Love is not an emotion

Love is not an emotion

This may seem like a statement that doesn’t make any sense because we’ve always related love to emotions. Most statements related to love also relate to feelings, but as within the definition I accept both are different processes. Emotions are the subconscious, instinctual responses on a body level. This could present itself through a deeper program like automatic instinctual responses. Or through the conceptualization of feelings, which are conceptualization to which emotions response. And love is a whole other thing together, while feeling and emotions have a strong definition love does not even have a definition. It is from this perspective, that the absence of a definition becomes the experience of love. And I mean love in the true sense as a goal. Which is in its full potential (but non existing form) the absence of emotions and feelings. In a more realistic sense it would be working from understanding with less emotional and strong fluctuations.
I’ll lay out a small basis of my non definition of love. The closest I can come to defining it, is to call it completely empty. Which also sounds as quite a nihilistic property. Which is defined is such from desire. Something is a certain way because we desire it to be so. Even for negative aspects, which we define as negative because we desire the opposite. It is within the game of opposites that lays desires. It is only when we stop oppositions that we stop desiring which leads to being, which leads to complete acceptance, as we would call simply “to be”.
When it comes to any form of relating we have expectations, ideas, judgments about the other. The more judgment, the less we are capable of accepting. It is only within complete acceptance that we find true satisfaction. Love being the absence of oppositions and therefor the absence of definition which leads to emptiness, which is the closest we could get to love. This does not mean that we have to become an empty vessel. We still will and have desires that are going to be wanted to be met. Because it might seem that I’m aiming for a dispassion, which is not the case. Passion from a conscious and sub-conscious position are drastically different. The more we can reason such desires through healthy thought and communication, the more space we create to simply be within the moment. Or in other words to become empty.
Lets say our partner needs help with a problem. In the first place we must understand what that problem does to the relation. A problem becomes a distraction towards experiencing each other within the moment. What one would do is aid the process of dissolving the issue, by which we can get closer to a more conscious way of being together. We are dissolving blockages of the mind. Within a perfect state such would be called “enlightenment” because nothing within our mind is blocking us from being. But I do not support enlightenment as something which is only attained by few. I believe it lays within moments of everyone’s life. Moments where we are simply satisfied as a whole. Which is equally the experience of love, love is not related to others only, but in the first place related to the self. As we dissolve issues within each other or the self we are working towards a more conscious or empty state of being. By which we can live more within the moment. This is not the same as not being capable of using information or containing it. It relates to the state of mind in which we process information. An issue is not related to the information itself but in which state the mind relates to the information. That’s why issues are subjective experiences. The ideal state of being together becomes “being”. When we are capable to simply be with the other and let information flow between each other in a non judgmental way. The obstruction from such a state is when issues arise which block the free flow of information.
Such blockages happen within expressing and receiving. If we express from within a fixated (blocked) state we tend to defend our self, which lacks awareness and is fueled by desire. This leads to speaking from a convincing position instead from creative and free expression. If we receive from within a fixated (blocked) state we tend to equally listen from within a defensive state, which lacks awareness and is fueled by desire. This leads to listening with expectation, to hear what one wants to hear instead to listening to what the person is actually saying or simply ignoring.
Emotions are sub-conscious processes and sensations experienced from emotions are not experienced from within awareness. This is not to say that what we experience is bad or should be removed, changed or stopped. There are also a lot of emotional processes which we enjoy. It is not about stopping or judging the things we experiencing in a certain daylight. It is simply about becoming aware of what is happening to us in the moment of experience. Most of us would associate the intensiveness of being together to be an expression of love. While I would state such is an expression of emotion and is a very temporary extacy which is quite chemical in its reaction. We experience such reactions in many different ways and not solely related to others but also within the experience of the self. For example any form of high dopamine release gives a sense of extacy, this could be through contact with others (especially in a sexual context), while watching a movie or even in a moment of terror (like skydiving). Such experiences are brief and temporary.
There was a time in my life where I did associate such experiences with love. Which became quite a misleading activity because I would act upon it without reasoning its consequence. It always seemed like a good idea to go into the sensation (feeling) because it felt good and it seemed to be mutual. However, when dealing with someone you don’t really know, you don’t know their expectations either, it could potentially become quite a complicated situation. What seemed to be an action of love would end up with great negative consequences. I do believe however that within such moments it lends more towards love because there’s an ego collapse. But such ego collapses are very brief and temporary as well. The reason we call it “falling in love” is because we fall into something but eventually climb out of it. Coming back to the self which has desires and needs. Buddha may be seen as being in a constant state of love, because of the low level of desires and needs. While the moment of experiencing such sensations, and for some a complete opening up, we have to question why such experience is present and what it’s based on. If the basis of such experience is purely physical we can be sure that our image is delusional and temporary. Most likely it will break within a couple of days when we start experiencing the others actual psyche. When it is intellectual we ought to question what it actually is we are projecting upon this person that makes the sensation so ecstatic. The core problem here is that we react from an emotional (subconscious) response and this is blurring our perception of that person. It is because we are on a sensational sedative but once this placebo is finished working we might regret the choices we made.
There are people who get away with this and still enjoy it. There are all kinds of setups in which brief encounters can work and be enjoyable and full of love. But to sustain such relations is a whole other aspect. And to simply go from partner to partner seems to become quite a superficial process (which is not a judgment on polyamory, but of brief and superficial encounters).
We have to understand that the image we have of someone is not that actual someone. Personalities are complex and not a static object either. Whatever we think the person might be, may not be so at all. That’s why some people suddenly feel as if the person they’ve been with for so long is not the person they thought she, he or they were in the first place. And such dedicated perception are mostly linked to strong sensational experiences which leads us to anchor our partner in a certain position. It seems like a kind of nostalgia towards the extacy of that ideal experience we had with that person. In some cases such attachments establish themselves even within very brief meetings. And whatever we tend to tell that person, she, he or they will keep up the idea of what they perceive you to be. They might even state “no, you’re like this and this…” completely neglecting the actual personality and projecting a complete delusional image. But I think we all do this in milder forms and such projections come from a lack of communication and the incapacity to deal with change.
To truly love someone is therefor not an easy task because we have a lot of projecting to transcend, the chains of the illusion we bound them to. Which means to perceive the person and accept who they really are. This acceptance is a lot closer to love then the temporary experience of ecstasy.
The problem is not the ecstatic moment. That moment is equally close to love because we experience a complete acceptance (in some cases). It is mostly in the first months of “being in love” that we experience very deep and unconditional attention. Which can be a pure thing. The problem is that such experiences are merely temporary and not based on the actual perception of our partner. We believe our partner to be perfect but not based on their actual personality but on our own projection. The mind does not distinguish between what is real or not. Therefor we can experience a full ego collapse and deep connection with someone, who later turns out to be the most selfish person we have met. This does not mean that the moment was “fake” it was simply very brief and not sustainable because its basis laid within delusion.
This projection based perception can become a repeating phenomena and become quite tiresome. We can end up getting constantly disappointing because we replaced love by ideals. Ideals which are all to often cultural coded or in seek of peak experiences. A good example is Disney, whose been propagating ideal relations from child to adulthood. It is such ideals that get deeply imprinted within our psyche that makes many incapable of perceiving the actuality. Which generates a loop of the same event happening over and over again because we are seeking something which simply does not exist. (The prince or princess from the digital screen)
When it comes to having a relation, I relate it to conscious choice rather than blind faith. The choice being that you both are open enough to perceive each others values, have a mutual understand of those and are willing to keep on developing within them. This means that beauty about relating does not lay within the ego collapse but within the transcendence of ones own understanding of the other. That we learn to perceive beyond our own ideology and this is the opening up from ones self with another.
If we experience an ego collapse, ecstatic experience, we can be sure it has a basis. We wont need to be afraid of disappointment or that the other person is going to leave. It equally happens that such ecstasy comes forth from satisfaction of a strong desire which is fueling an addiction. Because that desire was so strong and in need, it gained taste for what it can get. While in a communicative relation if there’s a too strong desire (hedonistic need) you’ll have to investigate from which insecurity such needs comes. And this will form a mutual respect and compassion for the issue. Otherwise we would either demand or feel disappointed because our desire has not been met.
But we can be sure that if there is such a strong desire that in most cases the partner will not keep up with such demands. Working towards love can be hard work within relations, as it can equally be towards the self. Because we get confronted with our self through the mirror we project on others. What we want or need the other to be, is not what the other is going to be in the long run. If we work with this in a healthy way we start looking deeper into our self at “why we need things so badly to be a certain way”. And this process opens our whole being up making us capable of being more free and experiencing more of the self and others. Away from sub-conscious guided processes and into conscious actions. And this is what I would call, the closest to love one can get in the long run. In the short run you can go and have ecstatic experiences but know that if you truly want acceptance such may lead to disappointments. Because you are being guided by your emotions, emotions which are in need and not developing into an opening up of self but seeking to satisfy a deeper fear.

5 thoughts on “Love is not an emotion

  1. Wow, I am working on very similar topics like believing in fairy tale relationship (like with my mom and perhaps my wife too), values and strong preferences. You may like a book I read recently – Heart of love by John Demartini. It’s an easy read. I don’t have my Kindle here, else you could read my Amazon digital copy.

    For me too, love is all about acceptance and “as is”. I am not sure if it’s emptiness or if it’s more fullness. In any case, acceptance is easier said than done.

    You may also have read or may want to read more about the concept of Shunya. It’s not exactly emptiness or nothingness.

    1. Hey Sirish, thank you for the comment and recommendation I’ll look into it. Actually, I got a bunch of books as well, you can ask me about it and I can give them to you.

      Emptiness is the same as fullness, as within the kabbalistic principle, top and bottom collapse into one. Or “as above, as below”… There many of these sayings. I prefer to use emptiness, I could have used fullness but such lends more towards an attached saturated form. I decided to use that term for myself as it is more aligned to me and also challenges the ego more.

  2. Thanks for clarifying emptiness. I meant to say that I will enjoy reading your critique of his process in Demartini book. you have arrived at similar positions as him from a different angle.

  3. C’est la phrase simplement excellente

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