THE EXPERIENCE OF LOVE - MODERN AND BUDDHISTIC PERSPECTIVES

April 22, 2018

EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS

"Love" - the definition of this word is to be determined by the tradition in which every individual has grown. And since every person is different, love could be experienced for thousands of different reasons. This feeling however, has a few unique features for everyone. Let's examine what love is from a psychological point of view. Love is a feeling, and all feelings are memorization of emotions. An emotion is a short-time experience of a certain psychological state - anger, fear, sadness, joy, disgust, etc. Feeling is a long-term state of the mind, which when triggered, produces the associated with it emotions. For example, when we feel positive emotions, like joy, in the presence of someone and we spent a lot of time with that person, those emotions are memorized in the form of a feeling called "love". These emotions are then beginning to manifest spontaneously as a habit in the presence of that particular someone - this is what we call "a feeling". Every feeling is a spontaneous manifestation of the emotions associated with it.


People can fall in love for millions of reasons depending on what they lack and need. A female who feels unsecure, for example, will be highly attracted to grounded males who can make her feel secure. The type of females to experience love towards grounded males are usually being harshly labeled by society. This judgement of different people is a reflection of our egoistic consciousness as a human specie which sees people and objects not as what they are in nature, but as the labels put on them by us or by society itself. For example, when we think of Dalai Lama most people do not view this person as what he really is - a soul, a consciousness, a mind, a body that is experiencing life just as everyone else is, but as the label put on him by society or ourselves - a wise spiritual teacher. When we think of Albert Einstein, we do not think of that person as what he really is, but as the genius who contributed greatly mankind through physics. In the same way we do not see the people around us as what they are, but as the their labels by society or us - this type of worldview creates our egoistic and judgemental character.



HIDING EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS

Let's take another example from a reverse point of view. Males are usually not as creative as females and their imagination and intuition, in most cases, cannot be compared to females'. Men also look at emotions as unnecessary features which must be suppressed and kept in check - this often leads to anti-social and mechanistical behavior which lives without one of the most important elements of life as well as not seeing the whole picture of life itself. A life without emotions and feelings can hardly be called a life. It is good keep in check our negative emotions, such as anger and sadness, for they can lead to actions which we often regret later on. Emotions and feelings shouldn't be held inside without being dealt with, as that could lead to different, more complex and confusing states of mind. They should be resolved by intellectual contemplation or some kind of expression. We can train our mind to view the saddest and hardest moments of our lives as oppurtunities for us to grow. Also, even though we try to suppress our emotions we can never be able to fully do so, because emotions affect different facial muscles before they even reach the neocortex of the brain for analyzing process by the intellect so we can make the decision of hiding them. It takes 100 milliseconds for the limbic system to affect our face after experiencing the emotion and 500 milliseconds for the neocortex to start analyzing the emotion, that's why people which know our facial features well can subconsciously detect when something is wrong with us in this very short amout of time. 

JUDGEMENT

It would be true to say that women tend to be more emotional, thus they experience life more intensely than men, because emotions are the paint which gives color to our lives. Both genders always look for things in one another which they themselves are lacking or missing. Regardless of the reason for falling in love, the experience is one and the same, therefore it is not just to judge anybody for the reason they fell in love, whether it is because of someone's eyes, fame, wealth, pleasure, intellect, etc. Everyone has different qualities and needs, and we always tend to fill our needs by being with a person who has the qualities to do so. Different opposites have different weak and strong features, therefore they combine to become a "completed one", thus opposites attract each other.



MIND STATE OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

There is another type of "love", the tibetan and spiritual idea of "love" which does not represent a feeling towards a certain thing or a person, but a state of mind in which we experience it unconditionally towards everything around us. This state of mind, according to buddhism, can be manifested when the individual sees beyond the duality of the material world and doesn't perceive people and objects based on their labels, but as part of their own self. When you look at everything as a part of you, it is impossible not to love and wish them good, because that would mean you don't love and wish good to youself. The difference between these two types of love is that the first one is love towards a person or an object that fills our needs and in the absence of the qualities in the opposite person, we lose interest and our feeling for love towards him. In this type of love the opposite person becomes a vehicle which we use to feel completed. In the second type of love, the individual sees everything as part of himself, therefore he/she tries to constantly give instead of expecting to receive in order to feel completed. In this state of unconditional love, the person is completing himself by giving and not by receiving.

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