Thoughts about love

So, I’ve been pondering various things about love. It’s always been intuitively obvious to me that the standard behavior claimed by the Christian God (“You’ll be tortured for all eternity unless you believe $WHATEVER) is the opposite of love, and as I went through the various experiences with various people over the past few decades of my life, it became apparent to me that if you love someone and they don’t want to talk to you, then the only real thing to do is not talk to them, at least within the framework of behaving lovingly towards them. I have done further thought about to what extent love accepts people as they are vs to what extent love wants them to grow, and then the other question is when you want someone to grow because you love them, to what extent are you able to accept that you may not be aware of what the real optimum for them is? I definitely think there’s a problem with parents wanting children to have similar moral and value frameworks even though their moral and value frameworks may be wrong (and there’s a *huge* problem with people not considering that their moral and value frameworks may be wrong even as they are cheering on systems which are more or less guaranteed to fail)

Love is probably the slipperiest thing to define I have ever really considered. The word is heavily overloaded (like God) – meaning it has many different meanings depending on context and both the speaker and the listener.

Interestingly, there was one point where I thought I was addicted to sex, but I discovered that sex without love has no value to me, therefore apparently I am addicted to love. I think someone had a song about that..

I’m not even going to try to actually write the definition of it, at least not yet. I note that in the Bible officially love keeps no record of past wrongs, which means that hell as a punishment for any wrong behavior is apparently biblicly impossible. I always find the frantic jumping of Christian apologists to “But God is a Just God!” both funny and predictable. I think I’ve talked elsewhere about how the history of religions involving dieties is in general a measure of how humans always try to put superhuman intelligences into boxes they can understand and invariably end up using too small of a box. Thusly, I expect way, way better behavior from God than most people, and I sometimes wonder if this is because I myself am more intelligent, at least in some senses, than most people, and thusly can imagine a bigger box.

However, having a big enough box to capture the idea of love remains beyond me, at least thus far. I can sometimes identify which the path of love is, but I’m just beginning to even grasp the shape of it, much less be able to compile what I know into english.

I’ve heard it broken down into eros, philios, and agape, but I find all of the above overlapping and also suspect it breaks down to many more colors of the rainbow than that.

One Response to “Thoughts about love”

  1. Firesong Says:

    Boy, do I have a lot of thoughts in response to this, some of which I’m only going to share with you. But wow, is it a complicated subject.

    I think that when you love someone, you *must* want them to grow — ideally into what they believe their optimum is, to maximize their experiences and their joy. If you want someone to grow into what *you* think they should be, that’s a pretty constraining kind of love. Oftentimes, as you noted with parents and children, it can be a form of narcissism, trying to replicate one’s own patterns in others. Really, I’d want anyone I loved to be *better* than me — and happier, too. This isn’t opposed to acceptance. You can accept someone exactly as they are and believe that they are wonderful, and still want them to grow … for themselves, not for you.

    Yeah, this is a really complicated subject. *hugs* But I love the way you think about it.

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