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Topic: How do we know what love is?

Shh started this discussion 4.9 years ago #2,720

I'm very confused by this...

First of all, let me define love, as it comes in different guises and means so many different things to different people...by love I mean deriving feelings of warmth and gratification from admiring someone, and regarding and treating them in a very respectful way that does not require them to be perfect, but accepts their imperfections and can find beauty and a sense of purpose in them, and does not seek reciprocation for the self, but gains fulfillment from the act of bestowing our sense of respect and warm wishes upon them, and hopefully seeing them lead a predominantly happy and fulfilling life.

I'm struggling to describe it well, but it creates a wonderful, peaceful "just is" kind of feeling feeling, deep inside.

What I wonder is, how we come to feel that and know it is love?
Do we need to experience it first hand from someone to nurture it in us, to enable us to recreate and recognise it ourselves... or is it already there when we are born, as part of our make-up, lying dormant, waiting to be roused?

dr-robert joined in and replied with this 4.9 years ago, 3 minutes later[^] [v] #0

What a wonderful question, Shh. I look forward to reading some replies.

Molly joined in and replied with this 4.9 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 hour after the original post[^] [v] #0

We were all born with an open mind,which makes us accepting of all. So open minded, that we didnt know we're a separate person yet,and werent able to have opinions.Then our caregivers either bogged us down with hate,or acceptance in us and others.
I find myself unaccepting with life,my kids when they are loud for example,and have to stay mindful of my conditioned intolerance.

So my answer is yes.We were born AS acceptance. We didn't have the ability to turn things into concepts,so couldn't have expectations of anything.

So yes.I think we can get back to that state,if we stay mindful of our expectations. Our natural state is acceptance in ourselves,and others.

I'm starting to not even like the word love because it is,in itself so full of expectations.

But this still doesn't answer the question of WANTING to see a person being fulfilled and having a happy life. Does 'love' need anything,even if it's fulfillment and happiness? Or is that having compassion?

Does compassion need to be taught? IDK. I know my mom would always say animals don't have feelings.Dad was racist,etc,and I knew instinctively that they don't seem 'correct' to me,and had compassion for all anyway.

Dr Robert. Can one learn to be compassionate or is it a choicless emotion?

Hexi joined in and replied with this 4.9 years ago, 5 minutes later, 1 hour after the original post[^] [v] #0

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> I'm starting to not even like the word love because it is,in itself so full of expectations.

When it's supposed to be the inexplicable sensation of giving your all to see another human flourish. If you say or think "I love you but..." it's not love, there is no but. At least, that's how I understand it, I can honestly say that I've never felt love.

I think it's often mixed with desires, sexual or otherwise, infatuation and, like you say, unrealistic expectations.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Shh (OP) replied with this 4.9 years ago, 46 minutes later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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>
> When it's supposed to be the inexplicable sensation of giving your all to see another human flourish. If you say or think "I love you but..." it's not love, there is no but. At least, that's how I understand it, I can honestly say that I've never felt love.
>
Hexi, I don't like that description of "giving your all to see another human flourish" that sounds pretty sacrificial to me, and in my limited experience, it wasn't a sacrificial kind of giving, it was more of a kind of "sharing" feeling.

Experiencing it...well it took me until I was 39 to get there, and it was completely unexpected...quite alien in fact... but inexplicably warm and serene and wonderful

Shh (OP) double-posted this 4.9 years ago, 6 minutes later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Molly, I quite like that idea of it being the "all-accepting-ness" that we were born with, and if we strip everythng back, we can maybe realise that state, or the essence of that state at least.

I think maybe there is something in it about knowing you can just let go of everything, as everything we think we know is constructed or fabricated in some way... which does make sense to me, as it had a sort of aura that I rightly or wrongly believed was some kind of recollection of being in the womb.

Hexi replied with this 4.9 years ago, 9 minutes later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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I never meant to say it was sacrificial. I meant that you want to give your all to a person without expectations or demands, just pure giving for the sake of giving because you want to, as that person accepting your giving is accepting you as a whole.

I'm just giving it my best shot. I could be completely wrong.

Molly replied with this 4.9 years ago, 28 seconds later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Wow!!!! Too bad Cass isn't here. She talked about experiencing this once.

Does it feel like you are not wanting anything at all? Not even from yourself? Oh Shh,I'm so happy for you.

Molly double-posted this 4.9 years ago, 3 minutes later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Hexi,

You might know more about 'love' then you think.
No expectations. That's all. Admitting you don't know.Thats all.

Are you capable of compassion? That's the only part that breaks the connection for you from others. What do you think?

(Edited 52 seconds later.)

Molly joined in and replied with this 4.9 years ago, 10 minutes later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Ive heard you talk about the time you did psychedelics,saw that sinister part in you. You ended up accepting you,just the way you are,and relaxed into life. A lot of people keep TRYING to be something,which gets further away from accepting(IMO loving) themselves just the way they are. So,as you know there is no one way to be as a person,it doesn't matter whats in your head,what you do to make the world 'better',etc..to love is to accept,and to accept is love.

What do you think???

dr-robert replied with this 4.9 years ago, 19 minutes later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Dr Robert. Can one learn to be compassionate or is it a choicless emotion?

All emotions are choiceless in the sense that a genuine emotion cannot be produced upon demand, but neither can a thought be produced upon demand. Human mind is all choiceless in that sense.

In my experience, Molly, compassion arises when one feels the pain of ones own human limitations: fears, desires, illnesses, and, ultimately, death, and then, after a period perhaps of feeling sorry for oneself (this period may be measured in years)and perhaps trying to compensate for that pain with sex, drugs, amusements, whatever, somehow comes to understand that all human beings are in the very same boat.

Hexi replied with this 4.9 years ago, 48 minutes later, 3 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Honestly, I don't know. I think I've replaced that with a sense of justice, of sorts. Like, if I see another person hurt physically, I don't feel bad but if I see a clearly dominant person attacking someone who is not fighting back, I get angry. I also no longer try to actively hurt others, because that's only satisfying my sadism and accomplishes nothing. It's also cowardly.

So, maybe I've taken a sense of honor (if you will) instead of love/compassion as my guide in life. I just don't know.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Molly replied with this 4.9 years ago, 30 minutes later, 4 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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So you are kind of like a Marvel super hero then? heehee j/k


Its obvious with your writings you have a clear grasp of the ego. I wondered how it changed your life. All this makes sense that you write here. So do you also view your random thought/feelings as an observer? Knowing they can't be helped,yet they mean nothing?

Hexi replied with this 4.9 years ago, 15 minutes later, 4 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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It's obvious that you are aware before you think or act, otherwise there would be nothing that becomes aware of something. Thoughts always mean something, some part of the brain is going over a line of reasoning, plan of action or a state of something. I think that there is a barrier between the conscious and the subconscious for a reason because if you were aware of everything your brain is analyzing and processing, the amount of information would be deafening. I mean, think about it, when you think of the color blue, you don't just think about the color blue, you immediately associate with everything that you know to be blue, your car, house, bike, whatever. Can you imagine if all these concepts, and everything they are linked to would go over your head constantly? You would be in a comatose state.

We don't even know what consciousness is, not even a clue. It may not even reside in our bodies at all but instead, our brains could be a receiver for A consciousness that started evolution for the sole reason of experiencing itself. So, again, anyone claiming to understand consciousness is lying to someone, most to themselves.

Hexi double-posted this 4.9 years ago, 11 minutes later, 4 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

To be clear, thoughts are thoughts and they have as much meaning as we attribute to them, there is no objectivity to be had.

Hexi triple-posted this 4.9 years ago, 16 minutes later, 4 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sorry, I'm rambling now and since the edit button is gone I can't edit my posts.

The reason thoughts cannot be objective is because what we think is the collective sum of brain chemistry, experience and understanding, which no 2 people can possibly identically share.

Ailonna joined in and replied with this 4.9 years ago, 16 minutes later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hex, in your real life are there any that you are able to speak to this "deeply". I always enjoyed your ideas and ramblings, but wonder why you have so many. Is this always something you think of on the spot when someone speaks, as in in your reality not much thinking takes place so these inspirations for your rants don't occur? Or is this constant both in reality and in the internet world.

Don't apologize for your ranting, it's entertaining. I doubt you meant the sorry sincerely, but even for manner purposes it is not necessary ;)

Molly replied with this 4.9 years ago, 10 minutes later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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This is why I'll never listen to someone,even myself,make another claim of reality ever again.All real inquisitions lead to,"I don't know."

Thanks Hexi.

Hexi replied with this 4.9 years ago, 25 minutes later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I don't often bring "deep" stuff up in real life because most people don't care but I'll say what I think if engaged. I sometimes go over stuff in my head and in here, I just start thinking and putting thoughts into words in this form, open to all, brings clarity. I can talk openly to my mom and brothers and friends no problem, I just usually don't.

The reason they come out rambling is because I think one sentence at a time and try to stay on the same topic but, just like my mind, it wanders around from one concept to the next. Like, for example, I can think about something related to heat, then I think of the oven, then I think how it's powered and I'm wondering how much work went into building a nuclear plant and all of the sudden I'm thinking about the physics of the sun. This is how I've always been.

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Hexi double-posted this 4.9 years ago, 12 minutes later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Can't edit anymore again. If you've watched the TV show Fringe, I'm like Walter. Absent minded and randomly going from thought to thought with seemingly little or no connection.

Molly replied with this 4.9 years ago, 5 minutes later, 6 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Lol. That's awesome!

For me one question of asking if god was real. (like the post I wrote here if you read it) one question opened up something in me that needs to know everything. Very much like you described about yourself. I can't stop it. It's almost annoying. I annoy myself. It's hard to take things at face value once you start. Jk about annoying myself,but my husband seems to get annoyed. That's what the forum and FB does for me. My outlet for deep thoughts.

Ailonna replied with this 4.9 years ago, 2 minutes later, 6 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks. This is what I kind of figured. I am the same way only my thoughts and rants seem more all over the place than yours. It's almost like I can't find the proper words in english to get them out, and when.

It's hard to believe you're foreign, you don't seem foreign at all.

Hexi replied with this 4.9 years ago, 13 minutes later, 6 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Knowing things is easy, everyone can read a book, well those that can read at least. Understanding what you know, and how it relates to everything else is what matters, otherwise it exists in a vacuum and that's where the saying "A wise man knows that the knows nothing" comes from.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Practice, Ail. By foreign you mean my use of the English language?

Ailonna replied with this 4.9 years ago, 19 minutes later, 6 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

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When I say foreign I mean not from America, and then after that settles in, yes, your use of the english language. I naturally compare you to people who are from here and english was their first language. It makes me see you as not foreign at all because you utilize it so well, better than some who know no other language.

Practice huh?.....guess I need to start speaking and rambling more.

Shh (OP) replied with this 4.9 years ago, 2 hours later, 9 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> I don't often bring "deep" stuff up in real life because most people don't care but I'll say what I think if engaged. I sometimes go over stuff in my head and in here, I just start thinking and putting thoughts into words in this form, open to all, brings clarity. I can talk openly to my mom and brothers and friends no problem, I just usually don't.
>
> The reason they come out rambling is because I think one sentence at a time and try to stay on the same topic but, just like my mind, it wanders around from one concept to the next. Like, for example, I can think about something related to heat, then I think of the oven, then I think how it's powered and I'm wondering how much work went into building a nuclear plant and all of the sudden I'm thinking about the physics of the sun. This is how I've always been.

I'm a bit that way too Hexi, both with the thought processes, and the not really disclosing my deeper thoughts, as I think people just won't get me, or they will think I'm either odd or boring, or both!
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