Being half romantic idealist, half practical realist (I know, it’s an oxymoron), I occasionally ponder the meaning of “Love” (as I do the meaning of “Life” but that’s another story). I would like to believe that LOVE is something uncommon, something special and beyond our ability to fully comprehend. Just like Faith can’t really be explained in words no matter how we try, so too is Love indescribable, ethereal, amorphous, boundless, and timeless.
On the other hand, as I mentioned in an earlier post— “Isn’t [love] just a word we tag onto a combination of emotions to simplify the expression of such emotions? Instead of saying “I admire and respect you, enjoy your company, am sexually attracted to you, and feel inspired by you” etc., we just say “I love you.””
It seems so scientific and ordinary to classify Love as a mere mixture of emotions and thoughts. You could even break it down to hormones and mental pathways and the clicking of synapses between your brain cells. You fall “in love” because of some chemical reaction and you fall out of love when the reactions fizz out. How bleak and unappealing is that??
Plenty of people fall in and out of “love.” Knowing this, the intellectual side of me tells the romantic idealist side of me that there is no such thing as “LOVE” first. It’s just an arbitrary word with no other significance than what we give it at any point in time. There is no such thing as “soul mate” or “true love” or “the better half.” People are independent beings that come together for a length of time for companionship, security, fun, etc., but they are never truly “together.” They remain independent, mutually exclusive entities. There’s no spiritual bonding, no “I can’t live without you,” no need for “completion” because you are already whole, a finished product, and you can function entirely on your own.
And yet, the romantic idealist side of me can’t accept this. Or perhaps, simply refuses to accept this. If you enter a philosophical discussion with a religious person, and you use a very logical, scientific approach, 100% of the time the person of Faith will end up saying: “I just believe. I don’t have to have a scientific reason. There doesn’t have to be a physical explanation. And the magic of it is that you can’t explain it. That’s why it’s called Faith. It’s beyond Man, and yet it’s within us too.” Similarly, I think LOVE is a kind of faith. I would like to believe that there are “soul mates,” that two people can become joined spiritually as well as physically. This joining leads to something greater than ourselves, and it has been a source of inspiration for poets, writers, artists, and people from all walks of life throughout time. Life seems rather drab and colorless without it…
But then, is Love something we made up out of our desire for a more interesting existence? Or does it truly exist after all?