Love

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25 Jun 2017 12:37 #288565 by ReallyRiver
Replied by ReallyRiver on topic Love
Imo love is a feeling, and feelings are called feelings because they aren't thoughts. Or at least, I've found it true in my experience that feelings just kind of *are.* They am that they am, so to speak. We can apply thought and say, "aha, that's why I love" but in the end maybe it's our higher self, total body brain, spirit, or whatever, that's in charge of the emotional side of things and operations on a set of laws that our consciousness as we know it just can't grasp.

Or maybe I spend too much time philosophizing ;)
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25 Jun 2017 17:23 - 25 Jun 2017 17:28 #288592 by user15542
Replied by user15542 on topic Love
For me, love is a lasting life changing link across the wide web of the Force. Those come in various flavours... love is about caring for another more than caring for ourselves. Wanting their happiness more than we prioritise our own. And like any of those big life-changing links, it's fragile and can swiftly slip into anger, or greed, or envy. But at the core of it, even if that pure intention becomes alloyed to others, is a very real altruism directed at a single person, another node in the grand system.

For my part I don't see any reason to discriminate between living and dead people as objects of love. The second the person I love is out of sight, they may as well be dead in terms of my reliance on recollections of them. Whilst we ourselves may never hope to see dead loved ones again, many people do, in heaven, the next life or simply longing for them to return. I don't find these functionally different to, say, my loved one waking to the shop. Even if they're hit by a bus and killed, my desire for them to return and to be with them won't fundamentally change in that instant... nor, really, when I learn of their death. While the yearning may take on a more tragic character, I'll still be wishing they'd jangle their keys in the door lock.
Last edit: 25 Jun 2017 17:28 by user15542.
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25 Jun 2017 20:36 #288596 by Kyrin Wyldstar
Replied by Kyrin Wyldstar on topic Love

ReallyRiver wrote:

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: Love is unconditional attachment, nothing else. And as James says, you can't love the dead, only the ideas and experiences that dead thing represents to you personally. So to take that further and to answer the OP question, I have loved a furry horse that I met on the internet. It was not the person I loved but the concept he represented.


I'm curious about what I'm seeing as a bit of duality here (though of course it's entirely possible I'm just not understanding properly). How is it that you believe it's possible to love a concept, but not someone who has passed on from their material form?


I suppose it's all relative according to how you define "someone" after the body dies. When a person dies we don't continue to love the dead body, only what that body represents in the person you loved. The question then becomes where is that "person" after death? I personally don't believe a conscious, in tack entity continues on after death. The energies that were that person go on but that combination that was that individual do not. So all that is left are the experiences and the concepts that person represented to you. And those only go on inside of us.

This guns for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark.
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17 Mar 2018 16:42 #319002 by Streen
Replied by Streen on topic Love
It's been a long time since I visited this thread :)

But I'd like to offer an answer to my own question. An answer provided by Matthew Stover in the book Star Wars: Traitor...

Love is nothing more than the realization that two are one; that all is one.


"The sage does little,
but leaves nothing undone."
—Lao Tzu
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17 Mar 2018 17:24 #319004 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic Love

Streen wrote:

Love is nothing more than the realization that two are one; that all is one.


Agreed. We love nothing more than ourselves, and if we are all connected, to hate another is to hate self. Open hate, I find, is an reflection of self.

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24 Mar 2018 22:48 - 24 Mar 2018 23:01 #319590 by Manami
Replied by Manami on topic Love
It's unfortunate that English lumps so many different concepts under the word "love" - it makes it difficult to be very precise in discussing the nature of it. Ancient Greek does better, with different terms for the different concepts. Within that approach, some forms of love are unconditional, some are highly conditional. Some are based in the perception of becoming "one" - others are built on the attraction or acceptance of difference. Even one relationship may transition through several different of these types of love, from the romantic impulse (which may be very illusionary or self-reflective) to the enduring kind that keeps a persistent bond even when the physical source is removed. Physical death will end the physical forms of love (at least, one would hope so), but for me, we are far more than just our physical bodies, and death is just another form of physical absence (which can be seen as temporary, depending on one's personal beliefs.) I personally place less emphasis on love as a feeling - actions to me are the test of whether the "love" is substantial or a projection.

As for experiences, I've run the gamut of types, I believe. :) Probably the most important lesson so far was found in loving another Initiate, and realizing that for both of us to continue our journeys at the differing levels we needed to, we'd have to end our marriage and move on, transitioning a romantic bond to another form. The process of discovery sometimes involves a lot of strain, and sometimes it really is the willed actions that get you through it.

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
Last edit: 24 Mar 2018 23:01 by Manami. Reason: additional answer; clarification
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25 Mar 2018 08:57 #319605 by JLSpinner
Replied by JLSpinner on topic Love

Manami wrote: It's unfortunate that English lumps so many different concepts under the word "love" - it makes it difficult to be very precise in discussing the nature of it. Ancient Greek does better, with different terms for the different concepts. Within that approach, some forms of love are unconditional, some are highly conditional. Some are based in the perception of becoming "one" - others are built on the attraction or acceptance of difference. Even one relationship may transition through several different of these types of love, from the romantic impulse (which may be very illusionary or self-reflective) to the enduring kind that keeps a persistent bond even when the physical source is removed. Physical death will end the physical forms of love (at least, one would hope so), but for me, we are far more than just our physical bodies, and death is just another form of physical absence (which can be seen as temporary, depending on one's personal beliefs.) I personally place less emphasis on love as a feeling - actions to me are the test of whether the "love" is substantial or a projection.

As for experiences, I've run the gamut of types, I believe. :) Probably the most important lesson so far was found in loving another Initiate, and realizing that for both of us to continue our journeys at the differing levels we needed to, we'd have to end our marriage and move on, transitioning a romantic bond to another form. The process of discovery sometimes involves a lot of strain, and sometimes it really is the willed actions that get you through it.


This reminds me of a specific day back in my psychology class. Our professor split the white board in half and wanted us to list every feeling we could think of. One side was for "negative" feelings and the other for "positive". The negative side filled up quickly with very specific feelings. However the positive side didn't. She wouldn't accept happiness or love because they were categories that contained different feelings. It took almost an entire class period before we came close to the level of specifics of the "negative" side. The question for the next couple of days was "why?". Why do we put less focus and energy into the emotions we enjoy? Was an interesting discussion to say the least.


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25 Mar 2018 09:03 - 25 Mar 2018 09:09 #319606 by Twigga
Replied by Twigga on topic Love
Love is hard to define. One 'exercise' that has been suggested to me is to take some time out each day to write a definition on Love based on my experiences from the day. What it's lead to is not the ability to better define Love, but rather an increased ability to "know it when I see it"... One of the threads on this site introduced me to this concept of "knowing when seen" through a rather witty quote.... Don't remember who or where, but it was a nice wisdom cookie, so it has stuck with me, and thank-you to that someone, somewhere.

All these definitions - loyalty, trust, acceptance, attachment, longing, self-care, compassion... They all work for me, but over time, some of these have become more valuable to me personally. Some experiences that I have previously defined as "Love-based", I have also come to see as "not-so-all-that"... I think that's called 'disillusionment' about here... It's been a very useful exercise.

EDIT: I think Spinner and I were replying at the same time - what he writes is very valuable, and valid. It's possibly why this "worked" for me, as it got me exploring the feelings "inside" Love. Excellent post though - I will enjoy pondering the "why" that your post raised on my train journey today!
Last edit: 25 Mar 2018 09:09 by Twigga.

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25 Mar 2018 10:45 #319608 by Alexandre Orion
Replied by Alexandre Orion on topic Love
It is hard to talk about our sentiments just because they pertain to the realm of the non-rational whereas language relies on the rational to express things by "definitions". Definitions are limitations ; lexical definitions are limitations on "meaning". And we tend to limit meaning to where it is uselessly reductive.

One reason why our negative feelings tend to fill up a white board a lot quicker is because they tend to fill up our minds a lot quicker. Human beings have many more negative feelings than positive ones. Whereas we do not know really what makes us happy - and much less what makes us love - we can come up with a thousand scenarios that scare the hell out of us in as many minutes. We are predisposed to surviving all the hypotheses that the prefrontal cortex makes up to put the reptilian brain through preparatory drills. That has kept the species going through four ice ages, near extinction and global migration, let us build world wonders and conduct world wars ... but in our representational imaginary, and now mass-mediatised, nigh-on virtual world wherein most of our reality is interpreted by sign-values, there is much more to drill on : fear, disgust, anger, sadness ... The unseen snake in every apple-tree.

We aren't so apt at making up scenarios that make us happy. And we aren't satisfied with our fantasies of love. Yet, we have put happiness and love up on pedestals as icons to a good life. We aspire to them and covet them as though they were as tangible acquisitions -- something one can "get". They are not. They are emotional states as fluid as all the negative ones that are usually about things that aren't even real, that never come to pass. This is why love is quite often disappointing when one tries to fit it over a model - a representation - of a scenario one wants. Happiness and love are sort of the complement of the fear and sadness -- we want them to come about and be permanent whereas the fear and sorrow we want to avoid permanently. Happiness and love we never want to stop, sadness and fear we think they will never stop.

But, none of them are choices. We would be pretty damned handicapped if our prefrontal cortex didn't generate hypothetical situations for us. We have some control over what thoughts we pay attention to, but we have very little control over the thoughts themselves. Even less control over our feelings (no matter what we rationally express or do not). Happiness is spontaneous ; indeed, we feel happiness at some pretty awful things -- like, say, someone else "getting what is coming to them". We may not admit it, but it's there.

Likewise, love (in all it's forms) comes about. Someone has a "special meaning" about them which comes about by itself, well beyond the bounds of rationality. One can try to ignore it, or flee from it, but it is there. Aspects and characteristics, both positive and negative, about that person have a different meaning, a different symbolic, than about those very same ones of someone else. It may be blissful ; it may be agony. Either way, it's there. It doesn't require any particular action on one's part -- just like the rain or the sunshine, one can either go out in it and let it fall how it may, or go out in it with an umbrella/parasol ... or stay safely inside 'til it passes. Whereas it may be exhilarating and a little uncomfortable to get drenched/sunburned, it's probably more enriching and transformative than ignoring it.

There are a lot of directions this discussion can go, and a lot of cultural baggage to throw overboard in discussing it. On the academic level, I would suggest the work of Italian sociologist Francesco Alberoni, anthropologist Helen Fisher, psychologist Alan Downs (who wrote mainly about gay men, but it's applicable over a wider domain) and Erich Fromm (which one has to approach with discernment also).

:cheer:

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04 May 2018 19:23 #321144 by Sylver Wyrm
Replied by Sylver Wyrm on topic Love

JLSpinner wrote: This reminds me of a specific day back in my psychology class. Our professor split the white board in half and wanted us to list every feeling we could think of. One side was for "negative" feelings and the other for "positive". The negative side filled up quickly with very specific feelings. However the positive side didn't. She wouldn't accept happiness or love because they were categories that contained different feelings. It took almost an entire class period before we came close to the level of specifics of the "negative" side. The question for the next couple of days was "why?". Why do we put less focus and energy into the emotions we enjoy? Was an interesting discussion to say the least.

I wanted to look at this one question in particular, if nobody minds, because it's something I've thought about a lot in particular. And It was also interesting to see other responses such as, for example, this:

Alexandre Orion wrote: One reason why our negative feelings tend to fill up a white board a lot quicker is because they tend to fill up our minds a lot quicker. Human beings have many more negative feelings than positive ones. Whereas we do not know really what makes us happy - and much less what makes us love - we can come up with a thousand scenarios that scare the hell out of us in as many minutes. We are predisposed to surviving all the hypotheses that the prefrontal cortex makes up to put the reptilian brain through preparatory drills.

While it makes sense to suspect that evolutionary pressures, which I'll call 'prey pressures' for simplicity, have influenced our vocabulary for emotional experiences, I think it's interesting to think about other factors that aren't quite as clear-cut. I want to move away from simply 'because evolution' and look at other contributors. Because do we really have more negative feelings than positive ones? I can agree to the fact that in the English language, we certainly seem to have more words for negative feelings (I haven't counted, have you?), so what I'd really like to see is a study of some kind that picks apart multiple languages to see what words - and how many - there actually are for negative vs. positive feelings. I don't know what the findings would be, but I have a suspicion that some of what happened might be partly a cultural thing, and that would be fascinating in itself to dissect.

Note: This would require a more specific definition, perhaps, of 'positive' and 'negative' emotional states, which is another discussion in itself, is it not?

Another thing I'd like to point out, if I might, is that we think about our situation more when we're upset. Or I do, at least. Does that make sense? When we're enjoying ourselves, I find that we naturally get caught up in the moment and don't really focus on our emotions as much as we do on what's going on in the world immediately around us. Therefore, we tend to not notice subtle differences like 'soft happiness' or 'high-octane happiness' or whatever we could be potentially calling those gradients of positive emotion, because we're too busy living it.

That's my theory, anyway. What do other people think about this? Am I forgetting something, not taking everything into account?

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