Love: Is it a behavior or an ability?

Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2003 04:04 pm
Of Passion and Love.

From our love grew our passion.
And from our passion grew our love.
Who is to say which came first, passion or love.
We share many things, in passion and love.

A love for those who are dear to us.
A passion to explore this life we live.
A love of life, and a passion to share.
We share many things in love and passion.

A passion for things we can not comprehend.
A love of things we do comprehend.
A love of mystery and a passion to explore.
We share many things with love and passion.

love made our passion grow.
A passion increased our love.
A passion and love made our lifes complete.
We share many things with passion and love.

Our passion of love made our family grow.
As our love and passion filled our hearts
From passion and love a life did start.
We share many things from passion to love.

We share our passion
We share our love.
From a passion to love, from a love of passion
We share a child, of passion and love.

I love you in all ways, with all that I am.

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Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2003 05:45 pm

I don't want to jump in without having given myself time to digest your amazing responses. I'm going to go back and reread and think and ponder before attempting to reply.

But let me ask, especially to those who believe that love is an innate ablitly - do you feel the same way about hate?

I remember a discussion I once had where someone began to fling poison arrows, hurtful, stinging, vile, racist comments at me. My only response to them was "You can't make me hate." And it's true - I never learned how to hate.
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Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2003 05:51 pm
Both are emotions, there is only a inch difference between the two. I remember when I was divorcing my ex, I went from love to hate just like that. I didn't want to hate, I couldn't love, I just wanted to be inbetween - to feel nothing!
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Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2003 06:32 pm
Hmmmmm - I certainly think ANGER is innate - and sexual partner rage seems pretty common, too - but I tend to think a "good hater" - you know the type of person I mean? - has had help along the way in their development. I mean, for example, the difference between the way most of us feel when a relationship breaks up - for a WHILE - and the person who makes hating an ex the focus of the rest of their life.
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Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2003 06:37 pm
If I were to get all technical - I would probably be thinking something like - the "good hater" has not had experiences that have allowed them to acknowledge and accept with tolerance and calm the "bad" parts of themselves and hence of others - so, other people's faults etc cannot be tolerated, and, when someone loses their idealized place as "good" partner, friend, etc, they are then reversed into being all bad, all evil.

Just off the top of me head, like - that would be one factor I see as germane...
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Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2003 06:56 pm
something I found that expresses the ability to love so simply:


The smallest child

Anyone who terrorizes us
Is a terrorist;

Anyone who steals from us
Is a thief

Any one who loves
Has won.

by Alice Walker
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 05:21 pm
"Learn life anew" and "Something always goes wrong with [love].

ArtUnbound, I have read your respnse over and over and over and I am still digesting all that it implies.

I too am in the process of learning life anew. Mr. B is too. It's like learning to trust your fingers to make thoughts out of braille. Am I understanding or am I not? To me this feels like learning; to him it feels like an awakening. Interesting food to nourish me through my days.
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 05:34 pm
Okay, eBeth, I hope you come back to explain your answer.

fbaezer (how nice to see you again)! I agree that we are inseparable from culture but I would like to hear more about why you assign this passion as "western".

And to seperate out "mother love" is interesting too - most animals exhibit an intense protection and care for their offspring - perhaps this love is innate. Having never been a mother (except in the verb sense) I don't think I can truly respond but I'd love to hear what other's think.

Dream (yet another wonderful friend to see again), your post reminds me of the old joke" Question: "How do you get to Carnigey Hall?" Answer: "Practice, practice, practice."

I believe most talents, including the arts, are fed through repitition and experimentation, an interest that one works on and not really an innate ability.

And then there are savants.

Perhaps there we find the expression of innate ability as opposed to learned behavior. And, of course, that lays waste to my "container" ideas.
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 05:41 pm
Thank you for the edit, sozobe.

I agreed with every single thing you said until I got to that "less" and then my eyes widened!

You make a wonderful distinction between innate ability and the ability of one to learn how to use it. It really is more than "practice, practice, practice" isn't it.

More good food for the thinking buffet.
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 05:52 pm
Bill W - I don't think you're being difficult - I think your being realistic!

I imagine that there is a very thin line between love and hate. I know I'm lucky to have never crossed that line so it's not a concept I can address. But I am very curious to know if you think it can work the other way (outside of a Hollywood romantic comedy). Can one learn to love someone or thing that they truly hated?

Mr. B would agree with you that they are emotions. He believes that takes them outside the realm of logical thought and that discussions such as this are pointless. Interestingly, he was willing to discuss it for a long time!

Dlowan, I need to chew on the "good hater" idea for a while more since it opens a door that I had never ever considered. I'll be working on this morsel for a while, I know.

Thank you Husker and Dream for the beautiful poems.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 06:51 pm
It really is difficult to define love as behavior or ability, because it covers a whole spectrum of human response. When and why does love occur? Does one love their mother more than their spouse or children? Is there degrees of love? How important is love to the stability of marriage? When does one fall in love? When does one fall out of love? What behavior other than sexual ones defines love? Does love allow separation? Does love allow independence? Does love allow jealousy? Does love allow sharing? What determines love? How does one learn love? How many different kinds of love are there? c.i.
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 07:37 pm
ok.. ... ... Love is a verb.. ... ... a behavior.. ... ... an ability
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 07:41 pm
Sorry I just never get enough places to post my poem:

If my Love were a Fountain

O fairest among women
How beautiful you are,

If my love were a fountain. . .
It would overflow,
And follow to a river,
Where only you could go.

If my love were a desert,
Its touch a scorching fire,
Only you could quench
The passions of my desire.

Ah, you are beautiful, my love;
Ah, you are beautiful, my love;
You are beautiful, my love.

copyright 2001, 2002, 2003
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 02:54 pm
It looks as if my responses are putting off - is that so?
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 03:57 pm
Oh no ArtUnbound! That wasn't my response to your post at all. Quite the opposite. I thought your post was thought provoking and relevant to a situation that I am in. It opened a door to a new way for me to think about some things. I'm sorry if my response gave you any other impression than that.

Husker, thank you for sharing your poem. It's beautiful.
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 05:07 pm
ArtUnbound wrote:
It looks as if my responses are putting off - is that so?

Not so, not so! This is by far my favorite thread on A2K! Everyone has such deep and real responses that it just blows me away, makes me really stop and think. It will probably be another 2-3 days before my simmering thoughts form another post. And though I may not refer to someone else's post, be very sure that I've read them all many times and absorbed every word.

I can see with such a personal topic, it's easy to get "buyer's remorse", that little twinge after posting that says "ooo, what do people really think about me now?"

But I can tell you I've been honored and amazed by every person who writes what they really think.

Keep on! Write on! Very Happy
Life is too precious not to Love.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 05:13 pm
ArtUnbound, Your post meant alot to me because I was also a "damaged" kid. I have three siblings, one older brother and one younger brother and sister. Both younger siblings are half, because our father died when I was two years old. My step-father was one mean sob. I remember once when he cut my hair across the middle with a single cut when I was a young teenager, and he said he was finished. I was devastated. My life started to improve after I left home at 17, especially after I enlisted into the US Air Force in my early twenties. To make a long story short, I'm probably one of the happiest in our family; I'm married to a intelligent woman who graduated from high school, nursing school, and college with honors. We have two intelligent boys, and one just finished his masters at the University of Texas in Austin last December. I have friends all around this world - literally. I have visited over 75 countries, and still travel two or three times every year to any place in this world I desire. My health is relatively good, and our circle of friends are people I knew when we were all single. I'm now 67 and retired, and living a rather good life. c.i.
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 05:34 pm
The topic seemed dead after my lengthy relpy, luckily it's not.

ci asked questions, what about them?
Does love allow... certain boundaries?
Does love allow... unlimited access, or unlimited conditions?
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 06:46 pm
I just voted so I guess I'll throw in my 2 cents and then answer the new ?'s. I voted innate ability. . . . but although I think being capable of love is an innate ability i think a lot of our choices in who we love is learned. . . . . for instance immediate family. . . . . I think this is definitely a learned object of love for many because was it not for people teaching that you loved family unconditionally then many wouldn't continue to love members of their immediate family once past basic dependency. And I tend to think that love exist along a continuum compassion to obsession. I think often the position on the scale can be taught. . . . . . . . . I think love definitely allows boundaries. . . . even when in a life long relationship . . . . relationships consist of two people in two bodies, two separate entities. . . so I think no matter how much one may want a limitless, boundless love our physical condition prevents it. . . a bit of a poem

Effort at Speech Between Two People - Murial Rukeyser

If we could touch one another,
if these our seperate entities could come to grips,
clenched like a Chinese puzzle..yesterday
I stood in a crowded street that was live with people,
and no one spoke a word, and the morning shone.
Everyone silent, moving....Take my hand. Speak to me.
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 07:10 pm
As I read this, it is clear that many of us have been damaged in our childhood. Sometimes I wonder if the majority of people were abused or damaged in some way when they were children.

I had two aunts who loved me unconditionally. Becaue of that, I had an inkling that I was lovable and that I was worthy of love. Even though I didn't get to see them very often, just knowing that their love for me was real, made a tremendous difference in my life. My mother's second husband taught me that most men could be trusted and that they could love me without expecting anything in return. That made a huge difference in my ability to trust.

In both examples, I learned how to love because I was loved.

Our childhood scars stay with us throughout our lifetime, but other people can have such a positive effect on our self-image, that the scars don't leave us totally disabled. The same effect is found in animals and their ability to care for others, especially their young. In humans, I think this is geometrically magnified, but also more easily changed with the help of therapists and other, caring people. We can figure it out, we can determine the goals we wish to achieve, unlike animals, for whom abstract thought is not highly developed.

Current thought tends to lean toward the idea that altruism and love are, to a certain extent, genetic. Altruism is certainly important in survival and love is probably the most important factor in our survival--if a mother doesn't take care of her young, they don't have a chance of survival. In order to take care of our young there has to be an extremely strong urge to care for an infant; to give up our own needs to care for the baby. In humans, this is much more complicated, because we understand why we are behaving in certain ways; it isn't just instinct--it is free choice--a huge difference; yet the instinct seems to be innate, ready to be developed.

So, for me, the vote is for innate ability, with learned skills and life experience making all the difference in our effectiveness at loving and allowing ourselves to be loved.

Hmm, I sometimes write in a sort of stream of consciousness; too much rambling.
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