Love is an art that needs sincere effort rather than a reductive pleasant sensation that one “falls” into. A loving human relation has ethical prerequisites and needs self work.
People confuse initial “falling in love” sensation with the permanent state of “being in love” which demands permanent character traits – requiring prior self-work. A good, healthy, loving human relationship is only enabled by inner goodness of the people that compose that relationship. Therefore, to formulate a successful human relation, ethical disciplining of one’s own self is a prerequisite. As long as one is egotistical and self-centered, one cannot properly contribute in a loving, giving, sacrificing relation. This is taken for granted that one’s own character, one’s own individual being, one’s own ethic, goodness, humility, arrogance, selfishness, and other personal traits will not have their ripple effects on the relationships that the individual is going to enter into.
INFATUATIONS OF LOVE
The initial intense feeling of falling in love is in fact an indication of one’s own previous loneliness. The intensity of “falling in love” gradually starts to fade out once the participants in the relation get more and more acquainted with each other; disappointments begin to surface up because the original inherent loneliness sticks its head out again. One recalls here Jung’s and Campbell’s point that most infatuations are projections of one’s own inherent ideal images which begin to shatter as the real person emerges from beneath the projected image, leading to creation of multiple fault lines. When one is selfish and lonely owing to persistent ego- centeredness which fails to participate with the collective where ego has to recede – the initial intensity of so called love relation followed by its failure essentially points to deeper individual problem of the person.
Love is given such a naively neutral station as if it is not part of who we are. Falling in love does not necessarily mean that one has been purified of all psychological pathologies. Falling in love may give “all is good” kind of feeling but soon ego pathology surfaces up in these relationships, thus making the inevitable point of the unavoidable prerequisite of individual soul making as a preliminary necessity.
The problem with prevalent dominant conception of love relations is the fact that the “I” is at the centre. One is not loving but in fact is in love with the feeling of being loved. All the so- called sad poetry that saturates social media is all about so and so left “me”, why do not they love “me”. This psychology has to do with unconscious infantile mode of relationship, where one was at the centre of maternal love. First of all, one has to realize that the “world” is not the “mother”. One has to come out of this infantile mode of being where one expects people or world to function and behave like one’s own “mother” whose love expectedly is perfect, unidirectional, total, predictable and without malice. Once one comes out of this “mother complex” which unconsciously drags people down emotional tortures soon after world /some human forsakes them, one is instantly treated. Following this, one has to next realize that love in its essence means expansion of being.
EXPANSION OF SELF LOVE
Ego cocoon, when broken free, gives rise to love. A human being who “loves”, sees every other human being as a part of his own self/being.
“Wish for the other what you wish for yourself” is the ultimate Prophetic definition of a mature loving human being. This flowering out of the horizon of being/self is love. This expansion of being that does not let one see others as separate from one’s own being is fundamentally the gift of love to whomsoever it dawns upon. This expansion of self naturally renders all selfishness irrelevant.
The repercussions of mistaking love as “being loved” rather than “being loving” to a problematic vantage point of being concerned as to how to be more “lovable” as an “object” and thus one starts with the trajectory of self objectification. It is not surprising that people today market themselves out there as products.
Young boys and girls, as one observes the social media space, seem to forcefully put themselves out there as “objects” with certain skills – like functionalities of a chid toy bought from a toy store, in order to be loved by the other.
An irritation of seeking attention from others all the time inherently points to one’s own deep loneliness that actually calls for serious self-work to amend the problem. Marketing oneself as a product with certain set of high value functionalities stems from deep rooted ego-centeredness which is caught up in an eternal thirst of validation and love from others; such a person simply wishes to be “loved” rather than actually truly loving humanity out of mutual sympathy and thus such an ego cannot properly function in a two way relation with other humans. Most relations in today’s world come crashing down simply because the foundation work is very poor. Physical abuse, mental abuse, and all kinds of problems are testament to the fact that we assume mere falling in love guarantees individual human goodness when in fact that needs prior individual self-work.
HEALTHY MATURE HUMAN RELATIONS
One should formulate healthy mature human relations and that is by sacrificial love, which does not mean giving up things in the sense of a buying-selling dynamic, but rather it is the overflowing of one’s own bliss that is shared with the other. It is one’s own inner stability and strength that makes one loving rather than arrogantly and narcissistically expecting others to love him.
Love is “giving” in its very nature rather than expecting that one should be put at some high pedestal, by others, like an infant.
(Dr Naresh Purohit is Executive Member, Federation of Hospital Administrator. He is also advisor to the National Communicable Disease Control Programme. Dr. Purohit is also Advisor to six other National Health Programmes. ((The views and opinion expressed in this article are those of the author)