Saturday, April 13, 2024

Love Is An Act Of Voluntary Surrender.

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( Over the years, the world’s greatest thinkers have tried to define love. For some, it is a romantic sensation that makes you feel warm and mushy inside.

For others, it is an action. Love is something you do, not something you feel. This school of thought sees relegating love to a feeling is an insult. It seems to undermine the efforts of people who plow their lives into serving others. 

The debate on what love actually is goes back and forth with the times. Nobody seems to have a definitive answer under the current paradigm. And they probably never will. 

But perhaps the way that we’re thinking about love is all wrong. Maybe it isn’t an action or a feeling, but an approach to life.

Love Is Crazy, But That’s Okay

The philosopher Alan Watts famously claimed that love was an act of voluntary surrender. People, he argued, never rise into love. Instead, they always fall – uncontrollably in some instances. Once they open the flood gates and let the other person in, they know they’re in for a wild ride. 

Watts said that allowing yourself to fall in love was a little crazy. The moment you let the other person in, you subject your happiness to their whims. Instead of being an independent entity, you become hopelessly dependent on their behaviors and actions. You give up your sovereignty. It is madness. 

But then when you think about the alternatives, you soon see that they’re no better. Living your life without love seems empty and barren. You can have a fulfilling career and a fantastic social life. But if you don’t surrender to love, it all seems a little surreal. There’s no risk. You’re just living out your days robotically, without that special person in your life who can make it all okay (or wreck it). Going without love seems a little crazy too.

Some people commit to living a life without love and for good reasons. Love is dangerous. It can beat you up like nothing else, both emotionally and financially. Yet, at the same time, it feels like a risk that you have to take. What is existence without it? 

Do We Need Love?

No law of nature says that you have to get involved in a relationship. But our psychology is set up in such a way that going without one is a real challenge. 

You can be single and happy – no one denies that. Examples of successful people who live without romantic love abound. In some places, it is the norm. 

But even they will tell you that they would prefer to be in a relationship than by themselves. They may have very high standards for that relationship, but they still desire one nonetheless.

They will say things like, “I would love to have a partner, but I think it is unlikely that the right person will come along.” Notice that they will seldom say outright that they would prefer to be by themselves, regardless of the quality of the other person. 

Love is dangerous, but taking risks is what makes you feel alive. 

Staff Writer; Susan Brown

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