Sunday, 4 July 2010

What Is Love?

It is about giving or at least wanting to give. Most can agree on that. And after that? Hoping to receive? Wanting to receive? Expecting to receive? Demanding to receive? This discussion is about just that.

It started when I posted a comment on the article ‘Neva A. Lockhart on why Unconditional Love is a Lie’. Ms Lockhart then wrote back to me:

‘To know what love looks and feel like one would have to have all or most of their expectations met. This gives a person the ability to identify for themselves what their true love is. It is unrealistic, and unreasonable to think that True Love has no expectations, when we love we expect to be loved in return, even our pets expect a loving pat on the head, should we as humans expect anything less?’

My thoughts on the matter are that I don't disagree with either of Ms Lockhart or Saint-Exupéry, or rather I don't fully agree with either of them.

I do not believe that, in loving, one expects something in return. One hopes for something in return. And one's readiness to love can be badly shaken if love is unrequited.

That, in turn, leads to shielding oneself against love without expectations …the question is then whether love with expectations, as opposed to love with 'just' the hope that is a part of the feeling of love almost by definition, is actually really love or more like admiration, affection, or perhaps affiliation.

Love is a feeling, it is not something you can create or destroy in yourself. As with all emotions, you either feel it or you don't. That is the purity of love. And in that respect, I believe that talking about 'unrealistic' and 'unreasonable' is imposing something on love that it cannot be fit into: sense (in the meaning of 'reason').

Love very often is not sensible, does not make any sense. Even when it does, it is not sense that has caused the feeling to be born or to persist. Likewise, it is not sense that makes the feeling of love disappear.

So when we love, we give. When we give, we hope for something to return. Some call it 'invest'. Unlike other kinds of investment, we do not expect anything in return. We hope, though it is not the hope that drives us, that drives the feeling. The feeling is just …there.

Bjørn Clasen

1 comment:

Ketrin said...

I like your wondering of love as not a merchandise, but such a human and felt emotion, as it has no comparisons to any other kind of feeling, that, we can't trade it with expecting. When we expect, we trade... Because we give and receive, and expecting means to receive with the same "monetary" value. Instead we hope... And hope Bjørn, is one of the most affiliated words to love, because only s/he who loves can hope. We do not refer to hope as in "I hope the plain doesn't delay"... We refer to the "hope of deliverance" , hope of being in the light of the iris of the person we love, because we have him/her in ours. When not fed, this hope doesn't necessarily diminish love. It simply makes love dwell with other feelings to make our being complete and miserable. Feelings such as despair, loss, grief, numbness, self-consuming bitterness, etc. But, we are nevertheless, very lucky to love and to be loved... Although it hurts like hell or boasts us with immense positive energy, it is damn worth the 'fatigue'. And what makes it even better, is that remarkable ability of loving all the way, as soon as we are aware of it...