One of the deepest philosophical questions we can ask is “What is Love?”
We love to draw red hearts to give to our nearest and dearest, and yet what is this concept? It’s not something we can hold, hardly something we can define. Why do we draw one of our organs and send it to another to show our affection? Why a heart and not a liver or a kidney?
The Philosophy of Love
According to western science, there is a neuro biological and biochemical process that involves the brain releasing hormones. These include the famous oxytocin “love hormone” which gives us that pleasant feeling when we cuddle with another. Of course there’s a psychological explanation too. Having good feelings to other humans drastically increases our chance of survival. Indeed it’s the reason we are social animals.
Looking at these scientific explanations, this common human phenomenon of drawing hearts to indicate love seems illogical. Why use such an image? Yet it was the Grandfathers of Western Logic and science, the Greeks, who established this concept in our culture. Indeed, Plato saw the heart as having a dominant role in our experience of love. Aristotle went further, saying that this was the most important part of the human process.
The Eastern View of What is Love
Across the world in China, the idea that the heart holds love and that it’s essential for human health and happiness has been around for millennia. In fact, it seems like every culture in the world holds this idea that the heart is the bastion of love.
The truth is that anyone who has felt love knows that we feel it in our chests. Anyone who has felt hurt know that we feel it in the same place too. So why can’t scientists come up with a machine to find out what is the source of these feelings?
Western science does know that our hearts have electromagnetic fields, and that this field relates not just to the health of our hearts, but in fact has an influence on our whole bodies. The rhythm of our heart and the flow of blood around our bodies is governed by this electromagnetic field.
The Importance of the Electromagnetic Field of the Heart
When this field is strong and healthy, it keeps us well, and I suggest that the health of this field is closely related to our idea of what love is. In fact, many cultures relate the feeling of love in our hearts to the idea of a spirit. A kind of concept that if this field shuts down our spirit literally dies. Of course, if our physical hearts shut down we don’t have much time left either.
When this field starts to shut down we feel intense pain. Whether this be the pain of hurt, or the actual physical pain of angina or a heart attack, this is a serious warning from the body. Something needs to be done fast to literally save our soul.
Love as Pure Energy
Love of course is often confused with a sense of obligation, yet it’s very different from responsiblity. Of course, someone who has love in their hearts for themselves and others will be responsible, but this is different from love. Because love is a sense of contentment and security in the present that allows us to completely relax.
When we are able to relax, our body quite literally open. The space between the cells expands, and fluids flow. Our lymphatic and blood flows, keeping us healthy and happy, feeling the best that we can feel. When someone totaly accepts us without judgement or demands, this has the ability to put us into true relaxation, to allow us to completely be ourselves. If someone truly honours us as we are, then we open to love.
When we talk about self love, this literally means self-acceptance. If we can’t accept ourselves, how can we accept another? How can we allow another to accept us if we don’t have the internal security that we are acceptable and lovable? The capacity to give and receive love is all about our relationship with ourselves. It’s about knowing who we are and accepting ourselves, for all our quirks and weirdness.
What is Love? Is it an Act of Faith and Magic?
Of course, love is also an act of magic. Taking a leap of faith to love ourselves or others is a truly alchemical act. No wonder the great teacher Jesus’ words that we must love each other still hold sway to over a billion people today, it’s a timeless truth that resonates in the heart of every human.
It’s easy to confuse a rush of hormones or sexual arousal with love. We often say “I love you” when someone provokes these feelings inside us, but is this really love? Love is a state of being in pure bliss in the present, it’s floating in time and space without needing to do.
Saying “you allow me to feel love” is perhaps a better way of describing the state of being when two souls merge into a timeless dance of harmony.