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Author Topic: The Art of Love  (Read 852 times)
Nakandi
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« on: June 27, 2017, 07:01:49 PM »

The art and science of love, like any other art form, can be learned. Love is to be distinguished from obsession, sexual attraction, infatuation, and EGO gratification.

Love and Obsession

Both love and obsession involves fear, attraction, and emotions. The differences are great and yet subtle that many are continually confused. You might ask how can both love and obsession involve fear. Fear - which reflects basic insecurities, can be associated with both love and obsession. The difference is that fear based insecurities that derive from love are naturally a part of the process whereby one gives up control, and acknowledges that they are being guided, directed and controlled by a force that is both bigger and separate from themselves. If one is to love then they must allow love to guide, direct and control them. For love will not be controlled.

Obsession, which is a direct result of wanting to dominate, direct and control others, springs from fear. In fact, obsession is an attempt to regulate fear by controlling the object of that fear, hence the term obsession. These two emotions are so close to each other that in the earliest stages of a relationship they are often confused with each other. One clear indication of the difference is that obsession would want to hold one down, to fix their position in a relationship. Whereas love is all about liberation, freeing the subject of ones love so that they may feel the completeness that only comes when one is able to choose when, where, how and the conditions of love.

Love and sexual attraction

The hardest thing for many to understand is that love and physical attraction are two very distinct emotions. The distinctions between these two emotions become quite clear when one observes the primary goals of each. The primary goal of physical attraction is physical sexual gratification, whereas the primary goal of love is spiritual gratification. Physical sexual gratification is interchangeable and can be accomplished within a group, with any number of different partners, even alone. Spiritual gratification is inclusive and does require devotion of ones partners, and cannot be accomplished as a solitary event. Physical sexual gratification leads to mutual sexual intercourse, spiritual gratification leads to the coupling of two souls.

Physical sexual attractions ultimately lead to sexual frustrations, and sexual anxiety. Love ultimately leads to spiritual healing, and spiritual completeness. Love leads to further acts of love; Physical sex leads to despair.

Love and Infatuation

Next to sexual attraction, infatuation is the next most difficult relationship to distinguish from love. In fact, only time can show the differences. With both love and infatuation, one is constantly concerned with pleasing, comforting, being with, and talking to the other. The difference is that with infatuation, after a certain degree of intimacy, the fire is soon replaced with boredom. Love, as distinct from infatuation, constantly renews itself, recharges itself, and is renewed by itself. Its feeds on itself, infatuation is a fire that quickly burns out, and leaves a bad smell after the smoke has dissipated. Love, even after the first fire has died, still leaves sweetness in the memory. Love lifts, infatuation breaks, love builds, infatuation destroys, love withstands, infatuation expires, love endures, and infatuation retires.

Often love is confused with admiration for a particular persona (ego), as individuals seeing their desired personas they fall in love with their own illusion, thinking it is the other person. Personality gratification is a desire for admiration that is fulfilled by another. In such a relationship, as long as the seekers persona is being fulfilled then the illusion of love is preserved, but when the personality gratifying behavior is not forthcoming then the illusion of love is destroyed. Love, on the other hand, seeks to gratify the other. Ensuring the mutual gratification of both loved ones requires that the courtship phase never die. For it is in courtship that one is constantly trying to please the other, the object of all of ones actions is toward the satisfaction of the other, the subject of all ones desires is the completeness of the other. Consider this, the false personality is about the material things including the body as the object of love, whereas love is about the the true self interacting with that of another.

-Rodney D. Coates

http://lists.topica.com/lists/TheBlackList/read/message.html?mid=1303892239&sort=d&start=5583
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Dani37
Dani
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 04:12:18 AM »

I am weary of the idea of love as being this uncontrolled force. Is it really? Love especially romantic love is usually...to me... another person being the manifestation of our core values revealed by their behaviours, actions, utterances, looks etc....the things that we hold sacred...whether we are conscious of this sacred space or not. Therefore there are parameters and even controls to who we love and why we feel love for that person...us not being conscious of those parameters and controls does not mean that they aren't in function or that they are arbitrary. Therefore to see love as a giving in to an EXTERNAL force that is bigger than us seems wishful and even a little lazy. It ...to me.... allows us a 'get out of judgement' or 'no need to self assess' behaviours, motivations and yes our sacred 'card' when we see and court destructive relationships and interactions because after all it is 'love the unknowable, can't be controlled force'. Most of us ...at some stage...acknowledge/realise that a particular behaviour or action was destructive or unhealthy but because we were either comfortable, unwilling to sacrifice immediate emotional gratification, avoid the pain of separation or that relationship was meeting a need that seemed or is given primary status we continued in it to end up at the conclusion of the relationship blaming the inevitable or ultimate pain on a force we allegedly had no control of. The fact that we can love one person and not another reveals that the actions in love aren't that external and uncontrolled. I am weary of this 'uncontrolled external force' because too often when we give into that we fail needed self assessment in why the choices we made were made and how those choices lead to the ends and patterns that make up our existence.

I don't necessarily agree with the premise that physical sex leads to despair. This only becomes true if your goal for the physical sex is to generate something spiritual therefore taking the part of physical sex will most definitely lead to despair. We see this often and 'blame' physical sex rather than the motivations or goals of one of the parties engaging in physical sex in order to manufacture a spiritual experience. It is a form of manipulation that gives 'physical sex' a bad name when if that was your goal for engagement was suspect in the first place.

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Nakandi
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 05:30:02 PM »

Quote
I am weary of the idea of love as being this uncontrolled force. Is it really? Love especially romantic love is usually...to me...
another person being the manifestation of our core values revealed by their behaviours, actions, utterances, looks etc....the things that we hold sacred...whether we are conscious of this sacred space or not.

Although I agree with some of the things you write here, I too, am weary of HOW people arrive at the ‘truths’ in the article and your response. It is not uncommon for people to make certain conclusions, some of them very true, out of disparagement. This is especially the case when people have not had opportunities to experience what most call love. That alone discredits their position because it was not reached from a place of reason and power. Added to this, once the opportunity to relate in the (recent Western) romantic manner presents itself, their actions differ from their verbal positions.

I had reasonings with a Black man who felt dissatisfied with what passed for love. His dissatisfaction initially came from how family members and teachers would be abusive but claim their conduct was based on love. This lead him to observe friends, and even strangers, in their behaviors while they claimed to be in love.  He felt what they all claimed to be love was often abusive and also involved parties with inferiority and superiority complexes based on racism, colorism and classism.

This man became economically well-off and, as such, had opportunities for relationships with a variety of people across the racial, color and ‘class’ spectrum. He said many more people then told him they loved him, but he felt they mostly wanted to be attached to his earnings and fame and thus romanticized him. They were willing to accept almost anything just to be close while claiming to be in love. All of these experiences were part of his long search for a deeper meaning for love. (Perhaps one day he could develop these points on this forum.)

Anyone in a ‘privileged’ position who has access to fantasy-type relationships would be in a better position to dismiss what most call love or search for a deeper meaning to it. Some people who are lacking experiences may also arrive at this, but I remain suspicious of how they get there.

A person could experience some of this if they are coming into a relationship with a person of their fantasy and they feel many strong feelings towards the person. They can discover that the person is not relating to them with the same strong feelings and this can cause anxiety. Some can attribute this to the partner not caring, which could be true, but sometimes the more privileged person is in a position to question what many consider ‘love’. They may experience what they are getting from the less privileged partner as an overwhelming desire to hold on to them at all costs and label it love. The less privileged one could attribute the behavior of the more privileged one to not wanting to commit because he (she) can play the field, which is generally true. One of the reasons the more privileged one is less inclined to commit is because they don’t feel ‘love’ the same way the less privileged one does.

Love takes on different values and meanings for different people. Hence the search for love in its objective form.

Core values are not free from prejudicial and otherwise dangerous conditioning. In fact, they are a result of that. Without character refinement through self/conscious development, these values remain under the direct influence of poor social conditioning. One could arrive at what can appear to be similar values under conscious development, though from a place of reason. Love then, carries a different meaning.

Another aspect perhaps not directly tackled in the initial post "The Art of Love" is the very powerful fear of loneliness. This alone can lead people into dismissing their values in the name of companionship. This is rather common in groups that face a lot of discrimination. The disconnect from self leaves a violent void that with the help of romanticism many try to fill with attention from and towards others.

Many aspects of romantic love are themselves antiquated. Take the idea of lifelong monogamy (“till death do us part”). That came from a time when life expectations were decades lower than they are today. They also came from an era when people were not exposed to or did not have access to a bigger world/community as we have today.

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Therefore there are parameters and even controls to who we love and why we feel love for that person...us not being conscious of those parameters and controls does not mean that they aren't in function or that they are arbitrary.

This is very true. Our preferences and desires are under the control of our conditionings and biases whether we acknowledge them or are aware of them or not. Take the idea of “love at first sight”. It is not some happenstance that we have no control over. It is usually the result of a person meeting many or all our fantasies, even the unacknowledged and unaddressed ones. The strong feelings generated in these situations mustn’t be confused with love just because we are not aware and conscious of the powers at play.

One cannot love without knowledge of self.

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The fact that we can love one person and not another reveals that the actions in love aren't that external and uncontrolled.

The idea that love is for specific people itself is flawed and learnt behavior. It is void of the implicit objectivity of love. The definition of love has been diluted due to what the initial post demonstrates, driven by romanticism.

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I don't necessarily agree with the premise that physical sex leads to despair. This only becomes true if your goal for the physical sex is to generate something spiritual therefore taking the part of physical sex will most definitely lead to despair.

I also don’t necessarily agree that physical sex without expectations of some spiritual experience or revelation doesn’t lead to despair. Humans have tools to relate beyond animalistic behaviours and desires and, therefore, tend to get stressed in some way after engaging in purely animalistic manners -- both males and females, although males are more socialized to relate this way.

Quote
We see this often and 'blame' physical sex rather than the motivations or goals of one of the parties engaging in physical sex in order to manufacture a spiritual experience. It is a form of manipulation that gives 'physical sex' a bad name when if that was your goal for engagement was suspect in the first place.

We also often see this with people who are willing to suspend their standards or expectations in order to accommodate their fantasies. A kind of “I will have you any way that I can” mentality. So, they convince themselves it is purely ‘physical’ and claim they are okay with it.
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Dani37
Dani
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Posts: 22


« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 06:53:01 PM »

Nakandi

Your example of the Black man and his changing perspectives on love is ideal. My wonder is if at any point did or has he evaluated how he shows and offers love and how his behaviours may influence what he is experiencing....at least in the romantic area of love. And in exploring the concept of love I would have wanted to delve deeper into whether he had ever considered his  behaviour in love....

Nothing i have expressed is a conclusion but my perspective based on observations and yes my own experiences in the area of love (not only limited to romantic but also familial) the intention is never to disparage but to bring another train of thought.

Love, it's manifestations and expressions are unique to each of us but when something doesn't seem to work or is negatively recurring in that love (romantic or otherwise) one needs to evaluate the constants and how they contribute to one not getting or achieving what they want and that becomes more challenging when u hold the creed that love and how one gets to the point of love is external to your power control and 'unknowable'...and that frustration and anxiety could be significantly lessened if we acknowledge that we are where we are in love due in part to things that we have control of and choices in.

To me the problem with 'romantic' love is the idea that there is 'one way' for that love to 'look'...married, kids etc. And people feeling the need to meet standards and actions that may not be right for them but deathly afraid of the social ramifications of not being conventional in their love.

Why is physical sex compared to animalistic behaviour? Physical sex serves it's purposes and functions and only becomes problematic when the motivations go beyond what it can deliver. And those who will have the other person one way or the other pay a price for that decision and on some level understand the potential opportunity cost of that decision. Love and physical sex aren't linear nor should physical sex be considered an expression of love...in my opinion.
 
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Nakandi
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 08:10:41 PM »

It is difficult to have a discussion on a topic like love, when generally what most people bring to the table is the feeling of love and not a definition or objective. Emotions can vary, and they can have validity.

From what I gleaned from my reasonings with that Black man I spoke about, is that he never told anyone he was in love with them back then and he used to explain to all of them that he was trying to discover the true meaning of love. That did not diminish his appreciation and ability to care for the people he engaged. As I said before, perhaps one day he will develop this aspect of the reasoning himself.

I appreciate that what you share are your perspective and experiences and not conclusions. A lot of the views I am sharing on this topic are based on ongoing reasonings about love. I am in no way implying that my position is the absolute for everybody.

I think love is within our power; it comes from within us, it is very knowable, and it has an objective. Based on the reasonings I have been having on this topic, I am in agreement with the perspective that was shared that "the object of love is to bring out the best in all of us".

Romanticism in itself is a bit problematic if not well-appreciated because often it is tied to fantasies and the exaggerated feelings about the real or imagined goodness of someone. In that mode, it often downplays all the ‘flaws’ of the individual being romanticized. So, with that in mind, the idea of romantic love can often be filled with a lot of delusions, but I can easily acknowledge that someone can be romantic in an objective function of love as I defined above.

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To me the problem with 'romantic' love is the idea that there is 'one way' for that love to 'look'...married, kids etc.

While this statement can be true, I am suspicious of how people can arrive at this position. Some people may arrive here trying to hold on to a fantasy partner that might not want to commit, or commit to them. But yes, I would agree that love is much more dynamic than the conventional structure and people may feel “the need to meet standards and actions that may not be right for them but deathly afraid of the social ramifications of not being conventional in their love”. This is especially true in non-western societies.

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Why is physical sex compared to animalistic behavior?

Because in my mind it is true, and someone asking that might assume that I am stating animalistic behavior is somehow bad, and I am not. I am however implying that as human beings we can give rational thought to who and how we engage sexually that rises above poor conditionings associated with tradition, race, class, gender, and age. We can also cultivate healthier concepts and feelings of love. Here I am speaking from experience.

If motivations are going beyond what those sexually involved can deliver, then they need to question why they are sexually involved in the first place. I think far too often sex comes out of romanticism and is placed before careful consideration of the objectives of the parties involved. This does not mean that people should not have sex for whatever pleasures they derive from it.
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Dani37
Dani
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Posts: 22


« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 11:28:37 PM »

Quote
Romanticism in itself is a bit problematic if not well-appreciated because often it is tied to fantasies and the exaggerated feelings about the real or imagined goodness of someone. In that mode, it often downplays all the ‘flaws’ of the individual being romanticized. So, with that in mind, the idea of romantic love can often be filled with a lot of delusions, but I can easily acknowledge that someone can be romantic in an objective function of love as I defined above.

Nothing but truth here...at least from my perspective.

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While this statement can be true, I am suspicious of how people can arrive at this position. Some people may arrive here trying to hold on to a fantasy partner that might not want to commit, or commit to them

This too is a very real possibility.


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