Psychology and Love

The following was set on the comment section of another website, and I thought I ought preserve it, as I used to do through my e-mail, before I lost this and all the comments I had saved there, as a result of being kicked off the internet. If one does not use the free Hushmail for three weeks, they discontinue your e-mail account.

Presently I am wondering how, if our Abnormal Psych book has no entry in the index for love, they will avoid diagnosing and drugging every true lover! The insurance companies, drug companies and congresspersons will make lots of money, so it must be right, right? But are any of these true lovers?

Hello Mr. Brijesh! I am pleased that someone writes on love and psychology! The word love does not occur in the index to our text on Abnormal Psychology. We consider modern psychology to be defective, a pseudoscience. How can one consider anything about the soul without a study of eros or love? The three best sources I have found on love are Carl Jung, the scriptures and Plato’s Symposium and Phaedrus (though I have to translate the Greek stuff into hetero!) Shakespeare, in Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Nights Dream and The Tempest does much of the translating. I have some stuff in my Psych book, which I will do by commenting on Shakespeare. If you do scripture, it is Genesis 1:26 and Song of Solomon, plus other mentions of these and Revelation. I like your description of when one is in in love, the beloved is perfect and one becomes like Superman, to be worthy. Jung explains what he calls Anima and Animus, using the Latin words for spirit and soul to refer to parts of the soul in “projection,” and we say too it is not just the feminine unconscious of a man that he is in love with, but one truly sees the angel of the beloved. I will go read the Evolution article you have here, as this too is a very hard and good question: There is an impenetrable mystery in the continuous estrus of human beings and the strange periods of our women, as we do not have times of “heat” as do the other animals. But that joins the family as much as causes adultery! For us, love is the fundamental political connection, the prince and princess at the founding of the family, and polities are composed of families (unlike ant and bee hives, where the Queen is the sexual organ, and no one else reproduces). So, our fundamental political nature is primarily a function of love, and though Aristotle says we are the political animal, he does not have a study of love. Much work to be done, not by modern pseudoscientific psychology, but philosophical psych! Wphfew: that’s all I know about love!

For Further Reading, Mr Brajish refers us to an article in Psychology Today in 1012 on Evolution and Love, and here I left the following comment:

The article in your further reading, by Mr. Dario Maestripieri, is one of the best I have ever read on the biology of love. Emotions are related to family, as well as to fear or self-preservation, and in evolution, family began mostly with the reptiles, but family is very deep in the soul. In my comment to the Maestripieri article, I note that other forms of man are filial, while ours, cro-magnon as they call us, are the “political” animal, as Aristotle defines us, in addition to our being the “rational animal.” Homer notes that the Cyclopse- who I figured out are likely the last of the Neanderthal, and real- the brow appearing from a distance as one eye) these “each give law to their own family,” according to Homer. The prohibition of incest and the strange human estrus are the two crucial keys, I am convinced, to the biological aspect of this mystery of our kind of man, and the emotional soul is related to the strange development of these cro-manon families, layered atop that ancient filial nature as deep as the reptile in us. We are tribal as opposed to filial, so that the families are linked by exogamous, they call it, marriages, as opposed to “endogamous.” These things develop quite late, together with the domestication of other species, the ability to govern the passions, and the settling of tribes into villages, from which the first cities emerge. The incest prohibition has been expanding, and for us includes cousins, though this is not so for all. But such, we say, is the riddle of the sphynx asked to oedipus, to which the answer is “man.”
I like how the evolution article says that evolution “tweeked the parent child bond” in developing love to join or fuse the families. But other species, such as birds, have families, and these do not have the strange human estrus and the odd periodicity of our women. Other animals, too avoid incest when possible, and it seems to result in genetically defective offspring. But these two things are quite unique for these cro-magnon guys. Rousseau and Freud have the sublime or higher things created out of the lower, but Jung has a natural gradient along which “libido” is freed from entrapment in matter or the body. So Shakespeare has Ariel, a spirit that serves the wise man, imprisoned in a pine tree, and frees him, while the prince Ferdinand must undergo the civilization of his eros in preparation for marriage to the wise man’s daughter. Political reason develops for our kind of man, through the city and nation, and this is pre-eminently natural. Phronesis or practical wisdom is the health of the soul, or one part of the rational soul, and it must be known to understand schizophrenia, when this faculty has gone awry. But theoretical wisdom- by which the science of psychology might be preeminently natural, would take some more explaining! The health of the soul is the fullness of wisdom, and this is the first principle of our philosophical, as opposed to merely medical psychiatry or biological, psychology, (developed out of Jungianism!). We hope Indian psychology avoids the corruptions of Western psychology. (See my conversations with famous persons, B.F. Skinner and Joseph Campbell, both true.) I wrote about some of this Cro magnon stuff in my old Hamlet essay, since writers were discussing the comments of Freud on Hamlet, and Earnst Jones wrote one of the better interpretations available on the internet, free to print out I think, from the Journal Interpretation, 2007. (We also identified the science of linguistic archeology, treating language like an intelligible fossil, added to genetics making whole new layers of history intelligible. “Mein” is the same in German and hindi I’ll bet because of Sanskrit) (By contrast, my Romeo and Juliet essay is as yet not very good, and I will go back to it after A MidSummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.)



One thought on “Psychology and Love

  1. That’s a great perspective. In my post, I tried to justify the importance of love from a scientific and psychological point of view with the help of principles of evolution and my observations of human behaviour. Love is mostly given a romantic treatment. I am not so good with romantic words, so that was my attempt. However, your philosophical treatment is equally intriguing to me. Thanks for putting your perspective and comment!

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