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Love
#1
Love
I wanted to start a topic on Love, one of the more complex emotions and offer my take on love.  

Love is more complex than we think.  It is more precious than we think.  It is more amazing than we think and maybe that is why it is becoming more increasingly rare.  One of the most famous love stories in American literature is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This is a love story between a man called Mr. Darcy and a woman called Elizabeth.  Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth and he doesn’t realize it.  It is set back in the times when gentlemen were required, or at least expected, to be gentlemen.  At one point he walks in to a room and finds himself alone with this woman.  Protocol demands that he leave, he cannot be alone unsupervised with another woman in the same room.  So he turns and he gets half-way out the door and as he’s half-way out the door, he stops. He turns around and reenters the room and he says, “It will not do.  My feelings cannot be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how much I ardently admire and love you.”  Gentlemen, listen carefully, that line is a winner.  Having made this declaration of love, he goes on to explain that he loves her even though it goes against his will, his reason and against his own better character.  She rejects that declaration of love and refuses it.  Because he is a man, he cannot understand why so he asks for explanation.  She looks at him and says, “You told me that you loved me even though it went against your will, your reason and against your own better character.”  In other words she is saying, “You told me you loved me even though it went against all better judgment”.  True love does not exist in the absence of judgment, true love only exists in the presence of it.  The words “I love you” are meaningful to you only if the person who speaks them truly knows you.

I can promise you right now, if no one knows the real you in all your weaknesses, shortcomings, failings or the darker side of your character, if nobody knows that, even if you are one of the most popular people at work, school or church, I can guarantee that you are desperately lonely.  If there are few people in this world who do know you with all your weaknesses, shortcomings and failings and they love you, those are the most meaningful relationships you have.  When anything good happens or when anything bad happens, they are the first people you call to share it with.  Because that is what love is, love does not exist in the absence of judgment, love only exists in the presence of it.
We are not made happy by what we acquire but by what we appreciate.
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#2
RE: Love
I think you are misinterpreting Darcy's appeal and Liz's response. In your reading, Darcy seems to claim to love Liz unconditionally. Liz says otherwise, that love is conditional. But does she mean that Darcy must also love the flaws and darkness in Liz. I do not think so. The reason why Darcy says that his expression of love goes against reason and better judgment is his appraisal of social implications. Liz's response it that he must realize that their love would exist in the presence of judgments of other with respect to class, social standing, and financial terms.

I also do not think your interpretation takes into account any distinction between what is essential to identity and what is accidental. Here I am thinking about the notion of "Tough Love." James may strongly identify with destructive obsessions and compulsions, like depression. His friends and family will recognize this inclination as an accidental trait and consider it right and proper for them to condemn James's positive appraisal of himself as a realist. Their pretense is that they are the ones that know that being depressed "isn't who James really is" but rather a sign of an illness that prevents James from being "who he truly is." James's pretense is that part of "who he truly is" is being essentially wise enough to see the world as it is.

(June 14, 2016 at 10:51 am)Kingpin Wrote: I can promise you right now, if no one knows the real you in all your weaknesses, shortcomings, failings or the darker side of your character, if nobody knows that, even if you are one of the most popular people at work, school or church, I can guarantee that you are desperately lonely.

Loneliness seems more like a response to feelings of rejection and the perceived indifference of others. People also feel lonely because they feel vulnerable to condemnation. Most certainly being known and validated may assuage loneliness, I do not believe anyone can be truly and fully known and understood at the deepest level by others (or by himself for that matter). Some amount of existential alienation always remains as a gap between Self and Other. But, like guilt, loneliness can drive a person to overcome their own fears, self-imposed limitation and flawed perceptions about themselves.
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#3
RE: Love
I try to avoid using the word.
It has too many subjective meanings to be used in interpersonal communication.
Your listener will install their own meaning regardless of your intent, rendering the process worse than void.

For example:
I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I love my spouse and would die in their stead.
This does not not mean I feel the same way about my spouse as I do about sandwiches.
So how, exactly, does God know that She's NOT a brain in a vat? Huh
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#4
RE: Love
Plato's Symposion recounts a discussion between Socrates and his friends (who are all struggling with hangovers from Agathon's rousing party the night before) which is entirely devoted to this topic, or more precisely, to what plato thought were the philosophical consequences of erotic love in the widest sense. It's pretty funny at times and worth a read.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#5
RE: Love
(June 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm)Alex K Wrote: Plato's Symposion recounts a discussion between Socrates and his friends (who are all struggling with hangovers from Aristophane's rousing party the night before) which is entirely devoted to this topic.

Dratted Greeks, they seem to have gotten to nearly everything first.
I'll have to put it off though, at the moment, I'm reading Tung Chung-shu, "Luxuriant Gems of the Spring."
So how, exactly, does God know that She's NOT a brain in a vat? Huh
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#6
RE: Love
see edit
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#7
RE: Love
I don't understand love, the word. I say it to my wife because it makes her happy. The feelings I have for my wife and son are better expressed with other words. I don't use it most other places/times.
Light my candles in a daze cause I've found god


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#8
RE: Love
It may be thought that some people may be pleased by the wrong character a person may have and some people may think that no one should want to marry a woman or man thought of as ugly in appearance because they don't deserve goodwill, they should be treated with contempt and that everyone should want to marry a woman or man thought of as beautiful/handsome in appearance because only they deserve goodwill, they should be treated with no contempt.  It may be thought that some people may think of all that kind of thinking as signs of experiencing love. 

Thinking about all that it may be thought that people need the right standard to judge what is right or wrong character and that what people may judge perfection to be may not really be perfection.
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#9
RE: Love
I think most of us do marry people we hold as having good character, and being attractive (even if others think exactly the opposite)? I doubt that there are many folks searching for the ugliest asshole at the bar.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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#10
RE: Love
(June 14, 2016 at 1:15 pm)JuliaL Wrote: I try to avoid using the word.
It has too many subjective meanings to be used in interpersonal communication.
Your listener will install their own meaning regardless of your intent, rendering the process worse than void.

For example:
I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I love my spouse and would die in their stead.
This does not not mean I feel the same way about my spouse as I do about sandwiches.

It's a word I do like using, but I agree, out of context it can mean almost anything. I only use it when I expect the person will understand my implications.
Feel free to send me a private message.
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