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 a 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 colourful 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 kinds 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 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.

Oh! Howie!

It’s just so gland to witness, if I may, friends growing up.

You see, before Howard met Bernadette, he was such a nerd. For sure he has a colourful inner world all the time. But somehow he was disconnected with others. Till I saw this one, he had mastered the art of love.

So is Mike Ross, Louis Litt and maybe Harvey Specter. It’s my honour to meet you guys.

Nation and Community

Overview

I went to a lecture by Prof. Wang Liping. She discussed civilizing, from Durkheim to Gökalp. Honestly, I’m a freshman in this field. But comments given by Prof. Li Meng did raise some interesting questions.

Notes

Talking about civilizing, the understanding of nation is crucial. And there are two kinds of understandings: Political Nationalism and Ethnic Nationalism. As for Political Nationalism, a nation based on the commitment of individuals to politics. And for Ethnic Nationalism, a nation based on land or blood. France is a great example of Political Nationalism while German is rather Ethnic Nationalism.

Then it comes to Durkheim. The nation is a social fact. But it can’t be seen as a group of individuals. For example, for an individual, nation can not be chosen. It’s settled. And a nation is more powerful than communities, for a nation has a political centre, its own thoughts and feelings. General humanity can’t support a nation while a community might be possible. That’s why nations take part in cosmopolitanism as individuals.

The main course is Gökalp. A nation is beyond races. Ottomanism is disconnected from people and their culture. Civilization and culture share the same mediums but civilization can be adapted while culture can’t. When he tried to rebuild Turkey, he had 3 choices: imperialism, religion, turanism. Instead of making a choice, he built Turkish Nationalism for imperialism and turanism are lack of moral bases and religion is not strong enough. To a certain degree, nationalism can be regarded as an alternative to religion.

Questions

Prof. Li raised tons of meaningful questions. Here are some selection which I’m interested in but answering them is beyond my capacity:

  • Nationalism attract some disturbs those days. Why? For nations, nationalism kind of encourages conflicts. For individuals, nationalism represses personal development. If there’s a solution to those drawbacks?
  • How to build the culture which the development of China requires?
  • Turkey break the crack between different level of society by the moral community. If there’s anything useful for China?
  • Islamism is powerful. If there’s a way for Gökalp to rebuild Turkey in this way? How to ensure separation of church and state?

Sir Simon Denis Rattle & LSO

Oh! It’s such a lovely night! Though I can’t get Jeremy Clarkson out of my mind. They just share exactly the same hairstyle!

I have to say that when I checked NCPA’s website, I saw Rattle’s picture and I wondered: I saw this guy somewhere. Oh, it’s the cover of the playlist Sir Simon Rattle Essentials. Then I checked about him, his edition of The Planets and The Nutcracker are just so famous! How stupid I am!

I have to say LSO is wonderful. Last time when Muti came to NCPA, Chicago Symphony Orchestra went alone with a compressed size. That’s a nightmare! This time, LSO together with Rattle is just, it might be a little bit inappropriate, juicy! Oh! The plucking of cellos is soul-touching! And the string section is of tons of power!

It’s so lucky to meet Simon Rattle. And Riccardo Chailly is coming to NCPA this weekend. And Anne-Sophie Mutter will come this winter. I love her edition of Four Seasons with Karajan and Vienna Philharmonic so much. It’s immaculate! It’s like dreams come true!

ASTERIOS POLYP

Meeting another Phaedrus

It doesn’t take long to read this book. I guess it follows the ice burg theory from Hemingway. So there’s a lot you can wander around.

I read this book with James Bay, James Blunt, Labrinth, and Passenger. It seems that Siri does read my mind and this book.

To keep the ice burg theory, I would like to quote one sentence as the note: There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.

Simple and Usable

I agree that to keep simple is good. But as for this book itself, ahem, it’s rubbish!

It has no structure, no highlight. Every single point inside, you’ve known it a thousand years ago! And this book presents those points in a damn random way!

Just keep yourself away from this book to save yourself.

INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

  • PM’s duty:
    1. evaluate product opportunities
      1. What problem you are going to solve?
      2. For who?
      3. Market size?
      4. What’s the benchmark to evaluate the result?
      5. Competitor analysis?
      6. Why us?
      7. Why now?
      8. Marketing strategy?
      9. Necessary needs?
    2. define products
  • Use data to speak.
  • After entering the developing era, try not to modify products.
  • Design thinking.
  • Charter User Programs.
  • People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.
  • Design the product before you actually develop it.
  • Good products satisfy needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

THE LAST LECTURE

Randy Pausch’s Advice on How To Be A Child

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Childhood dreams Randy had achieved: being zero gravity, playing in NFL, authoring an article in the World Book encyclopedia, being Captain Kirk, winning stuffed animals, and being a Disney Imagineer.

So what’s the key to doing this? In my point of view, the answer is to value your dreams. In common sense, the following sentences stand: During your childhood ages, you are just so naive to find out where you are destined for. However, after your naivety fades away, there is no much choice anymore. After reading this book, I suddenly realized that it is not that there is no much choice left but it’s your naivety had gone. Naivety may go against acting rationally but that’s the key to appreciate your life.

As for Randy, a computer scientist. winning stuffed animals is not the dream he is supposed to have. But it is those stuffed animals which make him enjoy extra joy besides conducting research in the field of computer science. Moreover, for a professor, working as a Disney Imagineer is useful at all. I guess in most cases, people will give up this dream with never mind.

What makes your life meaningful is not how much money you make but your childhood dreams. Besides, even if you save your time by ignoring your childhood dreams, those time will not make you rich.

Go For Your Jai

There’s a picture of Randy and Jai. It reminds me of the happiness of love. Jai is in her brightly white wedding dress and Randy is in a damn handsome suit. If you’ve been in love, I can tell you that that smile on Jai’s face is unique, only for lovers.

Randy was famous for the reputation of a playboy. Why did he stop and marry Jai? That’s a question I am still questioning myself. I went to some places recently. And the memory came back. Once, I thought that relationship will last forever. But I ended it. The relationship is such a tricky thing.

Luckily, there is something which is certain. Firstly, dating is very much different from marriage. As for dating, all you need to do is to have fun. But for marriage, it is a kind of insurance. Secondly, never lose yourself in a relationship. No matter you are going to have fun or getting insurance if you are a jerk than you will never make it. Thirdly, don’t be greedy.

Earnest Is Better Than Hip

This is not the most vital section in this book. Actually, this section takes only two pages. But I’ve been thinking of this question for a long period of time.

Randy said: Earnestness is highly underestimated. It comes from the core, while the hip is trying to impress you with the surface. I’ve been searching for what I am earnest in. And there’s one thing for sure: we all should try to be earnest on something.

A Rocket And Stars

There is a picture of a rocket and starts on the very first page of this book. The time when I saw this picture, I knew that this is the man who I want to become.

I was recommended to read this book by a professor giving lectures at my university. And now I am recommending this book to you too. To tell the truth, this book will probably not change you too much. But it’s definitely more interesting than ten hours’ time spent on reading through Moments on Wechat.

Please allow me to end this note with a sentence from Randy: My uniqueness, I realized, came in the specifics of all the dreams.

Roadhouse

It was a warm, gorgeous, early-spring evening, and the man had his top down and all his windows lowered. His arm was hanging over the driver’s side door, and his fingers were tapping along to the music on his radio. His head was bobbing along, too, as the wind blew through his hear.

I read this section in The LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch today. I guess this is a much better intro to the playlist Roadhouse.

Please allow me to present you the Apple Music playlist, Roadhouse. After dinner, listening to this playlist while walking along this charming spring is the most high-getting event that I could ever imagine.