One of the most delicious and exhilarating human experiences is falling in love. One of the most heart-wrenching and ultimately freeing processes are falling out of it.
There are good reasons for both and they have only indirectly to do with fulfilling the surges of our inner longings. All of us want to be in love unless we have some significant psychological or social pathology.
Some persons may not feel at all that they would like to be in love. This may be because they are afraid of intimacy or responsibility in the relationship, or they may be worn out by a discouraging experience in which they really invested themselves.
They may be depressed about life and lack the optimism and motivation that desiring love requires. They may have a pinched and constricted personality because of inherited shyness or lousy home life as children.
The models of relationships they have experienced may have poisoned their normal longing for the interest, intrigue, and excitement of being in love. Any and all of these are forms of the sickness of the mind and spirit.
Normal healthy persons want to be in love. Whether they are 14 or 94, male or female, human beings would like to be in love. Being in love is a special kind of emotional experience that involves the awakening of the whole person — body, soul, and spirit.
It feels like it starts in the very center of our souls and radiates out into our psyches, minds, feelings, and bodies. It is a response to some mysterious stimulant that characterizes or is a characteristic of the object of our being in love. Psychologists and sociologists have spent a great deal of time and spilled a lot of ink trying to figure it out; albeit in futility.
Now, we all are quite sure we know exactly what is happening when we are falling in love. We are simply falling in love. We see it as a scintillating experience of romance. There is nothing so mysterious about it. Falling in love is delicious and often such an intense longing as to be painful.
The object of our love is a person with so many marvelous characteristics that we could continue the list of them all day and all night long. The delightful qualities of our love object are infinite in number and inexhaustibly exciting.
There is no need to question what it is like, how it comes about, how it works, or where it is leading. It is simply wonderful and that is all there is to it.
Anyone who does not know all that automatically has simply never been in love and is hopelessly and helplessly ignorant of this whole wonderful world of exotic human reality.
After all, when you see a magnificent rose blossom, in all its splendid beauty, no one needs to tell you that the beauty is thrilling and unimaginably heavenly. It just is.
Do not ask too many questions. Stand back and let it be. Admire it from afar or near, but do not try to examine it too closely, lest you invade its beauty and break its petal, marring its magnificence.
For God’s sake, do not take the gorgeous rose into the laboratory and start to examine it scientifically. What good can possibly come of that? So you dissect it, you dye its parts, you cook its inner filaments, and chemically analyze it.
Then what do you have? All the beauty is gone. There is no rose left. You simply have nothing left in your hand. You know everything about nothing and who really cares, now that all the beauty is gone.
Sometimes, when our experience of falling in love is examined too closely in order to understand what it is we are experiencing, something happens a little like the rose in the laboratory. Holding it too close to the light does not always illumine love. Sometimes it simply evaporates it.
Love is mushy; science is hard. Anger and fear, feelings that have been considerably researched in the field and the lab, can be quantified through measurements: pulse and breathing rates, muscle contractions, a whole spider’s web of involuntary responses.
Love does not register as definitively on the instruments: it leaves a blurred fingerprint that could be mistaken for anything from indigestion to a manic attack.
In trying to figure out love in the lab is like exploring the universe, the more we understand about it, the more preposterous and mysterious it seems to be.
When people in love come to their senses, they tend to orbit with added energy around each other and look more helplessly loopy and self-besotted. If romance were purely a figment, unsupported by any rational or sensible evidence, then surely most folks would be immune to it by now. Look around. If It hasn’t happened yet; relax. Love is still in the air!