Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Everything but The Chicken Skin

"I loved Marie with all my being. I loved her and I’ll always love her." 

What is the substance - the flesh and bones of what the word 'love' refers to?  For too long people have hidden behind and defended this infamously vague concept.
'Romance' is a synonym for idealism and the imaginary, of which 'love' is the epitome.

'Love' is a Trojan horse, or the suitcase of an unsuspecting mule. When attempting to convey strong, positive feelings you'd be wise not to fall into the trap of using such a word.  It carries with it such assumptions as 'if you love me then you would...' as well as the ever popular 'if you love me then you wouldn't...'  As if love is a magical force that causes those under its influence to behave in certain ways, while preventing others.  When in reality, someone who confesses to being infected with such a notion is no more free or inhibited than he was without love.

What has a noticeable impact are the expectations you might have of someone who told you that they loved you, or the expectations you would have of yourself if you had been unfortunate enough to have given into the pressure to utter those three fateful words.

Love is not a constant; the only stability lies in the idea that you will always love someone unconditionally, whereas there is no actual experience or reality to lend weight to the concept of everlasting love, other than the strong emotional attachments we are capable of forming that have a physical, neurological basis.  This is why 'I will always love you' can turn into 'I cringe at the mere thought of you' over a simple matter of time.

There seems to be the belief in love, and more subtly the desire to believe in it.  I actually think that the latter is the most common cause of things such as 'heartache', soppy poetry and bad breakups.  It's not the fact that one does not care about the other, but that there is no 'love' in the first place.  

We seem to have been collectively raised on such vague ideas that it is deemed counterculture to reject 'love' as a concept, and more importantly it is callous of you to do so.  People have the gut feeling that 'love' is hollow, but how to express yourself to those you care about when neither of you have ever been shown an alternative?  

Nature surrounds us on all sides, and likewise "all is full of love", but nature is parts without a whole, and 'love' is differing ideas about desire and varying degrees of emotional attachment among other things.  

When a definition fails to tie down that which it is supposed to describe, it can no longer be considered a definition at all.  

Water comes in various forms, as snow, ice, sleet, hail and rain.  All of which is H2O, which can be further reduced or separated into Hydrogen and Oxygen.  'Love' comes in countless forms, all of which could be reduced in a similar fashion to attachment, mental programming and strengthened neural pathways for example.  The difference is that it is much easier to understand one person who says 'rain', and another who says 'ice', than it is to infer the referent in question when two different people both say 'love'.

The more curious form of love is that which is believed to exist as some external, metaphysical power that permeates everything and can be tapped into at any time.  A fundamentally 'loving' universe looking over us and longing to care for humanity in our state of fragility.  
But again, there is no love, and what we find instead is the collective desire to feel the reassurance of some benevolent force outside of ourselves.  Something innately and consistently 'good' to rely on, instead of the many different, sometimes unspeakably ugly, and psychotic faces of man.  
We are effectively alone with ourselves on this planet, like a mentally disturbed character dreading the moment he is left to his thoughts and for his mind to finally run wild.  
We turn a single blind eye to the realities we wish weren't so, while our minds are kept busy, left to pick up the pieces of the overwhelming mess we have witnessed.

Love creates unsightly obligations and makes villains out of people like myself who would dare to admit frequent bouts of indifference, emotionally unimpressed one way or the other.

We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and of everyone else we encounter, yet we appear unable to let go of these romantic ideals.  'If the universe doesn't love me, and you only sometimes feel 'close' to me, and not some reliably strong emotional bond, then I must be truly alone.  Doomed for the fact that I need love to survive.'

Perhaps these 'happy concepts' simply evolved to ensure man's continued existence, like any other adaptation.

No comments: