Published on New York Spirit
Love has evolved over centuries from the time the human embarked on his journey on this planet. From procreation as the only purpose, love was just a release of dopamine and oxytocin for a large period of time. Marriage was not love till centuries. It was more of an arrangement between families and individuals for wealth, reputation and preserving lineage. The purpose of marriage was the creation of heirs. The word matrimony comes from the Latin word matrimonium, which is derived from mater (mother). This is still prevalent in some countries and sects.
The enigmatic Love
I feel that the generation before me was clueless about love and the generation next to me is heedless. Perhaps, every generation thinks so. It should be taken into account that today’s generations are converting in a span of six years whereas I consider my parents to be the previous generation. But then, Rumi, born in the 13th century, articulated love like no one else did. Shakespeare wrote immortal Romeo and Juliet. Khalil Gibran knew the boundless love in the 19th century. Why, yet, every victim of love, feels his love is like no one else’s?
Love is complex. It is like a snowflake. No two are alike. One falls on a rock; it will cause nearly similar pain to everyone. One falls in love; it will cause a distinctive bitter- sweet pain to each one of you. No one can explain out-and-out how it feels. Whichever way you define, it will just be a fragment of it. Not the perfect portrayal. Love is a billion things more than what you can ever stitch in words. It is as vast as the universe. The more you learn about it, the less you know.
Evolution across Cultures
A study by Jankowiak and Fischer in 1992 explored romantic love in 166 cultures around the world. They found that romantic love was existent in 147 out of 166 cultures. They suggested that romantic love can be controlled by some cultural variables. It is possible that people fall in love more or less often depending on their culture’s social organization and ideology. For instance, they may fall in love less often when their society disapproves the romantic love. There were stark differences too. For example, American culture believes in the importance of the verbal expression of love while the Filipino culture considers it as a show-off.
The evolution of culture has a major role to play in the changing definitions of love. What love is in India is starkly different from what it is in Italy. Well, what it is in Italy is different from most of the world. The openness, the candidness and yet the passion is unmatchable. India is still more of an arranged love. It is changing to courting love in the modern age but it still lacks the candor in an elegant way in totality. The land of Khajuraho and Kamasutra is astonishingly veiled.
Does that mean carnal expression is the indication of love?
No. It can be one rod of love’s wind chime. One rod cannot create the melody. There is no harm in seeking pleasure; only a risk. If it is just the desire, it will fade away. The desire cannot be manifested into love. Jankowiak said you can’t be in love with two people at once. He has studied polygamous cultures, and he believes even when a man is supposed to love all of his wives equally, he can’t do it. There’s always a secret favorite. He calls this “illicit monogamy.”
The binding bond
Why then, at times, love becomes a rage? Why does love turn into hate?
I say, unfulfilled lust, narcissism can become the rage. Ego, false pride turns into hate. Love can only transform into something meaningful. If it disperses away with the alibi of everyday life’s struggles, it wasn’t the love at the first place. Being tied in an institution of marriage for the fear of social stigma has reduced the lives of many – both men and women- to just a journey waiting to end.
Personally, I have seen so many people justifying themselves being in a marriage for the sake of their children when they are the ones, who are impairing the emotions of kids by nasty fights and releasing their negativities and insecurities onto them without realizing even a bit that maybe, those innocent kids are better off to a future where they live without seeing hatred and fights.
Spiritually, this world has to move on and cannot risk people like me who do not wish to have any offspring as there are souls waiting to incarnate and finish their set of life lessons. Why your relationship was made in heaven is partly because that’s how next set of generation will come. Why that was a passionate night when you conceived is because it was time for the soul to come into this world and it was adamant to come. Does that mean it is just a means to procreate? No, like I said, just a part of it; one important part, maybe. Procreation can happen without love too. Love can remain strong without the need to create a pedigree.
I am not sure if I can add ‘spiritual’ as a suffix to love. I do not know how to express this love where the intensity discovers new depths every day; where the lovers become fighters and withstand every storm together and at times fate too; where you feel souls blossom in each other’s presence; where one lifetime is not enough. We all will comprehend such love in some lifetime. We all are at some stopover of that journey, figuring out love on our individual awareness level.
Is that the salvation? No. Becoming one with the Source is. Love will make it easy and ecstatic.
May we all know love and become love!