Love Musings
by M. Haas

What do you think of or feel when you hear or read the word “love?”

Each person has a unique association with love. Some have a negative connotation that spurs cynicism, resentment, and/or bitterness. Others feel joyful & think of their passions, friends, partner, family, and good times. Love is spiritual, emotional, social, and physical. Love makes babies & art, starves people to death, and escalates conflicts & tragedies. Love is a mysterious component of human experience. We all experience love in some way because we all have some idea about what it is & what it’s like to feel.

The following is the writer’s transpersonal understanding of love.

Simplistically, “love” is a word humans created to describe certain kinds of chemical reactions that happen in our brains/bodies, which each person subjectively experiences as feeling “good” or “happy.” Hence, oxytocin, the bonding hormone.

When a person is not personally experiencing love chemical reactions in his/her brain & body, that person can still identify via a third party perspective that a mom holding her baby is love. Naturally, oxytocin is supposed to “bond” them. Just like between a man and his wife, although that’s a different kind of love bond, or like between a follower of Christ and his/her God.

Existentially, there are three types of love. Each kind of love requires a particular neurochemical makeup, hence an appropriate lifestyle & attitude to experience it.

There is…

*Agape (ἀγάπη, agápē)

This is deep, redemptive unconditional love for one and all like between a follower of God & God, a Buddhist monk/holy person & humanity. Agape is equanimity. 

*Philos / Philia (φιλία, philía)

This is brotherly, communal love like between brethren & fellowship. Platonic love for one’s local community, family, & friends. Love for one’s squad, platoon, team members, or co-workers. (Philosophy = Philos + Sophia = Love of Wisdom)

*Eros (ἔρως érōs

This is erotic, aesthetic sexual love like the passion between lovers, boyfriends & girlfriends, married partners, prostitutes & clients, or even just masturbation.

Each kind of love has different levels.

In Eros, the love between a prostitute & client (lust, which some people don’t consider love at all) is no where near the same as between a married couple because marriage is long-term & more involved. Still, lust is a low vibratory level of love because love chemical reactions are taking place, albeit short-term and, maybe, never again between those two people. That’s love coping without the existence & prerequisites of higher erotic love. Likewise, masturbation is self-love to alter the same chemicals in the brain to, again, cope without a higher relationship with Eros love.

In Philos, the level of love between a volunteer & nonprofit organization differs from love between a military unit or punk rock band, yet they are all still an expression of brotherly/communal love working toward a specific unifying purpose in being & doing.

In Christian spiritual context, the highest love of all is the unconditional love (Agape) Jesus Christ had for mankind. In Buddhism, it is the love for all of humanity.  In Paganism, it’s the love for mother earth & nature. Some humans achieve Agape through devout religious/spiritual practice & example, like the Dali Llama. Albeit, some believe no human can ever achieve as divine & unconditional a love as that which the monistic God (they believe in) has for all of the universe.

These three kinds of love are how humans differentiate love from the expression of the chemicals in our brains and who those chemicals make us into in the journey of life.

A lack of oxytocin, amongst other neurochemicals, means a lack of love experienced in human embodiment. When a person is fearful of or complicated from bonding with other people, we have defined multiple different psychological disorders to explain this.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Major Depression

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Social phobia/Selective mutism

Autism

Psychosis (postpartum or schizophrenic)

Etc…

Each effects personal experience of love, some more severe than others.

All relate to a debilitating extent of poor quality, ill approach, understanding, & expression of communication due to the respective criteria, dynamics, & circumstances of each disorder.

This is why the mentally ill, drug-addicts, & trauma victims can tend to feel ‘unlovable.’ Fear & pain based chemicals (cortisol & adrenaline) are more prevalent. Physical, medical & genetic conditions can also prevent someone from being able to experience oxytocin. A pituitary brain cyst or tumor may inhibit secretion of oxytocin & other hormones of wellbeing.  Some women with endometriosis cannot orgasm because endometrial scar tissue causes erotic pleasure to feel painful. Henceforth, a person experiences the grim effects of a lack of genuine bonding from chemical/physical dysfunction.

Psychologically, trauma victims are fearful of love particular to whether they were traumatized in what was supposed to be a loving act or traumatized with no foresight toward a loving act. A rape victim must heal from the trauma of a nonconsensual sexual experience to be able to experience a consensual loving erotic bond. A person who consented, but was naive to realize they were just being used experiences a different stigma toward love (and self.) Likewise, a failed long-term relationship or marriage also stigmatizes one’s associations with love and self.

When a person doesn’t heal all the way, any sexual/romantic experience will likely cause heartache & pain, a resurfacing of the underlying trauma, conditioning, & ill precepts. Thus, many resort to substances or other unhealthy behaviours to suppress dealing with the resurfaced pain & numb themselves. Many continue on and on completely unaware of this.

In terms of the aforementioned mother & her baby, if mom is in a state of postpartum depression or psychosis, her neurochemical makeup is not influential in developing a bond with her child. A schizophrenogenic mother, or otherwise neglectful, injurious & resentful parent, likely results in arrested development of the child when a counterbalance of loving influences are not present.

Suicide is the ultimate expression of being void of love in any form, and/or simultaneously, the ultimate love for death, otherwise non-existence.

Our neurochemical makeup & actions inspired by our neurochemical makeup dictate our will, ability, & resiliency to heal through such disgraces with love and self. Some have the chemical makeup to experience a healthy self & love. Some are working toward that, while others are indifferent, even hopeless. Some have the insight to apprehend this, and some may only have the love to write about love.

In part, love is all around us in many forms thru many perceptions. Love goes unrecognized while another’s love supersedes anything or anyone else. Love is abstract, yet simple. Love is so much more than many of us will ever notice, know, & experience. This life is ours to taste even but a crumb of love’s larger pie.

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Love Musings

Who am I?

The elf of identity moratorium

who owns an inherited emporium.

A woman unfulfilled

in essence of womanhood.

A mother brigaded

from living motherhood.

I’m an artist, a writer malnurtured in love

who’s failures in creation soar above.

That’s why I feel defective ways

through this existence of cumbersome days.

Suicide’s been my game…

To end the pain of living vain & lame.

Modern medicine quantum leaped

to numb the tears of agony wept.

Now here I am: disserviced from living

by inadequacy & no fuck-giving.

Imbalance in every sphere.

The will to do just isn’t there.

Blind spots plague all I hear.

I feel dead because I don’t care

About you, or him, or how to change.

I feel inhuman cause my blood’s deranged.

Yet feeling’s not to blame

when it’s the byproduct of existing in shame.

This isn’t the spirit nor life I wish…

But I can’t placate or please

when the day I was born

was the dawn of my disease.

For the record

People tend to lean on cliches when they don’t know what to say or they don’t say anything at all….particularly in response to a depressive due to people taking the person at face value… A non-recognition/understanding that a person who doesn’t look ill is actually ill.

There’s Inner mind stuff,

Personal physical connections

and Transpersonal/Personal external world obligations.
Depressives have a hard time shutting off stuff of the inner mind because inner mind is what needs to heal from illness. No one can see this. Depression is not physically noticeable except for self-mutilation and dissarayed personal & transpersonal functioning.

Difficulty in shutting off the inner mind is why personal physical connection and transpersonal/personal external world obligations are overwhelming for depressives. They have to take on the added sphere of simultaneously figuring out how to stabilize inner mind, meanwhile typical people do not.

Depressives are often particularly creative (as well lacking in reason/logic). It is this inclination along an artistic or musical avenue that must be channeled productively to relieve the impetus and balance the chaotic inner mind.

 Typical minds are no where near as complex as a depressive. They are not stricken by such creative impetus to the degree that the depressive is in desiring to contemplate and act upon myriad ideas. It is this blow to time management that’s likely to inhibit a depressive from thoroughly advancing in any given sphere. This is why typical minds function reasonably & abidingly within confines of society.  
There are different severities of depressives.

Depression is influenced by many factors: upbringing, extent of trauma, physical health/genetics, development & usage of skills, social interrelationships, circumstances, etc.

Not all depressives encounter severe hardship in necessarily every sphere of life, but the spheres effected are by far suffering. Some are depressed due to specific circumstantial reasons, but they placate circumstances because they have no other option to survive.

A person who grew up with an accelerated development can function up to societal standards, albeit they may be depressed because they hate their job, but need to keep working at it to support their self & family. 

A person who grew up with an arrested/sheltered development differs in severity of depression & functioning. That person is simultaneously doing work on the self from the implications of poor parenting/minimal exposure to physical social world. He/she was not adequately prepared during their formative years to get along in life as an adult (severe example: a feral child/human). Thus, adulthood is complicated by internally learning how to parent the self to coexist within civilization. Meanwhile, adults who grew up around healthy parenting and support were modeled how to meet their own needs, and the needs of their offspring. 

The depression an arrested development experiences is a sadness that gradually & painfully learns to accept the loss of time & voided nurturing that was supposed to be their window of opportunity to meet developmental milestones toward sound mind & bright future. It is sad because they have to meet those milestones on their own in adulthood, all while constructing realistic discernment of what potential & opportunity are left for them to achieve quality inner/outer states of being.

 Indifferent, indignant, & discouraging social relations provoke insecurities, fears, & comparisons that inhibit progress. As well, the older you are, the less potential & opportunity you have left to deal with it & live a quality existence. Thus, that is one reason why suicide exists: out of the hopelessness people experience from believing/discerning that they don’t have the chance to fulfill the love, goals, & desires they haved aspired… Meanwhile, the same love, goals, & desires just came naturally to typical people who were raised to possess the internal foundation to make their love, goals, & desires happen to live a quality existence.

​My beautiful broken brain’s insight from therapy:

Any tragic story is just another tale of woe.

Any joyful story is just another tale of happiness.

We’re all a blend, but some deviate toward one more than the other.

What makes the story special is subjective nature (the individual) & to whomever that person matters…

Like an endearing couple 

walking down the street– 

side by side, holding hands, pausing,

 adoring, embracing 

under streetlight glory 

illuminating their limerance…

Someone’s elegant wedding reception– 

Family joy, smiles, fresh union, 

the dawn of lifelong courtship…

Waking up to a special face sharing in mundane trivialities.

Anymore, it’s hard to bare.

Love

 I have never known…

don’t know if I can… Just an ego pain–

Like pathetic frame of reference

tethered to comparison sector of mind…

These external & internal sources 

& forces 

that made life the way it is… 

And have been keeping it that way

like a macabre haunting…

Ghosts… They’re everywhere all the time. 

Everyone has ’em, 

and I don’t mean otherworldly entities. 

I mean all those unvirtuous, volatile, & debilitating byproducts & obstacles 

of personal circumstance—

arrested development 

that no one can see & no one knows about, 

but are always there…

So what’s this ghost? 

Divorce grief? 

Atrophied sexuality?

Self sabotage? 

Social disorder? 

Relationship incompetency? 

Painting self in corner?

The wretchedly blissful delusions of love illusioned?

Identity communicated like sap, 

s t i c k y 

with specks of grandiose dirt and pine needles…

Anhedonia, depression, fear, 

hypervigilance, 

holding back & giving in to

 reoccurring hormonal digressions…

Alterative this. Alternate that.

Ketamine trials. 

Temporary relief.

Anesthesia from psychosocial disease. 

Undertake dismantling of trauma,

obliterating fear enhanced memory.

Discover more & more… 

I’m no one. I know nothing. 

I have no expertise except THIS…

Pretend friends never really went away…

Just became more parts 

of my broken identity 

embedded within 

the spacetime of shattered adulthood.

Social efforts go by 

a tragic background’s metastable foundation…

 What I was born into… 

Just some excuse breathing in a body…

Judgers. Subconscious judgements… 

A meekling too weak to own up to accountability…

 the grand love life has to offer…

What’s the purpose of 

quasi-sane cryptic banter this time?

Please, show me why

this ambivalence from the best of both worlds?

Awry genius & good intentions 

of one lonesome woman’s retrograde cycle.

Just spews out like paint splatters 

projectiled off fan blades that can’t salute shut the fuck up.

Nothing new.

The eccentricity…

Wanting something…

Temperance, tolerance, 

courage…

Striving for joy unknown if can ever be pleasurable. 

Jabbing awareness it is for typical people–

Fortunate ones…

Do you leave more good memories in people’s minds than bad ones?

That’s all that matters.

For some, it’s a real gamble of free will & compassion, heart & mind.

 I don’t know where I stand…

If it’s up to quality life standards & expectations… best wishes…

Maybe it can only ever be hope.

Ghost tales & dancing skeletons of psychosocial living

Convalescing Elegance

Healing is an art,

while, simultaneously, a start:

The beginning of renewed function,

An animated life force conduction.

Healing is trial & error,

research, patience, practice.

Healing is steady growth

climbing lifestyle’s lattice.

Healing is considerate & even-paced,

without the fear of risks faced.

Convalescing elegance

is staying true in place

with the here & now

in realism & grace.

What do you want your life to be?

Why do you want the experience to see?

What’s your essence? What’s your vibe?

What does your presence bring alive?

What is best for you

and is this what you want?

What is the balance

you were never taught?

I want my life to be quality & free.

I want the experience of beauty to see

wholesome essence, dynamic vibe,

the grounding to earth I bring alive.

What’s best is pure, steadfast, & true:

It’s what I want & need to heal new.

What’s best teaches balance & pace,

shows strength & love,

and yields happiness with grace.

Q & A

I’m walking with my shadow

around the block.

She’s taller than me.

Then she fades into a rock.

She reappears around the bend,

only to fall behind

over the pavement’s end.

As I walk forward–

straight down the street,

she resurfaces

to the right of my feet.

Once again, she grows taller.

Then, soon enough,

the night engulfs her.

Now, she’s gone.

No trace of her in sight,

until I converge, again,

with the light.

Shadow