The Fantasy We Call Love
—cheesecake anyone? ...
If there is any subject in this great wide world that might stand in need of a good dose of brevity it is surely the idea of love.
Whatever else we may say about it, we must admit that we have very likely talked it to death. A thousand different people will offer a just as many different definitions.
I have no desire to make it worse.
Let us undertake a brief study of this popular notion by subjecting it to a simple dichotomy, namely, the social and the natural. It requires but the briefest consideration to arrive at the conviction that love falls under the category of the social.
There is no love (that I am aware of) in the natural world. A mother bear does not kill you for messing with her cub because she loves the cub. She is simply driven by pure instinct (a form of natural programming) to protect it.
One of the clearest distinctions between the social and the natural is provided by the bathroom analogy. It is indisputably natural to go to the bathroom, but it is purely social to close the door.
Mother Nature does indeed drive us to the bathroom, sometimes nigh irresistibly, but she could not care less whether we shut the door. It is the wicked Witch of the East, that demon we call Society, who prompts us to eliminate our wastes in private.
We may approach the social contrivance we call love in much the same manner.
Mother Nature has instilled in us (in the very marrow of our bones) the urge to reproduce. And I dare say that she cares very little about how, or in what manner, we do so, in public, private or downright indiscriminately.
Once again, that contemptible Witch of the East inserts her stern presence into the matter and insists that we do indeed undertake this task, but only under the strictest of rules - her rules.
Love is one of her most insidious, and vile, perversions. She has literally hypnotized us into embracing (and most adamantly) something that is little more than a mirage.
Even animals mate for life, yet do so without the need for that unnecessary baggage we call love. And Paleolithic Man - I would be willing to venture - knew nothing of this fantasy, yet managed to carry on for thousands of years. (We would not be here if he had not so managed.)Because of the high seratonin levels that develop when a couple enjoy each other it is likely more accurate to describe the relationship that ensues as a form of addiction than an instance of "falling in love" (which is one of the most absurd phrases in the language).
Love is more a term of convenience than anything else. What is actually happening in our lives, in so many instances, is simply too complicated to bother describing in detail.
Who wants to go to the trouble of profiling the chemistry of brain activity as the result of indulging in certain behaviors? I sure as hell don't.
It is so much simpler to just say, "God-in-heaven, I love this cheesecake."
September 14, 2015