Previously published on Blogger.com on March 10, 2011. Updated and revised for WordPress on November 10, 2012.
It’s a subject that has been at the forefront of human existence for longer than we can remember, filling the pages of our history, etching its name in our poetry and songs and stories. It has been the catalyst for great romances which have become legend, it has been the driving force behind great conflicts that have stained the earth with blood, and it has proven to be one of the most complex occurrences within human nature. We use the word “love” with frequency, describing everything from our preference for certain foods to our fondness for a particular author, musician, actor, director, or artist.
Yet what is love?
It’s been categorized in many ways; discussed endlessly by poets who often idealize or romanticize love even when tragic, dissected by scientists who have struggled to determine what part of our bodies is responsible for the impulses we associate with love, and examined by all those who have experienced it and yearned for by all those who have not. It seems almost impossible to place a definition on something as transcendent and amorphous as love. There are those who perceive love to be simply an emotion, a chemical reaction in the brain to an external stimuli in the form of another person, but this cannot be since, in my own experience anyway, all emotions are momentary and pass with time yet love remains as a constant presence. Certainly, love can influence a person’s emotional state dramatically and there are those who say that love makes us blind and act foolishly. Contrarily, many people believe that love elevates our consciousness, lifting us from our own selfish egotism, and allows us to experience empathy and affection in a manner that evolves our sense of reality, thus it transcends beyond any mere emotion. In my personal experience, I have found that the latter is true. Continue Reading