PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE
One word which we commonly come across is LOVE. I tried my possible best to get what that word means. I mean the nature of love. Many theories had been constructed to explain the nature of love. Among them are the psychological theories which hold that love is healthy behavior, evolutionary theories which hold that love is the process of natural selection and spiritual theories which hold that love is a gift from God or through what is called numinous experience. My findings are not final and the best. I will be very glad if my ideas are counted by opposing ideas or contributions are added to findings. All that I want is better understanding of the nature of love. The results or finds are not tested against science or theology.
Love, if only it exists is not what I used to perceive it to be. Love is an illusion of our emotion. Love is perceived in the mind. No man is born to love or to be loved. Love is nothing but a mere emotion as a result of man’s thinking. If I say I love you, how can you affirm, feel or know what I’m talking about. There is no clear distinction between love and hatred, fear, jealousy, lust, pains or any other emotion. If I should ask you, what is love. You will simply tell me love is caring, patience, hatred, jealous, painful, fear or kindness. For the purpose of a clear understanding, I will ask again what is hatred, jealous, patience or fear and what connection do such words have with love. We may spend our whole lives elaborating on it which may even lead us into deviation. Aristophanes claimed love is our search of our half that make us a whole. According him love is completion. Meaning every human has to love only a person to make him complete. This definition is too narrow to be accepted. An individual can love his parents, his God, his wife and many more. To accept it this definition, then you have to agree with me first that man is having infinite or boundless halves.
Love is not natural. I mean love does not respect laws of nature. Laws of nature are the general order things follow. For instance, the planets move on their orbits. In that sense if I tell that Mars is a planet, you will know that it moves on its orbit. Again death clinically pronounced when the brain ceases to work and there is no way a death body will come back to life. If a planet moves out its orbit or the brain of the death continues to function then we say, that incident had violated the law of nature because that is not the order in which it should behave. Love has no order or pattern of behavior. Then we cannot say that love is natural.
Love is an illusion which is socially created through human thoughts. I used social to describe the relationship that exist between two or more people. Before I will say that I love you, there must be a relationship between us. Love can be numinous or tangible. Numinous love is the love between man and supernatural forces or mysterious things. For example the love we have for God or our ancestors. Tangible love refers to the love between living things. You simply love this and not that because of what you perceive in your mind and the relationship you are having with them. The level of relationship is not important. What I perceive in my mind determines how I love you but for me to love you too, there must be an existing relationship between us. A western Christian will not love the African Ancestors over Jesus simply because it is perceived in his mind that Jesus is the only way, truth and the light.
Four implication of love to note;
a) love is not necessarily reciprocal. I love you but you do not love me or you love me but I do not love you. This is possible because what I perceive in my mind may be different from what you perceive in your mind. In that sense a person only tend to love you when he perceive it in his mind and you also love him when you perceive it in your mind. Therefore, one is not bound to love or be loved.
b) love is not relative to time or love is not constant. I love you now but later I may not love you or I do not love you now but later I may love you. What is captured in mind is not fixed. Day in and day out, we keep perceiving new things into the mind. Hegel claimed that an idea(called thesis) is countered by opposing idea (antithesis) to form a new idea(called synthesis). This is what he called dialectics. When a new thing contradicts with an already existing one, they fight until one of them emerges the truth. Therefore, love changes.
c) If the new is considered the truth, the old one is send off. When the old one wins, then it gains more trust. There is no in between. You may love me or not. Therefore, you either love a person or do not.
d) you can love or be loved forever. This possible because what is perceived in the mind is believed to be truth. Rene Descartes said he is a thinking thing. That even if he denies his very existence, there is something that doubts his existence. And that thing the mind. For 2+2 will always be 4. If my senses tell me that this a pool of water but when I got closer to it, I realized it a mirage. Therefore what we perceive with the mind are believed to be the truth over what we perceive with our senses. Love is perceived with the mind. So if nothing counters love in mind remains the truth and will be there forever.
In conclusion, love is a mere illusion of our emotion which is perceive in the mind through reasoning. With the help of the implications above, we saw the reasons why we love or be loved, why love is not always reciprocal and why we may love or be loved forever.
Amir, L.(2001). Plato’s theory of Love: Rationality as Passion. Retrieved from www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/89516895
Love Quotations: Philosophical(2014, November 19). retrieved from honeymoons.about.com/cs/wordsofwisdom/a/philosophquotes.htm
Philosophy of love(2014, November 16). Retrieved from en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_love
Plato(1941). The Republic of Plato. Trans. F. M. Conford. New York: Oxford University Press.