Friday, September 18, 2009

Crazy Little Thang Called Love

Yes. I have the balls to write about it. And why not? Its probably not a lot different from any other emotion - anger, humour, sadness, sympathy etc. If anything, at one point or another it evokes at least one, if not all of them. Then why do we worry writing about it? Why do we deliberately keep ourselves blind from how love works?

I was chatting with M today. She said its the one thing she prefers not to blog about. She (succintly) put it this way "...I feel crystallizing it might take away the strength of it, the instictive power or complexity. And i'd hate to lose the mysterious often dark magic as it is undefined in my head." And I hold M in very high regard, especially for her ability to articulate her own thoughts as well as everyone else's. If she stays away from it, I should undoubtedly stay away from it. But like I told her, and like I strongly believe, the further we push it, the more it will continue to elude us.

So then how do we know what love is? How do I know true love from the not-so-true love? Have I felt it, or am I likely to feel it in this lifetime? Where can I find the answer? Google? Of course! (slapping forehead in obviousness). And so I put the word 'love' on google. And who does google promptly direct me to? Wikipedia stupid! So then, according to wikipedia:

The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meat") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my boyfriend").

Really??? Everything from meat to my boyfriend?? Ahem. Moving on.

As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person.

Ah! Now we're talking. But wait, what does ineffable mean?

Ineffability is concerned with ideas that cannot or should not be expressed in spoken words often being in the form of a taboo or incomprehensible term.

Damn it! M was right then.

I wonder though, is it really that incomprehensible and complex? I think about it a lot, and maybe just the fact that I think about it a lot is an indication of the fact that I havent 'really' felt it or I dont know what its meant to feel like or somewhere deep down inside I'm convinced that its a cultural delusion. Another good friend, P once wrote in her blog, that love is separate from lust, infatuation, vanity, codependency or guilt. If it isnt one or more of those five things, then no, I dont think I've ever really fallen in love. My familial, platonic, religious or romantic love, can all be classified as a combination of those five things.

Shites!! Did I just use the words 'love' and 'classify' in the same sentence?? How very scientific and oh-so-not-me of me! But wait, have other, more openly scientific people tried to quantify love? Apparently not a whole lot. According to another frequently cited, very academic source, the TIME magazine:

Love is mushy; science is hard. Anger and fear, feelings that have been considerably researched in the field and the lab, can be quantified through measurements: pulse and breathing rates, muscle contractions, a whole spider web of involuntary responses. Love does not register as definitively on the instruments; it leaves a blurred fingerprint that could be mistaken for anything from indigestion to a manic attack. Since it is possible (a cynic would say commonplace) for humans to mate and reproduce without love, all the attendant sighing and swooning and sonnet writing have struck many pragmatic investigators as beside the evolutionary point.

But during the past decade, scientists across a broad range of disciplines have had a change of heart about love... Whatever the reasons, science seems to have come around to a view that nearly everyone else has always taken for granted: romance is real. It is not merely a conceit; it is bred into our biology.

Fantastic. I can live with that. It is bred into our biology and we're preprogrammed to love. So come meat, come boyfriend, I too shall love!

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