A Discourse on Love
3 Dec 2006
Aristophanes was one of the first people who proposed in document that love is basically finding the other half that makes you whole: a soul mate. This was 2,500 years ago - 10,000 in dog years, if you're counting, and 1,250 in tortoise years if you hate big numbers.
Since then, the whole business of romance and destinism and the unending quest to determine one's soul mate has evolved from a shot of wine's rant to a belief to a cult to a religion to a culture and finally an immutable pillar of contemporary Westernized civilization as the principle of fated monogamy. It's like that large post in the middle of the building lobby that occasionally collides with some happy idiot unaware of its presence.
But then again, 2,500 years ago, we all thought the world was flat too. 2,500 years ago, it was safe to believe such things because of three things: it was convenient, it separated us from animals, and it was difficult to prove otherwise.
Well, we all laugh at the idea that the world is flat and is carried by the back of a turtle named Pong the Great. We now call the turtle "Earth", and he's less like a turtle now and more like a circular rock orbiting a large cosmic bonfire singing campfire songs.
But we still believe in the monogamist soul mate theory, because:
a) it's convenient
b) it's romantic and
c) the otherwise can't be proven.
A human being's average lifespan is 66. 86 if you're Japanese, 30 if you're on top of the 8-MCDO Delivery Service Most Frequent Customers. The average age of a metropolitan Filipino who marries is 25. That means you effectively waste 35% of your lifespan finding the "right one" or wondering if the person you're already with is indeed the "right one".
It doesn't end there.
Although we do not have divorce here in the Philippines, recent surveys conducted by a social weather group pegged three couples out of five who are in a state of unhappiness at age 35-40 - ripe for a nonexistent motion for divorce. That means even though you've spent a generous amount of your non-sterile life looking for your mate, there's still a large chance you'll fail at finding Mr. Perfect.
In nature, monogamy does exist. 90% of birds are monogamous. In mammals, only 3% are monogamous. Although the number rises to 15% in primates. It is said that man isn't included in the 3 of 20 of the odds. In short, nobody expects man to be monogamous except himself. The average orangutan, for example, does not wait for his dream girl to come. The moment he becomes sexually active at age 15, he starts looking for a mate. At that age, a human boy can only look to the stars and his hand.
So prevalent is the thought that one's existence cannot be fulfilled that it has etched even in the most primitive of communications: insult. Get a girlfriend, will you?
Listen, I'm saying all of this not because I'm a cynical bastard who thinks love is just our brain's wire way of tricking us to copulate. That's of another issue. I'm telling you this because as a man/woman from the future looking back at 2,500 years of chasing and dreaming, you can do better than just that.
You don't need a special someone to validate your existence. You're special already with our without him/her. And while we're at it, stop thinking that there is indeed a special person in this world destined by fate to be just for you. That leaves you with so much expectation. And where there is expectation, disappointment usually follows.
Added to that, there's also this thought that without that fated person, you're incomplete. That's bullshit. You're beautiful already the way you are. You are not some lost item of God's two-for-one sale. Leave that for twins (and in such cases, the term "double delight" should be used instead). That's if you're theist. If you're atheist, well, why the fuck are you even reading this when you can go proclaim your "deep profound understanding in the belief of nothing"?
Anatomically, you do not need constant reassurance of another person who has more than 95% similar biological structure to you save for few missing/interchanged body parts. Your existence is guaranteed with or without a partner because you're complete already as you are.
It is said that man is the animal with the longest mating season of all - 360 plus days in a year, life's a simple dance of orgy. It doesn't have to be that way. There's more to life than just you and your soul mate.
When the time comes, the Emperor penguin selects his mate from a colony of more than a million, and he indicates his choice by rolling a stone at the female's feet. If she accepts this gift, they stand belly to belly and sing a mating song. The whole process lasts for about a day.
His brain is wired to select the best possible mate in the existing group. He does not dream of having one that he cannot see. And he does not dream about it before the mating season comes. Before that, he's just happy to be not eaten by killer whales, sea lions, and eskimos.
You're lucky you don't have to deal with the killers as much as a penguin does. Because, like I said, you can do better. Quit dreaming and wait for your mate when he or she comes. When "it" does happen, learn to accept your mate for who or she is and not for what you think fate has in store for you.
Between you and me, I think love is not a secret power that's grantedly unlocked between two people destined for each other. It's the strength constantly exerted by a couple to be together because they think they're at best odds emotionally, physically and mentally. This strength, to overcome what may come their way.
At least, it's more logical to think of it that way.
But then again, that's just me.
The heart is perfectly good for pumping blood and keeping all parts of the body well sustinenced. It helps regulate all muscular, anabolic and catabolic reactions in you. It's not sure how it's evolved to develop such proficiency in so many essential activities for sustaining life. On thing is for sure though, it wasn't evolved to make logical decisions.
Live with your heart. Think with your head.
Thatís what makes you beautiful.
originally posted for http://redkinoko.blogpsot.com