Sunday, January 5, 2014

True Love and a Yellow Sponge

True Love and a Yellow Sponge

Love. True Love. Endless/Eternal. Butterflies in your stomach and dopamine to your brain. In The Midsummers night dream Shakespeare wrote, "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged cupid painted blind." These were the words of Helena. The woman was dismayed to find her love Demetrius had fallen for another woman. He had found the other woman Hermia to be more attractive and this tears Helena apart. Throughout the play, which I urge anyone to see, loves essence is questioned in a very prosaic way.3 The relation between the eyes and mind, and aesthetic beauty are as much initiators of trouble in the play as they are in the real world. Love and the debate on were it comes from, what it is exactly, if it is real have been the topic of many conversations, letters, books, and sad soliloquies of teens everywhere.

Love has been narrowed to feelings, or a state of being that a person has towards someone or something. Different completely from love we separate the "sexual" from the romantic. Loves involves directly how we feel, so there really is no action in the accepted definition. Love has been claimed by many fields as a work of "their systems". Biologist and other scientists point to the primal brain functions, as love being another urge connected to the necessity to reproduce . To them love is hormones and firing synapses.


Science of Love

The scientific view is comprised of mostly of thoughts of psychologists and biologists. Extensive studies have gone into understanding how love works and what is happening when we "love". Psychological studies have shown that it only takes a person 1 1/2 to 4 minutes for person to decide whether or not they love someone. They equate what a person looks like or how they move to equate to over half of this decision; the voice equates to about 40 % and the actual words that are said equate to less than ten percent (so much for intelligence). Then the scientist break love down into three stages. Initially there is lust. They say that your strictly physical attraction is the foot in the door for love.

Then there is the stage of intimacy or attachment. This is the old "honeymoon" stage were your neurons are flooded with adrenaline, Dopamine and Serotonin. Adrenaline results in those fun symptoms you get when your crush says hello. Sweating, cotton mouth, heart beating out of your chest. Yes, blame adrenaline for why you spoke Aramaic to the hottest girl in your grade. Then there is dopamine. It's similar to cocaine, that's all nothing special. Those new couples walking around "high" as hell calling each other pet names and whatever else. Yup...they are all doped up. :) Dopamine results in excess energy, a lack of sleep and food, and extreme happiness. Last but not least there is serotonin. This neurotransmitter causes your lovers face to be the only thing on your mind. In this stage your partner can do no wrong. They are perfect no ,matter what your mom thinks about them. Then comes the third stage; attachment. The hormones of this stage are Oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin is released during an orgasm. So this is the scientific way to connect sex with love. As Oxytocin deepens feelings of attachment. Oxytocin is also the hormone that makes a mother care for its young. This is that unconditional "love" hormone. Vasopressin , aka the "anti diuretic hormone" used by the body to control thirst. This hormone is also released after sex, and is directly correlated to long term relationships. So if you question the devotion your spouse, slip them a little ADH intravenously.
For the scientist this is love. Super romantic...I know. They have found you can pretty much find love by following 3 steps:
                        1) Find a stranger
                        2) Talk about the details of your life for half an hour
                        3) Stare into each others eyes for 4 mins.1
And "Expecto Patronum" you've got love!

Philosophy of Love

Renown philosophers have touched the subject as well. Bertrand Russell extensively talked about love, revereing its importance. He called it extra rational but not anti-rational. Bertrand equated love to a person in a state of "absolute value". This is interesting and confusing as most things that involve love are.2 Relative value means to look at everything, kind of a cost benefit analysis and seeing what something will mean to you. In other words what will you gain. Absolute value in terms of love must pose that a person in love is without the end goal of finding the best deal for him possible but instead finding the absolute best deal. But how could this be possible. As people we only have our perspective as a tool to judge. This sounds a lot like Helena's speech, "cupid painted blind." So Love, lets take it in the instance of person A and person B. Person A loves person B. Therefore Person A is in the best state of affection for existence. It may not be in his best interest. Person B's dad may kill him, she may leave him at the alter, they may both be persecuted for their love. But he does not have his personal "relative" well-being to worry about because love doesn't care about the person. In a way this definition says that love is beyond us completely. A religious person could say that love is gods plan, maybe. That love is a tool of god to exert his will. This could work for absolute value. Or maybe the universal harmony is relies on love to keep things even; yin and yang, good and evil.

True Love

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I enjoy Bertrand's explanation of love, because sometimes sex, eye contact and a face cannot explain the feeling that is true love. And I believe the word love deserves more than a few hormones, or just a means to ensure the survival of our offspring. Real love to me must be unwavering. From start to finish, love should be alone in its steadfast stubbornness. Sex, lust or other things that all are only necessary to you as they bring pleasure are not love. In its truest form the only real love is that of SpongeBob Squarepants.

SpongeBob has been through it all. Hurt, and battered, duped and beaten Sponge Bob still returns only love. He works in a space were with the best of his ability he acts to bring pleasure to those around him. Now you may say, Iziah, Sponge Bob is annoying he brings unhappiness to Squidward all the time. But look not at the reality, look at the intention. His acts are often self depreciating. Love is that of Sponge Bob, Love = complete selflessness. Love gives without receiving. Love does not involve the word "want". Love only allows giving. Giving your all to bring your brand of happiness, and when you fail, which eventually you will... feed your snail, go to sleep and wake for the next days episode and try all over again. True love is more than butterflies, true love is the ride. It is the time you spend searching and giving all of you to the world. Most of us will never see true love I believe, but it is not to late to impart it. It is not to late to release true love to those who you interact with everyday. The only question is are you ready, because I'm ready!

2 Russell on Ethics: Selections from the Writings of Bertrand Russell