Wikipedia on Love

By | August 31, 2008

Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst. Psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. There are probably elements of truth in both views — certainly love is influenced by hormones (such as oxytocin), neurotrophins (such as NGF), and pheromones, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love — sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). Companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.

Studies have shown that brain scans of those infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with a mental illness. Love creates activity in the same area of the brain that hunger, thirst, and drug cravings create activity in. New love, therefore, could possibly be more physical than emotional. Over time, this reaction to love mellows, and different areas of the brain are activated, primarily ones involving long-term commitments. Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, suggests that this reaction to love is so similar to that of drugs because without love, humanity would die out. – wiki

2 thoughts on “Wikipedia on Love

  1. Etienne

    You have the biological and psychological views of love. Here’s the emotional and spiritual view of it. We are all emotionally connected. Love is the fundamental energy of the Universe and it brings life. We canalize that Universal love from within yourselves and share it with another person, merging our souls in the act of love. Attachment, on the other hands, usually comes from neediness. When something is missing from within us, we try to get it from the outside and we stay attached to it. It can be energetically draining after a while. We are emotional and energetic beings. The logical/biological/hormones aspect of love are also true but they are consequences of the emotional dynamics.

    1. Xeno Post author

      Thanks for the comment. I’m only an energetic being if I do my daily mile run. 😉 Attachment has good and bad sides, but I’m learning from meditation that we “cling” to things and that this is a cause of much human suffering.

      While I agree with the goodness and utility of compassion, I have to confess that Universal love seems to me to be “just” an idea, not something that exists outside of our heads.

      Ideas are real and so are our experiences, so I suppose I’m just arguing semantics, but when people say we are energetic beings, I wonder if they understand that the new age concept of “energy” is a virtual energy, something that exists in the mind, not like the real energies that are measurable by physics.

      Our senses feed us real information from the world, but we add our imperfect memories, our wishful thinking and other fantasies when creating our experience of consciousness. Real healing happens in our real bodies based on exchanges of virtual energy, so I’m not knocking it, but with discernment between real and virtual energy, I think we can accomplish more.

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