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Love is a form of human expression. Ideally love is an expression both received and given, and more ideally in equal portions. What I find fascinating is that if you ask 100 people what love is, male and female; you will inevitably get many varying descriptions. Why is love’s unanimous definition so elusive, so varied?
I don’t feel that is the significant question.
“Ground Control to Major Tom”
The more significant question is how diversely is human love expressed? How many ways do you express love? Is it through amounts of time, and if so, what sort of time? Is it through endearing eloquent words? Is it through gifts? Is it through physical affection or romance, or sexual Eros? And just as importantly, how do you receive love? How do you perceive yourself as loved?
I feel there might be an even more significant question: How many languages of love do you speak and understand fluently?
Fluently. What does that mean? This is how Dictionary.com defines it: spoken or written [expressed?] with ease; able to speak or write [expressed?] smoothly, easily, or readily; to speak easily, flowing, or fluidly. In other words, a person who is fluent in a language is a master in its expression and understanding. A master orator not only would be able to speak the language [expression] superbly, but also be able to expertly understand the language [expression] when spoken.
But wait a moment; all is still not so precisely defined. In various regions of a language there are dialects:
a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially.
If you haven’t realized already, there is no unanimous definition of what love is; there is no one standard. Yet, if you want to love and be loved, then becoming fluent in its many expressions on some level makes sense. It stands to follow too that most choose (want?) NOT to be sub-par or worse, in the fluency of love. Am I right? To put it another way, most want at the very least a Bachelor’s degree in love-fluency, if you will, and not say an 8th grade certificate, correct?
Like any form of communication you will not be heard or understood if you do not first understand the language your audience hears and responds to. Subsequently, the more fluent you are in the language/expression, the more profound the message and experience. Am I right?
Once you have modified and refined, perhaps overhauled your love-fluency, what or who determines whether it is good enough? Do you yourself decide whether it is better or perfected? In self-analysis, how truthful are our own egos?
Billboard’s Top 100
Why do we have favorite musicians, artists, authors, or athletes? Why are musicians, artists, authors, or athletes rewarded with lucrative contracts, or endorsements, or awards? What is it that they have achieved to merit such acclaim? How does a Board of Excellence judge whether these great musicians, authors, or athletes have achieved their pinnacles and offered passage into a Hall of Fame?
Is it not at least measured by the number and type of experienced knowledgeable admirers? Experts in the field? Intentional or not, accepted or not, there is a common bar of excellence and it exists in love as much as it exists in any other form of expression. For our purposes here, one’s love-aptitude and love-fluency is more accurately assessed (graded?) by a group of past or present honest lovers and/or partners, or professional counselors or close friends depending on how honest and open you have been.
Flea-market or The Louvre
Imagine yourself as a marketing executive for your own agency. You have a goldmine waiting in a new undiscovered product. How would you get it out to the public? How could you make consumers aware of your hot new item?
Let me ask another question. Would any great musicians, authors, or athletes want their ‘form of expression’ exhibited in junk yards or in a desolate isolated place? Would a potential Hall of Famer athlete want to always play in amateur leagues? Of course not; that is most certainly “negative” or stagnate exposure, and to certain extents devalues the art. But here is the more important next question: How can an aspiring artist, musician, athlete become great? And just as importantly what is the motivation to greatness?
The hope is not to become a self-idolized demigod, right? No, I would hope the motivation would be to freely share the path to greater good for as many as possible; to spread the wealth so-to-speak. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkley believes all people have the basic need to be happy, loved, and respected by peers. The center’s mission and core belief is that ultimately…
Individual well-being promotes social well-being, and social well-being promotes individual well-being. The well-being of society as a whole can best be achieved by providing information, tools, and skills to those people directly responsible for shaping the well-being of others.
Notice that the GGSC concept is and always an active two-way street. An individual’s potential is only as possible as the quality interaction and engagement within the whole. We learn and grow – hopefully to become ever better humans – based on what surrounds us. A lack of motivation to become better, wiser, more whole is usually diagnosed in psychology as “depressed” but sometimes it is simple fear of failure or rejection. Typically failure and rejection are two causes given more gravity than they actually possess, if at all.
But that is EXACTLY why we have those around us: intimate friends, lovers, and close family members to help us all along, right? That natural nurturing system is the perpetual inner-workings of a healthy connected group/society that supports its members and challenges its members! The open/swinger and polyamorous lifestyles take this system to much deeper levels for those who choose to push themselves to a higher degree and a more whole maturing being.
How then does one move their form-of-expression [their love] to higher more refined, enriching levels?
Quantity vs. Quality?
For centuries our Western civilizations have deplored frequent “intimate” intense relationships outside the traditional religious limits of “binary marriage”. I must challenge this misperception of love and sex, or more specifically the frequency of love and sex. It is incredibly stifling to the natural human spirit.
Basically this unproven law against emotional and physical freedom restricts you to ONE person under the guise of “godly blessings.” When a traditional monogamous marriage falters or fails, the church will always default to human imperfection inherited from mankind’s fall from grace as the cause – the church biblical doctrine of total depravity. The reality is that the falter/failure is universal inside a system prohibiting expansion, exploration, and enrichment; perhaps more so evolution. This is not to say a traditional monogamous marriage cannot achieve til-death-do-we-part. It is quite easy for a person to put horse-blinders on and remove themselves from external temptations or possible deeper growth. Some people are capable of reclusion. Their reasons are their own. However, if you haven’t noticed, those til-death-do-we-part marriages are going extinct. Why this is so is a discussion for another time.
What I feel is the true source of the til-death-do-we-part extinction is a faulty amputated medieval system that includes limited sheltered (oppressed?) components.
How well do you express your sex/art/love and relate to it and engage in it? Is it beautifully addictive for most? And honestly, how on earth do we get to that point? The number of who we have been sexually passionate with is not as important as HOW the many participants invested their best on ALL forms of expression… not just physically. No one form is less important than the others; beauty is beauty according to the admirer(s), no matter how many there might be.
Instead of quality versus quantity, in this case it must be quality AND quantity. You cannot have one without the other. One is not simply “born” with the gift of great love or sex. The art of passion should be mastered by all/both participants in order to become truly great.
What’s more fascinating is that the mastery can be achieved by MANY throughout our lives, not just one. The most intense, beautiful, soulful love and sex can only be assessed by a large majority of recipients, givers, and participants. However, as mentioned earlier the important question is who or what is doing the measuring? The Board of Excellence, if you will, should include members of like-minded, like-spirited, like-experienced knowledgeable peers. Otherwise, your position and potential will be subjectively skewed according to the assessor(s).
Change is Permanent
As obvious as this well-known paradox might be, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Social morality, or what is deemed right or wrong by a social sector, is ever-changing. Not so long ago it would have been immoral of me to marry someone outside my race, or someone not of my religious background, or someone not of my social stature. Not so long ago it would have been perfectly moral for me to beat my girlfriend/wife for insubordination or to beat my children for the same. Not so long ago it was illegal for a woman to vote or to have an upper-management or executive position within a company. Very recently within the last couple of decades or more, it was immoral to have “pre-marital sex” or to masturbate. And do I need to mention the issue of slavery?
Morality and ethics are always evolving and changing to fit a social system. Fortunately, one day equal rights for same-sex marriages will be common place in our American society; history shows that the greater good of the system, for the greatest amount of members, eventually wins out. Why is this?
I think the answer is somewhat simple. If you, or you and your partner(s), or your social group are not grievously harming others (children included), and all adults involved are consciously consensual, AND your neo-system does in fact benefit the greater good for the greatest amount involved, then eventually the morality and ethics of the old system will change, or in some cases completely tossed out. This is why the open/swinger and polyamorous lifestyles are constantly growing in numbers. This is why the issue of same-sex marriage is at a “tipping point” and will eventually become common place.
Intense passionate love/sex and its expression must be free to expand, explore, enrich, and evolve. If it is oppressed and not allowed to be these four critical elements, then it withers and becomes dormant even extinct… just like the ballooning statistics of divorce are indicating.
On my Music page (above drop-down menu, 2012 Picks) is an apropos song by Rotersand: A Strange Kind of Love. I wonder if Peter Murphy wrote his lyrics about the type of love I speak about here?
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