Aug 8, 2009

Anatomy of falling in love

What exactly is falling in love?

I mean, I know what falling in love is, because it has happened to me before, but I am still at a loss to put together cohesively just what falling in love is.

It is perhaps the philosopher in me that wants to continue revising the question even though practically I should be satisfied with a simple answer: "it's when you get butterflies in your stomach" or "you just know."

Maybe my question has to do more now with not "how do you fall in love" or "what is love" but rather "what is the origin or spark that brings two otherwise separate bodies together in a dance of mind and emotion?"

What is at the heart of human interaction?

For instance, what brings us into the closeness that we call love?

What must be triggered?

If some of us, as we often hear, do not have the capacity to fall in love, what then, grants those of us who do, the ability to have these emotions?

Perhaps it is really a re-iteration of the mind/body problem, anyway. It is the problem of two coming together.

It is the paradox of one fantasy meeting another.

The fantasy leads to destruction when the other does not respond. We call this unrequited love. This love is one-sided. I can understand this kind of love because it is obviously built on a fantasy structure unable to hold weight in reality. We pity the unrequited lover but also identify with him.

But in the encounter where two come together and something sparks, what makes this happen?

And even in the spark, if I can be so facile to say this, there is still a reluctance to go forward with love's dance. Love begins as an emotion, an idea, but it eventually builds toward wanting to become one with someone else.

Let us face it. This scares us. The frightening desire to become one with another is both a fantasy and a horrible rupture of order: it is the breaking through of the skin or lamella that separates the body from the ravages of an unconcerning earth.

Love promises oneness.

We are frightened by this oneness because it hearkens a destruction of self.

But, we circle back to love's promise, feeding on the hope that we can handle this self-annihilation.

In the end, we regress, falling away from the lover, only to cycle back into the promise of oneness again. This we call love's course that never did run smooth. Thank you William Shakespeare.

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