I believe that romantic love does not exist. Our interpretation of love is socially constructed and re-imagines co-dependency to be synonymous with a deep, intimate connection. For me, there is only one type of love and that is moral consciousness, the ability to give love to all things.
Capitalism has commodified love, marketing the idea that selling ourselves will enable us to receive love and attention, but selling is not the same as giving ourselves to love. Selling ourselves does require us to give – our time and energy, our efforts to be patient and tolerant under unhappy circumstances – so there is indeed an element of moral goodness since one is being dutiful, but the underlying intent is to receive from that effort and thus entirely dependent on the reciprocal exchange.
These socially constructed archetypes breed an efficient network of mindless drones who all believe in the same thing and who act in the same way enabling this sense of familiarity and unity, but all entirely founded on narcissism. Is this exchange ever real? Is there such a thing as romantic love?
But whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. ~ 1John 3
Giving love, or moral consciousness, is not about receiving but rather it is an awareness, a type of cognition that makes us aware of the social constructs. It therefore cannot be directed to one person alone. Moral consciousness is effectively a practice that helps us overcome the social illusion that love is an acquisition dependent on others in order to feel a sense of belonging.
Accepting our separateness and aloneness is the only way to be able to reach a state of individuality. We experience feelings of alienation and loneliness because we are seperate from others and desire physical and emotional unity in order to overcome that sense of separateness. This fear prompts us to sacrifice our own individuality.
In order to maintain the integrity of our individuality, the intent of practicing the act of giving love needs to be a conscious decision – hence moral consciousness – because one can only effectively be an individual when they consciously decide to stop their dependence on the illusions and the recognition of others and instead commit themselves to practice the higher virtues, such as honesty, integrity and accountability.
As a practice, it is learning to be alone and overcoming the feelings of alienation through this commitment to virtue. Rather than seeking individual recognition, they experience a sense of accomplishment in the practice of being virtuous, seeking knowledge as a medium to reflect and question virtuous behaviour, remaining in society without losing that sense of individuality.
It is such a person who is capable of loving since they are trying to understand how to be a good person without compromising reason. However, if ‘love’ or moral consciousness is in effect a practice given to all things rather than one object, can they love another person?
They admire the other person who also practices the same commitment to virtue. It is mutually recognising the inherent value and respect for these virtues and supporting one another towards attaining a better understanding of them. A person who is dishonest, who lacks integrity and accountability, they cannot love no matter how long they are able to maintain a relationship. It is not about the acquisition of another neither is it at the expense of our own individuality, but a conscious sharing of experience and time.
As I go overseas to travel, I feel a sense of readiness to meet someone that I feel may have this commitment to virtue and needed to clarify my thoughts. 🙂