different philosophers are adding attributes to add different ‘values’ to friendship, they are neglecting that they are erasing the idea of friendship and what friendship really is.
So what is friendship?
The only word which bears enough similarity and influence is love, the other word which is relevant to define and give meaning to both is freedom. The last thing, which is critical, is where it happens, therefore the answer is, in space. The most natural way to determine friendship is when any kind of intercourse or communication between two subjects is terminated. As friendship is something that is happening in the space between two subjects, what remains in the space could identify if friendship is present or not. How to determine that? When individual attention from any kind of intercourse is brought to a hold, if the space between the two subjects results with no tension, and both subjects can retreat to comforts of their own mind, while enjoying their freedom, without further urge or anxiety from the presence of another, then the friendship truly exists not affected by time, space, nor material values or duty. It is a question of will, in this case, a positive one which is flourishing within an individual and emitting toward others, which again could be disturbed and become non-exixtent.
Therefore, friendship is an option, a product of goodwill, emitted in ideal condition, searching for a receiver. Friendship is and it is not, a potential!