Friday, February 3, 2012

Irrational Love

Think of Irrational Love as the antithesis of an Irrational Fear. Some might say that the true antithesis of irrational fear would be rational love. But I am not convinced of that.
I think, perhaps a better way of defining irrational love would be to identify what sets irrational love apart from concepts like rational fear, irrational fear and rational love.
I think I'll start with rational love. Rational love incorporates a though process; the rationale part. The conclusion reached by this process defines the degree of love based on logic. logic, or rationality, necessarily corrupts pure emotion in this way.
Not to say that this makes it a bad thing. Rationality is the very balance to emotion, and each are an intrinsic human attribute. Rationale is the process of evaluating the risks of loving. It is what leads us away from abusive relationships. As much as we may love someone, we draw a line—a rational line— to protect our selves from that love. Whether it be physically, psychologically, or emotionally. I keep thinking of Vincent Vega to Jules in Pulp Fiction, when he says "I have a threshold, Jules, there is a threshold to the abuse that I will take..." Though perhaps Vincent isn't always the best example of rational thinking ;-)
Rationale is a good thing. In fact, I believe that the most part of the world believes in rational love as being an attribute of omniscient deity.
If you are inclined to belief in a God, and you attribute divinity with pure concepts, you might argue that unconditional love comes from a 'Just God', an omniscient God.  But if He knows everything, He cannot help but love logically. He must conclude that, despite knowledge of all existence— past, present and future, He loves. He knows that we are 'sinners', that we will forget Him, that we will attempt to dethrone Him, to spite Him, to escape Him. Despite knowing all of these conditions, He loves us. Is it erroneous to conclude that this is Rational Love? If He is predisposed to love us, because we are somehow (metaphysically, materially, conceptually, etc.) a part of Him, then that is His reason, but it is, nonetheless, reason.
So why do I believe that Unconditional Love is the penultimate form, below Irrational Love? Is it because I somehow reject healthy boundaries, and the God-like transcendence of those boundaries? Yes, and no.
A core concept in Zen Buddhism, is that of enlightenment: It tells us that, in any given instant, we may find clarity. When we do this, the universe will speak to us, and we may understand it completely. The universe is constantly speaking to us, but we don't hear it because of our own thoughts. We hear what we want to hear. This is true of our relationships with others, and it is true of our relationship with the cosmos. We are so convinced that we are perceiving reality, that we are distracted BY our perceptions FROM the reality that surrounds us.
Can enlightenment be consciously sought? Yes. But it can also come upon us in an instant. I personally feel that the only way this can happen, is if we are not already too tied to our ideas of what the universe will say. Stating that may very well make me a hypocrite, but such is the plight of the unenlightened. I am working through my delusions, and I cannot fairly claim to be further along than anyone else (I don't think of it as a linear process, but perhaps that is a topic for another time).
What does it have to do with rationale? I think we can agree that rational fear is a logically-justified compulsion, and not much more needs to be said about it.
So what does this have to do with love?

I think I have encountered irrational love. And it is a beautiful thing. Have you ever seen someone with an irrational fear when they encounter the object of their fear? Perhaps you have one yourself. Irrational fears are not any normal fear, they are most often hilarious to everyone but the one experiencing the fear. Peanut butter? Canaries? Pickles? These are some of the things that send people screaming and flailing, and most would agree that it is either silly or sad, but at any rate, irrational. It is not a beautiful thing— definitely not to the one with fear.
Irrational love, however, is contagious. Fear is contagious to some extent, but Love is consuming.
I hope everyone has the chance to feel complete and utter love that they do not need to understand in order to know. Rational love would be something that can be identified for its qualities, but irrational love can only be felt.
I have purposely avoided mentioning the nature of this love, because I think most who read this will do so with a preconceived notion of what love means. You know, "Love is what a mother feels for her child, or what a maiden feels for her knight, or what God feels for mankind." sure, but these are examples of rational love. I know you already have, but think about it ;-)
Irrational love possesses your soul for no reason at all. Again, I'm not talking about 65-year marriages, or self-sacrificing Gods. These are rationally justified. Irrational love consumes you, and needs no explanation.
Should I just give you an example?
watch this little segment from an Ellen Degeneres episode.
I hope you aren't too self-conscious to allow the contagiousness run its course, through your whole Being.
Written and posted from my Android phone. Thanks for reading!

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