Love

March 21, 2007 at 3:25 pm (bizzare)

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46 Comments

  1. purus said,

    Wasn’t exactly sure where to put this, so I apologize if it is in the wrong place. Also, I am not sure if this has already been discussed, but I think the question is a little different from most discussions on Love. Anyway, here goes…

    If some being of higher power (hypothetical of course) were to grant you any wish, and you wished to fall in love, what would that being do?

    Now this question may seem fairly trivial at first, and will give people all kinds of ideas on how the wish could be misused (i.e. as in many old fairy tales as well as the 2000 movie Bedazzled), but it raises one very interesting question for me.

    For the most part I believe that Love is one of those powers that (like God)cannot be described using spoken and written language. In other words, all language referring to Love is meaningless, as Love transcends our understanding of it. Given this definition (or anti-definition as you might call it), I find it hard to imagine that the “higher being” would have only one specific task to do in order to fulfill the wish. There are so many different levels of Love (i.e. love for a mate, love for a child, love for an object, love for God), that I have trouble grasping any idea that there is a single set definition for what Love is. However, if there is no set definition for Love, the “higher being” could fulfill the wish in many different ways.

    However, the nice thing about the wish is that no matter what the “higher being” does to fulfill the wish, you will be happy. Even if the “higher being” makes you fall in love with the most grotesque creature on the face of the earth, as long as you are in love with that creature you will be happy. I guess that is the definition of Love then. Can it simply be that power which makes people happy (or satasfied, or whatever synonym you want to use)?

  2. karra yosef said,

    Love is, in my opinion, a connection that is between not only the bodies, the minds, but the souls.

    This may seem trivial or obvious, but it’s as close as I can come to defining it. I see life often as intertwined threads, souls if you will. I think love is when two threads twine together.

    I’m not sure what it is, but you know it when you feel it, and it’s best when you can see it in someone else’s eyes.

  3. the lizard queen said,

    With all due respect, I believe if you think love inevitably makes you happy, then you must be fairly young and inexperienced. Love can cause incredible pain as well as great happiness.

  4. dark cloud said,

    That’s what makes it what it is πŸ˜‰
    Since love is the connection πŸ˜‰
    And any severing will therefore induce pain πŸ˜‰
    It somewhat gives creedence to, I think it was Seneca’s proverb that… “Life is pain”
    But life and love is also Joy! When you’re with someone that you love, you feel twice the power of happiness than when you’re alone! πŸ˜‰

  5. the unexpected universe said,

    “All life is suffering” – Buddha.

    Long before Seneca.

  6. purus said,

    Yes, I am young and inexperienced, but from the little bit of experience I have gained in this world, I have come to believe that Love simply is that power which makes you feel some sort of deep satisfaction, or belonging (of course, as I mentioned in my post above, you can’t actually define Love with these human terms). I don’t understand what you mean by:

    How can Love cause incredible pain? Sure, someone you love can hurt you, but that is not Love hurting you. Can you give me a real example of how the simple emotion of Love can cause “incredible pain”?

  7. baron max said,

    Purus wrote:
    Can you give me a real example of how the simple emotion of Love can cause “incredible pain”?

    Oh, geez, that’s easy! When you “love” someone and they don’t return that “love” ….or even return it in equal quantities/qualities! …or worse, they hate you!
    And you say it’s not the “love” that’s causing the pain? Hmmm, if you did NOT “love” (or like) them, then would there still be pain? No.

    Purus wrote:
    Yes, I am young and inexperienced, …

    Yes, I can tell that by your posts!
    As to trying to explain “love”, why not just say it’s that feeling that you have for someone or something that makes you feel good? Why say any more?
    Trying to explain or define something like “love” is no more or less than trying to explain the term “like” ..as in “I like Debbie”. Try that as an experiment ….try to distinguish between “like” and “love”.

  8. calrodin said,

    Even being blissfully and mutually in love is often accompanied by inexplicable fear. πŸ˜€

  9. erin said,

    I believe love is when you like someone more than the most important thing in your world. The most Important thing in everyone’s world is life, so love is when you like someone more than life.

  10. 180proof said,

    love is … begins with the recognition of one’s own loneliness in another, and is how one assures oneself that someone (or thing)-else besides oneself exists. it is a way of looking at the world that says “yes” to its particularity. saying “yes” to the particular also heightens one’s own awareness of oneself as a particular being, unique, irreducible & irreplacable. what or whomever we love we love inspite (and maybe even because) of its or hers imperfections. love is not the kiss but the parting of lips, anticipating … all true love, i think, is unrequited or simply given without any demand of reciprocity. one loves for the joy of loving itself; some persons or objects, however, simply make loving easier than others. love is perhaps our most difficult pleasure …

  11. sensabile said,

    The problem with any question about “love” is that people can spend all day telling you the affect of love, but it is difficult to tell you what love actually is, (in itself, if you like). What do all your “definitions” and descriptions have in common?

    I used to think that the word “love” was ambigous; now I think it is the “definitions” and descriptions, which are assigned to love, that are ambigous. I have no definition of love, but I could describe the affect of love and the effects it has on different people; but all in all, it is useless.

  12. george amber said,

    I think that love is the feeling, that shows you your way, it gives you reason to live. That is probably why are people happy when they are in love – their lifes have meaning… And troubled if the other is not – because they see the way, but they cant walk…

  13. A4_lever_arch_file said,

    I thought it was all chemicals in the brain.

  14. jeune said,

    Yes, but there is a purpose for those chemicals to be there… The chemicals itself are just the tool of nature for achieving goals…

  15. A4_lever_arch_file said,

    “Love is real, real is love
    Love is feeling, feeling love
    Love is wanting to be loved

    Love is touch, touch is love
    Love is reaching, reaching love
    Love is asking to be loved

    Love is you
    You and me
    Love is knowing
    We can be

    Love is free, free is love
    Love is living, living love
    Love is needing to be loved”

  16. sensabile said,

    I think that love is the feeling, that shows you your way, it gives you reason to live.

    How does it show the way to anywhere? Why does it give you a reason to live?

  17. the boss said,

    WHAT IS LOVE?
    BABY DON’T HURT ME, DON’T HURT ME NO MO’

  18. bonk said,

    I think Sir Hathaway answered that question best when he said, “Baby don’t hurt me no mo'”

  19. andrey said,

    Who is Sir Hathaway?

  20. A4_lever_arch_file said,

    Love can probably be defined purely in evolutionary terms.

  21. andrey said,

    As in, Pierce’s article “Evolutionary Love”?

  22. icxn said,

    From the life of St. Serapion:

    Serapion once gave his cloak to a poor man and as he walked on and met another who was shivering, he gave that one his tunic, and then sat down naked, holding the holy Gospel, and on being asked, “Who has taken your clothes, father?” he pointed to the Gospel and said, “This is the robber”. Another time he sold the Gospel to give an alms and when a disciple said to him, “Father, where is your Gospel?” he replied, “Son, believe me, it was the Gospel which said to me ‘Sell all you have and give to the poor’, so I sold it and gave to the poor that on the day of judgment we may have freer access to God”.’

    Another time a widow woman asked the same St. Serapion for alms because her children were hungry and as he had nothing whatever to give her, he obliged her to sell him to some actors and receive his price.

  23. sensabile said,

    Love can probably be defined purely in evolutionary terms.

    Only if you have a preference for post hoc reasoning.

  24. tobias said,

    Are you living for love? Yeah aren’t we all, but what is needed for it? what is needed for love?
    1. Another person. Even a narcissist needs an ‘other’ to reflect his self so that he can love it. Besides, nobody would mind a narcissist if he would keep it to himself, problem is they do not, they need somebody else. No, in love some ‘other’ is definitely needed.

    2. A self. A self is also needed. It is even highlighted when falling in love. People are usually very self conscious when they fall in love. They spend hours in front of the mirror, they spend ages figuring out whether that other person also loves them, so they want to know how they are seen in the eyes of that ‘other’. They start thinking about what to say, how to behave, their palms start to sweat and stumble over their own words, but desperately try to cover it up. In my opinion love makes somebody watch themselves under a magnifying glass.

    Physical attraction. Nobody falls in love with a figure that he or she finds physically repulsive. I refer to the baron’s more graphically explicit posts to underline this point. This will eventually lead to sex as a goal, though the goal is not always reached. I don’t believe in Platonic love. In the background of love there is sex. Though this sex gives rise to an almost infinite amount of games people play with each other. You can deny the one that loves you sex, this might drive him or her crazy or it can be a ritualized activity, like the courtly love stories of the Middle Ages. In any case, sex, lust, the body are the tools of love.

    So a self an other and two compatible bodies are needed. That makes love a relation like playing a game. We have a very complicated yet very interesting, often scary, often someone you don’t want to know too intimately, but who happens to be ‘you’ kind of thing, a self, chasing something that is desirable yet cunning, something that seems to have a goal of its own, kind of thing an ‘other’. The ‘other’ is similar to you, but never ‘you’. (You are just too special aren’t you? )

    Like in a game, in love there are stakes. The clinical psychological term for it is ’emotional investment’. In human terms, how much do you want to ‘get’ the other and how much do you want to retain for your self, how much freedom do you want to keep for yourself in the relation with the other. Like in a game there are winners and losers. Psychologists say that too much ’emotional investment’ of one party scares another away. I disagree. Too much emotional investment means higher stakes. It signals to the other that you want to catch them, that they are worth your while. What does this signal mean to another? It means they have you, that they can do whatever they want with you, they might give you their body, but they might not. They hold the trump cards. It is always nice to hold trump cards, so they are not played. That is the irony. In love you bluff by keeping your stakes low.

    Love becomes a game, a game of domination and subjection, of lowering the stakes to make another come for you, but not lowering them enough to make another disinterested. This perpetual game is played on and on because of our fascination with another?s body. We can’t get enough of that what we are not. We look for something to dominate, but also for something that provides a challenge. We love it when we see a disinterested other with a body to kill for. We fancy movie stars, the quarterback of the football team, the college slut who reportedly slept with everyone but doesn’t give you the time of day, heck; even serial killers get tons of love letters.

    We love love so much that we made a culture out of it. This cruel but aesthetic game of power became a paradigm for the most pure of relationships. The question remains though, why do we need another? Why don’t we have enough on our selves? We don’t know ourselves well enough to love another, yet this doesn’t seem to be a problem at all.
    regards

  25. chris brown said,

    Love…
    The excited expression on my little boy’s face at the notion of some new Yugi-Oh cards…
    The joyful expression on my little girl’s face as she twirls ’round and ’round…
    The compassionate expression on the face of my wife as she listens to my incessant whining…

    …and the understanding that I’d lay down my life in a heartbeat for them.

  26. WastedTime said,

    A4_lever_arch_file wrote:
    Love can probably be defined purely in evolutionary terms.

    i think not. if you want to consider sex the act of love, or even sexual contact like kissing, you have to see that love and acting on emotions caused by this entity of LOVE is as primordial and instinctual as it was when humans were mere beasts in the grasp of ignorance. More, i dont know of any theory, let alone proof, that says humans have evolved of sexual intercourse – just because we have condoms and contraceptive doesn’t make us any less savage in our act.
    as time goes, evolution of men and women loving one another (in the physical sense) has flipped and waned in its definition and purpose. Today, women may demand more respect; men may be less insistent to push love upon their females; women may have even become more male in sexual instinct, they are quicker to be jealous or possessive of their males. but the act is still no different, except maybe by the terms of devotion and love.

    ALSO:
    i know the question is of love in some omnipotent divine force that touches people when and how it likes to, but if this is not a question even the greatest minds could answer except perhaps through art and poetry, i wonder if purus wants to question love between two, love of all, or pleasure and aesthetic beauty.

  27. laamka said,

    Epicurus denies that there is any intermediate state between pleasure and pain. When one has unfulfilled desires, this is painful, and when one no longer has unfulfilled desires, this steady state is the most pleasurable of all,

    The greatest destroyer of happiness, thinks Epicurus, is anxiety about the future…If one can banish fear about the future, and face the future with confidence that one’s desires will be satisfied, then one will attain tranquility (ataraxia), the most exalted state.

    Pain from love can be caused by unfulfilled desire.

  28. tobias said,

    Anything that is arrived at logically, through a minor and major premise, is not opinion; it is an argument. Opinion is something that is thought on the spur of the moment and by impulse rather than creative thought.

    A logical conclusion (derived at through syllogism) is only true insofar as your premisses are true, so this begs the question, when are the premisses true?
    Surely, if we are to suppose that you are a lover of knowledge, truth is preferable to illusion and opinion?

    Isn’t love, (the topic of the thread) an example of an important illusion? What is truth when we talk about illusion? Furthermore isn’t love whether it be love of knowledge or love of another person, a relation or bond between two things? If it is, don’t we benefit more from using dialectics than from using logic to analuze such a phenomenon?
    If you prefer opinion then you are not a lover of knowledge, because knowledge correlates perfectly with truth and has infinite and perfect symmetry.

    Such certainty about concepts so elusive…. What is opinion? It seems you define it only against knowledge and knowledge in turn you defy against opinion. Isn’t that opiniom itself? Is there imperfect symmetry, what is infinite symmetry? You are using hollow mantra’s to strengthen your and others beliefs.
    regards
    Tobi

  29. sensabile said,

    A logical conclusion (derived at through syllogism) is only true insofar as your premisses are true, so this begs the question, when are the premisses true?

    I was careful to say it was an argument and not knowledge or truth. I was close to writing an entire paragraph about the truth of premises and their conclusions, but you probably know more about it than me.

    Isn’t love, (the topic of the thread) an example of an important illusion? What is truth when we talk about illusion? Furthermore isn’t love whether it be love of knowledge or love of another person, a relation or bond between two things? If it is, don’t we benefit more from using dialectics than from using logic to analuze such a phenomenon?

    I don’t know if love is an illusion, do you? I would have thought that it was always beneficial to use dialectic over logic.

    Such certainty about concepts so elusive…. What is opinion? It seems you define it only against knowledge and knowledge in turn you defy against opinion. Isn’t that opiniom itself? Is there imperfect symmetry, what is infinite symmetry? You are using hollow mantra’s to strengthen your and others beliefs.

    My closing sentences was not one of exactness; for that I am sorry. I did infact say what opinion was: “Opinion is something that is thought on the spur of the moment and by impulse rather than creative thought.”. I think I made it clear that knowledge is something arrived at by reasoning, be it dialectic, or be it deductive, with true premises. I said before that I am in no way qualified to argue the validity of truth because I have never stepped foot into a philosophy class and I haven’t read very much on metaphysics.

    My argument is this: Opinion is not certain knowledge. If we reason our way to something (by logic, dialectic…et cetera), we can be much more certain of its validity as knowledge. If we are to be “philosophers”, or lovers of knowledge, then we should have a preference to something that we are most certain about. If we are more certain about our reasoned answer, than we are about our opinion, then as “philosophers” we should prefer reason over opinion.

    If you disagree with that, then please explain why.

  30. sensabile said,

    how do you decide what actually happened? which one will tell you the truth?

    There are different theories of truth and I am not qualified to advise you on any of them. I like Plato’s idea of forms and the thing in-itself, this allows you to see what actually happened.

  31. rapa-nui said,

    One word: oxytocin.

  32. Roy_G_Biv said,

    For me love is a happy feeling that satisfies oneself by satisfying the person he loves.

  33. andrew caulin said,

    I’d have to say it’s irrational enjoyment of someone or something.

    Think about it – if you have a crush on someone, it’s chemistry. If you are attracted to their personality, you favor them as a friend. If you can’t explain why but it’s definitely neither of those two, you’re in love.

  34. sensabile said,

    Checksum wrote:
    I’d have to say it’s irrational enjoyment of someone or something.

    Think about it – if you have a crush on someone, it’s chemistry. If you are attracted to their personality, you favor them as a friend. If you can’t explain why but it’s definitely neither of those two, you’re in love.

    Would you count “enjoyment” as involving some form of thought process? If you do then it can’t be irrational, the human thought process is not itself irrational, it is the primary perception of what is, and not, true that is irrational. Although, I am biased to cognitive study so that might explain my logic.

  35. leucrotta said,

    i think love is a spiritually sourced desire to see someone else flourish as a person. that’s what it feels like anyway. i’ve looked back on past relationships i thought were ‘wuv’, but they lacked this hope for the other person. mostly it was me wanting them to think i was neat or smart, not love at all. or it was a crush of sorts. or greed for their presence. but i think actual love has less to do with the self, more to do with the other.

  36. rapa-nui said,

    I’m telling you people it’s oxytocin. You inject a person’s brain with enough of that stuff upon first meeting with the hunchback of Notredame and affection will inevitably develop. (OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme and we only have preliminary data about what it actually does to the CNS… so maybe I’m wrong.)

  37. leucrotta said,

    oh, that’s no fun.

  38. Percipere'Chan said,

    parapa the rapa-nui-

    Man. I know just what you mean. Personally tho, my research in biology lends a closer molecular approximation of love to methylenedioxymethamphetamine. (that’s just a really fun word isn’t it?). The only thing that bothers me is I can’t figure out which one is the God molecule. I’ve been trying to fit in Higgs Boson in there somewhere too. I’ve got a theory using Higgs Boson that might be able to tell us which molecule makes you wonder about free-will.

  39. beena said,

    erin wrote:
    I believe love is when you like someone more than the most important thing in your world. The most Important thing in everyones world is life, so love is when you like someone more than life.

    But love is not liking someone more than the most important thing in the world which is life. We just want love so we can enjoy life more! So love is not when you like someone more than your life, that is just infatuation. Rationally, what you say could not be true because the reason you love is, to be happy, and if that means that you might have to lose life in which you want to be happy, then, how can this love be greater than life itself?

  40. beena said,

    I’d say there are distinctly two different kinds of love. One is romantic love that comes unannounced and that is why it’s so beautiful. So enjoy it for the time it’s there and don’t take it as a security for ever because it’s just like life itself, it will disappear. Another kind of love is a mother’s love for her child, for a friend, country, things, knowledge, food, etc. Now this love grows with time and so it is more stable whereas the romantic one is transitory. Also, I believe that all the love in our life is a BIG constant. So, in romantic love where a new couple love each other to distraction, it wanes a bit or more when there’s a baby on the scene because the love is now divided for the spouse and for the child. This is why, we should learn to accept that love will never remain the same because we need change, “change is the law of nature” and so we start to love other things or people too, so our first love diminishes as it must remain a CONSTANT. Whatever… Do I talk too much? Those Gods above they stole my eraser and got hold of my pen so I’m kinda helpless Whatever…

  41. george said,

    What is love? Well, that annoying thing in your pants (I am just kidding) πŸ˜‰

  42. andrew small said,

    What is love?

    Baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me. No more.

  43. nosce te ipsum said,

    “Love is an intense desire to be intensely desired”
    -Robert Frost

  44. william baker said,

    andrew smallwrote:
    Baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me. No more.

    Bloody hell, that is the EXACT thing that came to mind when I first read the thread title…. It’s safe to say we know too much of too little for our own good.

    Love is… basically, whatever you want it to be, but it has to be intense and something you find very hard to be without.

    Yeah… that sounds vague enough to be acceptable.

  45. reformed nihilist said,

    I think we over-complicate it. Love is wanting good things for someone else. Couple that with sex (no pun intended) and you get romantic love, couple it with lifelong rearing and you get family love. Maybe I’m over-simplifying it, but it seems to always work out that way.

  46. asale said,

    I think love is nature’s way of saying “this person should mate with me” or “this is my mate”. Love is the stick. You do it with them and love serves to motivate you to do it with them more, and that they are a “friendly” rather than what hate indicates… which is that they are “not friendly” (and could threaten survival as you perceive it). Thus love and hate are tools for survival. One helps you remember your partners, one helps you remember your enemies.

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