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The Study of What If: Question of The Week
 

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▣ Part 1. LOVE AND FEAR

posted by admin on October 3rd, 2010 at 8:57 AM

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Part 1. Love and Fear
Written by R. C. Parker
An individual regarding the posting on “Emotions” inquired; “I believe the emotion of love can and is probably most times based on fear.  I believe that love and fear are opposites of the same emotion. I believe that love cannot exist when one is fearful.

 

 
Human emotions are complex. When one individual tells another “I love you” they may be communicating a number of different things. For example, it may be a statement of unconditional love from an individual who is completely at peace with his/her life – at peace being a relative term showing he/she understands his/her limitations and fears even if he/she is not completely in control of everything that he/she fears.
Or, the individual may state, “I love you” and really mean, “I’m saying I love you because I am afraid and I need you to be my protective shield in life.” Or, another person may be saying, “I love you because you remind me of my favorite relative.” Or, they may be saying, “I’ve settled for you as my spouse because I am afraid of being alone and I don’t love myself so I don’t think I will ever find unconditional love, anyway.” Or, an individual may be saying, “I want to have a handsome husband to show my family and friends that I am a worthwhile person.”  Or, the teenager may be saying, “I’m telling you I love you because that’s the only way I feel I will get to get sex and tomorrow I will regret even going to bed with you and I will not speak to you again.” The examples can go on for pages or volumes.
Are Love and Fear opposites?
Love and fear are primary emotions – even primitive peoples felt them. The point is that you can break love or fear down into multiple examples or categories and still not have every possible combination that the human psyche can generate.
Love and fear are also complex. You can be afraid of someone and still love them. A coin has two sides, reverse and obverse (the face); you flip the coin and you only get one side, but human emotions do not work that way. Love and fear are more like dessert – you can get yourself a cup of ice-cream; or you can cut yourself a piece of apple pie. They are good alone, but you can put ice-cream on top of your apple pie and have a combination dessert. Oh, you say “fear” is not a dessert – it is destructive and painful and a lot of other adverbs and adjectives that prove you don’t want to feel fear. But fear is really a matter of how you interpret something; also, fear helps you survive and often protects you from being foolish.
So you can fear someone and still love them; a harsh example, you have a grown child who has become addicted to something destructive. You are afraid to let them stay in your house because they are not trustworthy or even worse they are willing to assault or kill someone to get funds to fill their addictive cravings. You still love them; one reason is because they are your child, but another altruistic reason is that, even at their worst, many addicts and criminals have some chance of being redeemed. 
Fear and Hate
Are love and fear the only primary emotions? No, there is “hate.” You can hate someone – their behavior – but you don’t necessarily fear them. You may be indifferent to human rights (enslavement, torture and genocide) in a foreign country, but there are many altruistic people who are campaigning for or volunteering help for these human rights. There are a number of people who hate to see injustices of unfair governments, but do nothing; then there are the ones who fight even though they will not get anything in return. They “hate” the corruption and violence, but they have “no fear” of being treated that way.
Love and Heart-felt Peace and Beauty: Is there anything besides love and fear?
There are also a number of people who love “beauty and peace” and wish to share it with others. Peace of mind is a way of saying they accept the human condition. They will step-in to protect a child, or to negotiate freedom, etc.; but they want it just as much for the despot as for the innocent child. In other words, they do not love the child and hate or fear the despot; they are interested in “peace of mind.”
A few people reach enlightenment – peace of mind – regarding their lives and the world they live in. You could say they feel unconditional love for everybody and everything in the universe, but that would really be an understatement of what the enlightened individual experiences because, at the same time, they are unmoved by the heartaches and even cruel deaths of others. They accept fear, hate, love, etc. as part of life.
“Peace of mind” is not dependent on love of another; it is being able to love yourself. You may live in isolation and still find peace-of-mind; you, however, will never be alone. Or to be blunt, no matter where you go – your own psyche (JAR) will be with you.
There is a type of self-love, called narcissism in which the individual loves something about themselves so much they cannot love anyone else. They love themselves so much they don’t need anybody else – except as a potential mirror to say how wonderful or beautiful the narcissist is – that is not peace-of-mind.
Next Week…Part 2. The Art of Hugging

last edited on October 17th, 2010 at 7:26 AM

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