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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Love and Lust

Some of you may have already heard me say this, but I just want to get it on the record. Aristotle, my favorite thinker of all time, once ran into the dilemma of ranking the human senses, taste, touch, hearing, seeing, and smelling. He stated that touch was the least complex of the senses because every living creature had a sense of touch and touch satisfied the most primitive, sexual drive (get all the giggles out now...calmed down? good, go on). Because taste was nothing more than the sensation of food or drink touching your tongue and worked off the same basic principles as the sense of touch he ranked that the second least complex. Smells close relation to taste made it the third most complex, because you need smell to taste and the real main function of smell is to help in taste. He struggled deciding between hearing and seeing as the most complex of the senses until he thought of emotions, in particular, lust. Seeing is the most complex sense because it is difficult for the human mind to grasp its sensations. For example, when you see an attractive person of the opposite sex the thought of them engulfs you at least momentarily. Your brain is trying to figure out what it is about that girl or boy that makes it so you can't look away. There is no real objective definition of beauty because it is so indescribable. It is difficult to explain why someone is attractive, they just are. Our minds try relentlessly to explain it, but the sense of sight is too complex for us to fully grasp. That sensation of sight is unrivaled by the greatest sensation of sound, which at best may get a song or tune stuck in your head. The subconscious curiosity your brain has to figure out why you find another person so attractive is what forms lust. Lust is merely the preoccupation of the brain on the complexities of the sight of an attractive person. We can't explain why we feel this way because it is too complicated, we only understand the feeling of it.

So if that is lust what is love? Lets say love is an emotion, like lust, but it is different in the sense that its complexities lie in a person's perspective and is not derived from a sense. Lust is the ultimate sensation of sight. Lust can be described using words describing how someone looks. Love cannot be described using any sensory words. Now usually love encompasses lust because we usually love people that we find attractive, but if I were to ask you what sense makes you feel love what would you say? Sight, hearing, touch? Love does not fit under any of those senses. At the same time though, love cannot be compared to the emotions of happiness, sadness, or anger in the category of emotions not associated with senses because love MAKES you feel all those emotions. This is where my philosophy comes in. If we agree a sense causes an emotion (sight causes lust, sweet food causes happiness, pain causes anger) and love has the capability of causing these same emotions, maybe love isn't an emotion at all. Rather than describing the difference between love and lust and one being a serious and the other being a crush, maybe we should think as lust as an emotion and love as something totally different. My philosophy is love is a sense. It's not a traditional sense in the way that you can see and hear all sorts of things, but it is a sense that causes feelings what it senses its ultimate sensation. Then you can even take it a step further and say that the sense of love encompasses more than just the love felt for another person. The love of a sport is nothing more than the sensation of the "love sense." If you consider love to be a sense it becomes the sense of abstract emotion. Just as all the senses, it has positive and negative sensations, and the sense of love does not only feel love, it also feels hate and dislike. Basically, the love sense is the sense of any abstract sensation that one either emotionally approves of or disproves of. Now I'm not saying love is not an emotion, because it is. I am saying that Brian and Amy, Sam and Sam, and Alex and Tarin, just like you guys see one another and hear one another, you guys love one another. You don't happy one another. Love encompasses two meanings. It is the emotion felt from the ultimate, positive, sensation of the "love sense."

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