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Love Cannot Be Found - A Letter To A Friend
Love - Noun
- an intense feeling of deep affection
- a person or thing that one loves
- a deep romantic or sexual attraction to someone
- a personified figure of love, like Cupid
- a great interest or pleasure in something
- affectionate greeting conveyed to someone on another's behalf
- a formula for ending an affectionate letter
- a term of endearment
- a score of zero, nil
I found you were on my mind today. You and your multifarious posts on this dubious subject of Love. However, I am not interested in the circumstances that began your journey down the interminable path that leads, hopefully, if you're lucky, to the veracity of the elusive subject. I am merely offering my exiguous observation of the matter, this Love.
The definition of Love has over nine entries, summarizing the ones relevant to this topic, Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. According to popular English dictionaries that is. The word itself grew, like most, from Sanskrit; Lubhyatbi "desire" then morphed into Libet "it is pleasing" and on to Libido "desire" then eventually to the Old English Lufu based on the Germanic word of its origin. I am most certain that other cultures and countries have a divergent hypothesis on Love, it they even possess a similar descriptive word or an adequate cognizance of the feeling.
Feeling? Is that what Love is? Just a feeling, homologous to anger and fear? If so, why then are negative and disadvantageous feelings so easily effectuated and Love ever elusive?
Gentle Feeling of Fondness - Love The Word
Affection is a large part of the definition of Love. In turn its defined as a "gentle feeling of fondness." Does that insinuate that Love is gentle then? I feel many of us can read that and instantly disagree at the preposterous notion. One only need to discern the scars of their own metaphorical heart to come to the same conclusion if they find they disagree. If Love were gentle it wouldn't come on like a flash flood of emotions and drive us to do increasingly foolish actions in its pursuits. Usually to fall and fall hard. Nevertheless, we rise from the ashes to construct a new pathway to a new possibility, even though, like the last, will most likely find an abrupt end.
There's that word again, "feeling." Is Love a feeling, an emotion? If so, why is everyone, well except the few monsters that we assume didn't, susceptible to it while other feelings and emotions can be at least managed? Love is never manageable and once one finds themselves "in it" they become increasingly crazed with the idea and stop at nothing to pursue it. That doesn't sound like a feeling, that sounds like madness.
Is the dictionary correct then? Is Love affection and a gentle feeling of fondness?
No, gentle fondness cannot be love. Merely a scholarly endeavor to bring understanding, classification and definition to a force beyond our comprehension. A formulation of letters in a vain attempt at labeling Love to feel in control. It is inefficacious and pernicious to the truth. As I said; Love is a force, and for one to believe they may label and define such a powerful and incomprehensible element with a definition is only validating our bumptious ignorance.
Maybe Love Is Philosophy Then
In Philosophy circles, Love is a hot ticket debate item with multitudinous arguments. The treatment of Love runs the gambit of sub-disciplines including; Epistemology, metaphysics, religion, human nature, politics and ethics. Often times, statements or arguments concerning the subject, its nature, role and effect on human life connect to one or all of the central points of Philosophy. First, the question;
What Is Love?
That is the problem. That's what we want to know. However, it doesn't always go the way one wants, does it, Crystal? Forsooth, the arguments rise and fall, all philosophers having an idea that is sound, but not to everyone and no evidence to support it. So, they continue to deconstruct the term, compare it with, examine in context of, the philosophies of sex and gender as well as body and intentionality. Some say it's tangible and can be quantified on a molecular level while others say it's intangible and in "the ether" it only exists in our minds.
In short; They don't know either.
Well, How About Spiritual?
Perhaps Love is extramundane, spiritual, after all? A feeling instilled in us by a cosmic mother or father in order to appreciate those around us and learn that this feeling is the intended goal?
Alas, when we look at the history of spirituality and religion we witness a Do As I Say Not As I Do, approach to much of their meddling in the world. Countless have been slaughtered in the name of religion, many more forced in to it, genocides, homicides, kidnappings, rape, theft, control, and manipulation have all had garden beds in the followers of religion's churches and leadership. In fact, prominent scientist, teacher, and lecturer Carl Sagan said;
"There has been more murder, violence and child abuse committed in the name of Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha then ever in the name of Satan. Many people will not like that statement but few can argue with it."
How then can Love come from there? How can an angry Father or Mother tell us they created love and then slaughter us wholesale? How can that same power say they Love us and then threaten to send us to a place of eternal suffering? Is that the example of Love from its creator? Is fear the heart of Love?
I can't believe that.
Merely A Survival
Perhaps Love is simply a chemical reaction produced in our brains? A release of serotonin or endorphin, estrogen or perhaps a combo of sorts that the unique properties of which give rise to the overpowering reaction? Maybe a survival tactic on a molecular level to ensure the continuation of life itself?
Could be, I suppose. A good a guess as any of the others so far. Yet, maybe it's something completely different.
Love Cannot Be Found
Maybe Love is undiscovered because in cannot be discovered? Our efforts in its pursuits are woefully in vain and because of our blind ambition to classify it, label it, and control it we have lost sight of what it really is.
Maybe Love is infinite. Maybe Love is markedly greater than we could possibly imagine and a whole lot stranger too. Maybe Love is unorthodox and something unprecedented. Maybe we only need be patient.
Maybe Love finds us.
© 2016 Adam Stier