September killed my blog stats. Lost half my hits. Need to drive some page views.
Too bad I don’t know how to do that.
Instead let’s talk about love…
Three kinds of love. Not exclusively different, but building upon each other…
I’ll Die Without You – Type 1
Most famously dramatized by Mr. Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. This type might be better called infatuation than love.
It also has a strong biochemical component – PEA, dopamine, nor-epinepherine, testosorone, seratonin.
Interestingly, I think, it can even happen in isolation. Stalking and other obsessive behaviors that fall under this category seem typical. It happens fast and it happens hard.
Despite its randomness and shallowness it is heavily valued in current culture. Epitomized by saying that Love is about how someone makes you feel. So you change you behaviors and styles to try and elicit different feelings from others. Current relationships and hookups start here and people hope they will grow into something deeper and more permanent.
I’ll die for you – type 2
Now that statement might easily be uttered by someone in type 1 infatuation, but I’m trying to be cute with my titles. What I’m looking at here is love shown through giving and sacrifice. If the goal in the giving is to change how someone feels about you, I’d say it is still a type 1, but if the goal is to benefit them with now selfish motive you are looking at type 2.
Such romantic type love may also have a biochemical root – oxytocin and vasopressin. It may be at the root of the medieval concept of courtly or chaste love. That would be a type 2 without an element of the type 1.
Type 2 isn’t going to have the physical rush of the “I’ll die without you type”. It does lie closer to the Christian ideal of equating love and charity. I think it is also sustainable. The giving of yourself can survice the type 1 biochemicals wearing off. It can survive changes and aging by the couple. It can survive changes in circumstance such as job changes and money challenges.
Neat. But it still isn’t where I am utimately going.
We’ll live for you – Type 3
Love isn’t just a static bond between people. Love creates. More than anything love creates love. Now when a couple takes their creation and uses it in the greater community you get to type 3.
Type 1 and type 2 are both ultimately selfish. Type one is inward focused. Type 2 encompasses the other member of the relationship, but still creates a closed loop. Ultimately love cannot last in a closed environment. Bringing a thermodymical law into play entropy will increase over time in a closed system.
What is ironic is that what you don’t need is more fuel to sustain it. What is needed is to take the love created and use it. How? Obviously one place is raising a family. But getting involved – in charity, in social groups, religious groups, working on friendships and familial relationships. Both people in love don’t need to be present – the love they have created can be taken by either person or the couple and moved about the community. If that is done – if the love is given its output, it will turn out to be self-sustaining. (I mean I hope it will – I am hardly an expert.)
I feel I’m botching this explanation. Sigh.
OK – here are some points. These types help explain some of the Christian trinity doctrine. Looking at types 2 and 3 as the expression of ‘true love’ it become apparent why God must be composed of three persons. If God is both perfect and is love itself, then God must be able to fully express a loving relationship. Any two persons of God alone could only ever get to a type 2 love. There needs to be a third that is the expression of that love or the community within which that love is sent and utilized…
That doesn’t help explaining how God exists in three persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but it does show why those three persons must exist.
Now, these ideas are not ones I made up myself. They are simply my expressing of theology expressed by St. Augustine and other Church theologians. As such anything I’ve gotten right above should be attributed to them and any errors and heresies to come back to me.
Finally, the item that inspired me to write this. I heard or read something about the horrors of arranged marriage. Now I’m not a fan of arranged marriage – I’d like to fall in love with a person of my choosing as much as the next guy. But arranged marriages are vilified in popular culture far beyond where they should be. The major objection seems to mostly be the denial of the freedom to find type 1 – “I’ll die without you” love. In my formulation the lest true and most shallow form. But on the other hand, an arranged marriage comes with a community in which to reflect found love built in. The benefits that the relationship can bring the family and the community are up front and known at the start. It gives that boost up towards a type 3 love right off the bat. Now since a type 1 love can be faked with judicious application of beer anyway, then you really just need to hope that a type 2 develops to complete the picture. But even if you start with type 1, there is no guarantee that both people will be willing to be in a giving relationship. The risks seem to be less than a more commonplace romance starting in a bar or an online dating site.
Anyway, that is what I wanted to say.
How out to lunch am I? Did anyone bother to read this far?
*”A Mutton, Lettuce and Tomato, where the mutton is lean and the lettuce is crisp…”