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I have spent more than a decade learning and thinking about sociopathy, which I tend to think of as the psychology of people who lack empathy. These are the people who rise to the top of human hierarchy and control humanity, which is the root source of dysfunction in our species. The damage the sociopaths do is mostly unrecognized by humanity, partly because sociopaths strive to keep it hidden, and partly because humanity is too crippled and beset by the symptoms of this disease to be focused on healing itself.

Now I'm turning some of my attention to the psychology of humans in general concerning "love". It is generally recognized that love is the most powerful and important emotion among humans. It is the most exalted emotion among us as well. But what is love? Why do we not understand what it is? We all think we do, but it is becoming clear to me that we do not.

For each of us, our first love is for our mother. Why? What causes us to feel love for our mothers, which is often a powerful and life-long feeling? The quest for love also becomes the driving force in our lives as we become adults, and it consumes us all the way to the grave. Why is this? Why is love so elusive that most people pursue it relentlessly, often to their detriment and disappointment?

My current working theory that I want to examine is that we love those who satisfy our needs. Yes, this exalted emotion of love is just an expression or feeling of satisfaction. It is rooted in self, tied to selfishness, yet can lead to self-sacrifice and what we might call selfless altruism. This is such a contradiction that it suggests our understanding of what love is may be quite confused.

Love starts for each of us at our mother's breast. There our constantly reoccurring hunger is quenched until we are satisfied with a full belly. With a good mother, all of our other needs are met as well by this one person -- our need for attention, our need for comfort, our need for adventure, as well as our need for stability and peace. As we develop, we are transitioned from breast milk to solid food, and that intimate closeness to our mothers begins to be lessened. That lessening continues as we naturally evolve into independent beings, separate from our mothers, and often in open rebellion against our mothers in our teenage years. From then on, we seek a replacement for the love our mothers provided. Our needs that future love quenches have also expanded beyond simple hunger to include:

  • the need for help
  • the need for sex
  • the need to be needed
  • the need for reassurance
  • the need to understand our world
  • the need for truth

Basically, it appears we love the people who meet our needs.

This analysis of love was an overnight epiphany that woke me up earlier than usual this morning. It was triggered yesterday evening by the observation of love for God in highly religious females who were abused in childhood and had apparently adopted religion as a useful coping mechanism for the trauma they suffered. On the other hand, it appeared to me that the abusive males in their lives had instilled religion in these females to improve their control over them. This dynamic of predator/prey, sociopath/victim, master/slave, male/female is a regularly recurring theme in the human experience that appears to be a rich source for understanding human psychology and human emotions.

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It's not that we can't handle the truth. It's that they can't handle us if we know the truth.


Sat Aug 14, 2021 4:26 pm
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