Unrequited Love and Freedom

The kind of love we hear about most "in our day and age" is what I will call unrequited love. The most frustrating aspect of an unrequited love is that it isn’t really love at all; it can never be love, and yet has all of the trappings of "that which could be love if only it were what it weren’t." (confused yet?) Each moment of unrequited love is filled with a desire to transcend, to become something more, to prove (i.e. to test) a deep and enduring nature full of benevolence, self-sacrifice, and hopeful enthusiasm.

Unrequited love proves false from the very beginning when compared with Genuine Love. There’s an old maxim about setting free the things we love; I must insist that until the beloved is set free, he or she (or it) will never be more than an “object of love,” something to be possessed by the thoughts and intentions of the lover. Genuine Love never exists in this kind of state; rather, Love is not a state at all: Love is an action. “Love is a verb.” Unrequited love is a state of desire, a kind of hope (or, in worse cases, of fanciful wishing) that exists in the space of awakening to Genuine Love (or to misery.)

Freedom is the most essential part of Love, if only because it is the most essential attribute of human existence. If we are made in God’s image and other animals or plants or minerals are not, then what makes us distinct? We have been given the option, every moment of every day, to choose how we will experience the world and how we will respond to it. This gets wrapped up into a lot of humanist pseudopsychology; recent examples range for pop rock lyrics to self-help books like the Secret. I think there’s a very God-serving spiritual principle behind most humanism, but the application is often a misdirection. Christ tells us to ask from our father, to re-imagine the law and the prophecies about Jerusalem; guided meditation or positive thinking might get us to a similar place, but I think it’s pretty obvious which has more significance in the grand scheme of things (and which is being a bit deceptive in order to sell books.)

I'm trying to condense this as much as possible, but I probably should have written an essay instead of 'blog posts for this one.

More to come.

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