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A Phenomenology of Love

Love: What it means, and different scenarios one is put in because of it.

Love is a subject that is not easily discussed. The emotions and memories behind this sensitive subject are inherent in all adults. It is a universal feeling that I believe is essential to human existence. It is food for the soul and lack of love for the soul has the same effect as lack of food for the body, it will wither and begin to die.

Everyone has an opinion on love because it pertains to them. My own definition of love is from Robert A. Heinlein who states that “’Love’ is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” I use this definition because I feel that love and relationships are based on happiness; happiness caused by the other person. Of course this does not mean that everyone should be happy all the time. Happiness only matters when there is sadness and other emotions to balance it out and make one’s state of happiness so much sweeter. How would we know the sweetness of honey without the bitterness of a lime, or the spiciness of the pepper? The world also is not completely conducive to happiness. Maybe it is entropy that causes times of discontent and that is why we must work towards happiness when all other emotions just seem to come to us. It is like Newtons second law of thermodynamics that entropy always increases. Entropy, the chaos of the universe, is likely to cause much of the range of emotions we do not like to feel; rage, anger, sadness, disgust.

Love helps us sort out the entropy in our own lives. It gives us a base from which we can do the operations of our normal life. Outside the house can be a hectic and unpleasant place but once you are home, in your lover’s arms, there is nothing but that moment, that happiness, and all else is unimportant because you are there, living in that moment. Those are the moments to cherish and the moments you will remember. I don’t remember all of the bad things that have happened to me, but the good things live forever.

I suppose there are people who hold on to those bad moments for their entire life. These are people who have felt love and lost it, but never went after it again. They saw it as a lost cause so they turned their focus towards inner feelings of rage and sadness, which made their souls unhealthy and made them into the type of person they are. This brings up another point in the phenomenology of love; self love. I think that a person must love themselves, to some point, to be able to love someone else. I’m not talking about narcissism, this is unhealthy as it can prevent loving other people, but rather a state of contentment and acknowledgment of yourself as a unique individual; an individual with needs, wants, hopes, dreams, desires, who can love, and be loved and is existing among other individuals who also have similar qualities.

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