“Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality- not as we expect it to be, but as it is- is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love. “1 Most of our lives consist of socializing with others, beginning new relationships, and strengthening old ones. Love is all around us, embodied in three main categories: parental or family love, love between friends, and “chemical love,” between a male and female. Each of these is experienced in a different way; each of these is approached in a different way. However, all of them share one common quality- they are unplanned, unpredicted, and unexpected. This is what gives love its beauty. Because we do not expect it, we appreciate it greatly, realizing how poor our lives have been (or would have been) without it. We simply learn to love love.
The first kind of love we encounter is at a very early age, and that is toward our parents. This is a subconscious feeling; the child is too young to decide whether to love his or her parents or not. In the usual case, when the parents show love toward their child, the child feels it and returns the warm feeling which fills the parents’ hearts. This love can be shown in many ways. For example, usually the first word a child learns to pronounce is “mama,” or something along these lines. This shows the subconscious line of thought- the thought of his or her parents dominates the child’s mind. The child wants to be hugged and kissed; he or she rebels when taken away from his or her parents, and does not go to sleep without the security of the loved parent. This kind of love is innate and unpredicted, and seen in almost every individual.
Another kind of love is the one we feel toward our friends. When we are young, these relationships are not very profound; they usually consist of getting together to play the favorite game of “duck, duck, goose,” or maybe “freeze tag .” When so young, a child’s feelings toward a friend are not as strong as an adult’s feelings toward his or her friends. However, young children hug, hold hands, and feel the need to see each other very often, perhaps to play “hide and seek,” perhaps to tell the story of how the family dog chased its tail. As we grow, we begin to encounter more and more difficulties; Mom and Dad will not always solve the problem. This is when we look for other assistance, and this is where our friends come in. Our peers have probably encountered the same problem: a row with a parent, a broken heart, a low grade.
From this stage on, we become more and more dependent on our friends, and the bond strengthens until the point (and perhaps farther) when the friends feel as though they are one: the pain felt by one is equally felt by the other. For example, when my friend, the person who has been next to me for ten years through everything, including the death of a parent, was left by her boyfriend for drugs, I felt incredible pain; she did not need to tell me how she felt- I already knew.
Even now, when we are thousands of miles apart, a telepathy still exists. This kind of bond can be called love- when one is dependent on one’s friend, when the opinion of that person is what determines the actions taken. However, such love is felt only toward a limited number of people, for friends are like plants- there are many that are beauteous and colorful on the outside, but poisonous on the inside. There may be just a few unique ones, not necessarily the most beautiful ones, that complete us.
“Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all.” 2 This is the third kind of love,”chemical love.” When one feels this kind of love, one does not see the loved one’s flaws; one sees him or her as an angel that has come down from heaven: suddenly the large nose disappears, and is replaced by the big blue eyes. This kind of love occurs when, upon meeting a member of the opposite sex, one feels an uncontrollable desire to be with this person- a desire which cannot be subdued by mental power. This kind of love is the most unpredictable- it occurs suddenly, when it is least expected. A person might be sitting in a café, drinking coffee, when a complete stranger walks past and somehow, the coffee suddenly loses its attractiveness. The only thing occupying the person’s mind is how to catch the mysterious stranger’s attention.
When one experiences this kind of love, one feels as though in a trance- the only thought occupying the brain is that of the object of desire. Even a touch on the hand by the loved one can cause extreme felicity. When a person is “in love,” the object of desire is the meaning of that person’s life; he or she wakes up in the morning, overflowing with vivacity and energy, all fueled by the thought that he or she will be with that one particular person. When someone experiences such attraction to another person, he or she is ready to risk his or her life for the loved one or for the sake of being together, just like Romeo and Juliet preferred to die rather than be separated. “Chemical love,” therefore, is stronger than the mental power and cannot be purposely controlled.
All three kinds of love share a common property- they are feelings, which are mentally uncontrollable; they completely take over the body, and the brain is helpless in stopping them. Love cannot be forced or decided upon; it controls itself and completely takes over the person experiencing it. This is why love is so potent- the human being is helpless in stopping its effects. A person usually experiences each type of love at least once during his or her lifetime. All three come together to form one of the most powerful forces in existence- love.