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.
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.
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.
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.
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.