Sunday, July 28, 2013

Catharsis of the Heart

Catharsis of the Heart
A philosophical explanation on the nature of love and hate

Someone once said that it is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not. The question of which is more powerful – love or hate – takes us on a journey of self-discovery, contemplating the very nature of the human condition and whether or not we can escape from this catharsis of the heart.

Aristotlean theory describes how experiences bring to surface personal subliminal responses from the depths of our being. However, unless an individual has personally experienced either one of these emotions, the notion would appear strange if not downright irrational.

Irrational is often times the word most commonly associated with both love and hate. When immersed in either one of these emotions, we aestheticize our self in another, feeling only the emotions that confirm or deny our internal experience. Given that both feelings must be brought to the surface by some external stimuli, the importance one places on either may be a matter of biological functioning.

Hate, a brute emotion, crystallizes when conflict and angst from the deepest levels of our being are stirred. Evidence of aggression in our earliest ancestors indicates that hate might be biologically hard-wired into us, supporting the evolutionary concept: 

Survival of the Fittest.

Love - that smile of the mind - is considered by most to be healthy behavior. Loving feelings “move mountains” as they say, but they might instead stem from a more primal, evolutionary aspect of self where love is merely part of the process of natural selection.

On the surface, it seems that a radical difference exists between love and hate, and yet, when you look deeper into your self for the origin of where these feelings arise, it feels as if there is only a fine line between them. This is because both experiences stem from the core of human functioning where feelings reverberate in our entire beingness; where our deepest perceived sense of self comes alive, carried away by either tragic or aesthetic enjoyment.

Whether biological or imaginational, it would seem that we are hardwired with a readiness for both experiences, which need only a single trigger to imbue any object with fantasized perfection or demonized imperfection. Seeing love or hate in the dynamic unfolding of life is largely dependent upon the balance of emotional needs we hold within us, revealing that the power we give either emotion says more about us than it does about the nature of love or hate. 

Distinguishing which one is more powerful is as personal as the experience itself. It is in this revelation that we understand Shakespeare: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

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