Wednesday 5 March 2008

Love- Pure and Impure

To carry on with the idea of Love, and which bits are the dross, and which really a sentiment the power of which can conquer anything, let's just have a little think what love actually is.

Well, it's something powerful, and it sems to be the most overwhelmingly powerful sentiment we know, so it must drive us for a reason.
We;ve evolved to feel it, our bodies are designed to release these powerful- and universal drives, so it originates, from urges within.

So it is purely chemical. But we possess those powerful desires, that thinking about someone else, to the degree that are always in our minds. Where do we get this altruism? What survival of the fittest value is there to this?

Back to old selfish genes. Dawkins himself admitted, he could just as easily have called his book, 'The co-operative gene'. Genes co-operate with eachother for selfish reasons, The first step is co-operating enough to form cells together, then they persuade cells to co-operate with eachother to make bodies.
The ultimate triumph, is in creation of groups of bodies which themselves co-operate.

And ultimately, create societies of bodies, which co-operate with eachother.

This is the point. Nature red in tooth and claw, isn't such a gloomy truth. Co-operating in the interests of life as a whole, is a more efficient way of living, then random slaughter. It actually succeeds better, because it continually grows the stage in which competition takes place.

So us highly evolved Homo Sapiens, having evolved to be clever, we've evolved to be loving.

And we express this in so many ways.

Our genes are so selfish they choose our friends for us- they choose other genes in other bodies as being good genes to protect their genes. That's why we feel rewarded by our friendships. That's a huge part of the evolutionary gap, between us and Chimps. They pick fleas off eachother, we form life time friendships, we drink together, share thoughts together, we really build genuine shared lives.

Like no other species that has ever existed.

Now people who go on about a narrow set of values for how a certain fixed state of socio-economic development (viz, Iron Age Israel), thought these interactions should be governed, don't really get what Love is, or what the real dynamics are.

The point is, Love is a good thing. As long as that's what it is, and that it is pure and untainted.
But what taints it?

I don't think sex and love are necessarily connected, though often they overlap. There is no particular reason why the two should always, as a matter of course, be one and the same, or why either should be a purely exclusive thing.

One is a bodily function, designed to bring children into the world, but we are lucky enough to be able to do it without that having to happen. So we do it more, than we'd otherwise risk. Why not? Seems silly not to.

The other is a higher feeling, motivated by a desire to protect another person, because you want their life there as part of yours.

Now naturally, the logic of why these two CAN and often do merge, is understandable.

But you can keep the two separate, and that's no bad thing either. It's a matter of choice. Sex is not impure, just because it's casual, the motivations of both involved, may well be pure, as in honest. If both parties are consenting, and neither is dishonest about how they view it, it's not wrong.

But more importantly, love doesn't have to be about sex. Sometimes, if it isn't, you can actually be more sure of its integrity.

Because what makes love impure, is when it loses sight of what it is actually about. When its desire to own, exceeds its desire to protect. If it's pure, you can protect without owning. It's when that boundary is crossed, that it becomes something heading in the direction of true evil.

Now to me- and people are welcome to disagree- a lot of traditional ideas about sexual possession, only add to that negative tendancy.

If you say you love a woman, and you couldn't forgive her if she slept with another man, is that really Love? Not really.
If you say you love a man, but you would sabotage his life plans, just to keep him, is that really Love? Not really.

Love can always forgive, but the deceit is bad, so if you admit that with true love, the lieing will always hurt, but the forgiveness will always be there, than the element that really needs removing, is the lieing.

Love is only pure, if it doesn't ask, doesn't expect, doesn't demand.

Love is not hot smouldering passion.

Love is pure acceptance.

It has no anger, it has no jealousy, no pride, no idleness, no excessiveness, no covetuousness.

It is purity.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post, but while some statements could be generally applied, it mostly deals with the love between a man and a woman.

A love that you have not experienced yet is the love of a parent for a child. In a way it is the purest love of all for it fulfills all your conditions, well in theory though sadly it doesn't always in practice: it doesn't ask, doesn't expect, doesn't demand, is pure acceptance. It is purity.

If you say you love a woman, and you couldn't forgive her if she slept with another man, is that really Love?

Well there might be forgiveness but there would be disappointment, hurt and loss of trust. I know you think that you could do this but I don't believe that if you truly loved someone you would not consider it a betrayal on some level.

Right now I think this is an academic exercise for you. Be prepared to reevaluate when you truly fall in love.

Anonymous said...

1 Corinthains 13, huh. I agree.

> If you say you love a woman, and you couldn't forgive her if she slept with another man, is that really Love? Not really
True. And anyone who doesn't accept it doesn't love me enough *and my ex DID accept a betrayal of that sort, and forgave me, and still loves; the problem was that in fights, he would tend to bring it up again, which isn't very nice. 'Love keeps no record of wrongs'.

On another note, I'm trying to 'love' indifferently now; 'cos have called a friend a few times, expecting comfort (and in fact, almost demanding it) but being disappointed; and the lesson learnt was that the problems all arise from 'expectations and demands', as you say. Whereas if we were to love for the other person's sake, desiring only their good, and expecting nothing in return; we would not be hurt so much *except by them hurting themselves, which would hurt us because we care*, and we would only be a blessing to them.

I know I haven't found true love, because I haven't found acceptance. The closest I got was my ex, and even then, there were times when he let his guard down, which makes me wonder; is it possible, after all, to be completely accepted by another human being? And are we justified in setting such a high benchmark of love?

Anonymous said...

jmb- It does, possibly because that's the one we obsess over and miss the bigger picture.

I think the parental love thing, sadly is often more theory than practice.
A lot of people reach adulthood scarred by the childhoods. Those who don't may even be a lucky minority. I was talking to D yesterday, she has the scan pic of her baby as the wallpaper on her phone, so I said 'You already love this baby don't you?', and she smiled a sweet smile and said yes.

That's a good thing.

It depends on what you expect. If you don't expect it, you won't be disappointed. I think you can love someone enough to free them from that obligation, if you thought it would make them happy.

Academic, possibly. I quite like the theory, but I've not tested it with someone I've actually been in love with. When that happens, we'll see, I guess :)

Eve- So it wasn't quite an acceptance.
I agree that we all do this semi-forgiveness, which is unfair, because really, its no forgiveness.

I like your middle paragraph, it describes the true ideals, I think.

I think total acceptance is important, otherwise you don't love THEM, you love what you want them to be. That isn't loving someone, it's loving your own dream.

Anonymous said...

That last made me widen my eyes. On one hand, it makes sense. On the other, what my ex used to say was that it wasn't that he wasn't accepting me the way i was; he just wanted to 'improve' me, for my own good, reasoning that 'if you love someone, you want them to be the best'. but then again, it does fall back to what you said; what's best for them is what YOU think is best... hmmm... perhaps best to strike a happy medium ;-)