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What does love feel like?
October 17, 1999
8:46 pm
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Cici
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Tez -

I'd have to say that even with true love there are some things about the person you love that you don't agree with. After all, loving someone does not erase their faults, yes? And being human, we all have faults. As I said before, it is tolerance of their external faults that characterizes love because you can look at a person and see the beauty of their spirit. True love transcends physicality.

And I'd also have to add that most people fear the absolute solitude that is being human. In the end, everyone is alone. We cling to our relationships because they stave off that lonliness for a little while. If that's what you mean by "security."

And you far and away misunderstood my point about St. Vincent de Paul. According to your own reference, he cared for "the filthy, vomit and excreta soaked old derelicts from the gutters of last century France." Is that not humanity in a state of wretchedness? According to Maslow's psychological heirarchy of needs, the most basic needs must be met before we can attend to our spiritual and intellectual needs, thus those who live in abject poverty and illness must therefore be reduced to an animal state because they focus their mental energy on survival rather than intellectual transcendance. Even the Buddhist ascetics still begged for food in order to live, and in the culture where they flourished, they were fully supported in their spititual quests.

October 17, 1999
9:39 pm
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kitten
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Tez,
Mais oui, mon ami. Even though I myself have tasted some of the most bitter things in life (The suicide of my spouse), I have survived and even become a better person for it. Now, that may sound cruel, but who would I have served by taking my own life (and I did want to) and thus missing out on the future(or the present). I do still have relationship problems, but in most ways I am a stronger and more creative person. By experiencing death first hand I have fully accepted the act of living. Indeed this existential philosophy has been hard won, but it works. And the ultimate question is: perhaps physical birth is really death, a removal from the physical presence of Spirit, and physical death is truly re-birth,the return to the womb of true and complete love. For we enter life(death) alone, exiting in the same fashion. Our job here on this physical plane is to enjoy others for they represent all the aspects of self. Dailogue with others then is only a continuing conversation with self--a way to fully understand self before we are able to return with that knowledge back to the safety of the "womb".

October 18, 1999
12:37 pm
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wow, this thread makes me proud to be part of the human race...:)

October 18, 1999
6:54 pm
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Cici. I see that you are right. I did take the wrong context for your statement about the 'wretchedness of the flesh'. I thought you were talking from a Christian view point of the 'the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Wretched)'.

About loneliness: Isn't that just insecurity in another disguise? Fear of abandonment and rejection from a secure support network perhaps? Do very secure people get lonely? Isn't this why monks seek lonely places in order to deal with this fear by establishing contact with themselves in relationship with the Supreme?

What do you think?

October 18, 1999
7:16 pm
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Kitten. Ooooaaaah! In Salem you would have been burnt at the stake as a witch for spreading such heresy!! Hehehe.. 🙂

However, I believe very strongly as you do. You expressed my belief when you said, " Dailogue with others then is only a continuing conversation with self" I strongly feel that we are the Self experiencing itself in the context of vulnerability that is called earthly existence. Put simply we are the 'windows' through which the Supreme knows vulnerability and therefore love. When we talk to each other we communicate through these 'windows' to the Self. Time is an illusion created by us. Everything that was or ever will be just 'is' in the eternal instant.

I have come to these beliefs through much hard churning upon suffering and other human experiences. Like you I have experienced 'death' at close range. Even worse, I have experienced the horrific addiction to woman thinking it was 'love'. The 'loss' was made worse because of the availability of the woman and my knowledge that the relationship could never be. I often wished that she had died in order to make the separation unequivocal. Yet today, I value the experience. It taught me a lot about 'me' and what love is and isn't.

Well now I am for it. Whip me! I've been bad. 🙂

October 18, 1999
7:20 pm
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Tears.

Me too. 🙂

October 19, 1999
10:33 am
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Cici
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Tears, me too! there's nothing like brisk intellectual exchanges.

Tez, as per lonliness...I suppose I should have been more specific in my use of th elanguage. I think maybe the feeling I'd like to describe is more like "awareness of one's solitude." This doesn't connote negativity. It's just that regardless of the social creature that man indubitably is, we are each a perfect pearl of an individual. Therefore, when we love, we give of ourselves to another but that giving and sharing can neer be complete, being that we are singular in our physical plane.

This is why there is the idea of a greater consciousness in many eastern religions...the reward for becoming enlightened is not heaven. Rather, you become one with the energy of the universe, one with everything...there is no more individuality. This is often repulsive to the Western mind that was raised on individuality, emphasizing the importance of the individual over that of the many.

I always thought ascetics sought out lonely, isolated places in order to remove themselves from the distraction of other people and other mortal trappings. Thus, they are able to more perfecetly focus their thoughts on those of a more celestial nature. I actually had never thought that they did this to grapple with overwhelming lonely feelings. Native Americans of the Southwest went on Vision Quests laone, not to grapple with lonliness but to more easily come into contact with the Great Spirit by focsing their thoughts on spirituality.

Thus, mypoint is that being human is in essence, solitude. We are all, in the end, alone. It is when we fear that solitude that it becomes lonliness...and that fear of being alone can often be mistaken as love in our modern society. We throw that word around so casually. I often wish that, like in many Asian languages, we had different words for the different shades of emotion. How often have I heard, "I love him, but I'm not in love with him"...

What do you all think? Is the word "love" used too casually?

October 19, 1999
11:40 am
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roger
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what is love? you ask a question that is asked by alot of people . the answer to me is , do you remember as a child spinning around in a circle and you just didn't want to stop , but when you did the world was blurry and going around in crazy, zanny, funky turn your stomach upside down good feeling. you lay down to enjoy the ground and the feeling it gives your body and mind at the same time the earth is spinning wow . love is that feeling when you are with the right person you are so wraped up in the here and now the rest of the planet just is there and you and that special person are the only to that are zanny, funky, crazy and spinning the love out of control.

October 19, 1999
1:31 pm
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Tez its really hard to understand you sometimes...but I am sorry that you experienced such pain in your love life, as have most of us here.
I beleive monks seeks solitide to find inner sanctuary and I do not believe that those who have are really lonely at all.
That reminds me of Leonard Cohen, I have to get his c.d he has led the silent/ spiritual life of a monk and writes about it in his lyrics and music..so beautiful.

October 19, 1999
1:48 pm
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I have found true love resides within...

October 19, 1999
7:31 pm
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Tears and all.

The meeting of the minds is limited by the severe restrictions of the written and spoken word. Striving for understanding of the self and others is part of the beautiful quest for sharing our humanity. We falter; sometimes succeeding often failing. Is this quest a form of love?

October 20, 1999
2:12 pm
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Anonymous
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yes

October 20, 1999
5:44 pm
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Tears.

Would you please paraphrase your response of 20-Oct-99? Long winded responses are so hard to follow. 🙂 Sorry,I couldn't resist being a 'wisenhiemer'. The devil made me do it again.

October 20, 1999
5:50 pm
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Roger.
What you describe in your response sounds like the feelings experienced in the early infatuation stages of a sexual relationship.

Is infatuation really love? Or is it a derivative of our early infantile emotional memories?

How unromantic of me to suggest this possibility!

October 20, 1999
8:04 pm
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infatuation is NOT love and i enjoy your long responses tez, I just sometimes find them a LITTLE wordy and hard to get my head around, talk from the heart more friend:)

October 21, 1999
8:18 am
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Cici
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I was just thinking...Roger is right in one aspect...there is a physical feeling that accompanies the emotional attatchment. I mean, I feel a certain amount of tenderness only towards those I feel I strongly love.

October 21, 1999
6:50 pm
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Tears.

I ain't got a heart. 🙂 I'm a male. We were born without them. We are left brained and have b...lls instead. Hehehe.

However, I am up to my eyeballs in Dr LeDoux's latest research into the location of and processes involved in our emotions in our physiological brain. Will that help, do you think? 🙂

October 21, 1999
7:03 pm
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Cici. Yes, but is emotional attachment love? Or is it evolution's way of ensuring that we survive? After all, our emotions are ultimately derived from our evolutionary adaption to our environment in order to ensure our survival and that of the species.

Is there more to love than the conscious warm fuzzy feelings that emanate from the biological processes that originated in our evolutionary drive for survival?

October 22, 1999
9:13 am
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Cici
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Tez -

That depends on whether you ascribe to the religion of science (we accept certainbasic tenants onfaith, ya know...like our number system) or you believe in the existence of a spirit.

Why would biology dictate that I have feelings of love towards someone of the opposite sex when I do not reproduce with him? And what are the biological dictates for the love for one's parents (biologically speaking, they are an exhausted resource and serve no purpose after they reproduce) or for one's siblings and friends (competitors for the same allocated resources)?

If you consider the emotions that have a direct evolutionary connection: anger, fear, greed, lust...those are all eomtions that we must strive to control in order to retain our humanity. If we give them free rein, we become as animalistic as our furrier cousins.

Consider the tribe of caucasians found in the upper Western province of China (Xiangxua), which butts up against the Gobi desert. Although they lived in an extremely harsh clime where most of the people died between the ages of 20-30 of complications due to inhalation of sand during sand storms, they took time to rub ointment on their dead, tie their dead's hands on the chest and a band around the heads (to prevent the swelling tongue from pushing the mouth open), paint symbols on the faces, and finally they constructed burial chambers that were about five feet deep with log and thatch roofs containing some personal possessions...why? Their survival doesn't dictate this is necessary. Some might argue that the useless actions of tenderness even put them in danger (small groups of people versus vicious scavengers).

October 22, 1999
10:05 am
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bel
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Why do we always have to ask why? Can't we just enjoy how we are feeling when we have those warm fuzzy feelings with someone your with? If we don't have those feelings and want them can't we work to attain them? Does everything have to have a meaning?

To me when I loved this person I used to be with I enjoyed everything we did together. Even going to a Hunting and Fishing Wearhouse with him was okay even if I didn't care for Hunting and Fishing but knowing it was something he liked to do made me happy and also the fact that I was spending time with him, that is what was important to me. I am not saying it should be all on way it should go both ways that is what love is to me. Its probablly a simple way of thinking on my part................

October 22, 1999
11:03 am
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simple is sometimes best Bel, I recall a line from one of my favorite movies "The horse whisperer" when Robert Redford says to his love interest who is having problems dealing with her love for him (she is married)
He says when you love, you never ask why, it just is.............

October 22, 1999
1:53 pm
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bel
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I like that Tears.............:)

October 23, 1999
7:00 pm
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Jack
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I believe that true love is not reactionary, but compulsory. Yet sometimes I feel selfless and selfish in quick succession.

There is an altruistic facet to 'love' that is self-assured and gives me the strength to forget my needs while focusing on another's. This dedication doesn't presume any reaction from the other because it is a self-fullfilling act.

Another is full of expectations and rewards. A reciprocal relationship where both intimates are negotiating a common feeling about each other. Sometimes I wonder if this is a means of conserving love for fear that it might all get 'spent' on an undeserving partner.

October 25, 1999
6:20 pm
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Cici.
You pose the question, "Why would biology dictate that I have feelings of love towards someone of the opposite sex when I do not reproduce with him?" I would suggest that not all evolutionary drives reach fulfilment. This does not imply that the feeling of love is not a biological drive just because it does not lead to reproduction. You have chosen to override the emotional drive by your intellectual inhibition of this drive. Using contraceptives is a way of expressing the drive and avoiding the consequences; procreation.

You asked, "And what are the biological dictates for the love for one's parents... " Satisfaction of emotional drives associated with emotional memories laid down in childhood; memories laid down at a time when the drives had real 'survival' value. Many of our now redundant emotional drives are left overs from the days of primitive man. This redundancy again does not imply that they are not biologically based.

"If you consider the emotions that have a direct evolutionary connection:..." I suspect that all emotions are evolution based; based on survival for self (physical self and ego self) and/or the species (the group). We are laying the foundations for the emotional responses of humanity in the future (if there is one for humanity)right now.

You made a good point regarding primitive man's burial rites. You said, "Their survival doesn't dictate this is necessary." I suggest that their fear of death was driving them to belief in survival of body death; thus their need to venerate the dead. This is not to imply that life after death does not exist; it is just that either way, we cannot accept our own demise easily. we are biologically drived to 'survive' even death; not that the body can; drives are not guaranteed satisfaction 100% of the time.

The above does not imply that I deny the existence of the 'spirit'. I do believe that the 'spirit' often gets undue credit for many biological manifestations.

What does love feel like? Hmmm!! What is love???

October 25, 1999
6:45 pm
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Bel. "Why do we always have to ask why?". Not all of us do have to ask why. Some accept their experiences unquestioningly; others do not. It all results in a diversity of human experiences; all with equal validity.

My preference is to ask questions and seek answers. I find that the journey towards self-discovery and self-control is enhanced by questioning one's cognitions, motives and drives. However many people go to their graves without an inkling of who they are and why they behave as they do. Theirs is as valid a way of living as mine. They have very few control needs whereas I have many. Where do there control needs come from? From feelings of insecurity that emanate from emotional memory laid down in childhood and the desire to prevent the effects of their recall.

I guess it is 'horses for courses' all over again.

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