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JosephM

Love? What is it?

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11 hours ago, thormas said:

Yet such sacrifices, done in anger, hate or pride, are for self. Sacrifice out of agape is for the other. Agape is a decision.

I don't think hate is always for self.  One can hate another because they threaten the ones they love.

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11 hours ago, thormas said:

They paid the insurance even when he committed suicide? Thought that nullified the insurance. Also, it may have benefited others but seems they would have preferred him alive.

No, it is a common clause in Australian life insurance policies (I have the same payout clause) but there is usually an exclusion period from the policy start date of about a year I think.

I'm certain his family would have preferred him alive and broke than dead and wealthy.

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10 hours ago, JosephM said:

Well, in my view, in a spiritual sense , if God is Love, then Love is not an emotion but rather a state of being. This state of being includes an awareness of our connectiveness and actions or inaction's that flow from knowledge hidden within that state. And yes it is difficult to understand mentally or put in words.

And if there is no 'God is Love' then love simply is an emotion, as I have demonstrated concerning other emotions.  We don't say God is hate, God is anger, you can be your truest self in jealousy, etc and for good reason I think - it sounds miserable.  Believing that God is love is a much more attractive option.

To me it seems you are thinking that there is a 'connectiveness' which results in the emotion of love for you.  That just seems much clearer to me than what you are saying to this point.

It just seems like a circular argument to me which goes something like "God is love.  Why - because it helps me be the truest version of myself.  Why does it make you a truer person - because God is love."

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2 hours ago, PaulS said:

I don't think hate is always for self.  One can hate another because they threaten the ones they love.

But that seems, upon close inspection, to still be a selfish act: I hate them because of what they have done or could do to someone I love. I think this is very human but the emotion of hate is different that the decision for agape.

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2 hours ago, PaulS said:

To me the idea that 'God is love' just seems so man-made, now that we have evolved from apes and are capable of a superior level of thinking and philosophying.

Well it is in that it is our concept and language. The question is that or could that be an insight into the very nature (not of a god in the wings but) of Being itself? Any answer is a belief statement.  

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2 hours ago, PaulS said:

Each to their own I guess - I don't see our 'truest self' being anything more than what we are.  But if that's how you want to think about yourself, I have no issue.  Same with what you think we are 'meant to be'.

Seemingly we see this in different moments of our lives. Many people know what they are yet also suspect that they can be more or better or closer to their true or (even) best self. I'm simply talking on a broader spiritual scale. And again, any answer is a belief statement.

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2 hours ago, PaulS said:

And if there is no 'God is Love' then love simply is an emotion, as I have demonstrated concerning other emotions.  We don't say God is hate, God is anger, you can be your truest self in jealousy, etc and for good reason I think - it sounds miserable.  Believing that God is love is a much more attractive option.

To me it seems you are thinking that there is a 'connectiveness' which results in the emotion of love for you.  That just seems much clearer to me than what you are saying to this point.

It just seems like a circular argument to me which goes something like "God is love.  Why - because it helps me be the truest version of myself.  Why does it make you a truer person - because God is love."

There was no real demonstration. You laid out your position or your belief but that is all. Any 'demonstration' is simply a presentation of one's belief. 

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3 hours ago, PaulS said:

And if there is no 'God is Love' then love simply is an emotion, as I have demonstrated concerning other emotions.  We don't say God is hate, God is anger, you can be your truest self in jealousy, etc and for good reason I think - it sounds miserable.  Believing that God is love is a much more attractive option.

To me it seems you are thinking that there is a 'connectiveness' which results in the emotion of love for you.  That just seems much clearer to me than what you are saying to this point.

It just seems like a circular argument to me which goes something like "God is love.  Why - because it helps me be the truest version of myself.  Why does it make you a truer person - because God is love."

If God is not Love then i would agree love is an emotion. To me , believing God is Love is neither an attractive or unattractive option. It is merely my experience that it is so and can be experienced even though it is near impossible to prove nor state as a concept, a concept which the thinking mind finds it near impossible to grasp. 

Connectiveness and awareness of the relationship as One of all things is to experience Love/God but it is not an emotion although a chemical reaction most consider an emotion may or may not be present at that time.

It's a view, as i said not provable.  It' may appear as a circular argument to you but there is no argument to me as i am just expressing my view of the opening post , reading others, and sometimes responding to clarify on a forum that discusses such matters of a spiritual nature.  Not at all looking for an argument circular or not. 😊.

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16 minutes ago, JosephM said:

If God is not Love then i would agree love is an emotion. To me , believing God is Love is neither an attractive or unattractive option. It is merely my experience that it is so and can be experienced even though it is near impossible to prove nor state as a concept, a concept which the thinking mind finds it near impossible to grasp. 

That's precisely where I am sitting - I am finding it near impossible to grasp how to understand what you are saying as a concept.  Not that there is a problem with that, but hence why I ask questions and counter with other ways of looking at it - I'm trying to better understand how you see it that way.

16 minutes ago, JosephM said:

Connectiveness and awareness of the relationship as One of all things is to experience Love/God but it is not an emotion although a chemical reaction most consider an emotion may or may not be present at that time.

I'm not sure how experiencing love cannot be emotional.  

16 minutes ago, JosephM said:

It's a view, as i said not provable.  It' may appear as a circular argument to you but there is no argument to me as i am just expressing my view of the opening post , reading others, and sometimes responding to clarify on a forum that discusses such matters of a spiritual nature.  Not at all looking for an argument circular or not. 😊.

Surely you know that I use the term 'argument' not in any way aggressively but rather that it should be interpreted as "A reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory."  

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

But that seems, upon close inspection, to still be a selfish act: I hate them because of what they have done or could do to someone I love. I think this is very human but the emotion of hate is different that the decision for agape.

I think all emotions are different, that's why we have different names for so many emotions, including the various emotions associated with love.  My point was that we use limiting words to try and best communicate how we see things.  So whilst hate is different to love in some ways (e.g. it is associated with anger and harm etc), it is also associated with love (e.g. we hate X because we love Y who is threatened by X).  Whether you want to argue for eros love or agape love or some other term for love is not that important to me in this point.

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4 hours ago, thormas said:

Well it is in that it is our concept and language. The question is that or could that be an insight into the very nature (not of a god in the wings but) of Being itself? Any answer is a belief statement.  

Yes but again, it seems a little too convenient for me that this belief only developed when humans got to a certain level of thinking.  Do you think 'Being' has been waiting around for billions of years for us to finally evolve to this point so that we may understand that Being is why we exist?  

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Seemingly we see this in different moments of our lives. Many people know what they are yet also suspect that they can be more or better or closer to their true or (even) best self. I'm simply talking on a broader spiritual scale. And again, any answer is a belief statement.

And if that's what you want to believe, all power to you.  It just  doesn't help me understand your belief any better because it doesn't make much sense to me

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

There was no real demonstration. You laid out your position or your belief but that is all. Any 'demonstration' is simply a presentation of one's belief. 

No, your position seems to be based solely on belief.  What I am trying to point out is that the position I understand seems to have much more scientific evidence to refer to than what you are proposing.

The demonstrating I refereed to includes clinical studies that demonstrate brain activity when subjects are provided certain stimuli (e.g. a photo of their spouse) which elicits a chemical response in the brain (i.e. the release of 'feel good' chemicals) which is then received by the body as an emotion, in this case 'love'.

It seems to me that you would acknowledge that hate, anger, grief, etc are all emotions and that the brain does elicit chemical response to certain stimuli which in turn we interpret as emotion.  You would agree with that I think?

If we can agree on that, then my question is why do you jump to only a single emotion (i.e love) and suddenly give that some sort of 'other' property which you clearly don't assign to these other emotions that science can demonstrate as occurring following chemical excretions, along with love also.  Why not say God is Hate, or God is Anger, or God is one of the dozens of other emotions we can scientifically study and observe brain stimulation and chemical reaction as a result, just like we can do for love?

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Just to be clear here, I am more than happy for others to believe that somehow, somewhere, God is Love, whatever that is supposed to actually mean in all practicality.  Seriously, all power to you.  I would not vote to take that belief away from you nor would I try to take it off you in any other way.

To me, this belief that God is Love seems a little nonsensical in that it makes no sense to me, particularly against the science we know that demonstrates that the human brain reacts to stimuli, produces chemicals and as a result, experiences emotions, including what we consider 'love' (including but not necessarily limited to one of the seven Greek varieties of love).  I don't think that is disputable, but hey, each to their own.  Maybe science is just my belief statement (but again, I'm not sure how that would make sense when weighed up against what we commonly call facts).

But what I do on these threads is debate, question and challenge because I find that the most effective way for me to better understand your (whoever you are) view and beliefs.  Perhaps I should just leave it all alone and let some have their 'love-fest'.  I guess there is a place for that sometimes, particularly on this site.  I have tried to respect that when people want to post in the PC section of this site for instance (not always as well as I'd like), and I try to be conscious of it even when in this Debate & Dialogue thread, but please know I mean none of you any harm in my challenges to what you say are your beliefs and why. 

If they don't make sense to me, I want to know why you seem to understand something, but I don't, even on the face of what I consider better explanations and evidence.  I want to know if it's you who misunderstands or am I misunderstanding.  I enjoy the back and forth of point and counter-point to assist us, and myself in particularly, with trying to better understand the subject matter.

But if anybody ever feels I am being overbearing and does not want to engage any further in discussion, please just say so and I'll leave you with your opinions, no offence taken.

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7 hours ago, PaulS said:

I think all emotions are different, that's why we have different names for so many emotions, including the various emotions associated with love.  My point was that we use limiting words to try and best communicate how we see things.  So whilst hate is different to love in some ways (e.g. it is associated with anger and harm etc), it is also associated with love (e.g. we hate X because we love Y who is threatened by X).  Whether you want to argue for eros love or agape love or some other term for love is not that important to me in this point.

I agree they are different. My point is that action stemming from them are tinged with a certain self-centeredness. I also agree that some types of love are emotions. But if we return to the question, "what is Love?" the answer for some is that it is Agape: an awareness/action that is not mere emotion. Words have limits but we do our best.

Yet as pointed out there is a difference among the types of love and specifically between eros and agape.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, PaulS said:

Yes but again, it seems a little too convenient for me that this belief only developed when humans got to a certain level of thinking.  Do you think 'Being' has been waiting around for billions of years for us to finally evolve to this point so that we may understand that Being is why we exist?  

Well of course because we weren't thinking, self-conscious creatures before we were. Seemingly it is still not an issue or belief for so called lower creatures.

I wouldn't characterize Being as 'waiting around' as I envision existence, the expanding universe, evolution and the advent (and growth) of man as a bit more dynamic than that. The analogy is that of a man who loves natures, loves his dogs, cares for his gardens, is drawn by the wonder of the universe. And, when he marries, he continues all this (as opposed to merely waiting) and when he has a child, he enjoys all the moments of her life as she is growing and learning yet also looks forward to that time, when as a 'adult' human being, she can be in an even fuller relationship with him. 

 

Edited by thormas

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8 hours ago, PaulS said:

No, your position seems to be based solely on belief.  What I am trying to point out is that the position I understand seems to have much more scientific evidence to refer to than what you are proposing.

The demonstrating I refereed to includes clinical studies that demonstrate brain activity when subjects are provided certain stimuli (e.g. a photo of their spouse) which elicits a chemical response in the brain (i.e. the release of 'feel good' chemicals) which is then received by the body as an emotion, in this case 'love'.

It seems to me that you would acknowledge that hate, anger, grief, etc are all emotions and that the brain does elicit chemical response to certain stimuli which in turn we interpret as emotion.  You would agree with that I think?

If we can agree on that, then my question is why do you jump to only a single emotion (i.e love) and suddenly give that some sort of 'other' property which you clearly don't assign to these other emotions that science can demonstrate as occurring following chemical excretions, along with love also.  Why not say God is Hate, or God is Anger, or God is one of the dozens of other emotions we can scientifically study and observe brain stimulation and chemical reaction as a result, just like we can do for love?

I have acknowledge that my position is a belief statement. As is yours. I recognize clinical studies but that does not establish that agape love is an emotion. That is your belief (and your jump).

Again, I do acknowledge that hate, anger, grief and some types of love are emotions but again, in response to the question (What is Love), my response is that Christian Love or Agape is not emotion. It is a decision to act and be in a certain way. I am not jumping to and signing out a single emotion (Love), I disagree that Agape love is an emotion.

When Christianity or other religions speak of God as Love, they are not saying God is an emotion. They are saying this is his identity, his very essence, this is the unchanging nature of  God - not simply his emotional reaction (as if it even makes sense to speak of the very Ground of Being as having emotions).  

The scientific studies cannot answer Joseph's original question about Love. You can and you have - but that is your belief or opinion.

 

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On the deep side of the unscientific ...... One could say emotions arise from the conditioned human and associated chemical reactions. Love/God arises from the unconditioned awareness of being in which is hid all  knowledge and wisdom. In my experience, we, as the conditioned human often confuse love with emotion, admiration, passion, desire, needing,  lust or a feeling founded in the limitations of conditioned knowledge. On the other hand Love is not limited by the boundaries of time or conditioned knowledge. It is innate, forever present and the very substrate that allows or sustains the created conditioned human to appear to be.

My 2 cents,

Joseph

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On 5/29/2019 at 7:28 AM, Burl said:

The burden of proof is yours, Rom.  You provided no evidence for your opinion that love is a chemical reaction, or that it is elicited by external stimuli.

There is a kernel of truth there, but you are far from a definition or an argument.     

Well I would claim otherwise.

Again this proof thingy … In the real world we don't deal in  proof corroborating evidence yes. But if you are interested in this sort of thing I would suggest Robert Sapolsky's Behaviour.

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On 5/29/2019 at 5:40 PM, Burl said:

I don't think we have definition from you yet.  Are you ready?  Love is ________. 

Love is an illusion.

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Love is an illusion.

Are you changing your mind?  Before you said love was a biochemical response.  

 

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

Are you changing your mind?  Before you said love was a biochemical response.  

Not quite. Perhaps I should have said that our perception of love is an illusion. You know our perception that god is Love etc.

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Not quite. Perhaps I should have said that our perception of love is an illusion. You know our perception that god is Love etc.

So your perception that love is a biochemical response is also an illusion.

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54 minutes ago, thormas said:

So your perception that love is a biochemical response is also an illusion.

I did not say that.

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7 hours ago, romansh said:

Not quite. Perhaps I should have said that our perception of love is an illusion. You know our perception that god is Love etc.

Brings Ebeneezer Scrooge to mind.

 “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

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