Free to download on September 13 and 14, 2018. Reflected form, projected love: images of women.
If to love someone involves regarding that person’s wellbeing as of equal importance to one’s own, then is that sufficient to define the nature of love? When people distinguish between, say, romantic, parental, and platonic love, are they referring to different types of love, or is it only the associated emotions that vary? Is love an emotion, or is it more than that? Why are the religious advised to love everyone, including their enemies? Should love be unconditional, or does conditional love still count? And what if one values another’s wellbeing more highly than one’s own? – Is adoration superior to love?
True love is not an emotion. It is a state of being. To know thyself – to truly love thyself (and thy neighbour as thyself) – involves destroying one’s ego and perceiving the unity of all existence. There is no higher state. Adoration has no equivalent form, based as it is on an awareness of differences and separation, and on the maintenance of an ego.
Emotional love at its best – when it is essentially unconditional – is a reflection of true love. For the religious, this reflection intimates a path leading towards the source. For everyone, whether religious or not, unconditional love is the deepest emotion that can be experienced. Again, there is no equivalent form of adoration, not least because there is no associated state beyond the realm of emotions of which it could be a reflection. Adoration is also dependent upon specific qualities (conditions) exhibited in those to whom it is directed.
Conditional love is not a reflection. Rather, it is a projection of conceived notions about love onto particular relationships. Adoration is a comparable emotion to conditional love. Because conceptions about love often include the idea of it being unconditional, people often delude themselves into thinking their conditional feelings are unconditional. Only when a relationship has ended is the conditionality generally recognised and allocated retrospectively. Conditional love is not without value: for those with integrity (an aversion to untruthfulness), such love can develop into a capacity for unconditional love.
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Erol Rashit was born in London. He studied ecology at the University of Liverpool, and obtained a PhD from the University of London for research into the effects of environmental fluctuations on species diversity. During a period as a photographic artist, he had several one-man shows but these generated little in the way of income. Eventually, he resorted to paid employment, qualified as an accountant and for several years held the post of Chief Accountant at Imperial College. Having made enough money to fund his future (modest) requirements, he has withdrawn from the ‘rat race’ in order to concentrate on his main interest: techniques for examining the illusion of ‘the ghost in the machine’ and for tracing consciousness back to its true source.