Wednesday 15 August 2007

Love- What is It?

Some might see this as a complex question.
Many will argue, fairly, that there is more than one kind of love.

In a sense, that might be fair, but the fact is, all those different loves can be grouped together under the banner of 'strong positive bond.'

Some might say, it has to be an emotional bond, but I'm not sure about that.
I think it's possible for it to an intellectual one.

Indeed, I would argue that for any sentiment to have ultimate validity, it MUST be logical.

This is where I have a problem.

The theological concept of love poses no problem for me.
God Is Love.

Since to me, God and Energy are one (This is the Scientific basis of my Theism), and God and love are one, it follows that Love is Energy.

Since the whole universe is constructed and driven by energy, one way or another, it follows that Love holds the universe together and drives us forward.
Nothing there to contradict Theology.

In this context, the theological definition of Hate makes sense too.
All hate is perverted love.

Pure Love, after all, aims at the highest good.
Hate uses that same intent and perverts it to war against the highest good.
All evil is caused by loving something other than the highest good.

This is true meaning of the truism 'It's a fine line between Love and Hate.'

Pride, Anger, Envy, Avarice, Gluttony, Idleness, Lust.
The seven deadly sins.

Each one caused by a Love other than the highest good.

Love therefore, must be objectively defensible to be true.
Anything other is a perversion of the ideal.

This brings me to the ideal of Romantic Love.
What IS it?

Everyone will say that they know what the emotion is.
Certainly, it's the strongest feeling I can think of.

And for long, people have believed it to be unique.

Not so.
Take enough Ectasy, and you'll feel it for everyone in the room. Why do you think they call it the 'Love drug.'
It is a chemical feeling. That in itself has no validity.

Are we to believe that the Dance Scene is the height of Romantic Ideals?

Just because we can justify that sentiment to itself does not increase it's objective validity.
In a sense, it should reduce it. Ecstasy wears off and we have control over how much to take, or in the majority of cases, not to take it all. This gives it advantages, Romantic Love does not have.

Nietzche believed that Romantic Love was a product of the Later Middle ages, a reaction to the strict teachings of the Church on all matters sexual, an attempt to separate that beautiful intensity from the 'dirty' concept of lust.

Looking back at western cultural history, I can see his point. The Greeks and Romans made no distinction between Romantic Love and Lust, nor did the Vikings. Their legends make this clear. It was a powerful sentiment, one which engaged the myth makers much, but it was not always seen as particularly beautiful.
Freya, Goddess of 'Love' to the Vikings, slept with four dwarves in exchange for a necklace.
Theseus abandoned Ariadne, as Jason abandoned Medea.
And Helen of Troy seemed quite happy to be abducted by Paris.

Is this really the highest form of Love?

This is an emotion we are describing, it doesn't fit the bill.
This is Lust as it should be, Lust where you love the person you find fulfillment with.

True Love can only be a product of the intellect, a capability of seeing the higher good and sacrificing all that gets in the way of that.

True Love is the ability to override every emotion you have in the interests of humanity as a whole.

True Love is the complete suppression of individual desire.
It is the complete surrender of any emotion which is rooted in your concept of you.

Love is something that can only be found within.
Hatred, the force that divides and destroys, is Self.

Many Thanks to Welshcakes for this Award and profuse apologies for not responding quicker.
It seems our local exchange had problems with too many Broadband users and gave up.
Today (apparently), it is back in business, 21st Century Stryle.

Again, on to five more!

I just read a very moving post by Shelly Raydeane, so I'm going to pass it on her way.
The rest have all inspired posts in the past. Apologies to those who already have one.
Pommygranate, Ed, Alexys and Helen


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. People have done terrible things in the name of romantic love but we all yearn for it. The trouble is that we look for love and lust in the same person and are very lucky if we find them. Love should be an intellectual bond as well - I think that is perhaps the deepest kind of human love - but when we are deeply "in lust" we fins that our intellect is absolutely no protection against our emotions. and that's the trouble!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your award...well deserved! Interesting thoughts on love, that's a tricky subject to pigeon hole and interpreted different by most people. I think their are different reasons why we love certain people, but in the end its all teh same!

Anonymous said...

I agree. You defined true love very well. Sometimes it doesn't seem enough, though (in a relationship, the lust makes it exciting ;-))

Anonymous said...

Love is whatever you learned it to be as a kid. If your parents slapped you about as a kid you are likely to have a very different perception of what love is compared to a kid who grew up with a silver spoon in his or her life.

Love is one of those words (like 'fuck') that has a billion different meanings.

To me, love is cheesecake. And Axl Rose.

Anonymous said...

Very good post Crushed.
I don't think I'm in total agreement but you made me think.
Are you defining True Love in the religious sense only? I don't mean necessarily a Christian sense, but say love of mankind. I like to think that we learn to love on an individual basis and as we mature we extend that love in a wider and wider circle until it encompasses everyone, so True Love. What I see you describing is love in an overall sense, like mankind but not having that feeling on an individual basis.

Sorry if I haven't really got the point, but there's something I don't feel quite comfortable with here.

And what about the love of a parent for a child?

Congratulations on the award, obviously well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. I was just going to ask you if you and I were riding on the same brain waves tonight or something, as my blog is similar to yours tonight.

You asked the question, "This brings me to the ideal of Romantic Love.
What IS it?"

My answer to this is very simple. Yes, people who take ecstacy can let their guard down because of the chemicals involved. However, romantic love can only be achieved when a person is secure enough within themselves to let the walls come down without using drugs.

Yes, in some relationships, the sex is off the hook, while in others your like best friends but the sex sucks.

However, I have often wondered if the half which was usually lacking, in my past relationships, had more to do with the choices I made which placed me in the relationships I became involved in in the first place.

And would I have made the choices at all, if I had been coming from a place where only love could grow to begin with? Such as not coming from a place of ego where true love can never exist?

After all, like you said, ego is about self. And if one can't give to someone else, how do they expect to get anything back in return?

Anonymous said...

Welshcakes- Our yearning for it could be culturally conditioned- as opposed to the lust yearning which is biological. I must admit I'm still debating that one.

I'm not sure it IS the deepest human love, certainly the maternal bong logically anyway, should be stronger.

Jenny- I have a dislike of any concept that cannot be explained. The thing abour Romantic Love is that it is an Ideal and an Emotion at the same time.
I can't tthink of any other such concept.

Eve- True Love would give us fulfillment by the sacrifice. The fulfillment is the letting go of Self, which is actually fulfilling.
I think Saints actually acheive perfect contentment, by rising above self.

JJ- There is truth in what you say.
I think it has lot to do with why many of us maker the mistake of seing love as conditional- that was how it was first given to us.

jmb- The point is that we seem to be able to grasp love only in small ways. True Love would not be subjective, but would be unconditionally distributed to all.

Our human love is our imperfect attempt to grasp this by conditionally applying this sentiment to those who are linked to self.
This doesn't devalue the sentiment, it's possibly the best we can do.

Shelly- The thing about Ecstasy is you feel all the sensations a person in Love fels, without it being attached to anyone in particular.
Sort of Love without danger.

I think it is hard for most of us to acknowledge that our True Love is self, most of the time.

Anonymous said...

The question of the universe.

I think love is a mutual communion of two Souls at once and it expands and contracts according to our ego.

"True Love can only be a product of the intellect, a capability of seeing the higher good and sacrificing all that gets in the way of that."

Well said!

Btw, thanks for the award. When it rains it pours. I've received it twice in two weeks.

Anonymous said...

True love is what you desribed as your feelings for me last night. I wish you had written about that instead-the " you complete me"
" profound connection" of knowing within 5 minutes this was the person you wanted to spend your life with. :)

Anonymous said...

True love is just that - true. True to one person, not playing the field talking dirty to one person and professing love to another.

Fidelity seems to be the key.

Anonymous said...

great post, ingy. i like to keep it as simple as possible:

love means i'm thinking of the other person, lust means i'm thinking of myself.

i do like the idea that pure love is reaching for the highest good

Anonymous said...

A fine post. I have little to add to what other commenters have observed.Love is to have an infinitely deep and close relationship with know when you have it, and equally you know when its dead...

But instead of me rambling on, I think Shakespeare's 116th Sonnet "Let me not to marriage of true minds admit impediments" describes things rather wonderfully.

"... Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom...."

Anonymous said...

Alexys- Your description of romantic love is good, though I don't see it as the highest form of love.

It's possibly my background, but there is a large part of me which sees Martyrdom as the highest expression of Love.

Sorry about giving you one you had already. Truth is, you deserve it three times.

Uber- True Love cannot be about fulfillment. It is about sacrificing your own fulfillment for the good of all.
As a Catholic, I believe that the only pure Love is the love of God, and only by loving all humanity can we truly love God.
By definition, you cannot truly love one without loving the other.

Romantic Love is a very beautiful thing, but it is not the highest thing we can aspire to.
'Forgive them Lord, they know what they do.'
That's True Love.
Hell, I wish I COULD emulate that.
I can't.

Graf Von SB- The problem with this is that I have a very definite vision of Man in Perfection.
Whilst I don't believe in the fall in the literal sense, I do believe that it describes the curse of man and what man needs to overcome- our hardened hearts.
I believe that Christ guides us towards perfection, which of necessity entails the end of self.

Perfect man will love EVERY other human being.
I believe Christ's message is meant for THIS life (I'm not overly convinced on the subject of the next), that he inspires us to strive for perfection HERE.

I believe Man in a state of Grace will live in a state of Free Love and Communism.
It can't work now, because we haven't opened our hearts enough- we allow ourselves to be ruled by our own desires.

Raffi- I can't see how it could mean anything else.
Love is total self-obliteration.

Stan- Funny you should post that.
I was thinking of that sonnet before of wrote the post, but couln't remember it's number.

Anonymous said...

what? oh sorry I just tripped over something...

I was looking for a quick bunk up meself!!

Anonymous said...

Heres a book you might like Making Love A Conspiracy of the Heart, by Marius Brill ...