Love is.

What is love?  Well that’s a big question.  In some ways we all have a different experience and concept of love but there is evidently some common ground too.  I am not trying to get poetical or spiritual at the moment, I am just trying to establish something about love.  Love is real.  In making that statement I anticipate a response from some, to the effect that it is not real.  That it is ethereal.  That it is not substance but an idea or an experience.  What is a waterfall?  Is a waterfall real?  Well the water, itself, is not a waterfall.  So the “substance” part is not a waterfall.  The “energy” or the dynamics of space that give rise to the phenomenon of a waterfall are real (or would some disagree with that?), but they are not a waterfall.  The waterfall is none of its constituent parts by themselves, but it is not a waterfall if any significant part is missing.  The reason I mention the waterfall is because I suspect real is sometimes equated with matter.  And that there is a sort of concession to include energy if one has to.  But much of our attempt to analyse energy and to understand it has been either as matter (photons etc) or analogous to matter (electricity and its analogy to water flow etc), but we are thwarted in our attempts every time.  Then there is the issue of force fields which exert (or do they contain, or are they) energy.  But force fields we analogize as shape which (so far in my experience) is a property of matter.  The geometry of the space-time continuum is, to my mind, the best conceptualization of the issues surrounding energy and force fields.  Since, when we look deeper into the nature of matter we discover that it is energy (or interchangeable with energy) I have a theory that all of the physical world that we live in is ultimately the geometry of space-time.  Carl Gustav Jung, in one of his books, expressed deep frustration at the lack of understanding that the psyche is real.  (I will attempt to find the reference, but for now I will continue.)  He perceived that people treated the psyche as if it were not really real.  As if psychological phenomena could disappear or appear from nowhere.  He stressed the point that, in his view, the psyche was not an ethereal thing but a very real thing.  The point I recall him making was that you cannot have an unreal thing having an effect on real things.  And that nuclear weapons were all over the planet.  The psyche is real.  It affects the real world.  Arthur Janov, in his therapeutic activities has made significant strides forward in showing the profound relationships between what we experience as emotions and the physiological structures and states of the material brain.  What we experience as love has significant physical correlates.  Chemicals in the brain have consistent features relating to common experiences of love and pain.  When you think about it, of course, we know that there are physical constituents to our experience of emotions.  The trouble is that they are often subtle and complex.  If, for a moment, I take astrology, as an example, the debate is often centred around whether the state of the stars and the planets have an affect on our life.  The debate polarizes around the degree of influence and we get the position of some saying that it is nonsense and some saying that they believe in it.  But that is not really a debate about a thing out there that we are looking at, so much as a debate about how we respond to the thing out there.  But we mistake our sense of our relationship with the thing, for the thing itself, and so we have an irresolvable conflict.  The fact (as I see it - note the concession to the doubters) is that the state of the planets does have an affect on our lives.  It could hardly be otherwise.  But whether or not we can detect that affect and make significant correlations between actual events in our lives and the positions of the planets is an unanswered question.  I have no doubt that popular tabloid press astrology is largely entertainment and not factually accurate.  But because that is nonsense does not mean that planets do not affect our lives.  The trouble with spirituality is that people have dislocated it from reality.  Rather like Father Christmas.  So I would suggest that, rather like looking at a cluster of stars in a swirling galaxy and seeing the effects that are evident in their relationship to one another, and like looking at the collections of molecules that make up a daffodil and seeing the relationship between them as a flower, we can see the love that is real around us, even if we cannot comprehend and describe its substance.  It is not ethereal.  Spirituality is not something the ego experiences after death.  Love is real.  Love matters.  Love is tangible.  Love is inherent in the universe.  Whether it is a profound underlying unified theory of every thing or an apex of complexity in the universe is not the question I am seeking an answer for.  I am just trying to establish if we have enough experience to realize love.

© Nik Allday 2000