Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On Love and Animals

When the word, in its trivial, transient shapes in the air, beat clicking, sputtering, competing with the humidity to signify the meaning of the concept of love was it used between two people(?) -- a mother to newborn, an infant to parent, between partners formed in in the pursuit of various goals? Was it simply a narcissism or perhaps was it between a person and something supernatural?

An ocean of difficulties presents itself, and an juxtaposed coast of methodologies to embrace such complexities exists simultaneously expanding either side of us. No anthropological or archaeological work can ever allow us a clear entry into the lived emotional lives of prehistoric man, nor is it possible to ascertain the mental faculties of our humanoid ancestors beyond the measurements and shapes of skulls, projecting the developed and undeveloped mind located in the brain. Ambiguous symbols of proto-cultural artifacts leave only the cinders of the fire of the earliest experiences by humans. What were the sensations that must be eternal, structured in the brain of Homo sapiens that have been vital to our survival and success, that could never leave the species without its destruction? Was there love in the earliest people?

How do we remove ourselves from the contextual difficulties of our hermeneutics regarding history? Has love as it is conceived, generalizing, in a Western, contemporary notion existed beforehand, at least on a basic level where some qualities that are essential to love are equivalent to the love used by humans throughout history? Are we not always in some extent guilty of a relativistic history that melts away and coagulates as history itself is processing itself eternally? How do we talk about love as something more than this love, at this very second, that might slip away into undecipherable nonsense for the flux of humanity, as ancient texts are for us today?

How do we separate the love and identify the love that we seem to share with other advanced lifeforms? May we even use that word? For many, the love of a dog is love as much as there is love between contemporary humans, and we, as a recent historical occurrence, have broaden greatly our notion of love as something that we share with many other mammalians, especially in the form of maternal care and group or pack behavior; the necessary existence of primordial sympathy and empathy to allow for a group of animals to live together, becoming more fit and successful in their environment through group cooperation. When we speak of love, as love between humans, are we not struck by the alarming quality that even a bird, not only an animal but also not a mammal, is capable on a consequential level to maintain the behaviors necessary in order to raise chicks? Nurturing, caring for, protecting, teaching and a willingness to die in order to protect their young, how do we separate these seemingly similar formations of love from our own?

Why complicated it? Why be so long-winded and muddy-up the ease of the pragmatics of language? Love is always changing and evolving by who the user is, the user's placement in the universe and his desired meaning. To some extent this is true, no matter what I say, love as a concept and as an everyday word will continue to slither around, difficult to pinpoint and catch, and will continue to be used as it has ever been used; however, in the interest of truth, and higher levels of scrutiny, we have to analyze how often love as a concept is moving like water, but suddenly, becomes stiff, brutal and violent as if a wave crashing against rocks. What is that which rises from the ocean and strikes us?

Love is the goal, the aim, the meaning by which all contemporary humans strive; it is the very core of life, and any denial of it brings mental and physical violence to and from humanity. Though it is at times aimless, unclear and ambiguous, love as a concept will reveal itself as the hard soil of everyone's existence. You must love your children, you must love yourself, you must love all humanity, you must love life -- above all other things, all goals and all thoughts, love is the one that is the indomitable, eternal and immortalizing emotion. You fight war with love, death with love, and you seek death, the absolute termination of everything, to constitute love to save the entire universe with love.

And we never think, how simply the mechanistic behavior of the ducks in the pond may be exactly the same love as the love you have for your children, for your God, for your life. Something evolutionary so simple as a ordering of your brain to guarantee you will "love" your children no matter what against a will you may call yours. It is rather the other faculties human has, not a special formation of love. It is self-awareness, unmatched memory and an ability to project causally into the future, that humans have what makes love seemingly more intense, more important and easier to manipulate for the purposes of gratification of biological needs; horses snort because it causes a release of pleasurable chemicals in their brain, they through a crafty intelligence abuse their own biological structures to essentially -- masturbate! Loving God or any supernatural being, is the cunning manipulation of biological structures of mammalian love; God is a masturbatory fetishistic item, an internal drug releasing endless pleasurable feelings, but the core of this love, the structure is one of the most base developments of the shrew-like mammal that crawled out of a hole hundreds of millions years ago with the ability to "love" its offspring but not to abstract and manipulate, then to go on to be able to at a basic level sympathize with its species to allow them to work together and survive.

Love begins to shatter under the pressure of a shadowy, sinister, animalistic, expansive reality that the human, the historical, the cultural conception of love covers. Love is contextual and difficult to pinpoint because it has a dual existence. There is the cultural conception of love that is always changing and being informed by the lovers, artists and priests that appear and disintegrate through historical flux, determining what it is as a cultural phenomenon. But in many ways culture acts as a veil to the brutality, to the animalism of truth that is horrific and sublime. One cannot say Yhwh's name, Moses could not look upon God's face, Zeus too would destroy man that looked upon his true form -- these myths hold the psychological terror humanity holds to the truth, to the divine. The unforgiving, the emptiness, the structured mechanistic forms that are hurtling and exploding through space that is expanding and tearing apart. One can never quite look upon the truth, but only relay it to the best of their ability in costumes and abstractions. This is the other side of love; the side of love that does not exist in nature, but rather, a thing that we have taken to be love that is rather, not love, but the uncontrollable, accidental mechanistic unfurling of mammalian structures that have no true meaning in a human sense.

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