These are beginning random thoughts on love. Of course there are many categories of love and affection and physical desire where those seem to be clumped together in one big category. I personally come from a family with 46 aunts and uncles and about 150 first cousins, 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I see all emotional responses as centering about the principle of degree of focus. The need for human companionship is as a hunger that never dies. Affection and physical desire however share some similar characteristics in the fact that they become stronger when denied. An analogy is hunger for food. The longer you wait to eat the less picky you will become. Even if you repress your own desires, they remain and will surface when presented with the object of desire. The trick is to recognize your own feelings honestly. A starving person could accept food which they will later reject as disgusting. And here is what the bacteria is saying :) People do not function like my AI machines, they function within the logic of the universe and as such they are the product of a rather lengthy and diverse development program which has lasted at least 3 billion years and encompassed participants and selections and connections which range to a virtual infinity. So don't think that since I characterize the process by some simple relationship that I don't sense the magnificense of it and appreciate how wonderful it truly is. I don't believe that this is true for all people. The complexity and freedom of mind allows variations on this that range from horrific to vacant and I am merely speaking in general about the center or norm.


Jessica said...

It's obvious why we need food, but what is the purpose of companionship? Why do humans want/need it?

And how does a person determine their particular needs? Trial and error is dangerous as it affects others.

Paul Mohr said...

If you read other people's blogs about their love life you will see that the standard practice in understanding love is trial and error with an emphasis on error.
Love can be the source of great joy and the most horrible despair. I think if someone actually understood what was going on they should get the Nobel prize and the undying gratitude of everyone on the planet. I personally have come to enjoy and appreciate the kind of relationships that people can have that extend beyond the bounds of culture and time. I don't believe that people are designed to live as long as they actually do now. Mankind has come from a state when disease ran free in the form of Black Plague, Malaria, Yellow Fever, STD's, nutritional deficiencies, war, earthquakes, Ice ages, predators and any number of havocs that have been controlled to some extent. This type of environment still exists in some countries and regions. The greatest worry that some have is living through the next day. A person can be grateful for the opportunity to experience even a modest and intermittent joy of human companionship. The new science of longevity has created a new problem in that respect. If I were to live a million years, what would I do? I have known a lot of people in my life and I can say that some I will remember forever and others I would say are absolute poops, but what can you do about life except live it, I didn't fill out a request form to exist and I certainly won't fill out one to end it, I still haven't figured out what it all means and probably never will :)
As far as how it effects others, I think the same rules apply as poker, don't bet more than you can afford to lose.
And finally to answer the original question, if an organism does not have a means incorporated in their existence to perpetuate themselves they would not exist :) I can genetically modify a bacteria such that it will not replicate, however it will succumb to entropy and never exist again.

Jessica said...

How ironic that I just got home from playing poker. :) (I didn't win, but since there was no real money involved, I didn't lose, either...)

I know love can't be understood in a way that is universally helpful. I guess I just want to understand this thing that I wish I could discard. If I want to be happy alone, but it's not in my nature, will I be able to change?

I am affected so easily sometimes. When I feel strongly for someone, I physically feel it in my heart. (The jury is still out on whether it's a good or bad feeling, as it's generally scary.) When I am emotionally hurt, it is also physically painful.

I try to justify the pain by considering that if I were numb, I wouldn't feel any joy, either.

It's late. I'm a mess. But I am fortunate so I should be thankful. Some days nothing makes sense. My mind can so easily slip from rational thought and I've learned that it simply means that I need to sleep because the more I try to figure things out in this state, the more depressed I will become, downward spiral.

So, thanks for your response to my comment. I understand and agree with you for the most part. For the record, yes, I know reproduction is a big part of this, but I guess I just want it to be more than that.

OK, I'll stop before I make even less sense.

Paul Mohr said...

Strange but I was thinking the same thing that it should be more than just that and I should say that a persons ability to describe what goes on is limited by their knowledge of the universe itself. It is historically called affairs of the heart because people believed that emotions originated in the body I think :) and my understanding of the universe is such that every point in the universe is connected to every other point in the universe in some way because of the arrangement of structure of matter itself. I honestly don't know what that means in terms of one's existential state as we are all made of this and therefore are connected to that universe. So I know that it can be more than just some impulse to act, but that is another facet and I don't -even- presume to be aware of every aspect of life.
As far as being happy alone, I am reasonably happen alone but that is like having macaroni for dinner every day,it keeps you alive but you sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be nice to have something a bit more exciting.
And back to the relationship with matter, I always thought that was odd that the most complex natures of the universe (light, energy, electricity, atoms, molecules, nuclei, etc) are what I am made of and I have direct access to that strange universe somehow. Now that was definitely an odd thought, and I have no excuse like being tired.

Jessica said...

I agree that everything is connected, but I think more along the lines of energy than matter, as I think of matter as something you can see or touch. Energy is a label I use for many of the nontangible sensations that I notice (some more subtlely than others).

And I do think everything is connected, so what you said isn't an odd thought to me. It is amazing, and I will never forget the moment when I came to that realization, spurred by a comment a geology professor made about how were are made of the same stuff as stars.

Nonetheless, all the logic in the world cannot make me feel better. :)

Paul Mohr said...

That is quite true. I have suffered from many a terrible loss in my life and I know from experience that whatever anyone said, it couldn't improve how I felt. It is nice however to know that there are people who care and at least try to help :) I always appreciated that later, even if I didn't think too much of it at the time. My brother always says that I don't suffer from the old Chinese curse: "May you have a dull life."

Jessica said...

Knowing there are people who care is one of the reasons why I try to remember that I am fortunate, no matter what happens.

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