Can anyone explain love?

by mrhhome 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • MadGiant

    "It's a very complicated subject. There are so many different kinds of love. I cannot define it, but I know it when I see it." - LisaRose

    I agree, and this quote is for both of you:

    It is a splendid thing to think that the woman you really love will never grow old to you. Through the wrinkles of time, through the mask of years, if you really love her, you will always see the face you love and won. And a woman who really loves a man does not see that he grows old; he is not decrepit to her; she always sees the same gallant gentleman who won her hand and heart. - Robert G. Ingersoll (1833 – 1899)

    Love is a chemical reaction.

    That initial giddiness that comes when we're first falling in love includes a racing heart, flushed skin and sweaty palms. Researchers say this is due to the dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylamine we're releasing. Dopamine is thought to be the "pleasure chemical," producing a feeling of bliss. Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline and produces the racing heart and excitement. According to Helen Fisher, anthropologist and well-known love researcher from Rutgers University, together these two chemicals produce elation, intense energy, sleeplessness, craving, loss of appetite and focused attention. She also says, "The human body releases the cocktail of love rapture only when certain conditions are met and ... men more readily produce it than women, because of their more visual nature."

    Another possible explanation for the intense focus and idealizing view that occurs in the attraction stage comes from researchers at University College London. They discovered that people in love have lower levels of serotonin and also that neural circuits associated with the way we assess others are suppressed. These lower serotonin levels are the same as those found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders, possibly explaining why those in love "obsess" about their partner.

  • Terry

    This explanation is very simple, easy and understandable.

    LOVE is the strongest positive emotion.

    Emotions are involuntary responses which signal the significance of the values we hold.

    The greater we value something or someone the more significant the signal (emotion).

    Emotions, contrary to folk wisdom, are not the source of anything. They are not a primary but merely a secondary.

    Think of it this way: your speedometer does not make your car go fast or slow by itself, it merely signals to you a reality-check on movement.

    If we are aware of all our values, then our emotions do not puzzle or surprise us.

    If we are unaware it can all be a bit overwhelming.

  • jgnat

    mrhome - "Love God. Love your neighbor."

    We've got a whole range of emotions that in English, we lump together. There's

    • loyalty (filial love, reverential love)
    • nurturing, maternal
    • erotic attraction
    • affection, companionship

    There's a range of hormones involved in love including oxycontin (maternal, empathy, social bonding), progesterone, prolactin, testosterone, and cortisol.

    Haidt's list of universal morals include

    • Care/Harm
    • Loyalty/Betrayal
    • Authority/Subversion

    Pinker lists a series of potential innate modules, that people are born with. Two might be related to love:

    • Kinship, including nepotism and parenting
    • Mating, including feelings of sexual attraction, love, and intentions of fidelity and desertion.

    Neither Haidt or Pinker use the word "love", and I think it is because we combine so many emotions in to one.

    When we love our neighbour, it's related to our native instinct to altruism. Care for our neighbour is care for us all.

    When we love God, we're declaring loyalty and even acknowledging our authority of God over our lives ("I bow my knee"). This integrates the worshipper with fellow believers and bonds the group to a common cause.

  • KateWild

    I have a lot of different type of love for different people in my life. Like jgnat has posted. I feel like showing love to others on a daily basis. Love Sam xx

  • nonjwspouse


    I MUST derail this thread for a moment it is reminding me of a halarious story, and the misunderstanding that you yourself used.

    oxycontin is not ocytocin, which is the natural chemical that produces labor and is a "love" chemical inthe mother and passed to the baby through feedings.

    Oxycontin is the common street drug that criminals will break into pharmacies to get. That is the basis of the story, now, try to imagine theives breaking into pharmacy to get the street drug, but don't recognise the spelling and getting oxytocin instead. Imagine them taking it, and the massive pains they would be in!!! Hahahaha I'm sorry but this one really really got me laughing so hard. This happened near me.

  • jgnat

    LOL. Nailed!

  • snare&racket

    Oxytocin is involved in bonding and breast feeding, it does pour out when dating and seeing 'loved' ones etc. the reality is that there are a handful of chemicals buzzing out under these circumstances, but we know all the hormones of the body, their excretion cells and receptors. We are still learning what bevents exactly release what hormones, just because psychology is complex and its evolutionary motive was only understood properly since Dawkins wrote the selfish gene.

    basically however, just remember we have calm feelings and stress feelings and that is all basically... The body offers those two sensations depending on circumstance. The flight/fright/freeze response is all we have, whether it is on or off. There is evidence of the stress hormones (Corticol) being released as part of the 'love' feeling. Of course, anyone experiencing love knows that, a combination of acute doses of fear snd anxiety... Dry mouth, butterflies in the stomach, rapid bresthing, sweaty palms, fast heart beat... These are cortisol receptors firing, danger responses (taking blood from peripheries to prevent bleeding from cuts/wounds and sending blood to thighs for running, biceps, brain and heart, the blood in the guts is taken to vital organs hence the butterfly feeling, feeling sick etc)

    It's exciting stuff, I hate to appear a grinch by saying there is no mystery to how this all works, but as I said, understanding it all increases the awe for such sensations and experiences, it doesnt reduce them. Even if ut did, it would still be the truth.

    its an important point to think on, because for god to 'love' he needs endorphin, setetonin, dopamibe,madrenaline and oxycontin release and reception..... Awaiting some bizzare pseudo scriptural talk that someone invents on the spot :P xxx

    love you all.... He he x

  • Xanthippe

    Love is people giving to food banks which I witnessed today in the supermarket. Love is writing letters to get prisoners of conscience released from stinking prisons. Love is people who look after each other for 30, 40, 50, or in my inlaws case 60 years. Something more than chemistry is here.

  • FlyingHighNow

    If God is love, then anything that isn't love cannot come from God. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 gives a list of things that are love. 1 John 4:8 says God is love. Let's say that at least these two scriptures in the Bible are truth. Right there you knock out a lot of the Bible as being penned or inspired by God.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    New International Version (NIV)

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails.

    Take these yellow high lights and change Love to God.He begins to look a lot more loving and universal than the Bible portrays him in most instances.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    New International Version (NIV)

    4 God is patient,Godis kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, Godis not proud. 5 God does not dishonor others, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 God never fails.

  • FlyingHighNow

    Another thing, if God is love and love does not envy, and in some translations, love is not jealous, then God does not envy and God is not jealous. Hmmm. Then that would mean that God understands about differing creeds and beliefs, even atheism and deism, agnosticism. It would mean he is not threatened by the questionings of human beings. If he hopes all things and his love never fails, then it would make him a loving God to all, even wayward humans. It would mean he would not ever give up on his children, angels or human or animals.

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