Notes on “The Art of Loving”

This is such a useful book which solves tons of my question on the relationship. Why we love each other? Why we need love? What’s the perfect love? I’ve been wondering answers to those questions for long. Though I’ve found some practical answers on the internet, I can’t set up a system to unify my answers. Luckily, this book did this for me.

What is love?

Let’s talk about what is NOT love. Marriage is not based on love. Actually, it has no necessary relationship with love. Marriage is one kind of financial insurance, a practice of symbiotic bond. Secondly, love is not a relationship with a certain object but an attitude, an intention which decides how a person interact with the world. You can only begin to feel real love in relationships without certain purpose.

Love is a constant intention of actions, not a depressed feeling. It’s constant instead of falling in love. Using a general expression, loving is more about giving away instead of just accepting. It’s a two-way interaction.

How about one-way loving? Unconditional one-way love brings you fear. If the very only reason you are loved is your some kind of advantage or you deserve to be loved, questions come to you: What if I failed to make others happy, will they still love me? That’s why in modern relationships one tends to feel a lack of security. In fact, if you were loved because you make others happy, you are not loved but used.

There’s another interesting fact: when you are fared of losing love actually you fare of loving. Loving means give away without insurance. This is some sort of circle, just like confidence and courage.

Meanwhile selfish is definitely not love but controversial. The tendency of selfish is caused by the lack of power of loving. One can not love anything so that he tries to seek satisfaction in other aspects of life. For example, mothers who care for their children too much, because they can achieve their dream, they push their children so hard without caring if what children want. What children get is hate of living from their mothers protected by moral. In addition, both too much caring and too much selfless are both caused by the lack of love. And usually, too much selflessness is much more harmful because morally they can’t be criticized.

Why we need love?

We all have a tendency to get away with loneliness.

Let’s take a look at alcohol. Why we are so eager to get drunk when we get sad? In this kind of madness, a colorful outer side world disappeared. You are disengaged with the world together with this damn loneliness. We love drugs and religion for the same reason.

This is why we feel even more lonely after sexual relationships without love. This kind of relationship is a desperate temptation to get away from loneliness. But without love, this relationship leads to nothing but high in a flash. In addition, we are not saying that sexual relationship is the same as other kinds of love. The love between couples is exclusive and requires commitment while other kind of love tend to be extensive. There’s a unique element in this kind of love: the fundamental difference between boys and girls.

There is another very different kind of love: love from mothers. Other kinds of love share an intention to get together. But love from mothers requires a mother to let go when the time comes. It’s about separation. That’s why love from mothers are considered the noblest. Meanwhile, it’s the same reason why men are so eager for accomplishment: they gain no satisfaction of succuss from raising children.

How to love

As we talk about earlier, loving is more about giving away, which mean loving is a kind of skill which needs to be practised. So there’s a common thought which is way more wrong: the reason no one loves me is that I haven’t met the right person. If we apply this thought to painting: the reason I haven’t complete any good work is I haven’t seen the right sight. Apparently, if you want to become a good artist you should practice instead of waiting for the right sight.

Modern society is kind of disturb us from loving. When self conciseness grows, society gets unstable. That’s why we are usually required to hold our feelings. We are asked to understand each other which is good. But avoiding conflicts means you have no chance to get to know each other. Two individuals living together without any conflicts is not we called couples but strangers. This kind of relationship is about finding a shelter to pretend to get away from loneliness. Conflicts sometimes are good and necessary, they lead to true understanding.

There are two kind of character: maternal character and fatherly charactor. They are separated becuase love from mothers is unconditional and love from father is conditional. The pricipal of love from father is that you have to take responsibility of your actions: I love you because you act like me, you accomplished my wishes. So maternal charactor is that no matter what had happened, I love you and wish you can be happy while fatherly charactor stands for: you can not run away from consequence of your actions. If you want my love, you have to correct your mistake.

A mutual person internalizes both maternal character and fatherly charactor. If he failed to internalize fatherly character, he is very likely to have wrong judgement and become a goody-goody. If he failed to internalize mathernal charactor, he is very likely to be a mean guy. After internalized those two kind of charactor, he then has the ability to properly show the energitic side of his inner world. He cares, respects and understands others. That’s love.

There are two kinds of character: maternal character and fatherly character. They are separated because love from mothers is unconditional and love from father is conditional. The principle of love from father is that you have to take responsibility for your actions: I love you because you act like me, you accomplished my wishes. So maternal character is that no matter what had happened, I love you and wish you can be happy while fatherly character stands for: you can not run away from consequence of your actions. If you want my love, you have to correct your mistake.

A mutual person internalizes both maternal character and fatherly character. If he failed to internalize fatherly character, he is very likely to have the wrong judgement and become a goody-goody. If he failed to internalize maternal character, he is very likely to be a mean guy. After internalized those two kinds of character, he then has the ability to properly show the energetic side of his inner world. He cares, respects and understands others. That’s love.

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