I had written this article resuming a hallucinatory discussion that a woman had made to a friend but after a while I realized that it seemed more and more childish. So I decided to rewrite this article. I have the pleasure and honor of meeting people of a certain age who would define love as something that begins when butterflies end in their stomachs. That feeling is based on custom, everyday life and reciprocity. When each side sacrifices a little of itself to understand the other. But where does this feeling and feelings in general come from? Our culture has always suggested a clear distinction between platonic love and erotic love. But are we really sure that the world is black and white?
The origin of love and natural selection according to my modest opinion
When I think about the origin of love,I like to close my eyes and imagine something much older than us humans. It may be conceivable that millions of years ago, some series of amino acids came to form the first protein, from that precise moment, a series of processes, perhaps of a fortuitous nature that will presumably lead us to be what we are Today. The first living cells would then develop from the proteins. These reproduce themselves through a process called cellular mitosis.
Over time, some of these micro organisms would have evolved to form larger organisms, the cells these more complex organisms could have specialized in performing their function more efficiently. It might therefore be reasonable to assume that from here came a draft of what we in modernity can define as love.
In my theory, in fact, normally, a multicellular organism lives much more than a single-celled organism because the cells that make up it “sacrifice”, with a process called apoptosis, to make way for other cells younger and functional. And what is love but a sacrifice made for a good that is considered most important? How many of us could sacrifice our beings for a higher good, such as the health of the social fabric in which we live?
Since organisms are interdependent on the environment in which they live, it is conceivable that gene differentiation has been necessary to better enable future generations to adapt to these changes and to promote the reproduction of those elements. prosecuting the species. A type of sexual reproduction would therefore arise in which two organisms would come united in order to generate a better subject, more suited to the environment or to the latter’s continuous mutations.
Life in nature must not have been easy at first and it is not easy even now anyway. We had to find a way for two subjects of the same species to trust each other enough. Another important thing was presumably also to allow the best subjects to have a better chance of reproducing. This characteristic has never given up life and is intrinsic in the genome of humans as well.
Gradually, so-called natural selection would have created those mechanisms useful for the selection of the species. I think it is no coincidence that many people fall in love with beauty (understood as symmetry and health). And it is also no coincidence that anyone who is physically attracted to someone, has a tendency to approach and trust the latter. The attraction could also be expressed as the desire of someone to stable, useful, capable, intelligent, rich or powerful.
The natural selection of many species, would have directed these towards a more marked sociality in order to promote the survival of the latter in the most effective way possible. The affection we can feel towards a person we consider very close to us could be the consequence of this mental pattern inherent in our genome. Such predisposition presumably could be the cause of the fact that we suffer much more from the loss of a person close to us.
To this cynical view, one could object by arguing that over time the concept of love has evolved considerably away from those physical and natural factors that I have exposed previously. One example that could be made in support of this contrary thesis, is the fact that you can fall in love even with a poet. But while sensitivity could be seen as a contradiction, the latter could be understood as a normal predisposition to better look after offspring.
Another objection that could be made is that love,although it is one of the most debated and studied feelings, is still obscure to people who are far more learned than I am. That’s true, I’m certainly not a nobel prize. There are many people who feel they love even if they cannot explain this bond in a rational way. I could argue, however, that even pain, from a person who is not a professional, could be considered something inexplicable and above all, when you feel pain, you do not always have the will or the ability to rationalize the causes.
It may seem a completely cold opinion and detached mine, but I believe in all conscience that, whether or not it comes from predictable and biological reactions, any feeling contributes to embellishing life. Contrary to the impression I think I gave with this article, it is the very existence of feelings that in my opinion makes life worth living. Especially when we consider a species like ours that has self-awareness and many of the mechanisms that revolve around existence.
At this point, for the benefit (I hope) of those who want to continue with this reading, I think it is useful to quote some sources about what are the interpretations on the subject in question, that is, about love.
The most widespread love and traditions-religions
To sum up in a nutshell the concept of love in the various traditions and religions more widespread is an impossible task. We speak of concepts that have evolved over centuries and which still put a strain on the most enlightened minds of theology and philosophy. And so I hope you will forgive me if what I say below could be a somewhat oversimplified, partial and superficial analysis. It is also necessary to specify that over the years, in any religion, there has been a certain degree of evolution in the interpretation of words within sacred books.
If we look at the Christian religion, carefully reading the Bible and the Gospels, we can appreciate a clear tricotomy of meaning. While there is no doubt that even at this juncture we are relying on sacrifice, understood as the sacrifice of the son of God for love of humanity (new testament) and a kind of love based on charity and compassion towards one’s neighbour, on the other hand one cannot help but notice that in the old will God’s love is a unconditional love. In fact, it seems clear that in the early part of the Bible, there is a clear reference to obedience. Simply put, if you are lied to God’s word and his commandments, you can be sure that you are loved by God. Otherwise, examples of divine fury are not uncommon. All this, however, is mitigated by an inexhaustible divine mercy attentive to the certainly fickle nature of the human being.
This vision is opposed by the Islamic religion, where it is the love of the faithful for God that is at the center of everything, more than in the Bible where, even, the son of God is tortured and tortured. In Islamic religion, however, there is the commandment to “love one’s neighbour as one loves God.” Again, love for God is privileged at the expense of all those earthly elements that make up the life of the human being. Personally, I noticed a certain resemblance to the old will. Immediately after God, there is a very important figure called “Muhammad”: the prophet of God. To give an explanatory example I would like to cite a verse to better understand what kind of love we are talking about. “In three things man finds the sweetness of faith: that God and His Prophet be more loved for him than the rest; that loving the human being does not love him except in God.” From here it is clear that loving one’s neighbour is good only if he is in God, that is, if he follows the dictates of God and for the complacency of the latter.
In Hinduism we have not a single God but a pantheon of divinity. Among the various deities, there are some that express a wide variety of concepts completely related to the nature of life and not least the concept of love. In the legends that tell of the Goddess Kali, for example, we can only appreciate physical love, distinctly sexual and aggressive. The Goddess Lakshmi, on the other hand, should inspire a sweeter, more protective and maternal kind of love. The Goddess Parvati, on the other hand, represents a much more spiritual and devoted love, the classic love of poets that survives death and is not based on physical appearance. The Goddess Sarasvati instead represents the love for science and the arts, what we would call a passion for something, a certain craft, an art or a hobby. It is a very lucid and rational love where the veils of traditional lovepenises do not find space. The Goddess Durga, like the Goddess Kali, represents the charm of the self-sufficient woman. Beautiful and powerful, it makes us understand how the Hindu tradition has always been attentive to what is the purely feminine aspect of human nature. Here charm, self-sufficiency and beauty are undisputed protagonists of legends. The Goddess Sita, on the other hand, represents marital fidelity, although in legends, this kind of love is not understood by the protagonists, it is one of the values considered very important in the field of love.
In Buddhism one should practice a kind of spiritual love in which, while enjoying all aspects of the latter, it is necessary not to cling to anything because everything is transient. In fact, more than other religions, in this we practice a detachment that must involve all human passions in order to achieve the serenity necessary to try to understand the concept of enlightenment. Buddhism also preaches the need for goodness and charity towards others in an unconditional way. In stark contrast to some European traditions, love must always and still bring happiness to the loved one and therefore the reasoning behind many traditions evolved from Greek literature is not contemplated: “Those who want you badly make you laugh and those who love you make you cry”. Another very important aspect, which is increasingly gaining its way into the modern culture of almost all peoples, is freedom in the couple. On many occasions, love in a couple may fail with time, especially you have relied on a love of a passionate and physical type. The duties and obligations that are assumed when two people decide to be together sometimes force people into moral cages in which they are not happy.
These are some of the most famous and widespread religions, it is appropriate to stop here because the article continues in an attempt to follow other aspects. As I said, mentioning all religious traditions related to love,would be impossible in an article like this.
Love according to science
Again, do not expect that with a few paragraphs I will be able to expose all the scientific aspects that involve love,however I will try to make a summary.
Although my experience suggests to me that for some tradition-religion and science, they are two aspects in stark antithesis, for me they are not at all. Over time, I realized that science is the direct evolution of philosophy that is the direct evolution of tradition. Until man has all the answers on all three aspects, there will be no such clear differentiation and none of them can be undone as many would like it to happen. These three subjects are as tied to each other as history is to modern life. Even if one day the oldest aspects were to disappear, I am convinced that we would lose much of the meaning of life, joy and charm that this should bring to each of us.
I would have liked to give some examples of dull visions and compare these with each other but this article is getting too long.
Science is something magnificent, it is the apotheosis of human reason, it is one of those aspects that makes the human being unique compared to other species. It is funny, however, to consider that it is precisely science, at the expense of the vision of many traditions, that suggests that the human being is not unique at all and is only an animal simply smarter than the others.
Similarly, modern science suggested that love was nothing more than a set of chemical reactions without making any distinction between causes. Subsequently, with the significant increase in schooling and the number of individuals in recent years, we appreciate an ever-increasing diversification of the various sciences.
Some aspects of a branch called positive psychology, define love with a set of micro moments. These would be brain biochemical connections between individuals. Neurology and psychiatry suggest that there are very specific and measurable subjective biochemical interactions that cannot be reproduced for ethical reasons at the moment. Some scientists even refuse to give meaning to the word love because they claim that it does not exist.
Going into more specifics, they replace the word love with “illusion of being in love”. This sensation would only result from an increase in oxytocin and dopamine in the blood. Some might argue that the increase in oxytocin and dopamine might be the effect but not the cause but with science it doesn’t work quite that way.
Since human experimentation is not considered, for most of the acceptable world’s social fabric, that I know scientists have focused on experimenting on other less intellectually evolved animals. For example, Abigail Marsch of the American Chemical Society would describe in a video an experiment with voles. Since these animals are monogamous even when the partner dies, it was decided to administer drugs that block the inhibition of oxytocin. It has been observed that the vole in question, abandoning the mourning, was immediately consoled contrary to what the intrinsic nature of its species suggested.
It is interesting to note, however, that such experiments are done on animals considering a purely sexual point of view because I do not have any reports of reliable studies that can prove that the platonic love experienced by animals can be controlled or induced. However, there are studies that show that animals also experience platonic love and even plants, in their own way and with different mechanisms.
I find it astonishing, however, although science is not so far ahead in its certainties, the fact that many individuals reading an article on the internet, believe that everything they read is absolutely true or absolutely false. I believe that in whatever rule there is an exception and in whatever aspect life offers us, there are always nuances because the world is not black and white.