Monday, September 14, 2009

'Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind'

[Title quotation from, 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - (I, i, 234)]

There has been a tendency since the earliest recorded history of man's subjective travails upon this good earth to imagine an appropriated truth a base reality, as applied to one's own experience of life.

Buddhist theology has long taken this to be one of the standing foundations by which man deludes himself. On the theory of an extrapolated Godhead, they have this to say:
"Philosophers thus fall into the Platonic snare when they look upon a concept not merely as a substitute for a precept but as something in itself, revealing a permanent and eternal entity or structure. The result is the belief in an eternal subjective self or an immutable substance or both."
- From, 'Buddhist Thought and Ritual' by David J. Kalupahana.

As applied to the idea of romance and 'selfish' love, we do not need to leap over a massive gorge to explore this idea of delusion in human romantic relationships.
One falls in love as rigorously as a healthy human being falls into bed at the end of a long day; most times without warning, and occasionally by sub-conscious cultivation. In the earlier case, we assume all-encompassing beauty as naturally as we assume that we will get out of bed in the morning. This idea of beauty - in natural surroundings, smells, tastes, choices and indulgences lead us to appear negligent of things, at best, and so absent-minded that we are perceived idiotic to the rest of the world, at worst. But the pervasive idea, whatever the applied value of the benefit of hindsight in more experienced individuals, is that the feeling will hold - through fights, circumstance, distance and a 10.0 disturbance on the Richter scale. We invest something of ourselves at the beginning of a relationship that we require immediate returns from. And no God will stand in its way.

Seeing that the pervasiveness of this culture of gratification, emotional as well as physical, will abide no infarction, the natural hindrances in the pursuance of such an ideal are obvious; namely the actual facts of life which we have been privy to since we first were sent off to school by ourselves, but which mysteriously affects a disappearance when we are in 'love'.

My dubious contribution to this time-worn, bloodily horse-whipped discussion is the idea of culpable investiture: Can we not think ourselves contributing to the well-being of the person whose affections we have momentarily won, forgetting for a moment the immediate consequences of our own gratification? Can we suspend our blind belief in the idea of healthy consummation being the goal in a relationship, or the first instance in the pursuance of the goal, at the cost of a furtherance of a temporary substantiation of the myths we maintain about ourselves?
Is it possible to not be 'selfish' in love is what I'm asking, if 'selfishness' is at all a bad word, i.e.?

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