Showing posts with label love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Love, Sex, and Chocolate Ice Cream

A conversation with  Blü and subsequent posts on an otherwise useless thread. Quoted in full and in order.  

If you think love and sex are the same thing, I feel sorry for you.
BlüIf you think love and sex aren't connected then I suggest you have a private talk with your parents about where you came from.

I have to agree with the apologist on this issue. 

Scripturally love and sex are two unrelated issues.  Scriptural sex is the means by which men exchange protection and support for bearing his seed, raising his children, and satisfying his lust once a week. 

Love is an emotion reserved for God and occasionally other men, but only once in the bible is it associated with sex and even that is danced around by most Scriptural analysis. (1 Samuel 20:41 KJB)

Love associated with a male-female pair bond is a modern invention, still resisted by most religions as empowering women, although given lip service in modern wedding vows. 

Love associated with a male-female pair bond is a modern invention

Romantic love's a relatively modern notion - the flowery troubadour kind from the 11th century and the bodice-ripping RITA Award kind from the 18th century.

Meanwhile, pair bonding, and the emotions associated with it and with child protection and nurture, are as ancient (and as practical) as can be.

I would suggest that neither the troubadour nor the romantic kind has anything to do with the love discussed in Scripture that El Cid is posting about. 

Also the oxytocin mediated pair bonding for child protection and nurture bears little resemblance to either Scriptural love or courtship love.  Once the husband cleaves unto his wife and forsakes (sort of) all others, the oxytocin kicks in at the birth of the first child and never really lets go.  Particularly where there is little opportunity for the man to stray, which for practical purposes is most non-elite married men.  Scientists are even finding oxytocin bonding in empty nesters long after the fires of love and sex are mere embers. 

For practical purposes in the postmodern post religious world love is such a muddied concept as to be useless in any sense other than the vernacular love for movies or chocolate ice cream.  

Love associated with a male-female pair bond is a modern invention

Romantic love's a relatively modern notion - the flowery troubadour kind from the 11th century and the bodice-ripping RITA Award kind from the 18th century.

Meanwhile, pair bonding, and the emotions associated with it and with child protection and nurture, are as ancient (and as practical) as can be.

But you know that.

love is such a muddied concept as to be useless in any sense other than the vernacular love for movies or chocolate ice cream.

The commercialization of love (movies, TV and magazines, Valentine's Day, Mothers Day, cosmetics, fashions &c) may indeed bring the familiarity that breeds contempt.

But having been in love myself, I can describe what I mean by the term, how I figure it relates to my biochemistry, how much I've enjoyed the trip and why I think it's important.

Or, from another angle, there's some wonderful love poetry out there, not to mention great songs. And how about Rodin's The Kiss? They can resonate with us deep in our human make-up.

Been there, done that several times, many times if you include art.  I just don't call it love.  I have simply internalized Heinlein's "that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."  I manage to cram in "and welfare" after happiness and it is still a single concept.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tough Times and Atheism

Separating truth from superstition - Beliefnet:

"As for the tough times, even smart, tough, atheists run into them. It is called living long enough to enjoy them. Not while you are in them but later. As Forrest Church says in Love in Death, 'We cannot protect love from death. But by giving away our hearts, we can protect our lives from the death of love.' I find that thought useful as much for living as for dealing with death. To love is to risk hurt. It is always worth it."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Belonging to Life

Please tell me what 'belonging to life' means to you as it means nothing to me, so far.

“Love is not everything but we are less than nothing without Love.”

I think for me the realization of what 'belonging to life' meant was during the birth of my first child. I had no idea what I was in for the moment labor began. I had prepared for natural child birth, knew what physically was expected, but nothing prepared me for the 'force' that took over my body and mind. It was the most POWERFUL force I have ever experienced! It is LIFE that births us and it is LIFE that ages us and eventually takes our breath away. IMHO, it is life that owns us.
Wendyness from beliefnet

Thank you

I understand what you mean and I agree in the sense that we are biological, living beings, first and foremost. I understand it as 'membership' rather than 'ownership' -

The Buddhist says to the Hot Dog Vendor, 'Make me one with everything.'

This is my personal vision –

May I be one with every other living entity, that is to say, let it be that I become a member of the unity of all living things; may my life also be a positive contribution to all other living things, both while I am alive and on into the future through the efforts spurred by my legacy.”

From a PM response to Wendyness, with permission.

I have frequently noted that I am from from a long, long line of organisms that made enough difference in the life of at least one other organism and the environment that supported them to "say" lets make more of us. In most cases this was a purposeful choice, if only the prettiest hindquarters, but generally something more important than that, some evidence of something that would make the "more of us" a little better than either of us with a little nicer place to live in. That was the easy and fun part. Then came the fulfillment part to "more of us" the care, the feeding, the final "you are on your own now, carry on."

The fact that uncountable ancestors did just that is why I am here, and the drive to "carry on" is what makes me part of everything, or as Wendyness said owns me. The carrying on is much more interesting for humans, as they (and their dogs if Jon Franklin is correct.)have in a real sense taken control over their environment to the extent that the legacy scope is huge. We have domesticated our food sources, and to a lesser extent our social and intellectual resources. But it is in the social and intellectual areas where the drive to carry on has the most impact and most responsibility. It is no longer enough just to make "more of us." It is necessary to make the environment they are going to live in amenable to fulfilled living.

Religion may have been the earliest attempt to domesticate our social environment, and seems to have been dominant for most of the Holocene human history. It also seemed to be responsible for the human intellectual legacy and the suppression of same. The separation of the intellectual legacy from the religious was the next great change. The invasion of the intellectual institutions into the social area is perhaps the current challenge for those driven to preserve the human legacy. Whether we like it or not it seems that being one with life or with everything is now contingent on humans solving their social problems.

I frankly don't think religion is up to the challenge, and will be relegated to keeping the majority content with their lot in life. Those with the intellectual capability to remake the human social structure into the necessary cosmopolitan paradigm are now responsible for the human legacy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Secret of Life: Death

Quality of Life - Beliefnet

"The Greatest Secret in life is the sure, certainty of causes us to strive to leave our mark upon the Earth." If one is convinced that striving to improve one's life, the lives of their family and the lives of humans in general is futile, for any reason, one might attempt to 'opt out' of 'This Life' in preference for some promised 'better life,' somewhere other than the Earth. (I include in that group of 'alternatives' Heaven, Nirvana, 'Enlightenment' (of several different flavors, etc.)
exploringinside "

As Forrest Church would point out the secret of leaving our mark is the quality of our love. Not just for those closest to us, but for all we choose to include as "our society." Back when I was a UU that was supposed to mean "All people" but that was dispiriting as one cannot leave ones mark on "All People." It is much too easy to turn away from leaving ones mark to less worthy activities like group hugs without love of AIDS walks or kicking in a few excess bucks to UUSC and be done with it.

When Forrest ended a sermon it was always "Amen. I love you!" Who did he really love? I can't speak for him and cannot ask, and frankly I thought it was a little hokey until I read "Love and Death." But when I interpreted it (my interpretation not Forrest's) as I love those who will pay attention, be affected by my thinking, and pass forward the message and "Amen. I love you!" not from Forrest but from themselves it makes "the mark" make sense. We affect those we love, whether they are those nearest and dearest to us or those we may not even think of who love us and are affected by what we do and say if and only if we love them.
Amen. I love you!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thinking about Death.

Beliefnet Community > Thread - My Story: Atheist by Necessity, not by Choice!:

"Personally I find that the probability of an afterlife is close to zero is quite liberating. As Forrest Church says in Love and Death, love survives death and those we have loved and made a difference in their lives will love us in return and as we think of those who have died with love and respect those who follow us will pay it forward with the same love and respect. They will tell stories about me to the next few generations and maybe someone will learn something. I do my best in life to build a Legacy that will be worth telling stories about.

Just recently I passed some advice from my father, a great athlete, to his great grandson who will probably not be a great athlete but who is trying to learn a sport for fun. Maybe my grandson didn't even listen, but the time I spent with the memories of my father and the love I still gave and received from him makes his death merely a release from the pain of the cancer that took his life."

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Friend's tribute to his late wife

An atheist friend of mine lost his wife of 33 years recently. The following tribute is his beautiful response:

When someone has sweetened your existence with a strong “sense of life,” transforming every dark and shaded place around you to warmth, even the grief one feels in the hours of separation appears out-of-place in the brightness of her after-glow. It is easy to see her mark upon the Earth, etched forever in the hearts and minds of those that she loved and those that couldn't help but love her, too.

When a life-thread so vibrant is unexpectedly snapped, this awful circumstance comes upon us like a dark cloud; for some time we feel we cannot find our way without her guidance. Look carefully and you will still see a trail lined with candles that she left for each of us, to help us find the path to joy, to take up those candles, to light them and to share them with another person trying to find their way through life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Plum Village - Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Plum Village - Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh: "Becoming a Buddha is not difficult because 'Buddha' means
someone who is enlightened, who is capable of loving and forgiving."

Saturday, May 31, 2008

love and death - Forrest Church : love and death: "Yet without love, nothing matters. Break your life into a million pieces and ask yourself what of any real value might endure after you are gone. The pieces that remain will each carry love’s signature. Without love, we are left only with the aching hollow of regret, that haunting emptiness where love might have been."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On the death of a friend.

A D Community Room - Beliefnet Forums: "So I too share in her legacy and will carry forward that memory. I was on the way to a visit to my son who asked about the visit, he is a part of our beliefnet atheist community, and so the ripples spread,"